Verizon FiOS FTW?

Love me some FiOS I do. Better-than-DVD quality televison and sound with smokin’ fast internet. What’s not to love?

As it turns out, their customer service/billing practices. What a nightmare.

Living with the ‘rents now, so I no longer need to have television service. Sure FiOS is better than DirectTV, but they are old and like to watch their shows early on the east coast feed and they know where their channels are. Not a problem. I’ll keep internet, and use their TV.

So a call to VZ today to do just that. I wanted to be internet only until I move, at which time I would get television service again. I’m thinking they would be able to put a hold on my account, or extended vacation or something. This is where me thinking gets in the way.

I call and have to go through 3 transfers before I can actually talk to someone that can help me.

**Strike 1**.

The agent is super helpful and very nice. Even somewhat knowledgeable with the billing systems as best I can tell.

**Remove Strike 1**.

When attempting to remove the television portion of my billing, I find out that it will ‘break’ my bundle and I would be subject to a $120 early cancellation fee that I wasn’t aware of, eventhough I’ve been a customer for more than a year. Turns out, the billing snafu I had back in October that was **their** fault reset my account start date.

**Strike 1**.

In trying to avoid the early termination charge, I find out I can make my bill lower by changing to phone + internet. Would save me $30. Good deal, except my connection speed would drop to 20/5 (from 20/20) (yes, I get 20 up).

**Strike 2**.

I say fine. Kill the bundle and put me as internet only. I’ll eat the $120 since I’d save that in the next 2 months anyway. Great, except that to be an “Internet Only” customer, you have to pay with a credit card. Normally not a problem, but when VZ says credit card, they mean bank issued credit card, not debit card with a MC or Visa logo.

**Strike 3**.

So, on the 14th, I will have a telephone number that I will never use and a tech actually has to come out to flip a switch in the controller box to turn it on. I also have to send my DVR back (at least that won’t cost me anything). And I will be saving $30 a month.

My problem here is that Verizon Wireless has fantastic support. Everytime, the first time, I can get fixed/changed/modified whatever I want by talking to 1 person. Epic fail for Verizon for not providing that level of customer service across the board.

I’m not dropping FiOS. My only other option would be DSL (copper + internet charges, no thanks) or Time Warner Cable (40GB cap? Um, no thanks). I’m just going to have to suck it up and deal with the 5mbps upload speeds. For now.

By Don

Lead bottle washer at donburnside.com, host at whiteroofradio.com and tech guru for the MotoringFile family of sites.