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rtfm

join:2005-07-09
Washington, DC

[connectivity] rumors/mentions of forced DSL->FIOS changes

I'm seeing rumors that Verizontal is sending around letters with threats/arm-twists to "convert to FIOS because DSL will soon be dropped..."

Has anyone here seen such "threats"?


Smith6612
Premium,MVM
join:2008-02-01
North Tonawanda, NY
kudos:24
I think I recall hearing about something similar about forcing people from DSL to FiOS, though I know it's been in the TOS for 4 years now.


norbert26
Premium
join:2010-08-10
Warwick, RI
reply to rtfm
i have received this letter. I threw it away so i doing this out of memory and wont be 100% word to word but will be close. it said an upgrade is available. since you are a good customer and your account is in good standing we are offering an update. we are migrating DSL users to to our new FIOS network we spent billions on. you will get 15 megs down and 5 up. this upgrade is not automatic you must call. do not ignore this notice.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----------------------
nowhere in that letter did it say MANDATE or mandatory. 4 months ago i upped my DSL to the 1.5 / 3.0 meg tier and have a two year contract on it. They have pushing fios very strong in my area since they strung the fiber about 5 years ago. i am one who who wants to hold out on the copper as i prefer the reliable POTS plus i use an old legacy dial up device that will not work over digital phone of any kind. i know enough to NOT let the copper POTS or DSL go for ANY reason or i will loose any grandfathered service i have and then they can say copper no longer maintained at that location.
Expand your moderator at work


norbert26
Premium
join:2010-08-10
Warwick, RI

Re: [connectivity] rumors/mentions of forced DSL->FIOS changes

thank you for the headz up. sending sales to the door to RAM this down my throat sounds like harassment . When i had my DSL line fixed during two visits during 2010 i had to call in. Before getting repair / tech i got sales and have REPEATEDLY told them i don't have an electrical outlet available for the such an install. to further make matters worse i remodeled in '08 and 'early '09 but did not provision for fiber. because i did not provision i can't put the FiOS router where the DSL is set up as i ran the copper inside an inside wall from where it enters the NID. to be honest i wish wireless was a viable alternative then i would not need ANY wired internet fiber or copper.

srr2

join:2001-12-20
Bethlehem, PA
Reviews:
·RCN CABLE
reply to norbert26
said by norbert26:

i use an old legacy dial up device that will not work over digital phone of any kind.

Yes it will. You need one of these: »www.dialgizmo.com/

You install it right at the modem or whatever they use to provide copper POTS to your residence. Your "legacy device" (in my case it was an ancient fire/burglar alarm pulse dialer with line seizure) will pulse the line as usual and the Dialgizmo converts it to tone, while signals from tone devices elsewhere on the line are simply passed through unaltered. Works like a champ.
--
From the beautiful Lehigh Valley (That's LV, not LHV, we're not French) Pennsylvania.


norbert26
Premium
join:2010-08-10
Warwick, RI

1 recommendation

reply to rtfm
i posted this also in the Fiber Optics forum to a thread on this same issue i am posting it here too.
For what its worth i have here a copy of the letter. i have no way to scan it however i will type it out word for word:

at the upper right corner under the verizon logo it says: important notice. Verizon is upgrading its network. your upgrade is not automatic.

body of letter:
for service at 0 bla bla bla street
dear norbert bla bla bla ,
you are a subscriber in good standing with verizon high speed internet.
this notice is to inform you that verizon is currently migrating customers to our 100% fiber optic network verizon FiOS.
verizon has invested more then $25 billion in building the FiOS network to deliver superior service and some of the fastest internet speeds available today.

underlined---you must call and request this upgrade---end underlined---which will include :
-faster internet speeds. take advantage of the full multimedia capabilities of the internet : at the 15-5 Mbps speed tier you will be able to download 20 high resolution photos 100 mb in less than 60 seconds.
-crystal clear quality phone service with unlimited residential calling throughout the US and to canada.

upgrade now and you will receive a special guaranteed rate plan offered to subscribers in good standing with verizon high speed internet. your rate plan will be guaranteed at $49.99 a month for this first 6 months and then $59.99 a month for months 7-12 plus taxes and fees with underlined --with no term contract required -- end underline.
underlined--.This represents a substantial savings totaling $300 --end underline--off the FiOS monthly bundle price for the first year.
Further as a courtesy for your tenure with verizon we will waive the $49.99 activation fee.

