This is a recap of my experience with FiOS as a Triple Play bundle provider of 5+ years (nearly $10,000 in total charges).
I was excited to subscribe to FiOS when friendly Verizon rep showed up at my door announcing that my neighborhood was getting a fiber connection. They even had a booth setup on the corner of my street with balloons!! Since then, the only other time I spoke to Verizon sales was when my second contract expired. Instead of notification I got a bill with a huge hike. I called, ate the loss and signed up for another 2-year contract with $35 monthly increase. Fast forward to now…
Stage 1: Denial
Because I don’t use my landline anymore, I get on a chat with Verizon sales agent to discontinue phone subscription. Sam explains that Internet/TV bundle would be more expensive without triple play applied discounts. Another agent (Neerukattu) tells me that there’s been an infrastructure upgrade and I qualify for 1Gbps internet connection. I’m transferred to Ashley who has access to the special promotions. She assures me my bill will not exceed what I’m currently paying, and I’ll retain all my existing channel lineup/phone service (plus one-time $99 installation fee). I decide to take the offer while in complete denial that I’m being baited.
Stage 2: Anger
I review new order confirmation email and it lists premium channel subscriptions as terminated. Because I never authorized channel lineup change, I get back on chat with Tyler who confirms my bill would increase by 25% if I revert to my original channel selections. I cancel the order and promised a confirmation within an hour. After 3 hours and no confirmation I now chat with Sarah who informs me that notification takes 24 hours. Next day I get on chat with Nelson who tells me to call Verizon. I speak to June who promises to call me back in 2 days with status update.
Stage 3: Bargaining
Three days pass with no call-back or email. I take a long-overdue inventory of all FiOS services I actually use: it reveals I subscribe to other options I do not need. I decide to cut back Epix/Cinemax/Starz package at $30/mo to start. I get on chat with Elizabeth to remove this package and quoted $31 reduction in my monthly statement. I decide to proceed.
Stage 4: Depression
I stay on chat while new order confirmation email arrives. It shows not just Epix/Cinemax/Starz package removed, but also termination of additional services I actually wanted to keep. Elizabeth re-runs the numbers, and eliminating just that $30/mo package as she was originally asked provides real savings of $6/mo. With amount being so insignificant, revision no longer makes sense, but Elizabeth tells me that under my original contract starting TODAY Verizon’s central office is charging extra $25/mo, and that they actually notified me of this prior, so even if she cancels the order I have to pay more! I search my email inbox, archive and spam folders, message central on Verizon account portal - NOTHING!! I call Verizon, and now talking to Seline via phone and Elizabeth via chat simultaneously. Each tells me totally different information while reviewing my account. The situation is hopeless.
Stage 5: Acceptance
I accept that I’m unable to continue engaging with Verizon’s kafkaesque sales and should just keep on paying and just give up….
How I got my groove back
After that week of utter frustration, my story came to a conclusion:
- I terminated my contract with Verizon.
- I only signed up for services that I needed with another provider.
- My Year 1 savings are over $1,000 (includes all fees and all new/old charges).
The final chapter of this story is submitting transcripts of Verizon sales online chat to Consumer Affairs and local Board of Public Utilities as an official complaint of deceptive practices. All my efforts to reduce services/charges were deliberately stonewalled with multiple agents misinforming me and [frankly] just lying using bait and switch tactics. In the end, Verizon’s strategy simply backfired: it is their conduct that ultimately lost them a customer. Quick browse through this forum, and it is evident that agents misleading customers is a common practice. Good bye Verizon!!
One quick note:
Changes to billing would most likely be on your bill.
As most people have gone paperless, those notifications are often unseen.
Not saying you got it in this particular case, just stating you may want to look there as well.
Excellent suggestion, CRobGauth, however increase notice was not a bill either. It was just a scare tactic used by the chat agent (Elizabeth).