VERIFY: Is CenturyLink's new internet deal too good to be true?

CenturyLink is offering a "price for life" internet deal. But is it too good to be true? Lou Raguse attempts to verify. http://kare11.tv/2yHYvQo

Most of us see or hear dozens of ads each day, but one appears to really be grabbing people's attention.

That's because it offers you "price for life" internet from CenturyLink, which on the surface sounds great. But is it too good to be true?

To verify fact from fiction, our sources included CenturyLink market development manager Molly Clemen, U of M Marketing Professor George John, and John Brillhart, who runs his own company called Cable Alternatives.

We first wondered whether CenturyLink's Price for Life is the least expensive internet option in the Twin Cities when comparing the same speed. And, initially at least, the answer is no.

CenturyLink advertises 100 megabits per second for $55 dollars a month. Comcast for $49 dollars, and US Internet for $45 dollars. But US Internet has a much smaller service area and Comcast's price would go up after a year of service when the promotion expires.

As Molly points out, CenturyLink is trying to appeal to customers who hate those price hikes.

“Just that one rate, so I don't have to worry about this promotional roll-off period, therefore at the end of it there's no price hike,” Clemen said.

CenturyLink openly says the price is good as long as your account stays the same -- no change of address, change to service, service suspension or disconnection.

Professor John points out the average American moves 11 times in their life.

“In your working lifetime, you're probably moving every five years. You also change your mind about wanting faster speeds, you want something else,” John said.

So do you really get the price for life? We can verify you do get it for life -- the life of your plan, that is.

Brillhart says his customers who "unbundle" and only want internet really seem to like CenturyLink's promotion. But he points out CenturyLink has tried it before, about 10 years ago, when the speeds were at least 10 times slower.

“Now they've got these upgraded speeds in their system, they're trying it again,” Brillhart said.

SOURCES:
Molly Clemen – CenturyLink
George John – Carlson School of Management
John Brillhart – Cable Alternatives

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