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UPDATE: Carphone Expands Broadband & FREE Laptop Promo
By: MarkJ - 02 June, 2008 (8:37 AM)

UPDATE: We've added a comment from moneysupermarkets head of broadband and mobiles to the bottom of this news.

The Carphone Warehouse (CW) will tomorrow expand its popular broadband promotion, which bundles a "FREE" laptop with new Internet connection packages from several suppliers. It's understood that Carphone will offer customers six models of laptop when they buy a broadband package from one of seven providers, including: Three (3), T-Mobile, Orange and TalkTalk.

The Independent's James Thompson explains that Carphone will offer the products at 100 stores from tomorrow, reaching a further 800 stores later this summer:

Customers will be able to pay more for a higher-spec laptop. The company's free laptop package with AOL Broadband, launched last year, offered one model.

Carphone Warehouse's new business and multi-channel director Andy Brem said the launch "is very significant. This is only the start. We are doing with laptops and broadband what we did with mobile phones".

Carphone has already expanded upon its "FREE" laptop promotion a number of times. This latest move appears to be more about bringing existing offers to stores than launching completely new products. Further details can be found at the bottom of their websites front page - here.

Rob Barnes, head of broadband and mobiles at moneysupermarket.com, said: "On face value, the offer of a free laptop appears to be almost unbeatable. However, once you start breaking it down and compare it to other deals on the market, you soon realise this is just another marketing ploy.

Customers taking up this offer will be tied in for 18 months, which at 35 per month could prove to be a costly mistake. The deal offers a free 2.8Mbps dongle from 3 but imposes a data allowance of just 3Gb, which is highly restrictive to medium or heavy internet users. Furthermore, the monthly tariff subscription is over double that of Vodafone's 3Gb deal (15 per month), which also offers customers a dongle of speeds up to 7.2Mbps.

By simply comparing what deals are available on the market, people could save hundreds of pounds. In this case they could save 360 over the term of the contract, enough to buy a higher-spec laptop elsewhere.

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