back to article Tesco offers broadband for LESS THAN THE PRICE OF A PINT

Tesco is offering broadband for a mere £2.50 a month. It sounds like a good deal, but catches abound. For a start, you have to possess a Tesco Clubcard, and you have to cough up for a £13.75 Tesco line rental fee each month. Tesco touts the package as one that offers "unlimited downloads", but there is the inevitable fair use …


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  1. Big_Ted
    Paris Hilton

    Ok the big question that needs an answer is do you get clubcard points on it ?

    And why bother with this when you can sit the carpark of most larger Tesco's and use their WiFi for free......

    1. Grease Monkey Silver badge

      In answer to you first question, yes you do get clubcard points on it. Three points for every pound spent.

      In answer to your second question, how the hell am I supposed to get the PC, the games console, the TV and the phone into Tesco's car park?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tesco missing a trick there

    If it had been Virgin Media it would have probably sounded like an even better deal: "Free, providing you pay line rental and a monthly subscription". That seemed to be the deal for the "Free HD channels" they offered me.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Free in this case is accurate and correct, if you are a VM subscriber then you get the HD channels at no additional monthly cost, or "Free" as the English would say.

      What you seem to be expecting is the equivalent of wanting the "free" car mats for a BMW without actually buying the car.

      Here is a conversation I imagine that you have in the average club:

      Club Lackey - "Have a free drink sir"

      You - "Free, FREE, I've had to pay for a taxi to get here AND entry to the club, how DARE you claim this drink is free."

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        No, not accurate and not correct.

        "Free in this case is accurate and correct, if you are a VM subscriber then you get the HD channels at no additional monthly cost, or "Free" as the English would say."

        Actually no. I am on the basic "M" TV package was offered the "Free HD channels" but it was conditional on upgrading to a higher subscription option. Thus I would have to pay more to get their "Free" offer.

        I phoned customer services, asked if I could have the "Free HD channels" without my bill increasing and they said "no". That's not "Free" by my reckoning and I understand English perfectly well.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          VM Customer Services

          You phone Virgin Media customer services and ask a non-template question? You maniac!

          I'm surprised they didn't tell you to turn your bill on and off again.

        2. Captain Underpants
          Thumb Down

          @AC 13:53

          I'm not 100% convinced about your English comprehension skills, actually :P It sounds like what you *actually* got was one of VM's regular attempts to get you onto a higher service (with corresponding higher tarrif) and failed to notice that the "Free" stuff in question was a carrot being dangled as part of the upsell. If you upgrade to getting some of the SD non-free package (which would not typically include the HD channels) and they then decide, as part of that transaction to give you those HD channels at no additional cost, you would get those channels for free.

          The fact that your total expenditure is non-zero does not mean that you did not get a defined product or service at no cost.

          (No, I don't work for 'em, I'm a subscriber and get regular adverts from them and TBH I've yet to see one that was any more misleading than the average advert...)

          1. Grease Monkey Silver badge

            Re: @AC 13:53

            "The fact that your total expenditure is non-zero does not mean that you did not get a defined product or service at no cost."

            Sorry, but either your english comprehension is severely limited or you are deliberately misrepresenting what the OP said in order to support Virgin. The OP did not complain that their total expenditure would have to be non-zero to get the channels. The complaint was that Virgin wanted more money than the OP was already paying in order to provide them with these channels.

            To clarify: The OP said that they were already a Virgin subscriber and were offered "Free HD Channels". Anybody reasonable would infer from this offer that the OP as a Virgin subscriber could get HD channels for no additional expenditure.

  3. Bored_Steve

    Most of the bottled ales at my local tesco are priced at £1.99. Scaling this up to a pint (seeing as though most of the bottles are 500ml) gives a price of a pint at tesco to be around £2.30.

    So they've got a ways to go yet.

    1. mangobrain

      Put that pint down right now

      You talk of bottled ales and prices in pound sterling, yet claim Tesco have "a ways to go"? Get out of my local, you dirty colonial!

      1. Grease Monkey Silver badge

        Not only is he a dirty colonial with no sense of grammar whatsoever, but he's wrong too.

        You can't go into Tesco and ask for 1.136 bottles of beer. Therefore to buy "a pint" would cost £3.98. Even so he clearly doesn't understand that "a pint" does not just describe a quantity of beer, but a locationg and means of serving that beer - to whit a pint of beer bought in a pub or other bar and dispensed from a pump of some sort.

        Pint bottles of beer used to be common and yes you can even buy pint bottles of beer today, I drank one only last night. That is still a bottle of beer, not "a pint".

