Verizon Takes 6 Months To Install FiOS

RFJason documented the 6-month ordeal it took to get Verizon FiOS installed.

It was a debacle, starting with his first customer service calls to get the fiber optic installed, like this quote from a customer service rep:

    “Sir, I think I know our products pretty well, and there’s no such thing as fie-ohsss here. Maybe you’re thinking of another company.”

In the end, he might have been better off sticking with Comcast. FiOs gave him 5mb download speed versus Comcast’s 4, but if he bundled cable with Comcast, they would’ve boosted his speed to 8mb, for only $15 for internet than with FiOS. — BEN POPKEN

We’re Working Harder To Do Everything We Possibly Can To Screw Up [RFJASON] (Thanks to Nathaniel!)

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  1. hildeaux says:

    Nathaniel? I was the one who sent you guys that link.

    Psh.

  2. datruesurfer says:

    The problem with FiOS is that Verizon is still working out the logistics of their ordering and support systems. When you place an order, Verizon expects that their automated system will handle everything from getting the contractors out to run the fiber onto your property, to coordinating the provisioning of your telephone and internet, to scheduling the actual technicians to complete the install, when in reality this only works about 40 percent of the time.

    As for Verizon’s broadband offerings, it beats the pants of of anything Comcrap offers. Sure you could pay them an extra $xx for a faster connection, but i have never once seen a Comcast connection that actually goes at its advertised speed. When we had FiOS installed here this past summer, the install technicians actually bothered to run a speedtest to make sure we were getting what we paid for. Also, our connection is much, much more reliable and I almost never have to reset the router weekly like I did with Comcast. As for customer support, I have never had a problem. Just call the Fiber Solutions Center and you can actually talk to someone who can actually address your problem by saying something other than “reboot your router”. I had a problem with my FiOS telephone lines this morning, called the FSC and they diagnosed the problem remotely, dispatched a technician that was on-site within the hour and had the problem repaired.

    Looking at the article, it looks like this guy is way too critical on an installation that he had to pay nothing for. My advice/FYI’s:

    1.If you have a problem with street level wiring, take it up with Verizon, if they don’t do anything, go to your township and they will make them do something about it

    2.The fiber optic cabling is supposed to be exposed as it hits the ONT, its the only way it can be connected. If it breaks, verizon will send out a tech to re-splice the wire and reconnect it.

    3. It depends on the layout of your building as to how the install techs will install the ONT and the BBU. The BBU can not be placed in an attic because it needs to be accessible in case of an emergency should you need to replace the battery. The router (black box) can not be placed in the attic either due to the poor signal strength via Wi-Fi and no computers seem to be directly wired into it.

    4. The router is fine, has yet to go down on me once and can be configured to your liking. The coax is so if you decide to get FiOS TV, the tuners can connect to the internet for streaming media (VOD)

    Going back to the order system, The problem here was that Verizon’s system simply could not handle all of the special conditions in the order. FiOS is still a new concept and like any new technology there are always going to be some bugs in the system.

  3. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    I would love to get FIOS. But in Southern California it appears that they are offering it in.. ahem.. affluent areas first. No immediate plans to lay down any fiber where us peasants live.

  4. zyphbear says:

    Well, at least he was able to get FIOS. Almost 2 years ago (September thru November of 2005) there were Verizon Trucks in my neighborhood installing equipment and new lines at all the telephone poles, I had specifically asked one day as I was coming home from work what was being installed, the technician was very nice and honest and said “FIOS”.

    I didn’t get my hopes up yet since I didn’t get any kind of offer yet, so I thought they may have more area to do. But about 2-3 weeks later I get an ad in my mail saying “FIOS is available in your area, call to order”. GREAT! I was hoping it would be available since Comcast has me bent over with their pricing.

    I called in, the rep first couldn’t even find my Apt, then when they finally did, said it was not available since I didn’t have a landline. (Had no need for one since my partner is deaf an we have BlackBerries to communicate.) Asked “Well, what if I get one installed? Will I then be elgible?” She had to put me on hold, went and checked with a “supervisor” and was told “no, you can get DSL, but FIOS is not available at your address yet.” I said I would call back once I had a chance to think about it.

    Came home about a week later and noticed the Verizon Trucks and Vans were still there. I asked one of the reps why they may have said it was not available, they said “Sometimes you have to give a different address just to make sure they are using the right area, but I will also give you my supervisors number so you can call if they still give you a hard time about ordering.” Took the tech’s card with a name and phone number written on the back.

    Tried again with Verizon (since I got ANOTHER ad), same answer as before, only no “checking with a supervisor”, to get this answer. I tried on many attempts to get the “supervisor” and all I got was his voice mail, it was the person’s name that was written on the card, but it was like many supervisors….always “busy”.

