Free laptop offer from AOL Broadband
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.