Should You Bundle Cable, Internet, and Phone?
If you’re shopping around for a better deal on cable TV, or if you’ve recently moved and are connecting cable and Internet service in your new home, you may wonder if bundling services is worth it. First, let’s consider what a cable and Internet, or even a cable, Internet and telephone bundle, means to you and your family. What is Bundling? When a cable TV service provider offers a bundle, you get cable and Internet together at a discounted price. A triple bundle adds home phone service to the deal, resulting in an even lower cost per service. Don’t confuse this with cable TV channel bundles, where the cable company provides package deals for specific, sometimes related, channels. Although some providers now offer ala carte programming as an alternative to these channel bundles, the cable TV and Internet service bundle is here to stay. Cable TV customers discover many benefits from bundling cable and Internet, with few drawbacks. Pros of Bundling Cable and Internet Substantial cost savings comes with bundling cable and Internet, making the deal worth it for most customers. Stand-alone cable or Internet service costs almost as much as a bundle. Likewise, a cable TV/Internet and phone bundle saves even more money than just bundling cable and Internet. Cable TV providers also offer added incentives for customers who bundle services. One Bill – Bundling cable and Internet gives you one bill to pay each month, rather than two or three. This saves time and reduces the risk of a late payment because you only have to remember to pay one bill. Added Sign-on Bonuses – Cable TV and satellite companies offer big incentives for customers to switch providers, and the more services you order, the bigger the incentives. Providers may offer gift cards up to $400 or more for customers who purchase a cable/Internet/phone bundle. Depending on the package you choose, that could be like getting several months of service free. Membership Rewards – Some providers offer customers who bundle a free membership into a rewards program, allowing you to earn points to cash in for merchandise, options to enter contests to attend special events, and discounts for local businesses and events. Faster Internet and Special Features – Sometimes a cable provider will upgrade your Internet speed if you bundle cable and Internet. Providers may also offer special features, a free DVR, and other incentives for bundling services. Free Installation – Cable providers often offer free installation when you bundle cable and Internet services together. Cons to Bundling Cable and Internet Services A bundle isn’t the best choice for everyone. If you rely on your cell phone, as many people do, and watch all your movies and TV shows on Netflix, Hulu, or another streaming service, a bundle makes you pay for services you don’t need. While the price per service goes down with a bundle, you’ll pay less each month if you only buy high-speed Internet. For instance, you might pay $90 for phone/cable and Internet, and $60 just for high-speed Internet. If you don’t need the other two services, you could save $30 per month, or $360 a year. For many people, that represents one month’s car payment or a month’s worth of groceries. Additionally, that low bundle price often comes with a two-year contract, where you’ll be locked in to your provider, even if you are unhappy with your choices or the service, or if you find a better deal from another provider. Sometimes, cable companies will buy out your old contract out to convince you to switch providers, but if you don’t want to deal with the hassle, you can look into buying a single service with no contract. Is Bundling Worth It? For families who need phone, cable, and Internet services, a bundle provides a better deal and added incentives not available when purchasing each service separately. But if you only need one service – usually, high-speed Internet –a bundle still costs more. Use the tools you’ll find here at CableTV.com to help you make the best choice for your family’s budget and needs.