Simply call 1-888-863-9844 (mon-sun,8am-12am ET

Hurry the clock is ticking on a complete verizon network upgrade. You must order FiOS if you wish to upgrade with us.

--in bold--Please do not ignore this notification. --end bold Call today

in big letters and bold near bottom:
call 1-888-863-9344 NOW (mon-sun, 8am-12am ET

onlyzuul

join:2011-04-25
reply to rtfm
I know the topic is a few months old, but Verizon is still sending these. And someone wanted to see what this particular deceptive marketing stunt looked like exactly, so ... here it is.

http://img8.imageshack.us/img8/414/verizonc.jpg

People should be sending these to their state PUCs with big bowties on them, if you ask me.


Pucnot

@verizon.net
What's deceptive about these letters? They are encouraging users to migrate so they don't need to maintain 2 networks. Maintaining two networks costs money which are passed along to customers.

said by onlyzuul:

I know the topic is a few months old, but Verizon is still sending these. And someone wanted to see what this particular deceptive marketing stunt looked like exactly, so ... here it is.

http://img8.imageshack.us/img8/414/verizonc.jpg

People should be sending these to their state PUCs with big bowties on them, if you ask me.



batterup
I Can Not Tell A Lie.
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Netcong, NJ

1 recommendation

reply to rtfm
This is why I can't have nice things; the 30% take rate for FiOS from those that can get it.

This should be a sticky to educate the unknowing on this supposed forum that insist only a few grandmothers don't want FiOS and the US should spend a few trillion to FTTP the entire country.

game1611

join:2011-04-05
Elmhurst, NY

1 recommendation

said by batterup:

This is why I can't have nice things; the 30% take rate for FiOS from those that can get it.

This should be a sticky to educate the unknowing on this supposed forum that insist only a few grandmothers don't want FiOS and the US should spend a few trillion to FTTP the entire country.

To be fair, FiOS is much more expensive and most people don't care much for extremely fast speeds. Maybe if things like netflix and digital distribution are more widely used and if ISP's don't start throttling specific sites (net neutrality), people would want a 15mbps / 5mbps connection.


batterup
I Can Not Tell A Lie.
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Netcong, NJ

1 recommendation

said by game1611:

FiOS is much more expensive and most people don't care much for extremely fast speeds.

"Much more expensive"; didn't I post the DSL pricing after the first year for you?

BTW to the unknowing; FiOS is NOT VoIP is it POTS so rotary telephones will work with no adapter. Threads like this make me wonder if there is an agenda, a lack of knowledge or just plane trolling.

game1611

join:2011-04-05
Elmhurst, NY

1 recommendation

reply to rtfm
Everything except the third column on your dsl pricing chart is quite a bit cheaper than FiOS. If someone is just gonna browse facebook or browse their email, chances are, they're gonna care even if it's just a small price different.


batterup
I Can Not Tell A Lie.
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Netcong, NJ
said by game1611:

Everything except the third column on your dsl pricing chart is quite a bit cheaper than FiOS. If someone is just gonna browse facebook or browse their email, chances are, they're gonna care even if it's just a small price different.

You are correct. FiOS was a big mistake and at&t was right.

You should post in the "Buffalo Fights For FiOS" thread and tell Boston, Alexandria, Virginia, Baltimore, Maryland and Wilmington, Delaware they are fools because copper is all anyone will ever need; that is also all we get unless Verizon gets more than a 30% take rate. Whaaaa I can't use my black rotary phone; WRONG
»Buffalo Fights For FiOS

game1611

join:2011-04-05
Elmhurst, NY
FiOS isn't a big mistake but it would take some time before demand goes up. Digital distribution would have to be more popular before people would actually need FiOS internet and it's obviously getting more popular.

Wouldn't 30% be normal? It'd be tough to get higher subscription percentages when there's so much competition and so many other services for internet.


batterup
I Can Not Tell A Lie.
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Netcong, NJ
said by game1611:

Wouldn't 30% be normal?

