Triple Play Striking Out With Some Consumers
from the killing-the-golden-goose dept
In recent years, the key to both the cable companies’ and the telcos’ strategy has been to offer the so-called triple play (Data, Video, Voice) to consumers. The assumption has been that consumers want all of these services on one bill, and if they can snag a discount for getting them bundled together that’s even better. One problem with this scenario is that video and voice are bound to become mere subsets of data, so the idea of charging for all three may be difficult as competitors enter the ring. Another problem is that consumers may not even want the bundled product. Users are finding that instead of getting discounts, bills have become more confusing, with providers getting more clever about tacking on surprise charges. Also, it’s difficult to just switch out one part of the bill to a competing company when a better deal presents itself. The telcos love the lock in, but it makes consumers think twice before subscribing to a bundled package. Even the selling point of a unified bill may lose its appeal, as online bill pay and auto withdrawal makes check writing obsolete. A bundled product can work if consumers actually get a better deal, and operators use it to reduce churn. But if they view bundles as a way to milk more money out of captive consumers, they risk killing the strategy they’ve invested so much in.