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John Lewis offers "free" broadband with any internet device


By Stewart Mitchell

Posted on 18 Apr 2013 at 10:17

John Lewis is offering six months' free broadband for anyone buying an internet-enabled device - but customers will still have to pay line-rental fees.

The retailer started providing broadband last year, but is hoping to bolster sales through an offer that gives away the broadband part of its telecoms package for six months to customers who sign up to a twelve month contract.

"Whether a customer comes in store to buy a Kindle or a Smart TV, they can now enjoy our broadband service for free for six months, without any hidden charges or difficult to understand terms and conditions," said Adam Brown, a spokesperson for tablets and telecoms at John Lewis.

The company sells a trio of broadband options: an "up to" 16Mbits/sec connection with a 20GB download cap and traffic management on services such as P2P, an unlimited version of the same ADSL-based service and a traffic-managed fibre connection.

The price of the broadband element of the packages would normally range between £11 and £25, but all packages offered as "free" require users to sign up to a £13.50/month line rental and calls service, which appears contrary to the company's "no hidden charges" boast.

A company representative confirmed to PC Pro that the £13.50 would have to be paid for the duration of the contract, with only the broadband component given away.

Back in January, BT was given a dressing down by the Advertising Standards Authority for marketing free broadband that cost £14.60 a month when line rental was factored in.

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User comments

£228* = FREE!

Joins the club of companies offering broadband.

Starts misusing the words FREE, UNLIMITED & UP TO within a year.

*£228 is the minimum you'll pay for this FREE! service. The maximum being £312. I wonder if Lewis' would mind me going into a shop and filling my boots with good to the value of three hundred quid, then walking out without paying. You know, as they're clearly FREE!

By rozman on 18 Apr 2013

Zero enforcement

They do it because they are effectively "allowed" to do it by the toothless, spineless, worthless and all-round waste of space ASA.

If it is mandatory to buy a service from the same company to take advantage of an offer, then in my opinion it should be mandatory that the cost of that service is included in the advertised offer price. This could be written into regulations if the authorities and made enforceable could be bothered to do so.

It's the same with Virgin. The Essential collection is currently "from £13 a month". It *isn't* Virgin.

By halsteadk on 18 Apr 2013

They have realised

Nowadays its better not to go behind anything that says free. People are now get used to such terms and many have realized the situation. They take more care in reading the 'hidden' instructions. But free broadband internet is one of the best thing to attract users if genuine offers are provided. I took last year due to one of their genuine offer they showed last year.

By susanhughes03 on 6 Mar 2014

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