        If you don't speak the language, don't comment.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Clear as mud

    And is there a premium price for the huge geographic areas of the UK still on 20cn/IPSC?. most ISPs employ a dual charging band that takes into account that BTw charge MORE for the slower service on areas where it has a monopoly.... presumably because they can.. I mean... the equipment is years old... its not like the fibre areas that mostly had the WBC upgrade a few years back followed by the fibre uplift - which is not heading for 80 Mbps while a lot of places are stuck on extremely overpriced 8 meg.

    100 gigs seems very generous for an Upto 8 meg service - I have to say though at this level the price would be about right for ADSL 8 meg. its old and slow and represents a lack of investment in customers connected to that.

    1. GettinSadda

      No luck

      I can't get that deal as I am not in a "supported area".

      It seems that unless you are in a "Market 3" area (i.e. one with lots of LLU providers etc.) then you have to pay £18 per month on top of your BT line rental.

      1. Matthew Malthouse


        To a "non geographic" 0845, weekday, daytime (eg to the Jobcentre job line)

        BT 2.024p/min (NB first 60 mins free at weekends).

        Virgin 11.24p connection charge, 10.22p/min thereafter.

        I know 'cause my last housemate was unemployed. :(

  5. Richard Wharram

    Line rental?

    So you have to have them as your phone provider. What are the call charges like outside of evenings and weekends then?

  6. Steve the Cynic

    What is this 8 Meg service you speak of?

    Here at the edge of Lille I ordered ADSL *three*years*ago*, and all I could get was unlimited-downloads 20 Meg ADSL2+, or 100 Meg fibre. And by unlimited, of course, I mean limited-only-by-the-bitrate but without AUP caps below that. (Got ADSL because I could do that without having to deal with asking the landlord for permission to have a fibre box installed.)

    When I was setting it up, my wife asked me what the caps were, and she was gobsmacked to hear that there weren't any.

    Oh, and while you can buy the sort of pisswater-masquerading-as-beer that costs less than this Tesco service over here, you can also buy beer that's a little more, um, robust. Carrefour sells a wide range of bottle beers all the way up to 12% abv.

    FAIL icon for British broadband offerings.

    1. John Arthur

      Ah! I feel a Jenlain coming on. Here that would cost about the same as a month's broadband from BT

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      1) You prove that its a myth that highspeed broadband will create the next facebook.

      2) Nobody would ever shop at Tesco in the hope of purchasing decent beer or ale.

    3. CD001

      You may be right, but Lille is hardly a village... I've no idea whether you'd get the same sort of ADSL2+/Fibre setup in some rural backwater 30kms from Caracasonne for example.

      Apparently you can get really good broadband in Constanta (Romania) as well; with Steam proxy caching at the local exchange (so you get 100s of MB/s connection when downloading from Steam)... though, that's second-hand information so take it with a pinch of salt perhaps.

      Strange that even the former Soviet Bloc countries can seem to outstrip us in the UK when it comes to connectivity ... then again, maybe it isn't as they perhaps don't have the vintage telecoms infrastructure we have in the UK.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        My exchange is around 10k lines... not exactly a shed on a village green. Al;though on some forums the urban members seem to feel we should be grateful for anything above dial up. maybe we should apply premium pricing to the refined oil products, Gas and Power that comes from my "unworthy" area on the basis that it costs so much to provide a pipeline across the country - as that is the same way they look at broadband.

        Ironically the huge trunk line they laid across the county here from our 2 LNG terminals cut through a number of places not on mains gas, and forget a jobs bonanza.. the construction labour was mainly imported form europe and modern installations need very few staff to operate them.

    4. Florence

      Thanks to

      I can only wish there had been a company driving innovation in broadband (and now mobile telephony) in the UK the way Free have done in France. First to offer unbundling, and forcing the competition to up their offers by being the first to offer line rental + unlimited broadband + IPTV for 30€.

      And I don't think the cable companies stopped deploying fiber to new streets and towns either....

  7. Pypes

    The marketing department definition of "Unlimited"

    The one that means "limited, in-fact we publish a specific limit"

    The only thing worse than broadband marketing is these mobile phone offers where you need a PHD to understand the pricing structure (and when you do, you inevitably find out your paying 60p / min for calls despite them tripling your credit and giving you 1000 free texts if you top up £7.45 when Jupiter is at perihelion) and lo-and-behold it's largely the same crowd that are offering you these "deals" as are trying to sell you "unlimited*" broadband

    *Unlimited in terms of ACK packets send between 1:00 and 1:15 on wednesdays

    1. DavCrav

      At least it's publicly limited unlimited, rather than privately limited unlimited but publicly unlimited unlimited.

