ictQATAR continues its series of useful consumer tips on a variety of telecom issues.
Bundling Phones with Internet and Other Services
Many telecommunications service providers offer deals, rewards and discounts if you subscribe to more than one service. For example, you may be offered a discount on your home phone account if you agree to use the same provider for your internet or mobile connection. This practice is known as 'bundling'.
Bundling can provide you with good value for products and services you want, but there are a number of things you should check before committing to purchase. .
While it can be convenient to have all or several services provided by the same company, check that the package you are offered meets your needs and saves you money. Comparing different packages can be confusing, but if you take your time, you have a good chance of finding a package that is right for you.
Before signing up for a bundled service, there are few issues you should consider:
Do I really need the extra services?
Do not pay for services you will not use.
Will I save money?
Bundled packages can be difficult to compare and bundling services will not always save you money. Checking recent bills to establish your typical monthly costs and usage patterns can be a good starting point.
You could also check the prices of each product or service in the bundle. They might be purchased individually under separate contracts.
Do not be pressured into saying ""yes!""
If you are offered an appealing package, do not feel pressured to agree on the spot. Ask for the offer in writing, and take some time to make sure the arrangement matches your needs.
What time commitment suits me?
Some bundled arrangements might be attached to a time commitment. Do not lock yourself into a long-term contract if this does not suit you. Be aware if fees apply for ending the contract early (early exit).
Are there hidden costs?
Does the bundled package have extra services charges, more expensive local calls, or fees for exceeding your download limit?
What about existing commitments?
If you need to switch providers so you can take up a bundled arrangement, be sure to check if you have to pay to cancel any service contracts you have with your existing provider.
When is bundling a problem?
Bundling can provide many benefits. However, bundling may be detrimental for consumers when it is used to reduce or restrict competition. If we consider a bundling arrangement is squeezing out competitors or giving a provider too much market power, action can be taken under the Telecommunications Law.
More tips available at: http://www.ict.gov.qa/output/page32.asp
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