It already feels like you can buy everything on Amazon, but today Amazon began selling something unexpected: phone, internet, and TV service from Comcast. Amazon has set up sales pages for various Comcast service bundles — they're just like the standard Amazon product pages, but instead of checking out, you set up a time to get the service installed.
Buying through Amazon gets you customer service perks
It's not totally clear why you'd want to buy Comcast service through Amazon, rather than through Comcast itself. Amazon does offer some perks, including gift cards with certain signups, the option to buy (rather than lease) a modem, and a dedicated customer service line — which, considering Comcast's reputation, might be its biggest selling point (although, the customer service representatives are still based in Comcast call centers). Amazon has set up a page called the Amazon Cable Hub that tries to explain these benefits. The hub also suggests that other internet providers could be added in the future, so Amazon may eventually be a place you can go to compare different service options in your area.
For Comcast, the benefit of this partnership seems to be simple: it gets its service in front of more customers; in particular, customers who probably skew somewhat younger and more internet savvy. In a statement, Comcast executive VP Charlie Herrin calls Amazon's hub an "immersive online destination" for promoting its services. Though terms of the partnership haven't been disclosed, speculation is that Amazon profits whenever it signs up a new customer for Comcast.
The packages offered through Amazon are priced the same as those offered directly through Comcast. TVPredictions, which first spotted the new hub, reports that Amazon has been rolling the page out to Comcast's various coverage areas over the past day or so. Once it's live, people living in an area that Comcast services will be able to view pricing and start to sign up.
Disclosure: Comcast is an investor in Vox Media, The Verge's parent company.
Update March 21st, 3:05PM ET: This story has been updated with comment from Comcast; additional details have also been added on pricing and Amazon's customer service line.