Ivan obviously thought it would be much higher. The thing is Verizon cannot support a copper and glass network side by side. Even if a subscriber only got POTS is has to be on glass to make FiOS work.

This is why I get a kick out of many of the posters on this supposed forum that think FTTP is a right and want the government to spend trillions running it to every outhouse. They don't want to be confused by the facts ether. I used this thread as an example of people not wanting FiOS.

Sorry if I sound bitter but I'm beyond bitter; I can see it but can't get it and I know why.

I took this four years ago; I thought soon; wrong.

game1611

join:2011-04-05
Elmhurst, NY
said by batterup:

said by game1611:

Wouldn't 30% be normal?

This is why I get a kick out of many of the posters on this supposed forum that think FTTP is a right and want the government to spend trillions running it to every outhouse.

I'd say that if the gov't spends enough and regulates it enough, fiber optics would be more cheaper to the consumer. Take a look at other countries (»bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/1···e-fiber/)

I'm confused, why can't you get it? Verizon doesn't want to finish wiring up your neighborhood because they're worried that no one is gonna buy FiOS?


batterup
I Can Not Tell A Lie.
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Netcong, NJ

1 edit

1 recommendation

said by game1611:

I'm confused, why can't you get it? Verizon doesn't want to finish wiring up your neighborhood because they're worried that no one is gonna buy FiOS?

My CO was not on the original build out filed with the BPU, we have a state wide franchise. When, if ever, the second build out starts I'll be on it. Verizon is placing the glass when other work is done on the poles. They are not placing the PONs, splicing in the terminals or placing the equipment in the COs though.

FiOS is frozen until more people subscribe in the areas where it is available. As this thread shows it may not happen in my life time. If I was Czar of all the Verizons when FiOS was placed the copper would be sold for scrap. Copper wire with the plastic still on it is almost $4 a pound. How many pounds are hanging next to glass going to waste? No more mister nice guy.

Remember you can still use your black rotary dial phone with FiOS. I would go as far as giving subscribers lame 786/384 internet for $19.99. OK as for those with CLECs I will sell the copper to them for the scrap price. Good deal no?

game1611

join:2011-04-05
Elmhurst, NY
Wouldn't it cost a lot to do that? I'm sure there's a reason why Verizon's slowest FiOS package is 15mbps/5mbps so FiOS upkeep/equipment for additional lines must be expensive.


batterup
I Can Not Tell A Lie.
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Netcong, NJ

1 recommendation

said by game1611:

Wouldn't it cost a lot to do that? I'm sure there's a reason why Verizon's slowest FiOS package is 15mbps/5mbps so FiOS upkeep/equipment for additional lines must be expensive.

With glass to the premise 15/5 is nothing. I don't know perhaps that is as slow as it can be provisioned for. As for upkeep that is the big reason to use glass instead of copper. The maintenance and provisioning are about 1/100 that of copper.

It took guts for Ivan to spend billions now, that hurt him, so Verizon would be set for the future. It looks like he cast pearl before swine.

onlyzuul

join:2011-04-25

1 recommendation

reply to Pucnot
said by Pucnot :

said by onlyzuul:

I know the topic is a few months old, but Verizon is still sending these. And someone wanted to see what this particular deceptive marketing stunt looked like exactly, so ... here it is.

http://img8.imageshack.us/img8/414/verizonc.jpg

People should be sending these to their state PUCs with big bowties on them, if you ask me.

What's deceptive about these letters?

"SECOND NOTICE"

Who mails people letters in official-looking company envelopes with "SECOND NOTICE" printed on them in 20 point bold caps? Oh right. Bill collectors, financial institutions, insurance companies, divorce lawyers, tax collectors, courts... and service providers contacting customers who've failed to do something important with their service that's mandatory, and who're going to experience trouble of some kind if they don't do it.

Sure, had I owned an analog cellphone just before the analog cellular cut-off date, and if I was sitting on my butt and not doing anything about going digital, my provider could've legitimately mailed me an "IMPORTANT NOTICE" and then a "SECOND NOTICE" and then even a "FINAL NOTICE." But an impending shutdown isn't the case with Verizon's copper. Verizon's copper isn't being shut down in any of the areas they're deploying FIOS to, and Verizon still even takes new copper orders for dialtone in each of those areas. So what they're doing here is using language designed to put people on alert, and make them think they've failed to do something they have to do -- and all over a service that's completely optional (not to mention luxuriously-priced, post-introductory prices).