  8. JetSetJim

    Not just the "Unlimited*"

    But what's their traffic shaping policy? They can set a 100GB limit on usage, but if they only allow a dribble of real time streaming services (iPlayer, GooTube, etc..) or (for legitimate purposes, officer, really) BitTorrent, then it's a junk offering. Tiscali are like that - in the days I was with them, BBC iPlayer wouldn't play standard definition content at peak times.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Clearly this is of no interest to most of us here ... but it may be the sort of thing that someone who has really low usage (i.e. some one who uses email but doesn't browse the web all day and definitely doesn't stream anything) would be interested in. The "unlimited" tag is clearly a bit misleading but I suspect what they really mean is that there isn't a limit above which you start to rack up huge over-use charges - for the sort of person this is aimed at then this is probably an important factor.

      1. CD001

        I dunno - even low usage is creeping up and up... I would have considered myself a fairly low usage punter a while ago; online gaming is generally pretty resource light and I don't use iPlayer et al on the PC as it's available through the VM set-top box.

        ... but on Sunday night I decided to buy some (ok, all the) DLC for Mass Effect 2 for another play-through before ME3 is released. Nigh on 5GBs worth of download in about 20 minutes doesn't qualify for "low usage" in my mind.

        Then there are the Playstation patches, the DLC for Gran Turismo, game demos and so on... consoles are pretty common and they can actually rack up quite a large amount of downloaded data.

        Not to mention that, if you've got a PS3, you may well use Netflix or LoveFilm through it.

        So even if web usage is pretty light, you can still rack up one helluva lot of Internet usage without really thinking about it these days.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That'll be the three downloads or fewer service then.

  10. Crisp

    That is not a broadband service!

    You wont hit your cap as long as you don't constantly download faster than 55Kb/s.

    55Kb/s is not that broad.

  11. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Beer and broadband

    Just imagine if Tesco (or, TBF any other supermarket) sold beer the same way they sell broadband.

    Beer: quantity UNLIMITED (subject to contents of bottle). ABV: up to 4.5% and then noticing that the bottle top doesn't come off, and you can't get the stuff out at more than a trickle.

  12. Whitter

    Line rental rant.

    I hate the "oh and you need an otherwise unused landline at <unreasonable> per month which we didn't mention in the headline price" deals that they all do. We've all got mobiles: the landline is only used by spam callers these days - and for billing me for what I don't want.

    1. Grease Monkey Silver badge

      Re: Line rental rant.

      You're suggesting that you should be able to get broadband without a land line then? That would be 3G and presumably you already have that.

      I have a mobile and can't even get a GSM signal at home let alone 3G so a land line is bloody useful. Most people call our land line before the mobile. The providers all claim we're covered by GSM at our location, but the best we get is 1 or 2 bars, but it's extremely variable so it's almost impossible to complete a call without losing the signal.

      However I think Tesco are being perfectly reasonable, but the terminology is a little awry. Broadband has come to mean, in the UK at least, high speed (as in over 56K) internet delivered over a telephony service. As such home broadband would be delivered over a land line, but not part of the land line. As such what Tesco are offering fits in with the accepted meaning of the terms used.

  13. Anonymous Coward 101

    Line rental... just a ruse to disguise the true price of a phone and broadband service, like Ryanair charging a huge sum to use a credit or debit card.

    1. Pat 11

      Yep, plus the 12p set up cost for each and every call. People would be wise to simulate their normal usage and see what the total cost would be.

  14. jolly

    Give my hard earned money to Tesco? I think not.

  15. Spudbynight
    Thumb Down


    I am really getting sick and tired of companies advertising limited products as unlimited.

    I have actually just made a complaint to the ASA on this.

    1. Grease Monkey Silver badge

      Re: Unlimited?

      Either you didn't read it properly or you're not used to interpreting the weasel words of a salesman. It says "unlimited downloads". They will claim that this means an unlimited number of downloads over an unlimited period of time and that they did not claim that you could download an unlimited amount of data per month. It may be nonsense, but the ASA will buy it.

      I get more pissed off about the fact that several ISPs tell you that they don't throttle downloads while actually stating in the small print that they do "shape" (ie throttle) file sharing at some times. Now in what way is that not throttling downloads?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Which broadband supplier are Tesco piggy backing on?

    Which broadband supplier are Tesco piggy backing on?

    I tried searching Tesco's website for "broadband" with Tesco Direct selected, it didn't find it!

    I've have now found it but the site is par for the course or better when you consider the number of micky mouse sites from big companies that have no search option.

    1. Grease Monkey Silver badge

      Re: Which broadband supplier are Tesco piggy backing on?

      You couldn't find it? I went to and there is was. Not difficult.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    so, 100 gig for 20 quid a month.

  18. Lars Silver badge

    Always read

    the small pint.

  19. Dave Bell

    And what don't we get told?

    I don't know if I'd get any increase in max speed over my current service, but what hits me, hard is the contention ratio. And it's Half Term this week.

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