Telcos remain evasive about final broadband bundle prices

If you're been through the frustrating process of trying to compare the actual total price of any broadband bundle packages, you're not alone.

As told in an LA Times column, one Verizon (NYSE: VZ) customer that wanted to add video to his current dual-play voice/data package found that the simple act of finding out what the final cost would be to add video to his service cart was nothing short than an exercise in futility. After asking to get a final price of Verizon's advertised $89.99 triple play package with associated fees and taxes--a process that should take nothing more than plunking in a consumer's zip code--residential customer Dan Sanders was told he'd have to sit through a 15-minute process.

Of course, Verizon defended its actions. Jon Davies, a Verizon spokesman, said in the column that the company's sales reps aren't being deliberately evasive when it comes to taxes and fees. They're just making sure potential customers have been offered every possible option and add-on before a final price can be given.

In the end, both Sanders and Verizon both lost out. While Sanders said he'd maintain his dual play agreement with Verizon, he'll get his TV service elsewhere. Obviously, Verizon not only loses out on the new revenue, but it "deterred him from deepening relationship with the company." Indeed, at a time when cable is eating away at every telco's voice and traditional DSL subscriber base (Verizon itself lost 168,000 DSL subscribers in Q2), Verizon's evasiveness doesn't do much to establish credibility with existing and new customers.  

For more:
- LA Times opines on this issue

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