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Bundling phone, internet, tv, etc.

Posted by seattlemike (My Page) on
Sun, Apr 5, 09 at 19:44

I don't understand how all these offers to bundle services work. Supposedly to save us money.

We have Qwest for regular phone and DSL internet, DirecTV for satellite tv, and Verizon Wireless for cell phones. We now pay three separate bills to each. While it would be great to bundle all three under Qwest and pay just one bill, at a total that's hopefully less than paying the three separately, what's the catch, if any? Guess I'm one who believes in the saying, "there's no free lunch."

So for those of you who have "bundled", how's it going? How much are you saving? Did you need to contract for extended services? Or are you simply paying one bill instead of three and at less money? And if it is as simple as that, I'm curious to know what's in it for Qwest? They surely add some administrative costs for billing and for distributing payments. TIA!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Bundling phone, internet, tv, etc.

We have ATT for all 3 and when we researched switching, we calculated that we'd save $50/month (we are). We pay 1 bill. We did not contract for a specific period and I'll tell you, we won't be changing away from them for a looooonnnnnnngggggg while because changing our email address was a royal pain.

Service is good - no outages so far in 6 months. I don't see that there is a catch. Until ATT came into our area, we had 1 choice for TV and it was Comcast. The addition of ATT created competition and, from what the installer told us, ATT has taken alot of the business in our area. There is no catch.


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RE: Bundling phone, internet, tv, etc.

I don't like using an email address dependant upon the carrier. I don't have cable or satellite - just bought converters so I get the digital channels. Fine for me. I did get DSL through US Family Net and it was cheaper than Qwest. I use prepaid for cell phone. I went with US Family because Qwest kept wanting to "bundle" things that I didn't want, need or have any desire to pay for. I pay the DSL on my phone bill and pay it on a credit card via phone. The internet service itself is paid annually via credit card. TV doesn't cost anything. Very simple matter for me.


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RE: Bundling phone, internet, tv, etc.

We bundle, but we are lucky enough to live in a municipality that owns there own services. It is $105 per month for phone, DSL and basic cable, guaranteed for 3 years. What is great about where we live, our electric and water/sewage come on the SAME bill with the bundle. Another plus about living in a municipality that owns their own water, electric, phone, cable and internet services.


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RE: Bundling phone, internet, tv, etc.

I recently moved to an area that has FIOS available. I picked up their internet, TV and home phone package. I was going to just do the internet and TV but they threw in a real discount when I added the phone (to add the phone it cost the same as the VOIP I was using). So I bundled everything. I think I had to sign a 1 yr contract. After paying for 3 TV boxes and ALL the taxes and fees, I'm at $132/month for FIOS TV, Internet and phone.

Originally I was happy to get rid of Comcast. I never liked them because I didn't have a choice. They were the only game in town. Now I have Verizon. Verizon has slightly better picture quality (comparing digital to digital), less downtime of the internet and Verizon provides a combination wireless router/modem which is pretty nice. The problem w/ Verizon is that their customer service may be the worst of any company that I have ever dealt with. The good news is that I rarely need to call them.


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RE: Bundling phone, internet, tv, etc.

I went from a Comcast bundle (Internet & TV) to Verizon Fios (Internet, tv, and phone). It appears that we are saving approx $30-40 per month.

In reference to what Chrisdoc said, I've experienced Verizon customer service too many times to count, and I've always had no issues ONCE I GOT A LIVE PERSON. Getting a live person might be what he is referring to.

Last week when I was looking at my on-line banking, I noticed Verizon charged my account $30 more. I called to see what was up and was told my 3-year bundle contract expired, so with that, my bill inflated. I asked them to credit me the $30 which they did without any hassle, and they put me back on a one-year bundle plan. I was told when the year contract is up, I can negotiate again. Evidentally, if you don't call them to re-up your contract, they will automatically charge you for separate services. They said we were notified on our bill. Hummm.

Right now, we're paying $110 for the bundle. If you add on the DVR main box and 3 other boxes, Cinemax/Sports channels, it comes to $145. With taxes now we're up to $160 which is a $9 savings from the first 3-year contract. Luciky, I am able to write off a good portion of the Internet for home business.

Another thing is that you really need to scrutinize your monthly paper bills for any added charges, especially on the tele side.


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RE: Bundling phone, internet, tv, etc.

