My Television Needs to Stop Ringing

Media convergence seems to be everywhere now for better or worse. I have been a Comcast customer for two years with mixed results. Recently, Comcast has offered an amazing new experience that was described in the article for the week. That is when the telephone rings it shows up on the TV screen with the caller’s name and number. I may be different from everyone else in the world but I don’t give out my home phone number to anyone. I never use it. The only reason I even have one is because I can get a discount for being a “Triple Play” member. So the only people who call me are telemarketers and people who want money for charity. The two options that show up on the screen are snooze and exit. Neither one of these hangs up the phone! This means I have to get off the couch, walk up to the phone, tell the person no thanks, hang up the phone and sit back on the couch. If you give your number out to people this service may be invaluable but for me it is a reminder that seven rings on the phone is annoying.

Like I said before, the only reason I even have a home phone is to get a discounted rate for the other services. It is nice to only pay one bill once a month and be done with it. My parents are a good example of people who benefit from bundling. They used to pay a separate bill for TV, home phone with long distance and an ISP for dial-up Internet. This was not even three years ago! Well the bill went from around $155 to $95 a month for switching. They also got more channels, faster Internet and free long distance phone calls.

The article did a surprisingly good job at predicting the future. In America, companies are fighting for customers using bundling as their main weapon. The prices keep going down and the services get better (faster Internet and more channels). My TV does ring but I wish it would stop or at least have the ability to hang up. Now it seems that the next big thing is the dominance over the smart phones. Every day on TV Verizon and AT&T are showing maps and claiming they have better service for 3G. I don’t have a smart phone yet but I feel that in a few years it will become inevitable. If Comcast joined the cell phone market and offered a discount for bundling, I would be there in a heart beat. For now I will just wait with my aging Gravity phone until smart phones become cheaper.

Questions (Last time!!!)

1) What are the advantages and drawbacks for a one-stop-shop home phone, Internet, TV and mobile phone service company.

2) With technologies like Skype and others, why do people even need a home phone?

3) What are some reasons behind which party (consumers or providers) you think wins when bundling?


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