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Verizon FiOS at 1 Gb/s for $70? Really‽

Jessica: Hi! I am a Verizon specialist, can I help you today?

You (that would be me = Ed): Verizon has announced gigabit Internet service for $70/month. That isn’t listed as one of the my “upgrade” options. Is it available in this area? If not, why do the 25 and 50 Mb/s services cost 90 and $100/month?

Jessica: By chatting with us, you grant us permission to review your services during the chat to offer the best value. Refusing to chat will not affect your current services. It is your right and our duty to protect your account information. For quality, we may monitor and/or review this chat.

Jessica: Hey there! My name is Jessica. Happy to help!

Jessica: Thank you for being a valued Verizon customer, I will be glad to check the information for you.

Jessica: For security and protection of your account records, please provide your first and last name as it appears on your account, plus one of the following pieces of information. Either your:

[redacted]

You: [redacted]

Jessica: Thank you for the information, Edward Nisley!

Jessica: Please give me few minutes to check the information.

Jessica: I appreciate your patience.

Jessica: Thank you for safeguarding the account.

Jessica: Thank you for your years of loyalty to Verizon!

Jessica: It looks like you currently have just Verizon Fios Internet up to 25/25 Mbps plan.
Just to confirm, are you looking to make upgrade for just Fios Gigabit Connection?

You: That’s correct: I do /not/ want phone or TV service.

Jessica: I have checked the information and it looks like Verizon Fios Gigabit Connection is not available for your location.

However, you can make the upgrade for Verizon Fios Internet up to 100/100 Mbps and above speed plan.

You: Which gives me the opportunity to pay twice as much for 10% of the bandwidth: definitely an unattractive offer.

Jessica: We are offering different speed plan with different prices and great discounts.

Jessica: It looks like you are currently paying just $45.99/mo. for your Verizon Fios Internet upto 25/25 Mbps plan.

Jessica: Just to confirm, are you looking to make any upgrade?

You: I was interested in 1 Gb/s for $70. I’m uninterested in bait-and-switch tactics for lower bandwith at higher prices. Based on the gigabit price, I should be getting 25 Mb/s for $1.75/month … what sort of discount can you offer to make up for that sort of overcharge?

Jessica: I understand how you feel.

Jessica: The availability of speed and price vary from location to location.

You can get our Verizon Fios Internet up to 50/50 Mbps plan at just $59.99/mo. before taxes with new 2 year agreement.

Jessica: The base price of this plan is $99.99/mo. before taxes. However, you will be getting $40 OFF for 24 months with new 2 year agreement plan.

Jessica: So, its just $59.99/mo. before taxes.

The estimated price would be just $62.48/mo. including taxes and fees.

Jessica: Just to confirm, would you like to go ahead and make the upgrade for this speed plan?

Jessica: I haven’t heard from you for a few moments. Would you like to continue chatting?

You: That’s the bait-and-switch tactic I’m /not/ interested in; DO NOT change my service. Verizon tacks on a few bucks a month for a “Municipal Construction Charge” without actually building anything. Let me know when you can offer me a gigabit for $70, then we can talk. Before then, DO NOT CHANGE ANYTHING. Thanks …

We are sorry, but the agent was disconnected, please wait for the agent to reconnect..

We apologize for the unexpected delay, an agent should be with you very soon.

Agent Carl enters chat

Carl: Hi there! You have reached Carl. How may I help you today?

You: Do you have access to the previous half hour of chat before Agent Jessica was mysteriously disconnected?

Carl: It seems that the previous agent lost connection.

Carl: I am sorry for the inconvenience caused to you. She might have faced some technical issues.

Carl: Pleasure assured no changes will be made on your account without your consent.

Carl: I read that you wish to check the availability of Gigabit speeds for your home. Correct?

You: That’s what I asked, half an hour ago, and was told it’s not available, but I /can/ pay more than that (minus a teaser discount) for 10% of the bandwidth. If that’s still the best you can do, it’s not what I want.

Carl: The availability of services and plans is address specific. I see that the previous agent informed the Gigabit speed is not available.

Carl: The prices and promotions are time specific.

Carl: You get discounts and promotions available at the time of signing up for new services.

Carl: When you signed up for services 2 year back, you get the promotions available at that time.