That's deceptive.

"NOTIFICATION OF NETWORK UPGRADE"

More deceptive language. When something undergoes an "upgrade," that means something about its fundamental workings is being changed -- often with usability consequences for those who don't adapt, as a result of older and inferior ways of doing things being thrown out. That said, sending someone a "NOTIFICATION OF NETWORK UPGRADE" pretty much tells that person he'll experience trouble if he doesn't adapt to a change that's about to happen to the network he's using. Well, exactly which network do the recipients of these letters use? Why, Verizon's copper network, of course. And does FIOS spin that copper into glass, thereby upgrading it? Or does FIOS in any other incidental way cause Verizon's copper network to somehow become improved? No and no. Turns out not a single thing about Verizon's copper network is being upgraded. FIOS is, after all, a brand new, completely separate, and unrelated network. So in fact, no "upgrade" of any kind is actually happening to the copper network the recipients of these "notices" are using. And yet these "notices" are telling the users of that copper network that "an upgrade" is underway. Not that a new and better service is being offered, no. That "an upgrade" is happening.

And so, this is also deceptive; especially when you combine "NOTIFICATION OF NETWORK UPGRADE" with "SECOND NOTICE" – with the implication of hurry-up-because-you're-failing-to-do-something-you-have-to.

"This notice is to inform you that Verizon is currently migrating customers to our 100% fiber-optic network, Verizon FiOS."

Yet more deceptive language. Migration means a mass movement made out of necessity. Animals don't migrate because they're tourists: they migrate to escape inhospitable feeding grounds and climates. And masses of people don't migrate because they like uprooting themselves: they migrate to escape things like dust bowls and potato famines. And in modern-day information technology, systems administrators and services providers don't "migrate" masses of users to new systems unless the old ones are about to be shut down. If your employer has SMTP/POP3 and adds Webmail merely as an enhanced option, it doesn't tell all its employees that they've been "migrated" to webmail. It just announces the webmail interface as a new alternative.

Migration implies necessity, yet Verizon isn't shutting down its copper infrastructure. At worst, it sells its copper infrastructure to other companies, and its former customers simply become former customers: with no defunct infrastructure to migrate in mass away from. Yet here it is, Verizon, telling its copper customers that they as a group are being "migrated." This is deceptive. And it's especially deceptive when you combine the claim of a group of migrating customers with "SECOND NOTICE" (the implication of hurry-up-because-you're-failing-to-do-something-you-have-to), and with "NOTIFICATION OF NETWORK UPGRADE" (the implication that not adapting will cause you trouble).

"You must call to request this upgrade" (underlined and bold in their letters)

Even more deceptive wording. It's deceptive because, in the context framed so far by "SECOND NOTICE" and "NOTIFICATION OF NETWORK UPGRADE" and "migrating customers," it's completely indistinctive as to whether it constitutes a mandatory instruction the recipient must follow in order to continue receiving service, or if it's merely telling the recipient what he must do in order to act out an optional choice for a different kind of service. It is worded so that the naive, the gullible, people with learning difficulties, the senile elderly, and just about anyone else who isn't paying attention to things will misread it as "I'm required to call them." I say "will misread it" because people who lack the ability to see through these "notifications" will fill in any doubts they have about the meaning of "must call" with the general context of the "notifications" themselves -- that general context being "SECOND NOTICE" (hurry-up-because-you're-failing-to-do-something-you-have-to), plus "NOTIFICATION OF NETWORK UPGRADE" (the implication that not adapting will cause you trouble), plus "Verizon is currently migrating customers" (the implication that something new is replacing -- rather than just complimenting -- something old).

And that is incredibly deceptive. (Seriously, this one is on the razor's edge of outright lying, and I can almost picture the meeting that probably took place between Verizon's lawyers and sales executives to discuss whether the profit potential of this vocabulary could be outweighed by losses incurred from potential PUC fines or states' attorneys general suing for false advertising. It reminds me of Lionel Hutz from The Simpsons using a marker to change "WORKS ON CONTINGENCY, NO MONEY DOWN" on his yellow page ad to "WORKS ON CONTINGENCY? NO, MONEY DOWN!" when Homer Simpson walked into his office.)

