The Bundle – Why You May Be Seeing an Increase in the Near Future
If you have been around long enough, you have probably noticed that your local and long distance phone bill has slowly but surely increased over the years. A study by the Utility Consumers Action Network released in 2009 shows that prices for common services like call waiting and unlisted number requests have skyrocketed.
Would you be surprised if I told you that since 2004, call waiting is up 86 percent while keeping your number out of the phone book costs 346 percent more? You may be taken aback by those numbers, but at least now you’re prepared to look for these charges when you receive your next bill in the mail.
Most providers are masking these charges by adding a host of utility-like bills that may directly impact the price of your telephone. This is what we know of today as: The Bundle. Some combination of Internet access, wireless phone service, and television can be bought from a single firm. This, my friends, is called a retention marketing technique. Believe me when I say that your providers are not interested in giving you the hookup. They are focused on customer retention.
Here is the rundown. Communication service providers invested billions of dollars into building new high-speed networks. They also spent billions on mergers, acquisitions, and alliances to form synergies across multiple markets.
In 2005 SBC invested $16 billion to purchase AT&T and another $67 billion for the purchase of BellSouth in 2006. Verizon purchased MCI for $8.4 billion in 2006, and is now investing $18 billion to upgrade its fiber network. eBay purchased Skype. Google bought YouTube and also launched a WiFi network. Even Apple has stepped into the competition by joining forces with Cingular to market the iPhone. Even more money is being spent.
These companies are all now looking to recoup their investments, so watch out. Bundling is very appealing in the beginning, but you may get burned in the end.
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