Sunday, September 16, 2007
Of course all of these things happen under the ideal conditions that you might expect to find if your get a bundled package through a company like Comcast Specials. Comcast does a number of things that define good bundled services. For example, it keeps all of the services that it provides in house rather than farming them out to other providers. This gives Comcast more control over the services that it provides and therefore the level of customer service associated with them. This also allows Comcast to offer the benefit of using superior technologies.
The practice of outsourcing services to other companies is extremely common, and actually made necessary by the fact that many companies simply don't have the technology to offer some of the services that they'd like to include in the bundle. For example, a satellite TV provider will have trouble providing phone service, and phone companies have yet to figure out a good way to provide TV service over a phone line. While bundling services from several different companies together does often provide the convenience and savings that makes bundled service packages so attractive in general, the fact that different services are administered by different companies makes it more difficult for customers to get decent service when something goes wrong. It's simply too easy for the different companies involved to pass the buck on customer service issues and therefore not bother to solve any problems that may crop up.
Another thing that can make bundled services from separate companies a bad deal is because they often take advantage of less than ideal technologies. For example, DSL is often passed off as high speed Internet in these bundled packages while Comcast's broad band cable high speed Internet service is about six times faster (and often much faster than that because of the slow speed of many DSL connections) and only costs a couple of extra dollars a month. Satellite Internet is a much more advanced technology than DSL, but it's no faster and may actually perform worse because of the time lag created by the time that it takes the data to travel the thousands of miles to and from the satellites. Any phone service that involves a traditional phone company is sure to cost too much and provide too little when compared to Comcast home phone service.
While bundling of telecommunications services is definitely an idea that has a lot of benefits, there are a number of pitfalls to look out for.