"Hurry! The clock is ticking on a complete Verizon network upgrade. You must order FIOS if you wish to upgrade with us."

Yawn. The deceptive wording continues. Only now, we have "complete" (in "complete Verizon network upgrade") to help seal the deal as far as Verizon's attempt to subtly misrepresent its copper network as the network that's being upgraded -- assuming their directing these "NOTIFICATION OF NETWORK UPGRADE" letters at their copper network customers fails to do so. And look -- their mention of this "complete upgrade" comes with another "must", too. One specifically saying you "must" order FIOS. Gee.

If you don't consider any of this deceptive -- if official-looking envelopes ... bearing alarming-sounding "SECOND NOTICE" and "NOTIFICATION OF NETWORK UPGRADE" warnings in large boldface ... accompanied by mentions of customer migrations ... added to mandatory-looking ordering instructions ... if all that doesn't strike you as something designed to manipulate vulnerable people into buying an optional service, then you might be interested in the many career opportunities available these days for medical insurance company loss retention attorneys and paid internet astroturfers. Because this letter isn't just deceptive, it is actually borderline malicious. It was written with the goal of manipulating the vulnerable into unnecessarily parting with even more of their money. I mean, are these "notifications" not being written down to the lowest common denominator? Would you say that intelligent people would believe they constitute mandatory migration notices? If not, then the vulnerable are the only remaining targets. And for the record, no, I am not claiming these "notifications" are the worst, most malicious cases of deceptive advertising ever. Far from it. However, the level of deception being employed in them is still pretty grotesque -- about equal to what one would expect from some 2:30 AM infomercial on KRAP-68 selling silver lungs generators. And I'm very sure that big, multi-billion dollar national public utilities aren't supposed to conduct business that way. Very, very, very sure.

Anyway, it doesn't matter. Because nobody will do anything to stop this. Will they. Maybe someone will gripe about it on a forum, and maybe that person will even articulate exactly how and why these marketing tactics are wrong. You know, just in case The Obvious isn't so obvious to everyone. But then, all that'll happen is that a big argument will break out ... and maybe some name-calling will ensue ... and then the corporate astroturfers will move in ... and then the flamewar that conveniently changes the subject will start ... and that'll be the end of it. And then Verizon still get all its pigeons anyway. (And in a few months, your mom or grandmother will call you, asking why her Verizon bill has doubled ever since she did what Verizon told her to.)

said by Pucnot :

They are encouraging users to migrate so they don't need to maintain 2 networks.

Except for one thing. They seem to have forgotten to mention that their "notifications" are just "encouragements" in the "notifications" they're stuffing in official-looking envelopes and mailing to millions of people with "SECOND NOTICE" splattered on them.

Well, "SECOND NOTICE" ... or the other, even more deceptive envelope phraseology they're also using for these FIOS "upgrade notifications":

URGENT ACCOUNT INFORMATION:
YOUR ACTION IS NEEDED


http://img546.imageshack.us/img546/3207/urgent.jpg

No. Nothing smells about that at all.

Also, incidentally, in terms of Verizon having to maintain two networks? I doubt very much that that burden weighs heavily if at all on the minds of anybody outside Verizon. People have enough of their own burdens to worry about than to care about some faceless, monolithic corporation's.

said by Pucnot :

Maintaining two networks costs money which are passed along to customers.

Oh no! We'll all pay more unless we help Verizon by paying more with FIOS. Everyone! Quick!

But anyway, all I see are Verizon DSL prices dropping, and copper POTS prices holding steady. Judging by the post-introductory-rate FIOS bills my neighbors get, I'd say any superfluous costs Verizon incurs from running two networks get passed on to the FIOS users exclusively. The ones who don't bail the moment their introductory rates run out, I mean. (That is, assuming they can bail. Let's not forget that Verizon won't take you back on copper once you've touched their fiber. And let's especially not forget all those millions of people who had their copper drops cut, to make sure their homes would show in the databases as "no copper service," precluding any possibility for them of fleeing FIOS to even CLEC dialtone and DSL.)

