If hard economic times have you scrambling to trim expenses, relief might be as close as your Internet, phone, and television services.
Intense competition for cable and satellite customers between AT&T
Such rates are ostensibly good only for the first year or two of service. But providers are increasingly reluctant to raise rates after the promotional period, at least in some of the more competitive markets, says Doug Williams, a telecommunications analyst with Forrester Research.
A new survey by the Consumer Reports National Research Center reveals that subscribers were very satisfied with Internet, phone, and TV from the best telecom providers. Yet it also found some problems with bundled services, including a high incidence of complaints about billing, support, and fees with some providers' triple-play packages.
On the whole, though, we think bundling makes sense for many households, especially if you're served by one of the fiber carriers or one of the better cable companies. Averaging their reader scores for Internet, phone, and TV, Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-verse were the most consistently satisfying providers—even though Verizon was below average for customer service to its triple-play customers.