You: OK, we’re going in circles. Let me know when you can deliver what Verizon offers to other FiOS customers. Thanks …

Carl: Right now, the customer who sign up for new service on a new account for 1st time, they get the offers available right now.

Carl: You’re welcome.

Carl: Is there anything else I can help you online today?

You: Nope, we’re off to a concert. Have a good rest of the evening!

Carl: You too have a great evening.

Carl: If you need assistance in the future, visit us anytime on the My Fios App or at Verizon.com. Thank you for chatting with Verizon.

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  1. #1 by Joel on 2017-05-11 - 08:45

    Why should they be any different from any other provider? Bait and switch is a way of doing business. Screwing the current customers while offering deals to new customers works pretty well too. Sigh.

    • #2 by Ed on 2017-05-11 - 11:23

      It really ticks me off when I, as a “valued customer”, get to pay twice as much as a new customer.

      News flash: I am not a “loyal” Verizon customer.

    • #3 by madbodger on 2017-05-11 - 22:21

      I had negotiated a pretty good deal, but then moved house. They told me I couldn’t keep that contract at the new house, as it was new service, whereupon I insisted I get the new customer deal. A small victory, but something. We’re close to the slowest and most expensive internet in the world here in the US. My current Verizon internet is 3Mbps, and it’s not cheap. Since they’ve misprogrammed the modem, it does a speed fallback every time there’s noise on the line, and doesn’t recover without a reboot. One time it fell back all they way to 3kbps, considerably worse than dialup.

      • #4 by Ed on 2017-05-12 - 11:13

        Phew! Ad-blocking is mandatory at that pace!

  2. #5 by Vedran on 2017-05-11 - 09:50

    Well, they do have to make money on someone :) The fact they choose to do it in such nontransparent and shady way is another matter altogether. It’s unfortunate that small companies that are pleasant to do business with inevitably get bought out by big a$$h…s

    What I find much more interesting is the sentence structure, it almost reads like you’re talking to a narrow AI and not a real person. Obviously, it wouldn’t take 30 minutes for that exchange if other side was digital so it begs the question, why do they talk so funny? :)

    So far my best guess is they have canned answers they can simply click instead of type and they choose the closest one that end up sounding strange.

    • #6 by Ed on 2017-05-11 - 11:16

      I’m certain that the whole “chat” thing boils down to having one Agent multiplex a dozen conversations, improving their productivity while not significantly affecting the customer experience.

      From my side, I vastly prefer email & chat to voice phone because I get a written record of who said what about which; I screen-scraped the chat window for that transcript, though.

  3. #7 by tantris on 2017-05-11 - 10:06

    Do they always sound like scripted bots? I understand how you feel, Edward Nisley. But please be assured that you are not the only person angered by this, Edward Nisley. It is part of the commitment to deliver consistent service. Having the feeling that you talk to a brain-dead script is a service available to all customers.

    • #8 by Jason Doege on 2017-05-11 - 10:16

      A lot of it is hard sales techniques like “yes momentum” and “feel, felt, found”. They are programmed speech patterns that, amazingly, actually work to move people to buy. Notice how she is constantly re-confirming that he is interested in an upgrade? That’s “yes” momentum. It works so that when she finally asks if he wants to upgrade he is primed to say, “yes”. Anytime you hear someone say, “I know how you feel”, they are working the sympathy angle and it goes like this, “I know how you feel (about blah), I’ve felt the same way too (causes a sympathetic connection), but, I’ve found that (conditions) it’s actually a good thing.” That’s “feel, felt, found”.

      • #9 by Vedran on 2017-05-11 - 10:51

        I feel that people talking like that annoy me and just reinforce my default “oh no you won’t bi#$$” attitude, so unless they want me to hang up they are likely to find themselves disappointed :)

      • #10 by Ed on 2017-05-11 - 11:21

        I expected nothing and I got it! [sigh]

        I’m sitting here with money in my hand and they can’t figure out how to take it, which seems puzzling. After all, they’re the phone company (kinda-sorta) and they don’t care. They don’t have to.

        If Google Fiber were a thing (and it definitely won’t ever be a thing, here in the Northeast), I’d be on it like static cling.

    • #11 by Ed on 2017-05-11 - 11:18

      Agents Jessica and Carl read pretty much like the live-action robots on the (rare) spam calls that punch through Nomorobo to reach our phone: you can almost hear the keyboard clicking in the background.