Personally, I would love to have FIOS for its technology, and it even happens to be running right past me, a mere 20 feet above my head in the back yard. But Verizon's DSL is staying put here because (a) the local cable behemoth's (Slime-Warner's) service quality and prices are unbearable, and (b) because there are no affordable DSL alternatives in my area. (You know how it goes with that. Want to punish your ILEC by rewarding a smaller, more honest CLEC with your DSL and dialtone business? Then you pay the CLEC's bill and the CLEC's hidden tithing to the ILEC. Or in other words, you pay more to do nothing at all.)


batterup
I Can Not Tell A Lie.
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Netcong, NJ
said by onlyzuul:

But anyway, all I see are Verizon DSL prices dropping, and copper POTS prices holding steady.

POTS is regulated whither it is on glass or copper. The copper is going to go away; they can do it the easy way or the hard way.

I still love you people because you people are the reason municipal FTTP projects fail. Keep up the good work.

Bobcat79
Premium
join:2001-02-04
reply to onlyzuul
said by onlyzuul:

But anyway, all I see are Verizon DSL prices dropping, and copper POTS prices holding steady.

Huh? What? My POTS price has gone up around 30% in the past couple years. More increases are already on the way. Plus, the state legislature has proposed deregulating POTS, which would mean even higher prices.

onlyzuul

join:2011-04-25

1 recommendation

reply to rtfm
said by Bobcat79:

Huh? What? My POTS price has gone up around 30% in the past couple years. More increases are already on the way. Plus, the state legislature has proposed deregulating POTS, which would mean even higher prices.

Well, I did say the POTS rates I've seen. In any case, I believe you. All states are not created equal.

said by batterup:

The copper is going to go away; they can do it the easy way or the hard way.

Joe Homeowner couldn't care less whether the copper goes away. He probably doesn't even know that all those funny wires up on the pole are made of copper.

What Joe Homeowner cares about are two simple things: what he's charged, and in return for that, what he gets and how he's treated while getting it.

That's it.

As far as the easy way versus the hard way, I'd like to know what the hard way is considering that the easy way has consisted of:

* Deceptive advertising bordering on the malicious, preying on the vulnerable and the naive;

* Underhanded maneuvers, like promising hassle- and worry-free, money-back-guaranteed 30 day trial periods while simultaneously clipping people permanently off the copper network so they can't actually return to it (solved now, but a huge issue previously);

* Armies of door-knockers crawling through neighborhoods, bugging the hell out of people for weeks following each launch of FIOS;

* Indescribable amounts of postal spam. I literally received one flyer, and sometimes two, every single day for more than a year after FIOS was lit up here. It was unlike any marketing campaign I had ever witnessed, and I could only speculate about the astronomical costs Verizon must have been eating to pull it off (costs undoubtedly passed on to us). These days, where I'm located, the local FIOS postal spam torrent has subsided to a trickle -- one or two flyers a week ... plus of course the occasional "SECOND NOTICE" or "URGENT ACCOUNT INFORMATION REQUIRING MY ACTION IMMEDIATELY," etc. Nonetheless, it is a relentless nuisance (and honestly, were I an environmentalist...)

Oh, right. My favorite example of Verizon's FIOS marketing sleaze happened last fall. Back then, they were mailing out most of their FIOS flyers in glossy, laminated, spammy-looking envelopes -- spammy-looking because they were covered in sales pitches and price quotes and "exciting offers" and looked absolutely nothing like official business correspondence whatsoever. Exactly the sort of junk mailers, in other words, that many people simply toss straight in the trash unopened. Well, it was a good thing that I wasn't the average person in that sense. Because one afternoon while opening my latest FIOS flyer envelope, not only did I find the usual FIOS flyer (and FIOS TV channel line-up sheet) inside, but also my Verizion DSL and phone bill. I stood there with a "what the hell" look on my face for a moment, and even dug the previous day's flyer envelope out of the trash to compare the two -- and found them to be identical. That's when I realized what was probably happening. Evidently they were trying to rack up late payment fees by getting people who didn't open their junk mail (and who didn't track which bills they weren't writing checks for each month) to throw their statements in the trash. Incredible! I asked around and sure enough, a few other non-FIOS subscribers in town had gotten their bills that month in the same way. To think, I would have killed for an advance warning of what was coming my way. Because I'd have been waiting for the postman at my front door with a video camera, ready to film him putting that still-sealed junk mailer envelope in my hand, followed by me pulling my bill out of it. What a wonderful present that clip would have made for the local media, and for the state PUC.

