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Are the days of free broadband stuff over?
Thursday 11 September 2008 10:43:31 by Andrew Ferguson

People became used to buying airline tickets for what seemed a bargain price, and then once it came to entering credit card details the various surcharges had bumped the price up. With some of the 'free' broadband deals unwary people can be caught out, for example laptop insurance, delivery charges and ISPreview has highlighted some changes to the Carphone Warehouse, Three and Phones4u websites.

The changes affect the prominence of the word 'FREE', which appears a lot currently due to the rash of laptop and landline/mobile broadband bundles. Further digging around on the Carphone Warehouse site, shows that while the word 'FREE' does not appear in relation to the laptop, it is still used for the landline broadband via TalkTalk. The laptop now appears in the footnotes with the following text "Includes £15 per month for laptop at 0% APR typical".

Exactly what has prompted the change is unclear, and it appears to have had no impact on the pricing of products. The various laptop offers generally involve a 24 month long contract, and with similar specification laptops often retailing on the high street for around £300 careful shopping around could avoid lengthy contracts.

One change that would be nice to see in broadband advertising is for the standard monthly fee to be given equal prominence. Far too often the £4.99 a month deal is splashed around in a large font, but the £12.99 price that it reverts to after 3 months is hidden in a hard to read font at the bottom of the advert.

Comments

Posted by KarlAustin over 8 years ago
The reason for the change will be due to credit regulations I would have thought. At a guess they have had a hard time getting laptops/money back if people cancel. So they revert to using a credit agreement for the laptop element, which makes it easier in theory to get the laptop or cash value of it back.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Its about damn time, in every single so called "free" laptop offer story on here i have previously broke down what that laptop is costing per month. The story is pretty meaningless though, idiots will always look at the big glossy free word in glittery letters and ignore the facts and small print
Posted by diggsy over 8 years ago
CPW get away with advertising "free" broadband cos they change the package names every 6 months. Advertising Standards Authority slapped em on the wrists before about this so presumably they're changing now before forced to. If the deal lasts longer than 6 months it's obviously not "free" but part of a package - see "free" broadband. Only selling point TT have.
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
my sister signed up to orange just to get the laptop. She considers it a 0% apr credit agreement. Doesnt use the broadband. :)
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"my sister signed up to orange just to get the laptop. She considers it a 0% apr credit agreement. Doesnt use the broadband. :)"

Would it not be easier to just use a credit card, or save for the item, even use a catalog or even buy it online from many of the interest free pay monthly merchant deals?
Of course if she is happy thats all what matters, but frankly i see no point in these bargain basement "free" laptop deals
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