by Mike Masnick
Fri, Jun 26th 2009 11:10am
When companies offer "bundles" of the various services they offer, part of the point is that if you're buying multiple packages together, you get some sort of "discount." It doesn't make much sense to go in the other direction, but apparently Comcast thinks it does. Reader Lucas points out that the company is currently offering the following "Digital Double Play" bundle, which consists of both the "Comcast High Speed Internet, with Powerboost" and the "Comcast Digital Starter Package" for the temporarily discounted bundle price of $69.99/month for six months (after which, the price jumps to $109.90/month).
Ok. But let's look up the components separately. It appears that the basic high speed internet with Powerboost is available separately as a promotion at $19.99/month for six months, after which it becomes $42.95/month.
And then there's the Comcast Digital Starter Package. That appears to be offered as a promotion for $29.99/month for six months (after which it jumps to $59.95):
So... at a first pass, it looks like you could order each package separately and pay $49.99/month for six months and $102.90... or you can buy the "bundle" and pay $69.99/month for six months and then $109.90/month afterwards. What a non-bargain! Of course, if you start to look closer, it's a little bit different. The digital TV package, even though it's described as the "Digital Starter Package" also includes the on-demand library. So if we dig deeper into Comcast's options, we find that the equivalent tier isn't actually the "Digital Starter Package" but the "Digital Preferred" package. Kind of odd that you'd sell the digital "preferred" package while claiming it's the starter package -- but that appears to be what Comcast is doing. So, with this package, the six month promotion is $44.99/month and then it jumps to $76.90/month:
So, now, the "unbundled" combined offering is actually $64.99... Still $5/month cheaper than the "bundle" -- and without the bundle at least you get the satisfaction of knowing you have the "preferred" package, rather than the "starter" package (oh yeah, and of paying $5 less than the suckers who bought the bundle.). But then, finally, after six months, your price will jump to $119.85 -- or $10 more expensive than the bundle. So perhaps there is some method to the madness, but Comcast sure doesn't make that very clear.
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