In Theory, This Post Should Have Only Taken Four and a Half Minutes

The offer seemed too good to be true.

Verizon was offering a one-gigabit FIOS connection package for just $79.99 per month. It was also waiving the installation fee (if you placed the order online), and was offering up to $500 to cover cancellation fees if you were switching to FIOS.

We have been long-time users of Verizon FIOS for both TV and Internet, and have been quite satisfied with the service. Our current speed plan was a respectable 50 meg connection, but the new gigabyte plan is 20 times faster than that.

I just envisioned how much faster I would get my work done. For example, my daily blog usually takes anywhere from one to two hours per night. So if we average that to 90 minutes per night while using my 50 meg Internet service, then at one-gigabit, the blog should only take four and a half minutes…

So I decided to give Verizon a call (actually several).

The first thing I found out is that the deal is only for new customers; but if you look closely at the ad pictured above (taken right from the Verizon web site), no where does it mention that the offer is only for new customers.

So during the phone call, I was told I could cancel my service, and then sign up for the new service under my wife’s name. But that would entail a $130 early contract termination fee. When I mentioned that the special offer indicated that they would pay up to $500 in cancellation fees, I was told that was also only available for new customers.

I was OK with the $90 installation fee, since the new service would require someone to come out and uninstall the old service and equipment, and put in the new service and equipment. However, the ad above does mention that if you place the order online, the $90 fee would be waived. During one of my phone calls I was told that I would not be able to place the new order online because I already had service at that address, and the system would not be able to process such an order. So the order would have to be done over the phone…

So if you are keeping track, I am up to $220 in one time fees for this new service.

I should also point out that the $79.99 promotion is just for a basic set of cable channels. I think I was told I that compared to the TV package we now had, we would lose something like 200-300 channels. When comparing the two TV packages, there was nothing of value that we were going to lose.

But the worst part is yet to come.

You may notice in the ad above that it does note (in small print), that the price goes up to $84.99 in year 2, plus the $79.99 does not include taxes, equip. charges, RSN, FDV, other fees, and $12/mo. STB equip charges.

So when I asked what will be the grand total of my monthly bill if I switched to the new service, the answer was $168 – more than double the big $79.99 advertised. Plus, let’s not forget the extra one-time charges of $220.

Well, I did some calculations, and despite all the issues noted above, it seemed like it would still be worth it to switch. We would be saving about $20 per month compared to what we currently pay, and so after 11 months we start saving money.

So we took the plunge, and the installation was today. The service tech did a great job; he was friendly, knowledgeable, and efficient. In a couple of hours we had the new service, and all of our devices were set up and ready to go.

So here I sit, about 90 minutes into this blog post, and I’m wondering, what did I just sign up for???

P.S. I just checked my speeds; download about 185 meg and upload about 480 meg. And that’s for a computer that is wired directly into the router. I wonder if that’s telling me I should start uploading more stuff…

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Jim Borden

Accounting Prof. at Villanova; happily married for 30+ years; father of 3 outstanding young men; vegan; interests: fitness, creativity, education, blogging, social media.

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