Internet service providers (ISPs) are still overselling services to home workers, according to a survey conducted by anonymous shoppers on behalf of Ofcom.
The report found that 74 per cent of the shoppers were not informed that actual speeds may fall short of the advertised maximum, while 42 per cent had to prompt sales staff to inform them of the speed they would get.
Ofcom also found that ISPs use different methods to calculate and present the speed of the services on offer, and that some give the estimate in a broad range, such as 10Mbit/s to 20Mbit/s.
However, the regulator highlighted one area of improvement in that 85 per cent of the anonymous shoppers were provided with an estimate of the maximum speed available before signing up.
The research follows the introduction of the Voluntary Code of Practice on Broadband Speeds, which came into force in December 2008 and covers more than 95 per cent of UK residential broadband customers.
ISPs signed up to the Code have committed to providing information about the maximum speed consumers should expect on their line, and any factors that may affect those speeds, before they enter into a contract.
Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards said that the watchdog is working with ISPs to help ensure that customers are given the best information about the services before signing up.
"Our mystery shopping research reveals that there is still significant progress to be made, particularly in relation to the checks used to calculate line speeds. We will work with ISPs to amend the existing Code accordingly," he said.
Richards also said that Ofcom will monitor and assess ISPs' performances against the Code in the coming months.
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