    Never heard back from the guy and the Verizon trucks left in November and have not returned since. I tried calling in March ’06 when ANOTHER offer was dropped into my mail. Still was “not available”. I jutst said “screw it” and got the DSL since they said I could “upgrade” once it got to my area. Then halfway through the order, the VERY helpful operator (one of the nicest I have EVER dealt with), was having issues ordering the “Naked DSL” (since I didn’t really want a useless phone line), and then the DSL was not available either. She was very puzzled and never saw this before. She talked with some other reps and even a supervisor and finally said “the computer won’t let me order the DSL in a Dry Loop (apparently their term for a Data line without a phone line), I’m Sorry.” (in fact, she kept apologizing since she was not able to get it for me at all.) I finally just asked “well, what if we just add the phone line anyway, will the DSL work then?” “i’ll check…(type, type,type)..yes, it will just treat it as a new customer and everything should work fine.” DSL ordered and Comcast thrown out.

    Tried dong everything I can to get FIOS in the mean time, their website won’t work correctly, every rep I try to call (none being as nice as that original rep), says they can “get my info and contact me when it is available.”

    I even got a special offer printed in my most recent bill saying “FIOS is available at your address, call to order!” I call an get the same answer.

    It would be nice to not have to be stuck with this slower DSL forever. When I had gotten my notice to “renew” my DSL for the yearly contract, and tried calling, I got the same answer as before.

    No one at Verizon has been willing to help me. (closest was a guy about 8 months ago that said while he can’t help me get it ordered, was able to tell me FIOS TV would be available in my city “by the end of the year”.

  5. ironchef says:

    I got my fios in about a week. Looks like the Verizon guys are pulling out all the stops for Manhattan Beach.

  6. homerjay says:

    You are NEVER better off going with Comcast. NEVER… EVER…

  7. TampaShooters says:

    He was lucky! My install took over a year. I ordered FIOS when it first became available and set up an install date. No one showed up, I called and they said sorry, your house isn’t covered yet. I said it shows online it is and the neighbor has it already. Sorry you are 10 feet to far, we have to get new approvals from the County to run new Fiber… 3 appointments and 1 year, 1 month later, I got it. What a freakin hassle.

  8. fickendichdu says:

    I had a friend who was going to go with the extra 4mb from Comcast. They said they could not guarantee that speed to him all the time only during non peak hours and on certain days.

  9. John Stracke says:

    Didn’t we go through this with DSL eight years ago? Telco announces a service, telco markets a service, telco is unable to deliver the service.

  10. Mr. Gunn says:

    Ben! This link is from Jason Fortuny. The Craigslist-baiting RFJason.

    He is banned from the interwebs for excessive lameness, I must insist you remove this link.

  11. mathew says:

    Yeah, I wouldn’t trust Jason Fortuny to tell me the time of day, much less accurately report a business transaction. The guy has also had at least one civil commercial lawsuit against him, according to public records.

  12. tvh2k says:

    That yellow fiber cable going into the ONT seems off–I have a much thicker, black, pre-spliced fiber cable coming into the ONT, with the excess spooled behind the box (the ONT is mounted on top of a metal box, which houses the excess fiber cable.

  13. I’ve been waiting forever for FiOS to come to the LES in Manhattan, and finally gave up. Turns out Time Warner has a 12mb connection for $75 a month, so I took that. I’m averaging between 9 and 10 megabits in real speed tests, and happy as a clam.

  14. rekoil says:

    The fiber optic cabling is supposed to be exposed as it hits the ONT

    That may be true going into the ONT box itself, which is indoors, but it should *not* be exposed outdoors, for the same reasons RJFason posted.

  15. Techdame says:

    Wow, I sympathized with Jason’s issues until I listened to his phone call with Erin, the customer service rep to whom he assigns a nasty racial stereotype. Man, was he a jerk! This woman did everything she could to patiently explain the billing process and he was not only totally obtuse, he persisted in baiting her again and again.

    It all left me wondering if the six-month delay wasn’t the deliberate response of some Verizon CSRs and technicians who had to deal with him on a daily basis.

    I don’t mean to let Verizon off the hook here at all, but c’mon people, there is no excuse for treating other human beings as if they are just pawns in your technology melodrama.

  16. shiftless says:

    Literally the only complaints about FiOS is the installation and availability. It sounds like a pain, but it’s worth it.

  17. alu says:

    FiOS upload speed >>> Comcast upload speed

    this is the big difference.

    iirc, Comcast: 6mpbs/384kpbs or +$10 8mpbs/768kpbs
    FiOS (lowest tier): 5mpbs/2mpbs

  18. wobudong says:

    Hmm. Any attempt to post a comment at the end of Jason’s diatribe just brought me to his blog. I don’t want his blog. Is there a phone number I can call to tell jason he’s too shrewd for his own good.
    As for Verizon, it is as viciously dumb as jason says. All I wanted a year ago was DSL. I won’t go throught the nonsense that ensued, but I quit trying and stuck with DSL from earthlink — over Verizon lines leased by Earthlink (which has great customer service).
    A Verizon employee told me the problem succinctly: “They don’t know what they are talking about, period.”
    As for Jason’s description of all the invisible people he spoke with, all I can wonder is what the little prick looks and sounds like himself.