We bundled some time back. Then bundles went down in price with our provider, Time Warner. So I called to register my dismay, and the lady kept asking, are you thinking of switching? I finally got her message and said, yes. She switched me to a new dept., the retention dept. They cut my bundle by $20 to $120. But I have to stay with them 2 years.
Not a problem because their only competition around here is among those companies whose names I can only say after spitting on the ground. LOL

So if you've been bundled a while, see if they have a retention dept.

BTW, I learned a long time back to have an email unrelated to provider. With a yahoo or gmail account, you never have to change your email address unless you want to. Since they filter spam pretty well now, I find my box basically spam free.


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RE: Bundling phone, internet, tv, etc.

Aha! The last several posts mention "contracts".

So....is the "catch" to bundling the fact that you need to agree to the deal for a certain length of time? Meaning that you can't "unbundle" during that time? Or that you cannot switch any of the bundled services to another provider? Or be subject to some penalty for breaking the deal?

If that's the case, I probably wouldn't agree to be locked in that way. In our case, we would save a total of $5 per month for each service we add to Qwest. I know that $10 per month isn't exactly "peanuts"; OTOH, giving up my flexibility isn't worth that much to me since we live in an area with an abundance of choices.

Please correct me if I've still not got this figured out right.


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RE: Bundling phone, internet, tv, etc.

seattlemike, that's correct. If you cancel your Verizon contract before it expires, there's a penalty to pay, based on the bundle. It can be as high as a few hundred dollars. Once you have the bundle, there is a 30-day trial in which you can cancel with no penalty, but after that's up, you're stuck with it.


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RE: Bundling phone, internet, tv, etc.

Thanks to all! We'll probably not bundle at this time and may consider it later. Thanks again.


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RE: Bundling phone, internet, tv, etc.

As chrisdoc said, Verizon has the worst possible customer service in the universe! All I can say about Verizon is that through them, I have made so many new friends...in India!
I would use a tin can and string before I would ever deal with Verizon again, let alone bundle with them.


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RE: Bundling phone, internet, tv, etc.

Interesting!

We have nothing but high praise for Verizon... and they are one of the few companies that we have never got a CS person from India.

Wonder how WE luck out?


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RE: Bundling phone, internet, tv, etc.

I've always get a US person when I call Verizon, and they are always helpful. Us PA people must be lucky.


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RE: Bundling phone, internet, tv, etc.

I bundled our cell with home phone service and added home long distance and Dish TV in November. These bundles are advertised at $99. I was told it would cost me $165 because we can not get internet here through ATT.

Last month the services were $365! This month $215. This is mostly due to hubby on I Phone (another $250 initial cost, and $50 more a month)

My point is to be careful. It is easy for one of you to quickly increase the cost of the services that are locked into a contract for 2 years.

Initially the cell was $29 a month, phone $43, we used a antenea for the tv.


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RE: Bundling phone, internet, tv, etc.

I was told I had to bundle to get what I wanted, so I did. I called the cable company and told them I was disgusted with their methods and the young man took everything off that I didn't want, like call waiting, etc.. and lowered my monthly bill $30.


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RE: Bundling phone, internet, tv, etc.

I find a lot of these companies have terrible customer service. Two previous telephone suppliers I have used must have been the worst ever. First one I had to complain to the telecoms regulator before they fixed the problem with my line, the second I was cut off by mistake but carried on being billed. I could never get speaking to anyone in customer service, just permanently in a queue no matter what time I called. This time it took the telecoms regulator and my solicitor to get it sorted.

There a more suppliers than you can shake a stick at that will charge more or less the same for a like for like service. Before choosing one, call their technical support / customer service line. If you don't get speaking to a human within three minutes forget them and move on to the next one on the list. Saving a few coppers each month is no good if you can't get hold of anyone when there is a problem.

So if you get good service from your current supplier(s), I'm not saying don't switch, but think long and hard about switching. If someone else is offering the same for considerably less, remember that they must be cutting costs somewhere.


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RE: Bundling phone, internet, tv, etc.

bonebloodyidle: Great advice! There are enough providers with decent customer service that one need not put up with lousy service just to save a few coppers, as you put it.

I recently changed our long distance service (both state-to-state and local long distance) to an outfit called ECG. ECG will cost us just a wee bit more compared to a couple of other providers I was researching, but the reviews of ECG were top notch. Before switching, I called them a couple of times with some questions we had, and got a live body very quickly. The whole conversion went impressively smoothly.

As you point out, poor service has its costs, too, and that needs to be considered as well.


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