Are the days of free broadband stuff over?
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.