  19. SoupNazzi says:

    I was lucky… I got FiOS installed 2 weeks after I ordered it.

    But, my community was also one of the first ones to have Fiber pulled to it as well.

  20. Funklord says:

    I got FIOS installed, took about a week, no problems whatsoever. Faster speed on the internet connection, and I’m saving around $40 a month over Cablevision (FIOS TV, Internet and Phone combined).

  21. 3drage says:

    I’m amazed at the amount of hate that he gets directed at him by shills or blind consumers. I found this to be true with the Anti-KB home sites that I visited when I became aware of their dirty business tactics. Kind of sad that there are people out there who realize a service sucks so bad, they have to pay people to advocate for them.

  22. Terek Kincaid says:

    Hmm, this one is a bit of a toughie. Yes, service should be smooth in every regard, but you have to look at it this way: Verizon is hooking you up with a fiber optic infrastructure on-demand for free (or like $20). You’re not paying for it; you’re getting it for free. That’s not to say it should be done shoddily, but you can’t really complain if it’s done sufficiently. You want a perfect install, you can pay the guys yourself and have it done any way you want. I live in an apartment buildng, and has been mentioned before, the houses areound me are getting FiOS and we are still out of luck. You’ve got FiOS and it’s working as advertised? Stop complaining it wasn’t installed by Feng Shui masters and get some bushes or something and cover it up yourself.

    That said, Verizon DSL is still way faster than Comcast (probably because there wasn’t enough bandwidth for our whole building).

  23. Havok154 says:

    From my personal experience, there is never a reason that justifies sticking with comcast..unless they’re the only game in town, other then really bad DSL or dial-up.

  24. rlee says:

    I waited far longer than I thought I would have to to get FiOS, but the problem was apparently delays in running the fiber. I got a note saying company X would be digging to lay the fiber real soon. A year later, no digging, no announcement of availability, and no-one at either Verizon or company X who could tell me when it would happen.

    I asked Verizon every chance I got to notify me. I periodically hit their website to check availability. Finally, one day it said yes! Mind you, still no digging (apparently they went with the poles instead), and never the promised announcement.

    But once that happened, all was well. Customer service confirmed availability, scheduled the installer who came when promised, and the install went well except he discovered the first router was bad and had to work with the support line to recover from that after hooking up the second one.

  25. Justinh6 says:

    My only complaint is that I can’t get any services from verizon.

    They don’t offer dsl here, and don’t offer fios. But both services are available right across the street from me.

    We will continue to pay time warner for their roadrunner service. Its 46 bucks a month including all taxes, and its pretty reliable, except that their dns servers are absolutely terrible.

    I just plugged in a opendns address into the router, and away I went. The only time the service goes down is when the power it out..

  26. manus manum lavat says:

    Those wishing to install Fios must first understand the area in which they live.

    You live in Texas? Your install will almost certainly be clean and quick, your techs friendly, and your dispatchers willing to send out the techs again in case your install was not everything you desired.

    You live in New Jersey? Expect your install do be abysmal, your techs to be non-compliant, and your dispatchers completely unsympathetic to any problem you have. If it’s after 5pm, your tech will leave even if his job is not complete. Therefore, if your tech does not arrive by 1pm, you need to start getting worried, start calling Verizon about it. Also, never get an install on Friday. It’s been said that the dispatcher in NJ will simply delete all dispatches that are due for Friday if the Tech didn’t have a chance to get there by 5pm. No, they don’t reschedule or put it on hold, they DELETE it.

    Former Bell Atlantic employees are the worst. I’m not sure what Bell Atlantic put in their coffee to make the employees so sour and rude, but employees from every other branch of the company dread having to call NJ or NY just as much as any consumer would. Former Bell Atlantic employees hate their life, their job, and you. And they’re heavily unionized, so good luck getting them fired.

    That said – the more I hear about RFJason, the less I trust what he has to say. What a dick.

  27. consumerd says:

    Ya know the consumerist really shouldn’t use RFjason as an example, it really doesn’t have anything to add to your site, it kind of deters me now. Reason being, anyone who copies a internet personals ad from one site and posts it on craigslist.org, and posts all the e-mail addresses and contact information for each respondant they get, how far would you trust him?

    Read the boing-boing story from last year. The truth is in the details.

    http://www.boingboing.net/2006/09/10/the_seattle_craigsli….

    I don’t think I would trust anything that RFJason has to say, much less publish. I don’t think I would even give him an e-mail address short of a trashmail.net address, or a disposeable address. As in the minute I got done conversing with him I would just delete it, cause who knows where it will be posted at.

  28. DuranDujam says:

    I’m still waiting for FiOS to come to my home. Verizon got approval from my town board to install FiOS in my area. They could run the fiber right now if they wanted to. However, they’d have no where to run the wires to as my telephone exchange is in a neighbouring city. That city has signed a “two year exclusive carriage” with Cablevision in exchange for boatloads of cash. Mmm…corruption.