Is it worth it to go for a free laptop mobile broadband deal?
Mobile broadband deals have flooded the UK market over the last few years. Mobile contracts offering a free laptop or netbook as part of the package abound and while these deals tend to be popular among consumers, one should ask whether they are in fact a viable option.
To be clear; these deals do not really give away a laptop for free as part of the package. The cost of the laptop is actually added to the cost of the mobile contract, which generally stretches over a period of 24 months.
Looking at the different “free laptop deal” options available through Orange, Vodafone, 3 and O2 will quickly reveal that the consumer pays on average between five and 20 per cent more for the laptop than what they would have if taken separately.
However, there are one or two benefits when taking a laptop through a package deal such as this: the cost of the laptop is spread over 24 months, rather than having you fork out a bundle of cash all at once. The other benefit is that two payments (that of your phone and your laptop) are consolidated into one.
The benefit of buying a laptop separately, however, is that you do not need to commit to a 24 month mobile broadband contract. You can choose between a pay-as-you-go package, a shorter contract or a home broadband package.
Before basing your decision on the free laptop thrown into the deal, consider other aspects too. Which type of broadband access will you get with the package, for instance? Many of these plans extend over a period of 24 months, and it’s important to make the right decision.
Check the provider of the deal’s site to make sure that the package you want is sufficient. Check what type of broadband coverage you get (e.g. 3G or GPRS), since this will have a huge influence on your speed.
Whatever decision you come to, make sure you do research first, so you’re not stuck with an insufficient contract for two years.
Category: Sci Tech