Documenting the Coming Singularity

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Still in the Grip of a Land Line?

BuzzFeed - September 28, 2012 by Allison McCann

It's weirdly difficult to avoid the “bundles” of cable, Internet and an archaic home phone line. Why? It's a sort of long con. (Oh, and old people love them.)

"We just wanted to make sure you were aware of this great deal," Time Warner Cable told my friend Susan for the fourth time in two days, calling her at work to encourage buying cable and a landline, when all she'd ordered was internet. On the fourth call, Susan said she was so frustrated that she finally yelled at the TWC robot on the other end of the line,"I have a cell phone and I watch TV on my computer, sorry."

Earlier this year Verizon decided to bundle its DSL broadband and basic cable with landline phone service, making Verizon the only internet service provider that requires customers to purchase its voice service as well (unless you opt for its higher-end FiOS internet service). TWC and Comcast don't force you to buy phone service, but they make it so economically advantageous to buy it in a bundle with cable and internet that it almost feels that way. All three companies offer package rates that heavily incentivize bundled phone deals by making them the same price or cheaper than standalone TV/internet services.

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