Review by real_goose
Good "Sucks less than alternatives"
- Location: Apollo Beach,Hillsborough,FL
- Cost: $130 per month (24 month contract)
- Install: about 12 days
Bad "Painful install - abysmal billing - poor support"
Overall "FiOS works but I dread dealing with anyone from Verizon"
|Pre Sales Information:|
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)
3/31/12 Original Review
New house had option of Brighthouse or FIOS. FIOS had a better reputation and so far it's working out. I'm glad I studied the FAQ here, but I was still not prepared to understand all the install issues I would encounter. Billing and tech support have both been underwhelming.
I wanted the installer to install the ONT at the house NIB, but he said he could not install the power in the laundry room or the attic overhead. Even though he told me it wouldn't work, I insisted he run Cat5 for Internet from the ONT. The network interface location where the coax and Cat5 come out would mean Verizon would have to put the battery unit on a kitchen wall.
The ONT is on my separate garage and then both coax and Cat5 runs are direct buries underground to the network interface on my house. The cable run is about 100 feet from the ONT to the splitter in the wiring closet and then more than 150 feet back to the TV in the room over that garage. All wiring is a home run back to the structured wiring enclosure in the MBR closet.
I have been unable to reliably watch local HD channels via FIOS QAM on the TV over the garage. The channels are there, but the signal level is too low for most of them to stay locked in. The SD signals found on totally random channel numbers are solid.
I tried a chat with Verizon support which was an exercise in frustration. The first tech denied that FIOS provided signals over QAM. He sent me to sales who sent me back to a second support tech who told me Verizon will not take trouble reports for QAM signals and would not support QAM in any way.
My next trip down, I will take advice I got in a forum.that I can run my own coax to the ONT and split it there.. The run from the house to garage loft is very close to the ONT and I can use the existing coax or at least fish new coax along the same path.
My other alternative for the over the garage TV is to live without the Verizon feed and just use over the air HD. I'm less than 10 miles from the local towers in Riverview and can receive everything with trivial antennas. I will lose 1 SD station I want that is broadcast far north of us but carried on Verizon.
The installer had never installed a cablecard and was afraid of the TiVo. I had already set up the TiVo for my zip code and downloaded the preliminary data. I walked through the menus until he found the cablecard number he needed to enter. The whole process was much easier than my Comcast experience.
The other attractive thing about FIOS is we are not living full time in Florida so we can suspend and reactivate the account for no fees in Florida. They tell me I have to pay for a minimum 3 months every year. My account has been shutdown, but they didn't manage to suspend billing. After I got a bill I called and was promised it would be corrected, but so far it has not. The total time on the call was about 1 hour because the CSR had to get management approval for every step since it was over $50.
FiOS is fine but I find Verizon very difficult to work with for billing or support. I lowered my tech support rating after a very bad experience.
Internet is still fine but I don't use Verizon DNS.
Weak TV in loft over the garage is now fixed after multi-day process to get a support call. I moved the FiOS box out there and could not get several channels. It took more than 5 calls over 2 days to get someone scheduled. Each call took more than 1 hour and always involved more than 2 transfers. Support is even more painful than was the install. The tech installed an amplifier that turned out to be defective and led to another comedy of errors and false claims about what must be wrong with my wiring. A different amplifier worked and now I get all the channels.
I wanted a second cable card for another TiVo, but I balked at paying for shipping. The sales agent told me I could drive to a Verizon store, but he told me the closest was south of Sarasota. Later I talked to a FiOS sales rep in the local mall in Brandon and he told me there was a Verizon store in the strip center across the street. I went in and got my new CableCard within 30 minutes after they entered my order and had to wait for it to 'take' in the system.
I called to get billing corrected and got almost no where. The first time I got about half the overcharges refunded, but I was informed the rep who told me there was no charge for the suspend was wrong. It cost about $20 to suspend and nothing to restart. Each call was very long as the person on the other end puzzled over the billing details. I was promised a manager would contact me within a day, but that never happened.
Finally in desperation I was ready to file a complaint with the BBB, but my wife convinced me to just forget about it. The amount is small so the effort is probably not worth it, but I remain irritated.
The other thing I notice that seems to make customer service hard for me is that I not have a Verizon phone number of any sort either cell or wired. Even though I had my account number they insisted on looking up my account via phone number and then told me they had to use other means to 'find' me. Yes I have a registered phone number with them, but they can't seem to use it unless it is a Verizon number.
I just accepted my first 2 year contract for FiOS, previously I had been month to month. I seriously considered switching to Bright House, but ultimately I decided to stay. My plan was to switch to a 6 month low ball plan from BH and then be able to go back to FiOS as a new user. With BH each TiVo would need a tuning adapter and most channels are copy protected unlike FiOS.
As I compared prices, it became obvious that neither duopoly alternative is competing on price. I would prefer to be paying a fair price for Internet only, but both price it so some sort of TV needs to be added to the bundle.
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updated 150 days ago