Triple Play – No Thanks.

My friend Sanchayan and I were having a discussion on how triple play kind of services were very far away from take off in India. What? Did I hear you say that IP Set Box people are still struggling? You are right.

For the uninitiated, let me put “triple play” in layman terms – it is being able to get your “TV, Phone and Internet” through a single line (and implicitly single service provider).

While, it is exciting to be able to link all these services up and be able to tap into benefits that the cross functionality gives me in terms of superior services and subsidized prices, I’d be living a pipe dream if I were to believe that it would unfold that way in my (read consumers’) favor. Why, you may ask?

Let me try to explain. Every time, I have to depend on a single source (or service provider in this case) in India to serve too many of my basic needs (and yes, TV, Internet and Phone are basic), I get worried. The chances of a single provider becoming complacent and hence not providing good customer service or trying to extract too much money from me for their services are high enough, notwithstanding the disruption to my day-to-day life that would be caused by them going under temporarily/permanently.

I’ve had an experience of this. This was on the day I was leaving Chennai, I needed to withdraw some cash to make certain payments. I had money only in one bank account and incidentally for the one hour that I ran around from one ATM to another (and not just the bank’s own ATMs, I must have tried 10 different ATMs in about 5Kms radius) I could not withdraw any money. I had to do some “jugaad” and manage the day. But, since then I learnt my lesson on that front.

Actually, I’m saying no thanks to triple play in the near future – the risks outweigh the benefits (if any were presented at all!). What do you think, would you like to adopt such a service/offer if Sun/Hathway/Airtel were to offer it to you?

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