Wednesday, March 19, 2008

"What’s the Deal?" Cox & EATEL

The Independent picks up the EATEL ad in Sunday's Advertiser we reported on earlier. Reporter Nathan Stubbs gets on the phone and tries to get the half price deal Cox is publicizing only in Ascension and southern Livingston parishes. Initially he's given the runaround but after checking in with EATel's Communications Manager gets the secret password: "Special Promotion R-123" he is offered access to the deal.

More fun: the Independent reporter was able to bargain the price down further by not taking phone or HBO....though Cox is certainly not required to go that far in order to meet its legal obligations to offer promotions fairly throughout its area. It certainly seems logical to allow this base price to be the starting point if you want to add on channels or tiers at the regular price as one would normally do.

And, what's more Cox is claiming that you don't have to sign a yearly contract. That's nifty. The Cox phone rep tells the IND that they "don't do conracts" and a quick review of the local website seems to bear that out. But Cox certainly does demand contracts for special deals in other parts of the country and has here in the past. (A Cox attempt to tempt small businesses into a 3-year contract with a paltry 3% discount was especially noteworthy.) So it's interesting that they aren't doing that any longer in this locale—where LUS has, from the very beginning said it would not require any kind of contract. It sounds like pricing is not the only concession Cox is making to the specter of local competition.

For those of you out there that take advantage of this deal, remember who to thank: the little local fiber competition that could, EATEL and LUS. Nobody is getting a deal like this in New Orleans. Or in Los Angeles, for that matter.

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