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Walmart’s Got the Lowest Priced Unlimited Cell Plan?

  Joe S. wrote to Mouse Print* last week about a Walmart television commercial for cell service that he thought was misleading. Here’s the commercial (and listen very carefully to their lowest price claim):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1FLfA01eAA

It says “and at $29.88, it is the lowest price unlimited plan that includes 4G LTE.” That is an unambiguous, unqualified lowest price claim.

But wait, there’s some hard-to-read fine print.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Walmart lowest claim

The fine print qualifies the blanket lowest price claim saying that it is the lowest priced among the offerings that one can buy at Walmart. That is a far different, and narrower claim, and certainly not what any reasonable consumer would understand listening to the commercial.

So we wrote to Walmart’s PR folks and asked two questions:

1. Do you recognize how a viewer could misconstrue the oral claim in your current commercial to mean that your $29.88 plan is the lowest priced 4G LTE plan IN THE MARKETPLACE because you do not qualify the claim?

2. Will you change the commercial, such as by saying “OUR lowest priced plan” instead of “THE lowest price plan”?

Walmart did not respond.

And just in case some of you are saying that maybe their claim is true that they are the lowest price in the market. Nah. Boost Mobile just announced a switching promotion to offer a $20 plan with unlimited talk, text, and data, with 2.5 gigs of high speed LTE data.

Boost $20 plan

Now it is not as if we were asking Walmart to do something difficult — change one word in the commercial so it wouldn’t be deceptive. And it is not as if they had never done it properly before. Here’s a similar commercial from last year where they clearly say orally that this plan is “our lowest priced family unlimited plan.”



You have decide what it says about a company that won’t fix a misleading advertisement when it is brought to their attention.

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3 thoughts on “Walmart’s Got the Lowest Priced Unlimited Cell Plan?”

  1. Mr. Mouse Print: Don’t you have a consulting role with Verizon, which competes with T-Mobile and Wal-Mart in the mobile phone space? If so, should that be disclosed with your latest post?

    Edgar replies: Marc, for the record, I am no longer a member of Verizon’s Consumer Advisory Board.

  2. I’ve never seen a data plan cheaper than $40 a month (t-mobile) so I am glad you included the Boost Mobile advertisement because I would have been one of those people to say that $28 seems like the lowest to me.

  3. I thought the mouse print was going to be about how the plan isn’t really unlimited. I believe the data cap on this plan is 1 GB before being throttled into unusable speeds.

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