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Many companies today advertise a free cell phone when you sign up for service. Sound like cell phone puffery? It may be. You can't get a cell phone free and clear at no cost--unless it's a replacement free cell phone under a warranty plan.
Most free cell offers come with a rebate that you mail in after you buy a free cell phone. Look in a free cell phone directory of offers, and you'll discover that you have to commit to a contract or mail a rebate in order to get the cell phone at no cost.
Free, of course, is still free--it's just that free wireless phones, like most consumer products, don't come condition-less.