Lately I’ve been seeing advertisements for Clearwire. Clearwire is a new broadband wireless service that people can get as an alternative to DSL or Cable and it is portable within Clearwire’s service area. It actually sounds really cool. It’s definitely a viable solution for many people that are outside the reach of standard broadband services but I can’t tell you whether it’s a good deal or not. Why? Well, it’s not very easy to see what they charge.
I can tell you that the first 3 months of service with Clearwire costs $19.99 a month. After that, it’s anyone’s guess. The latest flyer that I received also offers a $50 Visa web certificate. Neat. That’s just what I’m looking for as I shop for broadband service. If I don’t like that, I can choose a free inkjet printer. I can tell you that the printer MSRP is $54.95 because I saw it in the fine print. Well over 50% of the fine print on their flyer addresses both the terms and conditions of the Visa card and the printer. I would have expected that more of the fine print would address the cost and service agreement of the broadband service, but that just shows you what I know. Some of the other fine print also tells me that there is a $50 activation fee to start the Clearwire service. I guess that offsets the Visa card. There is also an early termination fee but there is absolutely nothing on this flyer that tells me what the service actually costs, other than the initial $19.99. I hate those introductory rates. I hate them on bank services, I hate them on phone service and I most certainly hate them on internet services.
I decided to go check out the website for Clearwire. No pricing on the front page. There is that printer promotion again though. I also see that I can get $100 in savings if I order right away. Hmm. After navigating about 3 pages deep, I finally found a place to get pricing but I need to enter my address first. I entered the address where I received their flyer and guess what. It says service isn’t available in my area. I wonder why they are paying that guy to wander through my neighborhood putting these on all of our doors if the service isn’t even available. I thought for sure I’d get to see how much their service cost if I entered my address on their website. No dice.
So, I’m left wondering how much this new fancy wireless broadband service costs. I do know that if I had acted now I could have saved $100 and received a free printer or a $50 Visa card though. I guess I’ll just have to wait until they actually have service in my area. Maybe by then, they’ll be giving away Paris Hilton dolls or something.
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