Anyway. So, you're saying that all of this has actually been a product of the easy way, eh?

said by batterup:

I still love you people because you people are the reason municipal FTTP projects fail.

Let's be clear. You mean corporate FTTP projects. Municipal FTTP projects, when they're attempted, just result in obstructive lawsuits by the telecoms and cable MSOs.

And as far as the reasons more people aren't subscribing to FIOS, I can't speak for those people (and neither can you). But I can speak for myself and my reasons:

Cost. When FIOS came into my area, I did some hard research into exactly what the damages to my wallet would be. Between scouring official internet sources, asking many questions on this forum, and getting copies of a few of my neighbors' bills, I looked into:

* all the various bundles;
* the various tiers of those bundles and each one's cost;
* the contract discounts;
* when and by how much those contract discounts fell away as time progressed;
* the equipment costs;
* how the equipment costs varied depending on the amount of equipment you ordered;
* how the equipment costs changed depending on which kind of equipment you ordered;
* which channels you got in each video tier;
* how much each video tier differed in price;
* the DVR service fee;
* all one-time fees (service activation, service setup, extra computer setup) in terms of how their costs would detract from one's monthly savings if spread out against them;
* when those one-time fees did and did not apply, so I would only include the ones applicable to me;
* the POTS taxes;
* the video taxes;
* the bonus online ordering monthly discounts;
* the monthly price difference (i.e. the tax break) between POTS and Digital Voice;
* the feature differences between POTS and Digital Voice (including which hard-won consumer rights like Equal Access you lost with the Digital Voice);
* etc., etc.

I basically had an entire spreadsheet going, with FIOS broken down to the granular level and with my existing services likewise broken down right beside it -- I even threw in breakdowns of alternatives like DirecTV and Dish Network (for TV). As a result of doing all this, something became immediately obvious. FIOS makes most of its money off TV sales.

My needs were simple:

(1) all the basic cable channels but without any premiums, plus one HD DVR and one SD STB -- just as I was getting from my cable company at the time (which I hadn't yet ditched);

(2) basic landline telephony;

(3) basic broadband service (15/5 would have been fine).

And yet (1) became a huge problem for me. In order to get all the same basic channels from FIOS I was getting from the cable company at the time, I would have needed "Extreme HD." The problem with that: it required, at least then, going with the highest triple play tier. Which was very expensive. That triple play tier also meant going with the highest possible internet speed, adding even more to the final monthly cost in terms of (3).

All things considered, my total FIOS savings over my existing services (Time-Warner cable plus unbundled Verizon DSL and dialtone) would have been just $8.41/mo for months 1-24 and $-11.59/mo for months 25+. In other words, a negligible temporary savings followed by permanently going into the red afterwards.

The only way I could have made FIOS financially beneficial to me would have been by taking the lowest-tier phone + internet double play package (Digital Voice and 15/5) in combination with Dish Network for TV (with its highest basic tier plus a multi-room HD DVR). In that case, and all things considered, my total savings (again over Time-Warner cable and unbundled Verizon DSL and dialtone) would have come to $71.52/mo for months 1-6, $61.52/mo for months 7-12, $46.52/mo for months 13-24, and $21.52/mo for months 25+. (Though had I opted for POTS rather than Digital Voice, that final $21.52/mo saving after month 24 would have mostly vanished.) And yes, these large differences were accurate then; I was as thorough investigating the minutia of DirecTV's and Dish Network's prices as I was Verizon's, and even rounded up copies of some DirecTV and Dish Network subscriber bills from my area to boot.

Now how is it that FIOS triple play is such a great deal if I can beat it by bundling less with Verizon and by buying something unbundled from a competitor? Yeah, true: FIOS TV offers videophile-grade service while the pizza dish companies give you optical dogs%!*. But then again, it's just television. It really isn't that ... valuable.

In the end, I went from Slime-Warner to Dish Network for TV, but kept copper for dialtone and DSL. Why? Well that's where my other reasons for avoiding FIOS come in:

No phone during power outages after your ONT battery dies. And as for those who suggest putting a UPS in front of one's ONT, all I can say is, a UPS that can deliver power for an extended period of time does not come cheap.

