AT&T Just Can't Let Go Of It's Forced Bundles… But Claims It's In The Customers' Best Interest

from the not-so-believable dept

It really was just a month ago that AT&T’s CEO said forced bundles were bad. Specifically, he said forced bundling “is an old mind-set. We need to get over it.” Apparently, it’s not that easy. Broadband Reports lets us know that AT&T’s new U-Verse service requires you to bundle broadband internet access with TV — but it’s okay, because they claim it’s got nothing to do with how desperate the company is for TV subscribers, but because it’s really the best thing for customers (and, apparently, those customers are too dumb to make that decision on their own): “Because AT&T U-verse members will gain the most features and benefits from having both AT&T U-verse TV and AT&T U-verse Enabled Internet, Internet must always be bundled with TV.” Old mind-set indeed.

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Companies: at&t

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Comments on “AT&T Just Can't Let Go Of It's Forced Bundles… But Claims It's In The Customers' Best Interest”

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DevJade says:

I know we’re a rarity, but what about those of us who don’t WATCH TV?

Regardless, I don’t entirely see how this is “forced bundling” seeing as AT&T does have other options last I checked. I myself AT&T DSL stand-alone and pay less for it than I would have if I got a stand-alone cable connection at the same speed. Those of us not interested in TV (I assume) are probably not going to be interested in this Uverse nonsense either.

xinc says:

I just canceled a U-verse installation over this. I don’t even own a TV – I just need a big glowing pipe out to the intertubes.

First AT&T opts for last-mile over copper, then they foist television service on customers who don’t want it. If they need a hint as to why they’re getting slammed in the market, here it is: You’re doing a half-assed job with half-assed products.

freddy (user link) says:

i dont think its bad

hey, i got a good deal on the bundle plan…and im pretty satisfied…i mean they do own the world…they keep buying everything up…so i go by the motto–if u cant beat’em then join’em…….lol…by the way…my cell phone does werk out in BFE…sat tv werks good in the storm…and the internet is not to bad either……so….cant knock it till u try it

Anarchy_Creator (user link) says:

You people are all idiots.

The real reason they forcibly bundle cable internet with their cable TV, and probably not the exact opposite is simple.
Back when I used to live in Time Warner territory I was getting free cable TV because the apt. I moved into was all ready set up that way.
Well needless to say about a year or so of free cable later a neighbor decided to get cable, and low and behold TW came knocking on my door to inform me that my house had been hooked up to receive the very same signal illegally.
Playing stoopid I said I don’t even watch TV I only go online (56k at the time).
The cable guy then asked me if I wanted to sign up for cable internet. After a long talk, and a few bowls of some really dank chronic the cable guy told me that he didn’t care about the cable TV hookup, but that he couldn’t leave it because his superiors would find out, and it’d be his ass. Seeing as how 56k was really starting to piss me off and he was offering me a 5-6 megabit internet connection for 35-40 bucks a month when I was already paying 25-30 bucks a month for shitty dial-up I couldn’t help but jump at the offer after he also explained to me that I could simply split the line from my cable modem, and re-route it into the back of my TV to continue to receive free basic cable.
Now that I have wasted several minuted of your time…
If you split the line from your cable modem, and plug it into the back of your TV you can get free cable TV.

Wes Larson says:

U-verse is IPTV

Mr. Masnick, I normally really enjoy reading your articles and seeing your perspective, but this time I’m astounded as to how far off-base you are. AT&T is offering IPTV–as in, video that’s been encoded into IP Packets. In order for them to offer TV, there MUST be an internet connection. Further, I know that there are many U-verse customers who have opted out of the High-Speed-Internet service, and pay only for the TV subscription (–an option that obviously wouldn’t interest this audience). I know that there are many U-verse subscribers who are getting High-Speed-Internet without TV–albeit DSL speeds, only up to 6Mbps, and therefore, it isn’t offered unless you’re in one of those rare situations where you don’t qualify for DSL, but do qualify for U-verse.

I’m no fan of forced bundles. In order for me to get call waiting from Verizon, I was forced into their stupid voicemail product also. Can’t get one without the other. But, I don’t see where forced bundles play into U-verse TV and High-Speed-Internet. The customers have the option of getting one without the other. AND, when they subscribe to both, they’re offered a discount.


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