Are telecom carriers ready to bargain?

Supposedly, we now live in a bargainer's economy, where the price of just about everything is negotiable as retailers, banks, contractors, homeowners and everyone else seem willing to bend just to make a sale. Does that include telecom service providers? The Wall Street Journal has a story suggesting that AT&T, Time Warner Cable and others may be receptive to customers who try to pursue unadvertised discounts and other deals. It's awfully nice of service providers to be understanding during difficult economic times, but, of course, they are just trying to hold onto their customers during what's also a tough time for them.

However, will their new willingness to make a deal come back to haunt them at some point? How do you set up a bargaining table and then determine when to dismantle it again? Service providers' readiness to make deals will teach their customers that there is always a deal to be made-either that, or customers will keep switching to the next best deal. Maybe that's the way it should be, but for telcos at least, it will take some getting used to.

The WSJ story features the experience of AT&T customer Alan Weinkrantz, who is a prolific blogger and industry consultant, and probably a lot more savvy than your average customer, but once the word gets out...

For more:
- The Wall Street Journal reports

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