Package deals – a great way to save money
Last week I had to make phone calls to start our new power, phone, internet, and satellite television service. The power provider is a small rural utility cooperative founded as part of the New Deal’s Rural Electrification Administration. Phone service and DSL is provided by Bellsouth/ATT. I wasn’t sure of satellite options, but knew at least DirectTV and Dish Network were options.
When I called AT&T, I was fairly quickly given the old “We’re current experiencing high call volumes…” message. Not a good start. I elected to check out their website to at least look at various options, and found you could not only sign-up for all of your services online, but get a waiver of a number of normal fees if you do so. The best part was you could click on chat/help and an AT&T representative would walk you step by step through he sign-up process answering any questions for you via a really nice chat interface.
While talking to the rep, I realized that AT&T has partnered with Dish Network to provide satellite TV service. When you order phone service, DSL, and satellite TV, you can some fairly significant discounts. AT&T provides a number of money saving package deals. Add to this the fact that we have AT&T cell phone service we received even further discounts.
I elected to go with AT&T’s Complete choice program. It provides basic calling features and unlimited long distance. Unlimited long distance was the key selling feature for me since I’ll be working from home and having to call long distance to my office frequently. This would also be nice as we wouldn’t need to worry about the cost of call friends and relatives either. AT&T’s complete choice, bundled with DSL and satellite.
Total Savings on Package deals
All together, the total monthly cost of our telephone, DSL and Satellite is $130.00 per month. Currently we’re paying about $135 for Time Warner cable, a DVR, Road Runner high speed internet and Vonage phone service. With our new package deal, we’re getting all the same services and quality and saving a few bucks a month. They key benefit for me is moving from Vonage to a regular landline. Vonage is inexpensive, but has been very hit or miss for us on quality. I won’t miss it.
I looked back at their website after I completed the sign-up process. In monthly fee’s alone I saved $10/month by bundling the services together. I also received a number of rebates, including a rebate for the wireless DSL modem ($100), a $125 rebate for switching from cable, and a few other new customer only rebates. Overall the total savings was more than $400.00. Not a bad
In many areas of the country, phone, internet, cell phone, and TV services are provided by multiple companies. Gone are the days were customers had no options. The customer now has choice and the providers have to compete for your business. One of the ways they do this is through package discounts that reward you for keeping all of your services with them.
The technologies these companies use vary greatly, but the end result for you the consumer is generally the same. One nice feature you will get my electing to go with a phone company is cell service and associated discounts. Cable companies generally don’t provide cell phone service nor associated discounts.
Another key difference in phone vs. cable companies is phone service from a phone company is generally provide landline service, where cable companies provide internet based phone services. While internet based phone services are becoming more reliable, a phone companies landline services are still far superior in quality.
Given the competition, you can quit often get great deals and incentives when switching services. I’d recommend definitely doing this when you move and even suggest taking a look at the various options every 6-months or so. Who knows, you just might be able to get better serivices for less money.
How about you? Do you have any package deals? If so, what did you get packaged and how much did it save you? Add a comment!
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