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Manchester, NH

FairPoint FAST 30/15... a warning!

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Fairpoint 30/15 FAST
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downloadfairpoint-letter.pdf 773,862 bytes
Fairpoint letter
Take a look at this "offer" from Fairpoint's residential web page (»www.fairpoint.com/residential)... The first offer is to get 30/15 Fairpoint FAST for $39.99 per month.

Notice the * next to the price. This tells us a little more at the bottom of the ad:

*Requires 2 yr. term commitment. Early termination fee and other terms and conditions apply. Speed and uninterrupted service not guaranteed. Not all services available in all areas. Price does not reflect taxes, fees or surcharges. Call for details.

I have been on a 5/2 FAST package since Verizon FiOS came to town (2005, I think). At the time, Verizon offered it for $34.95. I saw this "30/15" offer for $39.99 and decided that since they have added an additional backhaul provider, it was worth paying an extra $5 for the faster speed...

Yeah, I know they are still not blazing on the speed, but it does appear to be a little better. (even though I noticed lately that instead of going 'slow', the Internet just 'stops' completely now... only to recover a minute or two later.)

So, I took the offer. I called and upgraded. The first warning I got was then the rep says "oh, if you see an installation fee, just call in and we will waive that." I am aware of some big billing issues haunting Fairpoint and am thinking that since this is a "one time charge", it should be ok to take the risk.

I am starting to wish I stayed on the 5/2 plan for $34.95/mo.

My speed increase took effect this past Monday. I have not been able to get a 30/15 speed though... but, it is faster than 5/2.

Today, I received a letter from Fairpoint. (click here to read it.)

It has additional information on the back.. the part I was disappointed to see was the "overview of my new FairPoint services"... notice the pricing! notice the installation charge!

I know they suggest I look at my next monthly statement to see the actual charges.. I decided to call anyhow, just to check if they have the installation charge on my account.

The rep tells me "oh, you can throw away that letter. I have no idea where that came from."

I ask her to confirm my monthly price for 30/15 FAST. She tells me it will be $44.99 because I do not have phone service. I push on that and she says that the price is $39.99 for people with Fairpoint phone service only.

Now, where in that ad above does it say that?!?!? I point this out to her (that the website does not state that). She says "we do not go by pricing on the website."


I begin to retreat and ask about dropping the 30/15 to go back to my old plan. She kindly reminds me that I was grandfathered on that old plan. For me to go back to it now, it would be higher than the $44.99 price! (I have no idea how she came up with that price. Adding $5 to the cheapest FAST plan appears cheaper than this $44.99..)

So, what a screwjob! They will not honor their own ad! I wanted to post it here so others can consider this a warning. FairPoint's website is not considered accurate.

I know the PUC does not regulate FairPoint's Internet offerings. What recourse do I have?

Nashua, NH

1 edit
I'm not a fan of FairPoint by any means - but your claim that they will not honor their own ad is a misguided attempt to deflect blame for *your* actions.

Your recourse is to accept the fact that you ignored the "other terms and conditions apply" disclaimer and did not call for details - or ask for details - when you decided to upgrade. Requiring FairPoint telephone service would certainly fall under the "terms and conditions" category.

You *could* try calling FairPoint, speak with a supervisor, explain the issue, don't try to pin blame on anyone, and see if they would revert you to your original plan.

Manchester, NH
jadziedzic See Profile, thanks for the input on the issue. I have not called-back. I am not sure yet if I will keep the service or dump it. I understand nothing may come of it, besides me putting a post here. But, at least others who are considering this offer may take notice before making the same decision without getting clear information on pricing, etc.

Take a look at the fine print on a more sensitive issue here with Fairpoint FAST Internet services... Here's a look:

...FAST is available in designated areas of New Hampshire and Maine;
not available in all areas. Fiber speed provided by FairPoint is
constant although actual performance may be affected by public
network congestion and circumstances beyond FairPoint's control.
Uninterrupted service cannot be guaranteed.
FAST provides
up to 8 hours of battery backup in the event of a power failure.
Router is required but free with yearly commitment or sold separately
by FairPoint for month-to-month commitments. Other fees, taxes
or early termination fees may apply. Ask a FairPoint service
representative for details. Customers of FairPoint FAST selecting
telephone service will receive both services over fiber. Note to
current FairPoint customers: your telephone and High-Speed Internet
lines will be replaced with fiber during installation of FairPoint FAST.
Not all services available in all areas. Services subject to change.

source: »www.fairpoint.com/residential/in ··· nternet/ (way down towards the bottom of the page)

Note how they can easily hand-off the issue as "public network congestion and circumstances beyond FairPoint's control?" How can anyone prove that the congestion IS in their control...?

Too many cats, Too many mice
Im not sure
I have had FP (originally Verizon) 30/15 service for ages, and still experience lag and occasional drops, as well as fairly frequent slow-downs. Have also been contacted by sales 4 times in the last couple of months. They would like to "improve" my service to 30/15 in return for a 2 year contract with them. They are obviously marketing all over the place, and have no idea what the folks they are contacting have.

I agree with jadziedzik in regard to your options. Many of the folks who work for FP are reasonable, and often, helpful. It may be that if you approach them and explain your position they will help you out.

I generally accept responsibility for whatever mess I have gotten myself into when I call the phone, cable, or VOIP folks in the interest of a smooth outcome. I have always found that they are more likely to help me resolve a problem that I am not implying they caused, even if I may feel that they did.

I do think that FP's sales campaign for this upgrade was pushy, and anyone who didn't get whatever they were promised in an email or writing may end up with similar surprises to yours. The lower rate for phone customers has been in place since Verizon installed many of us, but they were very clear that it was cheaper if you had their service.

"Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for thou art crispy and good with catsup."

Milford, NH
·FirstLight Fiber
·Hollis Hosting
·G4 Communications

1 recommendation

reply to rcilink
said by rcilink:

How can anyone prove that the congestion IS in their control...?

It is pretty easy to tell if congestion is within the ISP's network or their peering points. In that case the ISP owns the problem.

Traceroute is a simple but useful tool to determine where congestion is occurring.



Brunswick, ME
reply to rcilink
Having phone service (POTS) was an important requirement that should have been mentioned in the ad. However it's worth remembering that FairPoint is still run by fast-talking hillbillies out of North Carolina, who primarily excel as promoters.