John Lewis offers "free" broadband with any internet device
Free broadband offer requires customers to pay for line rental
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.