Saturday, July 07, 2007
That latest strategy that's been adopted by many telecommunication service providers is to offer bundled packages of services. These bundled service packages provide TV, home phone, and high speed Internet access- or any combination of at least two of the three- together on a single monthly bill. The main benefit for the companies is that they know that they're getting more business from a single customer than they might if they didn't offer the bundled packages. In exchange, the customer gets a discount on the services provided and the convenience of having to deal with only one bill instead of three separate ones.
One thing that's kind of interesting about bundled packages is that even though they've become extremely common in the telecommunications service industry, there isn't a lot of uniformity in how they're offered. In other words, there's still plenty of room for the savvy consumer to find a bundled package that might be better than some other bundled package from another provider.
One example of a bundled package that has a lot of advantages can be seen in what's available from Comcast. Comcast does a number of things right with its bundled packages. First of all, Comcast doesn't outsource any of the services that it offers. That means that if you sign up for a service that Comcast TV offers, it's coming from Comcast rather than from another company. This avoids all sorts of problems. Second, Comcast doesn't use substandard technology to provide any of its services.
The problems that can arise from outsourcing services to other companies can be varied and frustrating. For example, if you sign up for TV from a satellite TV company and the satellite TV company offers you home phone service and high speed Internet service, there's a good chance that the phone service will come from a local phone company and the Internet service will come from a satellite Internet company. In other words, you end up with a mish mash of different services and technologies and it can sometimes be pretty confusing as to which company is responsible for problems associated with which service. You could be stuck with a problem that none of the three companies will solve on the grounds that it's one of the other company's problem.
The technology utilized in these bundled packages is also substandard. Comcast Cable providers deliver the reliability of digital cable technology for its TV service and its Internet service, while providing better values and features for its phone service than you'll find from the local phone company. That level of quality isn't always present with other bundled deals. For example, it isn't unusual for other companies to try to pass off DSL as high speed Internet access, even though it's medium speed Internet access at best.
All of these differences in the various bundled packages are something that consumers should look out for.