You have probably noticed that landline usage is on the decline in the USA, along with most of the rest of the world. Mobiles are more convenient, and offer more features, so aside from the benefits of having a credibility-boosting landline if you are a business, many people simply don’t see the need for one anymore. While landline usage is dwindling to the point where it is believed that half of all American households don’t actually use theirs, many people still have one purely because it came as standard with their broadband and TV package. All major internet and TV providers roll a landline into their packages, and it may seem weird to consumers that this isn’t an optional extra, given how many people don’t really want or need it. So why, from an economic point of view, is it always thrown in?
It Costs Them Nothing to Give It To You
When you have broadband and TV installed, the technology that makes it possible for the company to deliver this to you also makes it possible for you to have a landline telephone number and make and receive calls. The internet has always, even in its infancy, relied on telephone infrastructure, and this means it basically costs a provider nothing to let you plug in a phone and use their service to make calls. Because it costs them nothing, they can offer it to you as a sort of ‘nice to have’ bonus on top of the services you actually want. If you are getting what you think is a good deal for the internet connectivity and TV services you are looking for, then you aren’t going to object to there being the added benefit of a landline, even if you never even connect a phone to it. Most of the time these landline deals offer free calls to other landlines and make the companies very little money, but of course you may decide that their rates for calling abroad or for other services are better than your mobile provider, and may end up using your landline from time to time for services you do have to pay for.
Most Marketers Call Landlines
Landlines have always been the preferred domain of the telemarketer. It is cheaper for companies to have their marketers dial landlines, and because landlines are never owned anonymously it is also easier for them to build databases of people in the areas and demographics they want to contact using landline data than mobile data. This means that just by assigning you a number, the internet and television company you are dealing with are gaining an asset for their own, and for third party marketing.
Whether you use your essentially free landline or not, telecom companies lose nothing and gain some advantages to giving it to every customer who buys one of their packages. This is why, despite low customer demand, they are always included in TV and broadband deals. This trend is likely to continue, and may well be the only thing keeping the domestic landline alive over the next few years.
The author of this article is Todd Nash, an employee at TAG, experts in communication technology. Todd loves playing the drums and is a huge Chris Adler fan.
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