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Save a bundle on telecom services

84,000 readers help you choose and save on TV, Internet, home phone, and now cell phone, too

Consumer Reports magazine: May 2013

Many of us are one-stop shoppers when it comes to home telecom, opting for a “triple play,” the industry term for a discounted bundle of TV, Internet, and phone service. The majority of Consumer Reports readers who bundled are happy with that arrangement, a new Consumer Reports National Research Center survey suggests.

You can get even more discounts by adding cell-phone service to a triple play. Verizon and AT&T offer such “quad plays.” Comcast, Cox, and Time Warner offer them (with Verizon Wireless phones) in some locations.

Such breaks are welcome relief from the upward climb of telecommunications rates. Many big providers boosted monthly bills for one or another of their telecom services by $5 or so this year, driven in part by the rising costs of TV programming. Industry analysts forecast continuing hikes over the next few years.

Our Ratings of bundles from 14 companies, along with individual phone, TV, and Internet services from many more, show that most people have at least one decent choice in telecom. And our reporting and exclusive survey results reveal ways to slim down service—maybe because you’re using cell phones more or streaming more online video—or at least to negotiate a price break or some freebies to soothe the sting of that higher bill.

For details on our survey results and full Ratings for telecom bundles and TV, Internet, and phone services, read on!

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