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Free laptop offer from AOL Broadband
Wednesday 05 September 2007 11:36:10 by Andrew Ferguson

AOL Broadband via Carphone Warehouse has announced that its free laptop offer has gone live today and will be available for online ordering or by visiting a Carphone Warehouse store. The free Dell laptop offer is limited with 50,000 people registering before the launch date. The original order for 100,000 laptops from Dell has been increased to 160,000.

This announcement also happens at the same time as AOL Broadband revamps its product range introducing a 10GB and 40GB usage allowance service. Existing AOL Broadband users will remain on their existing FUP/traffic managed service rather than be automatically subject to the new allowances. The two products are AOL Broadband Wireless at a standard price of £14.99 per month and Wireless Plus at £19.99 a month. The laptop deal is only available on the £19.99 product, key details of each product are shown below:

Free laptop with AOL Broadband (Wireless Plus)

  • Free Dell laptop with 1GB memory, Intel Celeron 540 processor, 80GB hard disk, built in Wi-Fi and Microsoft Vista Home
  • Free Netgear Wireless router
  • ADSL connection at up to 8Mbps (speed dependent on things like line length)
  • 40GB monthly usage allowance
  • Free connection or migration onto service
  • 24 month contract
  • £19.99 a month, subject to taking AOL Talk Pay As You Go subscription and living in an LLU area
  • £10 surcharge for those not connected to an AOL broadband unbundled exchange
  • Upgrades to laptop available, 120GB hard drive for £49.99, or 2GB memory and 1520 Core 2 Duo processor for £149.99. Both upgrades include Microsoft Vista Home Premium
  • Delivery charge of £14.99 on laptop
  • Evenings and Weekends call package raises price to £22.49 a month, or the Talk Unlimited gives a total of £24.99.
  • You can opt out of the compulsory calls bundle, but monthly fee rises to £29.99

The standard Wireless Plus deal is available for £19.99 and carries the same 24 month contract and other features just no free laptop is available.

The basic AOL Broadband service is still £14.99 a month and now has the following features:

  • Standard monthly price of £14.99
  • Connection speed of up to 8Mbps
  • Current offer of one months free service if signing up online, new offer due soon
  • Free wireless router
  • 10GB usage allowance
  • 18 month contract
  • Option of free CPS product Talk Evening and Weekends (normal price £3.39 a month).
  • £5 surcharge for people not in an AOL Broadband LLU area

The question for many now will be how fast will people sign-up for this deal and the stock of laptops run out. Carphone Warehouse has learnt from its previous offers and by offering a pre-registration system it has allowed them to judge the demand and hopefully the first laptops and connections will get connected soon.

So where is the catch? It seems the area where the provider aims to recoup the costs of the deal are by people making telephone calls and thus creating more income. For those making lots of calls the CPS options are not expensive and should prove attractive. A 24 month contract is long, but we understand that if you take the deal and move to a non-LLU area AOL Broadband will continue to charge you the LLU area price which is something that otherwise might put people off the deal.

The Carphone Warehouse/AOL Broadband group currently has a 17% market share for broadband, behind Virgin Media and BT Retail, so promotions like this one are to be expected in a competitive market. The laptop offer may not appeal to everyone, but for that percentage of the population without a computer at home or looking for a second computer for the kids, deals like this will be popular.


Posted by CARPETBURN over 10 years ago
Not a bad offer but the 24 month contract and having to have the silly call bundle (ok you dont have to but you will pay more for the broadband) would be enough to personally put me off.
Posted by ste__ over 10 years ago
You'll need something with a bit more grunt than that nasty celery processor to run AOL's software
Posted by adriandaz over 10 years ago
Bearing in mind that you do not have to use AOL's software on broadband ;)
Posted by Julie1471 over 10 years ago
It is not as good an offer, as you think at first,wireless silver package costs £14.99, this offer costs £39.99 if not in their area over the course of 24, if you - £14.99, the laptop costs you £600, it's on dells website for £450. Plus on second wireless router sent out by them doesn't work allthough our netgear does, taken nearly 3 weeks to get them to send out a Netgear one. Plus ASA, wants me to send copies of the Adverisment as they think it breaks some rules but not stating clearly, price it will really cost, each member who take up the offer.
Posted by ste__ over 10 years ago
Of course you dont have to use their software - you know that - I know that. But do most of their punters know that ;o)
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 10 years ago
On the £39.99 that is only if you are not in LLU area and DO NOT take any of the CPS deals. AOL llu coverage is approaching 70% of households

Also the idea the laptop costs £600 is wrong, since £14.99 refers to the 10GB and not 40GB service in a LLU area.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 10 years ago
On the £39.99 that is only if you are not in LLU area and DO NOT take any of the CPS deals. AOL llu coverage is approaching 70% of households

Also the idea the laptop costs £600 is wrong, since £14.99 refers to the 10GB and not 40GB service in a LLU area.
Posted by Julie1471 over 10 years ago
Nope, cos if you are not on their LLU, and most people aren't, like myself you are paying £600 for the laptop over 24 months at £39.99, and why should you take a cps deal that you have to pay more for, than normal telephone companies. their are no restrictions on download, if you look at the newspaper ads.
Posted by chrysalis over 10 years ago
At least the laptop is half decent unlike the orange offer.
Posted by QUICKFOXTANGO over 10 years ago
I ditched AOL some years ago as I found it a poor ISP. Also, a celeron processor with only 1 gig of RAM will struggle imo. OK, you can pay £150 and get a 2gig system which is going to be necessary to run Vista and AOL but why tie yourself up for two years at a relatively high monthly cost? This deal looks good for AOL and for Dell (who are shifting thousands of nigh-on obsolete machines) but I would not dream of shackling myself to this offer.
Posted by JDPower over 10 years ago
As much as people knock AOL one of the advantages AOL had over other ISPs was no download limits, now Carphone Warehouse have gone and introduced limits. They may get a few extra customers with this offer but that won't last long, especially if they introduce these limits for existing customers too at some point.
Posted by GoodAOLBadAOL over 10 years ago
I have been a customer of AOL since 2004 never had a problem they have good customer service and its 24/7 , if ever i had a problem they sorted it and come on £450 laptop what a good do !! i am paying £25 a month off them now and they threw in AOL gold and talk £25p/m i am not complaining.But you are £600 for 2years broadband and i get a free £450 laptop so broadband only really cost me £150....happy days
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