Bundling Up This Winter?

A la carte takes a back seat to bundling for communications services. ThereÂ?s a lot of hype about triple-play bundle deals these days. ThereÂ?s also a lot of confusion about whatÂ?s included and if theyÂ?re really a great deal.

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Madison, WI (Vocus) February 14, 2008 -

On average, Americans spend nearly $2,000 each year on communication services. According to a report by the Telecommunication Action and Research Center, consumers spend almost $700 on the three services of local, long distance, and broadband Internet every year.

And according to Small Business Technology Magazine, there’s some good news when it comes to saving money with phone, Internet, and TV bundles. Consumers shopping around for bundled communications services, if shopping wisely, can save 25 to 40 percent compared with ordering services a la carte. “Bundles are mainly built with cost-savings in mind,” says Shane West, director of consumer marketing for TDS. “The savings are out there if you know where to look.”

West says the days of consumers picking and choosing their communications services a la carte are over. “When we compile our most popular services together, we’re able to lower the prices considerably. And this allows all services from phone, Internet, and TV to be on one bill.”

While bundling all of those services offers many advantages, West advises consumers to do some homework. “Before customers bundle, they need to make sure they’re getting the best deal. Take a look at what companies are bundling in the area and see what they have to offer.”

West says there’s a fairly simple way of finding the best bundle deal available. First, consumers should jot down exactly what they’re looking for. “For example, when it comes to landline phone service, do you need local and long-distance minutes, voicemail, and caller-ID,” asks West. “For Internet, do you do mostly Web browsing, e-mailing or frequent uploading and downloading of pictures? And, what about TV – are there specific must-have channels?” Answering these questions can help consumers pick the right bundle.

Next, when looking at bundle options, it’s important to compare bundles which are similar if not the same. “If one bundle includes monthly rental fees and the other a one-time flat fee, do the math to compare them on a level playing field,” says West. “Don’t get a bundle with unlimited minutes that costs twice as much as a bundle with a specified number of minutes that’s more in-line with your typical use.”

To find out more details on bundled offers for business or residential customers, log on to http://www.tdstelecom.com/bundles.

TDS Telecom, a growing national company headquartered in Madison, Wis., brings high-quality, locally based telecommunications services to hundreds of rural and suburban communities across the United States. The company, along with its subsidiary TDS Metrocom, provides service for more than 1.2 million access line equivalents. Visit http://www.tdstelecom.com for more information.

TDS Telecom is part of the Telephone and Data Systems, Inc. (AMEX: TDS) family of companies. TDS is a diversified telecommunications corporation founded in 1969. Through its strategic business units, U.S. Cellular (AMEX: USM) and TDS Telecom, TDS operates primarily by providing wireless and local telecommunications service. The company currently employs approximately 11,600 people and serves approximately 6.4 million customers in 36 states.

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