John Lewis are looking to grab a larger share of the UK broadband market by offering 6 months free broadband with every sale of web-connected devices.
That includes obvious web-connected devices like laptops and tablets, alongside Smart TVs and eReaders. In fact, buying a £69 Kindle is one of the cheapest ways to get in on the John Lewis deal. John Lewis will also send out a free preconfigured router (no postage fees apply), as part of the offer.
There’s a few caveats. Firstly, you’ll have to sign up for a minimum 12 month broadband contract (effectively giving you a year’s worth of broadband at half price), and those looking to leave before that term is up will have to pay a standard termination fee.
John Lewis will be offering an “unlimited broadband” package, costing £31.50 a month once that 6-month period is up, not subject to any traffic shaping. There’s also a 38Mbps fibre option at £38.50 a month, with a 100GB monthly limit and a little traffic management. All packages require a BT-compatible line or you’ll need to pay £50 to have one installed (John Lewis broadband is supplied by BT-owned Plusnet). The entry package Standard Broadband deal costs from £24.50 per month on a 12-month deal (£11 broadband, £13.50 line rental and calls) and offers up to 16Mb speeds, capped to 20GB monthly usage.
“We’re going to sell millions of devices over the next year that connect to the internet, and we want to give some value back to every single one of those customers,” Adam Brown, the company’s buyer for tablets and telecoms told Tech Digest.
“In much the same way as when you buy a TV you get a five year guarantee from us at no extra cost, we’re looking to add that principle to our broadband offering.”
With broadband penetration in the UK hovering around the 80% mark, many of John Lewis’ customers will already be set up with an ISP. So who’s this aimed towards?
“Anyone who hasn’t had a good service, anyone who hasn’t had a good call centre experience, anyone who feels like they aren’t getting any accountability from their current provider; those guys will see the value of coming to us,” said Brown.
“Also, anyone who doesn’t already have broadband equipment, we can set them up, and anyone who is perhaps a little scared of technology and the internet, as we’ll take the time to help them understand what it is and what it does. Perhaps older customers too.”
Brown also hinted at further tech deals from John Lewis being offered later in the year, rewarding those who stay loyal to the brand, though wasn’t in a position to share details yet. With online retailers chasing bottom line pricing, this 21st Century spin on John Lewis’ commendable customer services seems the veritable retailer’s natural direction to take.
By Gerald Lynch | April 18th, 2013