Today The Shelf has learned that broadband provider Redten is pushing the boundaries of the highly competitive broadband market by offering new customers a free PC worth £500.
Already taking orders for the promotion, Redten have also promised to reward the first 10,000 customers with an upgrade to a 19” monitor instead of 17”.
The spec of the PC being offered is pretty good too:
- Intel Pentium 4 3GHz processor
- 512MB DDR2 Ram
- 160GB hard disk drive
- DVD player/rewriter
- 17”/19” LG LCD monitor
- Microsoft Windows Vista
- 3-year warranty
- 365-day support
The free PC is available to all customers who enter into three years of 8Mb broadband which will cost £19.99 a month. The company has also stated that it will upgrade customers to a 24Mb line, when the BT exchanges are upgraded.
As part of the broadband package you get:
* Up to 8Mb broadband (powered by BT)
* Unlimited * internet downloads
* FREE LG Redten PC and 19” LG LCD monitor
* FREE ADSL2+ modem
* FREE upgrade to Microsoft Windows Vista
* 365-day telephone support
* Anti-virus/anti-spyware software
* Parental control software
* Three-year hardware warranty
* Free software worth up to £20 each month
* Optional home-installation and static IP
* Costs as little as £19.99 per month
The only catch with the promotion is that as a customer you don’t actually own the PC until your three year contract has been completed, and if for some reason you cancel the contract the PC must be returned as the customer’s expense in decent working order. There is also a £49.99 connation fee making the broadband £7.50 a month for the term of the contract minus the price of the PC, as well as the telephone line rental which has to be BT.
Concerns were raised on consumer forum moneysavingexpert that the service may contain a range of unwanted adverts. Others stated that by the time the contract was up the PC would be out of date, or that the internet connection could be poor leaving customers stuck for three years in a contract they are unhappy with.
Additionally one clause in the terms and conditions stated that “we (Redten) cannot guarantee that the equipment will work with our Broadband Service”.
Nick Mounfield, marketing manager at Redten said - “There will be a web portal which will have revenue streams – we’ll be selling advertising space on the portal, and also emailing offers to people from selected companies and partners,” and that “customers won’t be forced to watch adverts and that they can change their internet homepage from the Redten portal, should they choose to.”
It seems that the company also said it will cross-sell IT products from its Savastore.com brand and other electronics retailers. It claims to be partnering with BT, Intel and Microsoft on the deal.
The company claims on its site to be the first broadband and PC package provider, and uses BT wholesale, Cable&Wireless and Tiscali networks to deliver its broadband service claiming 99% coverage.
For those without a home computer or those in need of an upgrade but simply don’t have the money, it seems that this PC and Broadband solution could be the answer. Additionally it puts pressure on other providers to deliver more which cannot be a bad thing for consumers.