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Three major mobile broadband providers have agreed to drop the word 'free' from advertising for packages which include laptops.

Phones 4u, 3 and the Carphone Warehouse have decided that mobile broadband packages coming with laptops advertised as 'free' could be perceived as misleading by customers.

This is because a monthly fee must still be paid for the service itself, usually costing around £20 to £30.

On hearing the news, thinkbroadband's Andrew Ferguson highlighted another misleading advertising technique which providers could look at: "One change that would be nice to see in broadband advertising is for the standard monthly fee to be given equal prominence.

"Far too often the £4.99 a month deal is splashed around in a large font, but the £12.99 price that it reverts to after 3 months is hidden in a hard to read font at the bottom of the advert."

Carphone Warehouse will now use the word 'included' to replace 'free'.

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