TV Commercial Being Reviewed:
BasicTalk “Back to Basics”
In this commercial for BasicTalk, the “BasicTalk guy” compares BasicTalk to other “magic” (aka Magic Jack) VOIP services. The actor that plays the part of the BasicTalk guy is Dreagn Foltz. This new commercial makes similar claims as in the Basic Talk commercial we reviewed in May 2013.
If your “magic” phone company gives you empty promises, it’s time to get back to basics. No smoke, no mirrors, no hidden charges, no gimmicks, no double-talk. No more hype.
(Announcer): Introducing BasicTalk home phone service. Sign up at Basictalk.com and get unlimited calling for only $9.99 per month. Basictalk has everything you need with no up front costs.
(BasicTalk guy): Get back to basics with phone service you can count on. It’s not magic, it’s BasicTalk.
Claims made in this TV commercial and what they really mean:
This commercial makes one basic claim: Sign up at Basictalk.com and get unlimited calling for only $9.99 per month
- What some people might think that means: I can get unlimited phone service for only $9.99 per month
- Is it true or deceptive?: At the end of the commercial we can see the following fine-print onscreen:
Unlimited calling and other services for BasicTalk are based on normal residential, personal, non-commercial use. A combination of factors is used to determine abnormal use, including but not limited to: the number of unique numbers called, minutes used and other factors.
This fine print clearly states that unlimited calling is only for “normal” use. When checking the BasicTalk.com website, we can find these definitions of what BasicTalk considers ‘normal’ use:
- for normal residential or personal, non-commercial use: This means you cannot use it for use in a business
- only the account holder and residential family members may use the service: This means that only your family or people that live in your your home can use Basictalk
- For live ‘dialog’ only: This means you can’t use BasicTalk as a monitor, intercom, for transcription, or anything else that is not you or a family member speaking to another person
And finally: A customer’s total usage is unusual if (a) two or more of the following occur in consecutive months, or (b) it exceeds 3000 minutes per month IN COMBINATION with one or more of the following, excessive:
- unique numbers called
- call lengths
- call forwarding/transferring
- conference calling
- short duration calls
- number of calls made during a month
- number of calls made to a conference calling service during a month
- number of calls made during business hours
- number of calls terminated and re-initiated consecutively, which, in the aggregate, result in excessive call lengths during a specific time frame; or
- other abnormal calling patterns indicative of an attempt to evade enforcement of this Reasonable Use Policy
In this commercial the BasicTalk guy clearly tells us there are no gimmicks, smoke, mirrors, or double-talk, just unlmited calling for $9.99 per month. However, when reading the fine print on the screen and checking the actual terms at the BasicTalk.com website, we can see that there are many limits to the unlimited BasicTalk service. Many people may consider this commercial for unlimited service to be deceptive and untrue.