  4. #12 by Mike on 2017-05-11 - 11:15

    It was probably a call center in the Philippines. You would be amazed at how many USA businesses have their call centers there – just due to the fact that they teach American english in the grade schools. Yes, the local language is Tagalog (approximate pronunciation is “Ta-ga-la”) but everyone speaks american english. My most recent AAA roadside assistance call was handled in downtown Manila and if I hadn’t asked “So where are you located?” I would not have known.

    A friend of mine worked at the Earthlink Network call center here in California and his job was outsourced to a center in Luzon. He had been there forever – his badge number was in the 140-150 range when the new employees were getting a 5 digit number.

    The people from Luzon that came here to learn the ins and outs of ELN support were quite open about why they had gone after Earthlinks business – “$18 a day beats $25 an hour with bennies” (benefits). Nine to ten months later the Earthlink call center in Atlanta (the old Mindspring operation) was cut to 1/4 it’s size and 90% of it’s traffic went to the Philippines. What was left in the USA handled only “Tier 2”, “Tier 3” or VIP calls.

    • #13 by Ed on 2017-05-11 - 11:27

      If they can automate enough of the interaction to spread one agent over many calls, then it’s even better. I can’t fault the folks in those countries for taking those jobs, but I most certainly do fault the companies who flat-out don’t care enough about their “valued customers” to provide competent service.

  5. #14 by Mike on 2017-05-11 - 11:45

    I totally agree with you.

    More Verizon BS: Locally the Verizon copper and central offices were all sold to Frontier in late last year. Verizon is now nothing but cellular. My neighbor is on a very low fixed income and appreciated the $19.95/mo “lifeline” telephone and $29.95/mo basic DSL rate. Six months after the purchase Frontier raised the basic DSL to $49.95 and halved the speed. The old speed now costs $59.95/mo. They would have raised the “lifeline” telephone rate (like they did elsewhere) but the local Public Utilities Commission has to OK it and they won’t.

  6. #17 by Jacob on 2017-05-11 - 20:20

    If and when gigabit makes it to your CO, it might be worth your time to check the pricing of a bundle. I went from $85/mo for 75 mbps and phone to $45/mo for gigabit, phone, and TV. The TV service is not connected to anything, but it increases VZ’s subscriber numbers for TV, which is what manglement wants to see.

    • #18 by Ed on 2017-05-12 - 11:12

      Such a deal!

      Around here, Verizon’s Triple Play 50 and 100 Mb/s FiOS teasers hover around $80 + mandatory modem + mandatory router + mandatory set-top boxes = $100-sh/month actual price.

      I think all VZ’s gee-ing and haw-ing with service levels / speeds / features / mandatory add-on options / taxes / fees represents a desperate attempt to prevent us from figuring out what anything actually costs.

      I do wonder what the two bucks I pay for “NY Municipal Construction” actually buys …

      • #19 by RCPete on 2017-05-14 - 13:35

        Scott Adams refers to that as a Confusopoly. A business model that makes me want to throttle the perpetrator.

        Running into that in QCAD. The online “documentation” tells you the syntax of the commands, but figuring out what they do/how to use them might be covered in the book they sell. OTOH, it’s a German project; what’s really complex is well supported, but easy stuff (like 1/4″ grids) isn’t. I’m ready to break down and get the 32 bit libraries to run Wine and Turbocad. This was supposed to be a simple pumphouse drawing, not a research project… [/rant]

  7. #20 by Mike on 2017-05-13 - 19:13

    So call customer disservice and ask. They are required to tell you what each charge is, who imposed it and when, and how long it’s going to be there – at least in CA they do.

    • #21 by Ed on 2017-05-13 - 20:29

      I confess I’m unwilling to blow half an hour of my life on that project …

    • #22 by Vedran on 2017-05-15 - 10:56

      Around here that doesn’t help either. Phone help redirects you to brick&mortar guys who proceed to quote inconsistent numbers. It doesn’t matter much anyway, since no one seems to tell the billing department resulting in the bill that is completely different :)

  8. #23 by madbodger on 2017-05-15 - 11:23

    Apparently, in areas where they’re offering the gigabit fiber, customers can also get 50Mbps for $40 a month (plus $32.75 in assorted additional fees). Everywhere else, they’re stuck with the existing expensive slow offerings.

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