Those Cox commercials must be on to something. With operators offering introductory discounts of as much as half off, some 75 percent of those who bought a triple- or quad-play package from a cableco or telco told Consumer Reports in a recent survey they “definitely” or “probably” would buy that same bundle again. Verizon FiOS won high quality-and-reliability marks for its broadband speed, TV picture and phone-call quality. For consumers in some Midwest cities, WOW was cited for its bundled telecom services, especially for billing-and-support coordination. And there doesn’t appear to be much sticker shock. Only a third of respondents with triple- or quad-play contracts wangled with their carriers for lower monthly bills, waived fees or service upgrades. And for those who have a choice of operators in their areas, many have gotten lower bills by threatening to churn. Another way operators can offer lower rates without negotiation: tiered Internet speed.

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