Source – news.yahoo.com/
By – Terence Loose
Category – Hotel Marketing Florida
The average monthly pay-TV subscription (cable/satellite) bill could top $200 by 2020, according to a study by the consumer trends and industry research firm, NPD Group. Are you ready for that?
If not, we have some good news for you: There is a simple way you can lower your monthly TV bill. It’s called bundling, which is getting two or more of your home and mobile digital services – TV, Internet, home phone, cell phone – from one provider.
It’s only a phone call or mouse click away, but can save you some significant cash each and every month, says Consumer Reports magazine editor, Jeff Blyskal, who has conducted research on the telecom industry.
Read on for additional details on this simple savings method.
Double- and Triple-Plays
So let’s attack the big question head on: Exactly how much can you save by bundling your home digital services? Well, I’m afraid the answer is, it depends on many factors.
Blyskal says those factors can include how many services you bundle; how many competitors (cable companies, satellite TV companies, etc.) are in your area; and various promotions.
That said, Blyskal says the savings can be significant.
In fact, in a Consumer Reports 2012 survey of 15,000 cable and satellite customers, Blyskal says the savings ranged from 40 to 60 percent for consumers who chose the triple-play option.
To test this assertion, I called Time Warner cable and asked some straightforward questions, with absolutely no bargaining – something Blyskal highly recommends for ultimate savings. I simply asked a representative named Daniel (they are prohibited from giving last names) how much I could save if I bundled services.
“By bundling two services, you can save about $20 per month. A triple play, with home phone, will save you a little more, maybe another $10, possibly more,” she said. That was in reference to their very basic packages, ranging from $79 to $114.
And even if that wasn’t the 40 to 60 percent Blyskal referenced, it was a savings of $240 to $360 or more per year. With zero bargaining.
The Grand Slam
The quad play option is the triple play – cable TV, Internet, and digital home phone – plus your cell phone service, all on one bill. Hence, the Grand Slam.
Now, the logistics of this can get a little complicated and it’s not offered in all areas, but if your provider does offer a quad-play option, Blyskal says it could be worth looking into.
The reason it’s complicated and ranges greatly is because cable companies and cell phone providers team up for this. In other words, there are actually two providers, one bill. For instance, Comcast partners with Verizon Wireless. AT&T cell service is offered with their Internet and digital TV service through AT&T U-verse. And so on.
Only one thing is consistent: The more services you bundle, the more you are likely to save, according to representatives at both AT&T U-verse and Comcast, whom I spoke to. It was impossible to say exactly how much you could save, they said, because of the individuality of each customer’s cell phone plan (if you’ve ever tried reading your multi-page cell phone bill, you can see their point).
Blyskal says you can also alter the triple-play option thanks to this new quad play world. Simply put, he says you can sometimes opt to do a triple play with cable TV, Internet, and cell phone service, instead of home phone service.
“That will almost certainly save you money,” he says.
Why Bundling is a Win-Win
You may be asking why cable companies offer savings just because you order two or more of your digital services from one company. The answer is: Convenience.
In short, bundling is like buying in bulk, says Blyskal.
“If you get more than one service from one company, it’s all coming in on one wire, so it’s less expensive for the company. It doesn’t cost them much more to do two or three services because one of the expenses is to install that wire. So you should get a break for that,” says Blyskal.
In addition to saving money, he says you could save a lot of hassles if and when glitches happen.
“You have one company to call for any problem with any or all of your [digital] services. That’s a big convenience,” says Blyskal.
The (sort of) Downside
Like most great things, the savings you get from bundling does eventually end. Usually, the promotion lasts for a year, and sometimes, if you’re very lucky, for two, says Blyskal.
“Then, the hike in price really is shocking,” he says. “It doesn’t mean the savings you enjoyed for the year or so isn’t worth it, but you need to be ready for the change.”
But, he adds, if you play your cards right, the pain can be short-lived.
In fact, Blyskal says that in the Consumer Reports survey mentioned earlier, 90 percent of the people who bargained after their promotional triple-play rate expired, got some form of discount or accommodation when they threatened to switch, or actually switched carriers.
“They were most likely to get a break on bundles, from cable companies and phone companies,” he says. Specifically, he says that 40 percent got savings of up to $50 a month, about 30 percent had fees for activation and installation waived, and 30 percent said they got free premium channels.
That is consistent with my own experience. I signed up with Oceanic Time Warner Cable in 2008, bundling my cable TV and Internet services. After the initial promotional period ended, my bill shot up to $143.35 a month.
I called and protested that my loyalty should be rewarded as much as new customers’. To my surprise, the representative agreed, cutting my bill by more than $30 a month to $111.55, as long as I kept my bundled services.
Now that’s a happy ending.
Source – news.yahoo.com/Save-60-percent-on-TV-bill-195140506.html