Massive financial rape if you ever make an international call. They don't advertise the fact that unless you subscribe to an international calling package for an extra monthly fee (with the "Freedom Essentials" package you're forced to take with FIOS), one call outside North America could cost you as much as $9.99/minute. Thanks to the internet, I have as many friends overseas as I do domestically. Now and then, it's nice to just be able to pick up a phone and talk to them without firing up computers and goofing with VoIP. But not for 17 cents a second!
»www22.verizon.com/Residential/Ph···alRates/

No more analog modems and fax machines and home alarm systems if you go with Digital Voice. Okay, the BBS is dead, but otherwise...

The inability to return to copper with Verizon. I've already discussed this. If I lose copper, my choices become my local (and awful) cable company, or expensive CLEC DSL.

Inflexible ONT installation restrictions. Due to building code where I live, Verizon must install its ONT on my home no further than 15 feet from its power company ground. (The two must be interconnected.) The problem: my power company ground rod is in my front yard, therefore limiting my ONT's placement to my front yard itself. Something I'm really not comfortable with at all (in terms of the easy access to it). And while I realize this isn't Verizon fault, I did get a technician installing FIOS at a neighbor's place to walk over and look at the situation with me. When he agreed the ONT would have to go in my front yard, I asked about Verizon's indoor ONTs. The ones that only require electrical outlet grounds. His response? They don't do that here. Not unless you're in an apartment. Seriously, how lame can you get...

MoCA. This one has been discussed to death already here, so I won't. What I will emphasize is something that others here have experienced themselves: that the installers in my area won't run ethernet for you even if you ask. It's coax MoCA or nothing. Meaning I'd have to run my own CAT6 under my house. The installers are perfectly willing to go down there with a roll of coax, of course. Just not with a roll of ethernet. More lameness.

The billing nightmares. Always in Verizons favor of course, and so systemic and routine that their billing errors may as well be seen as an intended and premeditated part of their overall money-making methodology. Yes, I have heard that this problem has "gotten better." But "gotten better" does not mean "gone," nor even "gone to the extent that the errors may as well be considered as good as gone." I have read so many hundreds of stomach-turning accounts here of what happens to people who "disrupt the status quo" of their Verizon FIOS services after establishing them, or who're immediately screwed over the moment they sign up, that this issue alone practically chilled me to the bone in terms of even thinking about FIOS.

Actiontec. The NAT table issue. The issue with TV subscribers having to go through what's described in this guide just to use their own routers (and which Verizon won't support and wants you to undo during technical support calls). The ISP CPE maintenance port issue (TCP/4567 hanging wide open to the internet -- at least one person has begun the process of attempting to pwn it on the record: »www.earth2me.com/development/verizon). And so forth.

I know several of the items on this list, Verizon can't help. Verizon can't help that lossy-compressed VoIP as opposed to lossless 8 kHz-sampled POTS trashes analog modem modulation. Verizon can't help that some states have rigid grounding requirements. And Verizon can't help that fiber can't provide CO power to remote ONTs.

But these things, I could overlook ... if Verizon were at least willing to accommodate me with an indoor ONT. And if I wanted ethernet, it could have said just "sure, anything to satisfy a paying customer." And it could simply operate competent (or perhaps non-fraudulent, depending on your perspective) billing systems. And it doesn't have to deny me the ability to return to copper. And it doesn't have to surprise people with 17¢/second international calling rates. (In fact it could even include reasonable international fees in "Freedom Essentials" out of the box, like traditional long distance carriers do.) And most importantly, it could actually attempt to make its triple play bundling price-competitive for people who aren't interested in settling for just "lite basic" "Prime HD" level television service.

But, alas.


batterup
I Can Not Tell A Lie.
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Netcong, NJ

1 edit
said by onlyzuul:

As far as the easy way versus the hard way, I'd like to know what the hard way is considering that the easy way has consisted of:

The hard way is a letter stating the copper is no longer usable, you have one year to switch to FiOS or find another provider. Oh you say Verizon is mandated to provide POTS, no problem FiOS does POTS fine.
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