Stringent credit checking by networks for laptop deals has meant 50 per cent of sales are turned down, claims a broadband comparison site.
Broadband Expert said although growth of mobile broadband throughout the year has exceeded industry expectations, the number of sales would be higher if operators lowered the tough credit checks for customers.
It said during October and November one in every two sales of laptop bundles was declined after the credit check failed.
Broadband Expert commercial director Rob Webber said: “Companies are spending huge amounts on advertising campaigns promoting these offers yet when the consumer comes to sign up, there is a strong chance they will be refused based on a credit check.
“[The offers are] particularly popular with students and those on lower incomes who cannot afford the upfront costs of a new laptop, yet these are the people most likely to be excluded from these offers.
“[The] stringency of credit checks is an interesting barometer of the confidence retailers have in consumers meeting repayments with many only unwilling to extend these deals to those without a very good credit rating”.
A 3 spokesperson said: “Credit checks help us to assess how likely it is someone will pay their bills. They are not perfect but a useful guide for any business that needs to bill its customers.
“The checks vary in their stringency depending on the value of the product. People who do not pass a credit check have the option to purchase PAYG handsets and dongles which at 3 still offers great value.”
An Orange spokesperson said of its credit checking system: “Orange’s connected laptop offer is subject to our standard pay monthly mobile contract credit approval.”