Ever since the government broke up the Bell monopoly on January 8, 1982 the phone (and now TV Cable & Internet) providers have been trying to figure out how to get back to the profitability of “the good old days”. The consumer has been very good about taking advantage of the competitive environment to drive down prices. We don’t really care about service. If we did, someone would offer better cable service at a higher price to offset the additional costs related to providing that level of service, but no one does!
So the Cable companies are faced with an environment where they are selling a commodity, and their customers can easily switch service providers without gaining or losing ANYTHING. And that is exactly what their customers are doing. The Cable companies are their own worst enemies stealing each others clients with a slightly lower bundle price than what someone is already paying to their current provider. So they wonder, what could they add to their bundle that would make it harder for their customers to switch providers at the drop of a hat??? Ah ha, Security Alarm Services. They figure that if they install proprietary equipment that only they can monitor the customer is stuck staying with them because they don’t want to change out their whole security system. A voluntary monopoly!! It is legal and been in practice by ADT, Protection One, etc. for decades. Except now not only are folks volunteering to be in a monopoly for their alarm service, but their TV, Phone and Internet too! People are giving up the competitive environment that allowed them to drive their costs down, and now they will see an environment where the bill for ALL of their services will go up substantially and often. Why wouldn’t they?
It is both funny and concerning to me that despite all of the information available online to educate the public consumers on the benefits of avoiding a monopoly situations with any service providers, the marketing departments of these companies spend millions of dollars and are able to run campaigns that generate hundreds of thousands of new customers every year. Please try to educate your friends and relative to educate themselves before making a very poor decision.