When searching for broadband deals, you may find yourself swayed by the free gifts on offer for signing up.
However, there’s more you need to consider before switching broadband provider. It’s important to make sure that the package fulfils your internet requirements, at a price that suits your budget.
Many household brands offer internet deals with free gifts, or broadband packages with extra incentives.
You can choose to only see packages that offer a free gift when you compare broadband deals. Be aware that the incentives may only be running for a set amount of time.
Other providers that aren’t as well-known, like John Lewis Broadband and NOW Broadband, also occasionally offer free gifts alongside their deals.
It’s a good idea to take a look at what deals are on offer without a free gift, too. A low-priced deal with all the features you need could be better value than one that offers a cashback incentive.
Providers offer a range of free gifts to entice customers.
Gift cards are a popular incentive added to many broadband packages. They range from shopping vouchers to food deals.
These can be physical paper vouchers that you use in-store, or e-vouchers.
This is usually given to the customer in the form of a cheque, which you can then deposit into your bank account.
Cashback can be seen as a discount on the broadband cost, as you don’t technically pay the full price.
Networks will sometimes incentivise deals by offering a more powerful router than the standard one you would normally receive.
Most broadband providers include a free router with your package. You may even be able to keep the router even if you switch provider at the end of your contract. However, always make sure that you’re not expected to return it, as you may be charged if you fail to do so.
While offering gadgets with your broadband deal is not as common anymore, some providers could try to sway you by offering a free PS4, laptop, TV, tablet or speaker when you sign up.
These are rare, but definitely worth keeping an eye out for.
Prepaid cards are essentially credit cards that are already loaded with a set sum of money.
The majority of retailers accept prepaid cards and you can usually withdraw the money from cashpoints.
Each provider is different, so it’s important to read the terms and conditions especially if you’re basing your choice on the free gift.
Some are sent to you automatically, like the free router which will come with your broadband package.
If you don’t get sent your prepaid card or voucher once your broadband is up and running, you may have to contact the provider to claim it.
Commonly, they‘ll email you with details on how to login to your customer account, where you can claim or track your gift.
Whether it’s a voucher, prepaid card, or gadget, you should receive it within 30 days.
BT, Vodafone and Sky allow you to claim through your online account, whereas EE, Plusnet, Virgin Media and TalkTalk send you a direct link or set of instructions to claim your gift.
For other providers, you’ll have to submit an online form to claim your reward, which you’ll be able to access through your order confirmation email.
The offer of a free gift with your new broadband package usually expires within a few months, so you should try to claim your gift as soon as possible so you don’t miss out.
Free gifts are temporary incentives to encourage people to purchase broadband, but when the rewards expire or run out, all you’ll have left is your contract to pay.
If you fell for the temptation of a free gift without fully understanding the contractual terms of your broadband, you may find yourself paying more than you wanted.
On the other hand, if you understand the terms of your contract and you’re happy with what you’ll have to pay, you might as well get a freebie too.
With some incentives, such as cashback or gift vouchers, you can figure out easily if you’ll be saving money or not.
Purchasing broadband with free perks may seem like a good idea, but there are a few things you should consider before deciding on a provider.
Free money or gifts can be tempting, just make sure to read the small print before signing up to anything. Check how much you’ll be paying overall and keep an eye out for any terms and conditions related to the gift.
Remember that offers are temporary. They don’t pop up as frequently as you might think, so keep an eye out for the ones you’re waiting for. Black Friday in November is always a good time to keep an eye out for offers.
You should remember that you’re still signing a contract for at least a year, so while your free gift may have a limited life span, you’ll be stuck with your contract for much longer.
Try not to let free gifts sway your decision when searching for a broadband deal. You need to choose a contract that will best suit your needs.