UPDATED: Verizon FiOS — a Rant and a Rave

 

UPDATE: After this post went live, I received an email from Verizon. They were very concerned about the experience I had, and the frustration I expressed here. I talked with them about the plan we were on, and what bundles made more sense given what we were looking to accomplish (saving money since we didn’t need super-fancy-pants TV). To say they were helpful is an understatement. We picked a better bundle and worked out a much better set of features, and FiOS customer service was incredibly friendly. When I ranted about my experience, it was just to get it off my chest, not with any expectation, so having FiOS not only reach out but also inquire how they could help me accomplish what I initially wanted was awesome. There are few times that I can say a company impresses me enough that I am excited to be their customer, but FiOS definitely proved that yesterday! They turned me from a frustrated customer to a loyal one, and that says quite a bit!

If you want to reach out to FiOS, you can find them via social media on Twitter and Facebook.

Special thank you to Bill and Erik (and the customer service rep who changed our plan, unfortunately, I was in the car and forgot her name) for reaching out and being patient with me to work this out!

Sarah and I have been going through household expenses and looking for places where we’re spending frivolous money. One of the items we zeroed in on was our Verizon FiOS bill; we subscribed to a whole slew of premium channels last year, but have found we rarely use them. So today I put on my body armor, had a quick shot of whiskey for strength, and braved the FiOS helpline.

I don’t think I can adequately describe the conversation, so I’ve done my best to transcribe it:

VZF Operator: Hello and thank you for calling Verizon FiOS.
Me: Hi, I’d like to change our plan. We’re not using premium movie channels and would like to cancel them.
VZF-O: I see. Let me just check a few things. Hmm…mm….hmmm….huh…. Well, right now you’re at the premium HDTV and 35/35 internet. We can lower you to premium HDTV and 25/25 internet, but that means your internet speed will take a hit.
Me: Huh?
VZF-O: Hum…well…yes…we can set you up with the 25/25 internet.
Me: I’m sorry, I must have misheard you. How exactly does my internet speed impact whether or not I watch “WEEDS”?
VZF-O: Well, they’re all bundled. We can get you the fast internet and the premium channels if you sign a two year contract!
Me: Explain to me again how this works. So I have to pay for premium channels WHICH I AM NOT USING no matter what? I can’t just cancel them and keep the faster internet?
VZF-O: Uh…umm…. No ma’am. See, they’re all bundled…
Me: Yes, I get it now. Despite having specially ordered Showtime last year, it has now been bundled. Even though it was never originally part of our plan. But we can lower our internet speeds for a cheaper plan.
VZF-O: Yes. Can I interest you in a DVR? Backup service? 50,000 other special add-on items?
Me: So, when I called to lower the cost of my plan, you thought it was an invitation to sell me more crap? No. No thank you. No. But if you figure out a way to cancel Showtime please call me back.

Verizon FiOS is lucky I’m too lazy to change to Cablevision! The whole conversation was just weird. They’ve taken bundling to a whole new level, and apparently interpreted “How do I save money?” as “How do I spend EVEN MORE MONEY?” Argh!

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About the Author

Carly Z
Carly has been a gadget fiend for a long time, going back to her first PDA (a Palm M100). She quickly went from researching what PDA to buy to following tech news closely and keeping up with the latest and greatest stuff. She loves writing about ebooks because they combine her two favorite activities; reading anything and everything, and talking about fun new tech toys. What could be better?