FiOS Customers Beware

Discussion in 'GENERAL AV Discussions' started by Halon451, Apr 2, 2008.

  1. Halon451 Audioholic Samurai

    Halon451
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    This is probably old news by now to anyone who has gone through Verizon's FiOS service. My Dad came across this news article (printed in our local paper), after having the Fios Complete package put in in Januaray - the $99/month special apparently isn't quite what it seems. I pleaded with him to not order it, but he did anyway, and since then he has received four different bills all well in excess of $200 each - a pretty far cry from the 99/month advertised. He already had FiOS wired into his house (for internet and phone), so when he ordered the package deal all they had to do was come out and plug the boxes in - so these amounts do not reflect any substantial installation fees.

    Of course he has four boxes total, at the 5 bucks (or 10) extra per month for each one, but nothing to total over $200 per bill. Insanity...

    It's good to see that Verizon's malicious and deceptive sales tactics might be coming back on them. Here is the link:

    http://www2.tbo.com/content/2008/apr/02/me-verizon-complaints-draw-council-concern/

    It should serve as a good warning to anyone out there considering getting this service - I am glad to say that I have nothing at all to do with Verizon, and were they are better company with better customer service I would have switched to FiOS a long time ago. Shame on them... :mad:

    Maybe this should have been put in the Steam Vent... sorry. :eek:

    EDIT: Oh, and btw, he's had to replace two of the boxes twice now, extremely slow to boot and sometimes not at all. :confused:
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  2. MDS Audioholic Spartan

    MDS
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    The cable and satellite companies are no different. You have to look past the advertised teaser rate and take into account the cost of all rental equipment, channel packages, and extra premium channels you want and of course taxes and 'service fees'.

    Time Warner is heavily promoting Digital Phone at $39.99 per month yet when you add in all the taxes and fees it is really $54 which is no better than what I pay for AT&T.

    Time Warner also used to advertise 'ugprade to digital cable for FREE for three months' and years ago called me to pitch the plan. The reality was that the price difference was $10 per month and you don't have to pay that $10 for three months but still have to pay what you are currently paying. How is that 'free'? It's $30 off, not free.

    Consumers need to get smart and look critically at all plans and what the real cost will be over some time frame. Only then can you make an informed decision and not be shocked when the bill is much more than you thought or were told it would be.
    MDS,
  3. Halon451 Audioholic Samurai

    Halon451
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    Yes, but $54 from $39.99 is a bit different than $200 plus from $99, that's the point I'm making. What it is is false advertising, and deceptive tactics - sure people should be smart enough to avoid such pitfalls, but to me when you advertise something as 99 bucks a month that is what you should be paying, plain and simple.

    Of course nevermind the fact that after the two year "Special" expires, the rates probably go up 300% anyway. ;)
  4. MDS Audioholic Spartan

    MDS
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    My point is that the advertised price is the bare minimum price and is always misleading. For example, digital cable is $50 a month but if you actually want to watch it you have to rent the cable box and that is another $7, so really they should say the price is $57. But it doesn't stop there of course - you have tax and half a million different little fees. On my cable bill, the taxes and fees add up to almost 20% of the total. Suddenly your $50 cable subscription costs $70+.

    A jump from an advertised $100 to an actual $200 is outrageous but what are all the little additional costs? Did he agree to a premium package lineup? Was it a misleading promotion (like my digital cable example) and then when the promotion ends the 'real' cost shows up? Are there dozens of fees that weren't disclosed up front, like the 'universal service fee' and 'consumer recovery fee', etc on a phone bill? They all do the same thing - hit the consumer with an attention grabbing headline price when the real 'all in' cost is always much higher.
    MDS,
  5. Halon451 Audioholic Samurai

    Halon451
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    Devil's Advocate... :D I can't recall all the miscellaneous charges as I don't have the bills in front of me right now, but I did examine them very closely at one point and most of it was outright B.S. Some of the charges were actually completely invalid - such as outlet installations?? :confused: They never did any such thing at all, but he got charged for it. He got the basic basic service, no premium channels, nothing nada - just the extra boxes, and a heap of confusing charges.

    I totally understand how the initial teaser amount never is the price you pay - it happens with my cell phone bill (I'm used to it), my own cable service (again I'm used to it), but this is indeed outrageous in my opinion. And apparently if it's getting this kind of attention it's a little bit beyond the normal "tacked on" charges that one experiences with other services.

    Also, it's his frustration not mine - but I do feel compelled to comment on it, as I think that anytime you get a chance to stick it to one of these enormous corporate juggernaut vultures then you have to take it. They make their fortunes from taking people unaware and locking them into deals that weren't properly disclosed up front. This sort of thing should not be legal, IMHO.
  6. Halon451 Audioholic Samurai

    Halon451
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    Also, Mods - please feel free to move this to the Vent if you like, I probably should have posted it there in the first place. :)
  7. MDS Audioholic Spartan

    MDS
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    You mean this sort of thing: :)

    I just got a flyer from Time Warner today. Since I am a 'valued' customer I can lock in Digital Cable, Digital Phone, and RoadRunner for $99/month*. I would be adding Digital Phone since I have the other two and pay $139.44 (but I do have HBO, Cinemax, and Movie Pak too).

    The asterisk is NOT explained anywhere on the page. The fine print does say that you will be automatically renewed at the end of the two years unless you call to cancel. Nowhere does it say I'd be able to retain the premium channels as part of that special price and nowhere does it say whether you can cancel at anytime before the two years are up or if you do how much the price will go back up. Those are the kinds of things that trip people up because the kind customer service rep isn't going to know or willing volunteer the fact that my current extra services will then be charged a-la-carte.

