Amazon has rolled out the Amazon Cable Store aimed at making cable TV, internet and home phone service much easier to compare and buy.
Currently Comcast is the only cable company offering services through the new virtual storefront, but other carriers might be expected to join in.
Comparison of cable services is quite complicated as of now, as prices are not easy to find online, exact details of packages and services can be confusing and modem rentals or taxes could deliver big surprises at checkout. Amazon's storefront is expected to eliminate that hassle for consumers.
Cable packages can be compared and bought in the same manner in which users choose the size of the hard drive the want.
They can select variables like agreement length, internet speed and the number of cable channels, easily dial in the package that fits their needs. They would be able to immediately see what it would cost them each month.
''Amazon is not only the biggest online retailer and a place where millions of our customers shop every day, but it's also a brand that's unrivaled when it comes to customer service,'' said Comcast vice president of customer service Charlie Herrin in a statement. ''Amazon's new marketplace provides an immersive online destination to showcase our terrific suite of products including Xfinity X1.''
The Comcast deal came about when Comcast chief executive Brian Roberts and the cable division's president, Neil Smit, visited Silicon Valley about a year ago, according to a person familiar with the matter, The Wall Street Journal reported. They talked with Amazon chief Jeff Bezos, and one idea that came up for working together, was selling Comcast products through the e-retailer, the person said.
''They helped us in our thinking about how to simplify the experience and just make it clean,'' Smit said in an interview. For example, Amazon helped Comcast reduce the number of clicks that it takes for a customer to complete a transaction, WSJ reported. ''We're partnering with a company that's so good at the customer experience-I think that's really what excites me.''