Amazon is now reselling Comcast’s Internet and television service on its site, via a newly launched section called Amazon Cable Store – a branding that implies Comcast may be the first of other cable providers yet to come. The Cable Store allows customers to browse a variety of packages, from Internet-only deals up to combined Internet/TV/phone bundles, complete a credit check, and then schedule an installation – all from Amazon.com.
The store also offers promotional items – like a free Amazon Gift Card for signing up – and it promises dedicated customer service for those who buy Comcast’s service from Amazon.
Comcast is often in the news for its poor customer service record, which makes this aspect to the Amazon deal interesting, too. According to the site, Amazon customers who sign up for Comcast’s XFINITY service will have access to a dedicated customer service line where calls are answered with “no waiting” – that is, calls are answered in less than 60 seconds. (Of course, Comcast promises this to other customers, like its Business customers, to less than stellar results at times.)
But it’s notable that this feature is being heavily promoted as a reason to buy through Amazon, and touted as an “exclusive” for Amazon shoppers.
News of the Cable Store was first reported by TV Predictions, who spotted the new section before it was fully functional. At the time of their original reporting, pages didn’t include pricing information, but that has since changed. The pages now show the various plans’ prices and allow orders to complete. It’s unclear which Comcast markets are currently served by The Cable Store, however.
Pricing, meanwhile, appears to be competitive with what’s available on the XFINITY website, according to initial reports.
Plus, the site allows customers to build lower-cost TV bundles based on their budgets. They can choose a core group of base channels, then add to them with different variety packs (Speciality Channels; Family Channels; Sports Channels; and Premium Entertainment). This is similar to how others, like Dish’s internet TV service Sling TV operates, or Verizon’s [disclosure: TechCrunch parent] “skinny bundles.”
Correction: while the above information was previously reported by TV Predictions, Amazon has reached out to confirm that the packages it sells are fixed and priced as below:
While the new site is largely focused on lead gen – meaning acquiring new customers for Comcast – existing customers can also use the site to sign up for XFINITY services at a second address. But plan changes, downgrades and cancellations still have to go through Comcast directly, the Cable Store FAQ indicates.
Amazon has not disclosed the terms of its deal with Comcast, but this would not be the first time the e-commerce site has ventured into lead gen. The company also offers a larger platform, Amazon Home Services, which points shoppers to local professionals for things like automotive repairs, home services like maintenance, housekeeping, yard care and more, lessons, and other things that don’t involve Amazon selling physical products.