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Verizon Makes FiOS Battery Replacement Your Costly Job
Even Though You Technically Don't Own Your ONT
by Karl Bode 03:21PM Thursday May 23 2013
KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh recently examined FiOS customer complaints (via Consumerist) about dying batteries in Verizon FiOS ONT units. The batteries generally give users about eight hours of talk time during a power outage, but let out a repeated, shrill beep when the battery is depleted (usually after a year or two). Despite the fact that you don't technically even own the ONT and are paying to lease it, Verizon makes maintaining the device and replacing the battery the end-user's responsibility. They also ensure that responsibility is an expensive one.

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Through Verizon, the battery costs $35 plus $9 for shipping. Verizon also offers users the opportunity to get "free" battery replacement if they sign up for a Verizon Protection Pak plan, starting at $20 a month. But Phillip Dampier at Stop the Cap notes that Amazon offers a highly-rated replacement battery with the exact-same specifications for just $18.

Some users who only have FiOS broadband and don't need the power backup functionality for voice have simply tried to remove the battery, only to find that many ONTs simply continue beeping. In other words, if they want to sleep they're paying for a battery they don't want or use on a unit they don't own.

Verizon isn't the only company that believes paying for replacement batteries is your job. Comcast XFINITY Voice users used to get replacement batteries for free. Now Comcast charges those users $35.00 plus $5.95 shipping and handling to replace batteries that wear out. As with Verizon FiOS batteries, there are alternative, cheaper buying options (like this website run by Arris) for those customers as well. In short, if your ISP is going to make battery replacement your responsibility, you can at least ensure they don't get any more of your money.

93 comments .. click to read

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Looking at the bigger picture

2 recommendations

reply to josephf

Re: Put the unit in water and ask for a new one

Well, I wouldn't go so far as to destroy the ONT, but you are on the right track. If you can get a service call for something, 99% of the techs will replace your battery for you for free. Just unplug the power and wait for it to die. Call repair and they will send someone out. As soon as they get there, plug it back in and tell them you don't know what happened... it started beeping and your service went out. If they get there and see it is unplugged, they could bill you for the service call (if he/she is a dick) so just to be safe, plug it back in when they pull up.

They should be required to replace it for free but I think it is fair if they mail it to you and have you replace it. The 'consumable' argument doesn't fly since it is their equipment, not yours. It is not even leased, it is part of the service. Requiring the customer to pay is like insisting the customer pay for an oil change to a company truck before they will come for a service call... completely ridiculous. Consumables for company equipment is part of the cost of doing business.

Hazy Arc

Greenwood, SC

2 recommendations

Oh, the Humanity!

18 bucks every few years? How do you folks with FiOS manage?!?!?