Recently, the idea of one-stop shopping for all of your technology needs has become more common. Providers now offer bundle packages, including Internet, phone and TV at a reduced rate.
Youll only get one bill, which means only having to deal with one company, instead of calling one number when the phone doesnt work and a different one when the cable goes out. You can also save hundreds of dollars a year by grouping services together, instead of purchasing each one individually. But how can you get the best deal? Its easy if you shop around and pay attention to details.
What Do You Need?
The first step towards getting the best deal is determining exactly what your needs are. How much TV do you watch? Do you need premium channels, or just the basics? Would you like to add a sports package? How many minutes do you talk on the phone? What time do you usually use the phone? Do you even need a landline or would just a cellphone be enough? How long do you surf the Internet? Do you stream a lot of media and need high download speeds, or do you just send emails and share photos?
If you dont need all the premium channels or the fastest download speed, you will save money by purchasing a lower tier package. Ads featured blazing fast speeds look appealing, but are not needed by the majority of Internet users. It doesnt make sense to pay for services you wont be using. It may also make more sense just to bundle two services together instead of all three.
Dont be afraid to haggle with the companys representative. Get quotes from different companies, and have them compete against each other. Ask to waive installation fees, or preview premium channels for free. If one company agrees to reduce the price or offer a perk, take that to another company to see if theyll match it.
When the promotional period is over, try and negotiate again because the company will be reluctant to let you go. Rates may have changed or other promotional offers might be available. Check advertisements online and in print. Some companies will offer a better bundle if you agree to a one or two-year contract, but double check on what kind of fees they charge for early termination.
Pay Attention To Details
Phone and cable companies like to lure customers in with a quote at a certain price that doesnt include all the taxes, fees or one-time expenses that can dramatically raise the monthly rate dramatically.
Ask to see a sample bill that includes an itemized summary of all the different charges and fees, so you know exactly what youll have to pay. If youre not sure, ask specific questions. Packages between companies might be difficult to compare because they dont offer the exact same services.
Only working with one company when a number of different things can go wrong can be good news or bad news. Research customer reviews to know what to expect when you have to call for service. JD Power and Associates, user forums, and review sites are just a few places that should have plenty of information about customer satisfaction.
Do your due diligence before settling on a bundle. If you know what you want and are willing to look around for it, expect to save a lot of money over the course of the service by purchasing a bundle, instead of purchasing each one separately.