    A few months ago a girl came to my door and told me she was going around to all of the people that pay too much. The offer was Digital Phone for FREE (there's that word again!). I asked her if TW thinks I am paying too much why don't they just lower their prices?
    MDS,
  8. sholling Audioholic Ninja

    sholling
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    I just wish I could get FIOS. Of course it's not hard to get to $200/mo with 30mb internet, phone packages, and TV. FIOS is all of those.

    It's easy for the TV addicted to hit $140/month for Direct TV. I know I spend $250/mo for TV ($100), DSL ($30), landline ($50) and a cell phone ($70) and I don't have anything fancy like FIOS. In his case I suspect that what's happened is he's either over ordered or run into the famous FIOS billing errors.
  9. fiosmeup Audioholic Intern

    fiosmeup
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    Fios is a great deal! The current bundle price is NOT a special offer, it is Verizons bundle package, after 2 years you can renew your bundle at the current bundle price- NO big increases.
    The" basic" Fios Tv package comes with over 200 all digital channels
    Including 25+ HD channels. The only extras you need to pay for is Premium Movie channels- Showtime,starz,encore, package is FREE ( current special)
    HBO and Cinimax is only $21.99 for both.
    You do have to pay for set top boxes- Standard $5.99 (3 for $12.99)
    HD Boxes $9.99- Multi room DVR- watch shows from your dvr from up to 3 Tv's. Only need one DVR.
    Fios is a great deal and a much better product than anyone else has!
    The biggest problem with Fios is most people can't get it yet.
    Dave
  10. Halon451 Audioholic Samurai

    Halon451
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    Spoken like a true fanboy. :D j/k

    Seriously though, if you haven't been bent over by Verizon yet, then congratulations - I am indeed happy for you. However it seems as if this doesn't represent the majority. There is a reason I chose not to have anything to do with Verizon even before the advent of FiOS. I became disgusted with them as a company back when I was just using them for my phone and DSL service.

    Not disagreeing with you on the quality of FiOS - I've seen it and it's fantastic... when it works properly. :D
  11. Seth=L Audioholic Overlord

    Seth=L
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    That's not the work of a fanboy, that's spam my friend.;)

    Protip: Look at the profile, under occupation.
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  12. mtrycrafts Audioholic Slumlord

    mtrycrafts
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    So, what do you really do at Fios? Sell? Install? Own the company? What?

    By the way, does Fios offer ala cart so I pick the channels I want only? I have no need for 200ch nor a 100, and not 50. Why do I want to pay for the ones I am not interested at all?
  13. MDS Audioholic Spartan

    MDS
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    I don't think we'll see a la carte pricing anytime soon though I'd welcome it. It brings up another point I've been thinking about lately. One of my complaints with Time Warner digital cable is that you have to have the basic analog tier too (1 - 72 for me). What annoys me is that the vast majority of those analog channels are duplicated in the 'digital' tier.

    What is going to happen in February 2009 when analog broadcasts cease? Will those duplicate analog channels just go away but the price will remain the same? One thing that will change is that they won't be able to advertise 300 channels anymore if 70 or so of them go away. But at least then the real number of channels available will be closer to reality.
    MDS,
  14. fiosmeup Audioholic Intern

    fiosmeup
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    Im not trying to sell anything here, just giving out some facts about Fios.
    My post did sound like I was selling but I was trying to point out facts that I know about. I am involved in selling fios, Im not trying to sell fios here.
    Any questions?
    thanks
    dave
    PS: Fios has 3 packages
    Local- just local broadcast channels
    Premire- 200 plus, everything except HBO, ect
    La Conection- Spanish version of premire.
    No ala cart,.
  15. stratman Audioholic Ninja

    stratman
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    I don't think there's a service provider that has a la carte. I know Direct TV never will. Just in case you ask: it's owned by the same parent company that owns Discovery, there's too much money to be made with packages versus a la carte, like always the consumer gets the shaft, there was a movement to get the FCC to allow for a la carte, but special interests did that in.
  16. mtrycrafts Audioholic Slumlord

    mtrycrafts
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    Yes, I only elect people in congress, they buy them:D
  17. Halon451 Audioholic Samurai

    Halon451
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    Alright, I'm a reasonable guy I figured you were just excited about FiOS enough to actually use it as your username, but now since the cat's out of the bag, and it's known that you do sell FiOS for a living, please enlighten me if you will -

    You have obviously read my first post, so you understand the situation my father is in (and many hundreds more I might add), so please explain to me how you (as an employee/sales staff) manage to justify yourselves and sleep well at night?

    Simple question, not launching an attack on you fiosmeup, I just truly want to know. :cool:
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  18. Seth=L Audioholic Overlord

    Seth=L
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    *paraphrased*

    How do you sleep at night you little prick?

    *j/k, j/k, I am in so much trouble:D*
  19. Waveform Audioholic Intern

    Waveform
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    I have got the "$99" plan, and man do I regret it.

    I have three cable boxes but they charge me for five boxes every month. This means I am on the phone for one and a half hours EVERY FRIGGING MONTH pleading with them to fix the problem. Every time someone finally comes on the phone (usually tech support after being bounced from one person to another for 1 hour) and says "Yeah, youre right, you've only got three boxes, and here's your 10 dollars back." Next month, it's the same story. For 6 months and counting.

    To top it all I'm getting billed for VOD movies ordered from the two phantom boxes that I don't have (confirmed by "tech support"). I have even had to demand that VOD be disabled for my account from their end so that when I call the next month, I would have grounds for saying that I did not order the movies.

    This has become a special hell that I am locked into for two years.
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  20. Halon451 Audioholic Samurai

    Halon451
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    My point exactly. Thanks Waveform, and sorry to hear of your troubles.

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