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John Lewis offering free broadband with tech purchases

High Street retailer John Lewis has a new ploy to encourage punters to walk away from its outlets with big ticket new purchases - from now on, customers buying "Internet-enabled" gadgets like eBook readers, tablets, smartphones, smart TVs or even wireless printers will be offered six months of free broadband to sweeten the deal.

However, consumers should note that John Lewis is playing fairly loose with its definition of "free." For starters, you'll have to sign up for a 12 month contract, the first six months of which will count as your complimentary half-year.

There's a trio of packages on offer, ranging from an £11 a month ADSL-based service featuring a 20GB allowance, up to a £25 a month fibre-option with a 1GB traffic management cap. Sitting in the middle is an £18 a month deal that comes with ADSL speeds and unlimited downloads.

You'll also have to cough up £13.50 a month as a line rental fee for the duration of the contract, including the 'free' six months -which makes the comments of John Lewis representative Adam Brown seem a little rich.

"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," commented Brown, a spokesperson for the John Lewis tablets and telecoms division.

"We know that many consumers are left disappointed by the level of customer service they get from their broadband provider and frustrated at misleading and complicated offers," he added.

The John Lewis broadband offer is available now and is limited to one free six month period per customer. John Lewis branched out into broadband in April 2012.