Rain banned from claiming ‘unlimited data 24/7' on 5G due to inconsistent connections

Business Insider SA
  • Wireless ISP Rain has lost an appeal against an advertising complaint, and is now banned from claiming it can offer "unlimited data 24/7" via 5G.
  • It also may not claim to offer an average download speed of 200Mbps on its 5G product.
  • Service interruptions means it does not offer data all the time, one consumer argued.
  • Rain tried to convince an advertising oversight body that it is actually claiming uncapped data all the time, not data that is always on.
  • Complaints about signal availability have been haunting Rain.
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Wireless internet service provider (ISP) Rain has been banned from using the claim that it offers "unlimited data 24/7" in its advertising for 5G service, after losing an appeal before the Advertising Appeals Committee of the Advertising Regulatory Bureau (ARB).

Consumers, the appeal committee said, are likely to be confused into thinking that means they will have access to the internet all the time, something Rain could not prove to its satisfaction.

The committee also did not accept evidence from Rain for its claim to offer an average download speed of 200Mbps over 5G on a premium package – for which it offered up a handful of graphs plus a statement from an engineer that these "look relevant and plausible". 

The effect is that members of the ARB may no longer accept such claims in advertising from Rain, in terms of a ruling which had been suspended while Rain appealed.

Rain offers a cheap and fast alternative to other internet providers – especially in the metro areas where it has 5G coverage – but has been haunted by complaints relating to signal availability.

See also | 5G in SA is now cheaper than its closest 4G rival – but you have to live in the right place

In its appeal, Rain contended that when it says "unlimited data 24/7", it means that at no time of the day will its data be capped, and the interpretation that it was offering a connection to the internet all the time is incorrect.

Rain told the ARB that "some customers have complained about poor network availability", and explained that it tells them to move the wireless router to different places in their homes.

Complaints of poor signal and slow speeds on the Rain network have been followed by a flood of complaints about its service, and inability to resolve complaints.

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