Comcast Produces Good Model for Bundling Services

By: Julia Hall

When it comes to the marketing campaigns that companies use to sell their products
and services, some are little more than hyperbole and pointless noise. Most adds for
car dealerships on the radio are examples of this. At the other end of the spectrum
though, you can find marketing campaigns that actually provide deals that are not only
attractive, but also beneficial as well. The bundles of telecommunications services that
a lot of companies are offering to residential customers these days constitute a good
example of the latter.

While bundled home telecommunications services may offer real value to customers,
some of them tend to be better than others. Cable TV companies in general- and
Comcast in particular- tend to offer bundled packages that are a good value, while other
types of companies bear some scrutiny when looking into the deals that they offer.
Generally, any company that has to ally itself with another company in order to offer
more than one service deserves some wariness.

An example of a company that might offer bundled services but can only do so with the
help of another company would be a phone company. After all, while a phone company
should be fairly competent when it comes to offering phone services, there Internet
service is likely to be very limited and their TV service is probably nonexistent. After all,
phone lines are pretty dinky when it comes to transmitting anything other than
conversation. This translates into slow Internet connections either through DSL or dial
up. Some phone companies have experimented with providing TV programming over
DSL connections (actual channels rather than streaming Internet video), but given that
the bandwidth of DSL is severely limited when it comes to Internet data, video like that
has proven to be too much for that technology to handle. Because of all of this, a phone
company has to contract with a satellite TV company and possibly even a satellite
Internet company to cover all of the bases. Plus, if you see a deal where a stellite TV
company is offering high speed Internet service or phone service, you can be sure that
it's farming those services out to other companies as well. All of this makes cable TV
industry a much better choice for multiple services.

The real trouble with dividing up services among different companies and then offering
them on one bill is that customer service can be sub par. That's because this scenario
opens up the distinct possibility of one company passing the blame for some kind of an
aberration in service to another company. In other words, you can have two or even
three companies all blaming each other for some problem with your phone service, TV
service, or high speed Internet connection rather than ever getting around to fixing the
problem.

By contrast, with cable company, there's no where to pass the buck. Moreover, since the
same company is in charge of everything, you probably won't have the same kinds of
problems with conflicting services to begin with. The point is to be careful when
choosing bundled services and use Comcast's method of providing those services as a
model.

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