The paper aims to assess sources of error in attempting to meet standards for the measurement and reporting of negative sequence voltage unbalance. This is of importance when making use of low performance instrumentation where three difficulties may arise: (i) rms voltages rather than the fundamental is used; (ii) the magnitude but not the phase of line-neutral voltages are available; and (iii) voltage values are averaged over a period longer than standards require. The presence of harmonics at normal levels is shown to give negligible error on unbalance calculations. When lineneutral voltages are used, and zero sequence is present, the calculated unbalance can show significant errors under steady state conditions but the error can be much smaller under typical time-varying conditions. When line-line voltages are not available at high sampling rates, the unbalance calculated can be about 40% too small.