These days it seems like everyone wants to provide you with Internet, telephone and cable TV service. Double- and triple-play packages that offer some or all of these services are being heavily promoted offered by cable and telephone companies, as well as by satellite service providers such as DIRECTV and DISH Network. Verizon's high-profile entry into the market with its much-publicized FiOS fiber-based service has created yet one more choice for consumers to ponder.
Adding to the complexity is that individual providers frequently offer a variety of bundles, allowing you to increase your Internet surfing speeds, for example, or the number of channels included with the TV portion of your service, all, of course, at a higher price. Promotional pricing that ends in anywhere from 3 to 12 months can make difficult to find the amount you’ll ultimately pay.
Given all this, we’d like to find out whether you’ve ventured into the jungle of bundled choices. If so, how was the experience?
Among the questions we’re curious about:
- How easy (or difficult) was it to compare bundles within a provider and also to compare among providers?
- Did you try negotiating with the providers to see whether they’d sweeten their offers or extend promotional prices?
- Did you end up opting for a bundle or buying your services a la carte from different companies, and how satisfied are you with your choice?
Have you reviewed the choice you made, perhaps some months after the fact? If so, some additional questions:
- If you went with a bundle, are you saving money compared to the amount you were paying for individual services, even after the end of the promotional pricing?
- Were there any nagging gimmicks or gotchas that you didn’t discover until after you signed up?
- What do you like best about your provider, and what bothers you the most?
- Finally, do you have any horror stories or tips for other consumers?
Your input will help us create upcoming content on so-called telecom bundles.
[Update 3/9/2009: We have updated our article and Ratings on telecom bundles. Find the new story here. —Ed.]