News & Insight

We owe BT an apology

Max White

We were wrong. Our broadband is not 44% cheaper than BT's, it's only 34% cheaper...

It’s no secret that we call out BT whenever we can. Because when it comes to giving small businesses a great deal, we think we do it better.

Independent businesses get let down by British Telecom and we regulalry warn them about it. But this time we crossed the line. We mistakenly claimed that our superfast fibre broadband was 44% cheaper than BT’s equivalent.

Their boffins have crunched the numbers and it turns out that our calculations are wrong. We are not 44% cheaper than BT at all. We are 37% cheaper.


Now, we know when to put our hands up and admit that we’ve done wrong. We’re honest people.

We wasted no time in issuing a public apology to BT. We wanted everyone to know our oversight. The small businesses of the UK have a right to know that BT customers would in fact only save £449 a year by switching to XLN.

Thankfully, our apology email has been opened by a lot of misled small businesses. Online engagements were bolstered 160% and the total number of sales leads jumped 56% compared with the same period last year (January 2017 vs January 2016).

Making amends

Now, some people might say that words are just words. That our apology doesn’t go far enough. So to set the record straight, we’re offering unlimited broadband, free calls and free public Wi-Fi for free until 2018.

Thankfully for us, it seems we’ve been forgiven. Martin Sharpe of applauded our email in a blog post: "Being honest with your customers helps to build brand affinity, so if you make a mistake just own up to it".

Some business owners actually contacted us to say how brilliant it was that we corrected our blunder.

Mindy Stern tweeted us to say, “Excellent marketing! The subject line got me to open the mail. The saving was stressed and I got a little laugh at the expense of your competitor”.

Paul Elliot Smith praised us too: “A masterclass in marketing.”

Steff Easom even said it was, “Possibly the best marketing email ever.”

They have got the wrong end of the stick though, of course. This was a heartfelt apology. Not a marketing ploy.