Verizon has been aggressively marketing their new fiber optic service in my town over the past two or three months, with a barrage of mailings, adverts, and e-mail. In fact, my favorite was a “Fedex” envelope practically begging me to sign up. And, (full disclosure), since I’m a shareholder and also interested in the improved channel selection and Innernet speeds, I want to anyway.
Except one thing keeps nagging me. They offer a “promotional bundle” for 12 months for $95 for phone, Innernet and cable tv, which is a pretty solid deal. Currently I pay about $135 a month for those three services. My trouble comes when I read the following line in the fine print: “At the end of the promotional period, the monthly recurring charge will revert to the then-current monthly rates.”
The fine print then goes on to mention a number of restrictions, conditions, fees, and other items that may apply to each of the services. However, no where in these adverts and mailings is there any clue as to what the “current” monthly rates might be.
The best I could do was to look online to try to discover this, but their site had nothing broken down clearly, of course. Here’s what I found.
Innernet – Three options, 5 Mbps / 2 Mbps – $39.99; 15 Mbps / 2 Mbps $49.99; 30 Mbps / 5 Mbps $179.99; The promo refers to a 20 Mbps / 5 Mbps plan which doesn’t exist according to the website.
TV – The base plan is $42.99 / month, and I would have to add a $7.99 / month sports package to get back to where I am with my current cable. The cable set top box could also be another $4.99 / month, but it’s not 100% clear on that point.
Phone – Here again it’s not 100% clear what “Freedom Essentials” services Verizon is referring to. When I read this, the cheapest package is $34.99, but is missing key services like caller id and call waiting. Adding those in brings up the price to $44.99. Either way, that’s far more than my $30 / month with taxes from Vonage.
In total, right now, I’m paying ~$104 / month for Innernet and cable tv, with the sports package thrown in. And I’m paying another $30 / month for home phone service from Vonage. The grand total is $134 / month.
Under the “current monthly rates” from Verizon, barring any unknown discounts, I would be paying $45 (phone), $43 + $8 + $5 = $56 (cable), and either $50 or $180 a month (Innernet). The grand total is either $151 or $281, whatever the correct Innernet charge is supposed to be.
Until Verizon cleans up their offering to make the monthly charges clealer, I’m not in any hurry to switch. Especially since changing again is always difficult.