Verizon Sues Time Warner Cable Over "Egregiously False" Advertising

Verizon has had enough of Time Warner Cable making fun of their fiber intake and has sued the cable company, claiming that their advertising is “egregiously false” and is causing “immediate and irreparable harm” to Verizon.

Verizon spokesman Eric Rabe told Dow Jones: “The ad is the one in which they have their snarly looking homeowner and Time Warner customer responding to the overly eager Verizon salesman.” Verizon has asked TWC to take the ad down, but the cable company refused and is standing by it.

“We feel the suit is without merit and we look forward to defending against it in the appropriate venue,” said spokesman Alex Dudley.

The ad in question pokes fun at FiOS’s NYC availability issues, such as the company’s lack of a video franchise agreement with the city, says Dow Jones.

UPDATE: Verizon Sues Time Warner Cable Over Its TV Ads [CNNMoney] (Thanks, Josh!)

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  1. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    I hate that commercial, just because I have seen it far too many times. In fact, I can’t stand most cable company commericals, they are the most annoying things out there. Anyone else see that Triple Play commercial with the hispanic guy rapping at the beach? Crap. Now the song is stuck in my head!

  2. bsalamon says:

    you mean verizon actually has FiOS everywhere? So that whole needing a DirectTV hookup was just a joke…ah

  3. Darkwish says:

    I kinda like the one where it’s a board meeting and the CEO (or whatever) asks about customer satisfaction and the other executive just starts cracking up. No idea what it was for, I only saw it in passing.

  4. Beerad says:

    No ad depicting miserably poor service from a phone/cable provider, especially Verizon, is “egregiously false.” They could run an ad showing a meeting of Verizon executives, led by Satan himself, slaughtering babies and laughing as your house bursts into flames, and I’d imagine a jury saying “yeah, that seems reasonable.”

  5. Beerad says:

    @AlteredBeast: “Anyone else see that Triple Play commercial with the hispanic guy rapping at the beach?”

    I-O! DIGITAL CA-BLE! WATCH A LOT OF CHANNELS — WHENEVER YOU’RE A-BLE!

    I thought this commercial was so absurd as to be funny. It has a reggaeton beat which is pretty rare in mass advertising (I wonder if they’re targeting a particular demographic). And I like pirates so it gets points for that — I mean, there’s even a rapping sea serpent!

    Then I found out that in the building I’m moving to, Optimum is in fact the only cable provider and I myself had to dial 877-393-4448 if I wanted service. This should probably depress me, but somehow it amuses me even more.

  6. AaronZ says:

    Wow, if the cable/telecoms start suing each other over ‘egregiously false’ advertising, there’ll be a waitlist for court dates!

    However, I for one hope Verizon actually *wins* the suit. Then others will follow and the industry would be forced to actually advertise what they can deliver, instead of making $#!7 up and attacking each other.

  7. jimv2000 says:

    The red around the Verizon guy’s hands is actually the fire that will burn your house down.

  8. mduser says:

    @jimv2000: I think it’s actually how red your fingers will turn when you have to dial them about 10,000 times to fix your service.

  9. nonzenze says:

    If you can’t compete on service, slime ‘em!

  10. nonzenze says:

    I don’t know where the haters get into it, but I’ve had Verizon for a long time and not once had to call them or do anything. It’s just worked.

  11. The suit isn’t because of the ad’s claims about availability – it’s because it claims that Time Warner uses the same technology as Verizon FIOS for its services. That’s patently false.

  12. cde says:

    //causing “immediate and irreparable harm” to Verizon.//

    Looks like someone needs more fiber in their diet…

    @eastvillageidiot: TWC, like most telecoms/cableco’s do use fiber backbones. No false advertising there.

  13. TheBigLewinski says:

    I have had Verizon triple play for over a year and luv it… I didn’t like their high def DVR so I bought a Tivo but the service is great.

  14. azntg says:

    @AlteredBeast: Just a note of interest, but they air a similar ad with the same melody on Spanish language channels (WXTV 41, WNJU 47 and WFUT 68).

    I’m not a native Spanish speaker, but I can tell that melody has a decidedly “Latino” style to it. You’d kinda expect it to go well in Spanish. It doesn’t. It sounds rather awkward in Spanish. Clearly, the song was written for English language.

    Agreed with the fact that it’s plain annoying. Even moreso when Cablevision doesn’t even service half my borough (only very small pockets)

  15. cde says:

    @azntg: Actually, as a native spanish speaker, I think the opposite. It sounds incredibly better in spanish then english. Its still a crap, but oddly catch song. Its one of those songs that get stuck in your head that you want to rip you brain out.

  16. upokyin says:

    @Beerad: I hate that commercial and I hate you for reminding me of it.

  17. jamar0303 says:

    @cde: I believe that FiOS’s selling point is that it runs fiber all the way, which TWC certainly does not.

    Speaking of commercials, I think that the Japanese ISP commercials are more entertaining/catchy than American ones.

  18. The first thing I learned when I was employed by Time Warner was that the Plant was a Hybrid cable system, Fiber and copper. Never have I heard anyone that actually works at TWC call it a Fiber system. If it was a fiber system the analog channels wouldn’t be so crappy.

  19. ren1hoek says:

    That IO commercial is the only thing that gets me off the couch to change the channel, even if I can’t find the remote.

  20. Xkeeper says:

    @eastvillageidiot: If that’s the case, Comcast here (Spokane) would be up shit creek as well; there are several advertisements proclaiming that “fiber optic lines serve all our homes”, which while not false, is definitely a very stretched truth.

    Too bad nobody’s sued them about it.

  21. FromThisSoil says:

    @AlteredBeast:

    Hola mi gente! I-O DIGITAL CABLE…! Oh how I hate that commercial.

  22. ImaMacGizmodoisPC says:

    You mean the ad where TWC claims they have had a fiber optic network for years. However, no one bothers to ask the all important question of if they had a fiber optic network, why were they and currently offering me crappy speeds for high inflated prices. Yeah, no thanks.

  23. randombob says:

    I say smack them down hard; it’s obviously very misleading.. The commercial has the “fiber guy” being put into his place by the guy telling him that Charter’s “had the fiber” for 10 years… So they’re TRYING to make the comparison between their services & offerings to that of Verizon FIOS very clearly.

    Smack them down, and start teaching the corps to advertise a little more “legitimately.”

  24. ConsumerAdvocacy1010 says:

    Verizon has the audacity to sue for false advertising….They signed me up for service I could NOT PHYSICALLY GET!

    The article itself (on CNN) doesn’t say for sure what the advertisement has as “egregiously false”.

    @randombob: You may be right, but…Screw Verizon.

  25. mmstk101 says:

    Just a thought: if Verizon wins tons of money, maybe they could use it to train their incompetent CSRs?

  26. Legend says:

    Yes, we know cable is different than Verizon FIOS because Verizon brings fiber to the premises(right to your house)and cable does not. Instead of trying to gain more publicity regarding this commercial & suing Time Warner, Verizon should focus more on the chaotic goings-on at the company-like how they treat employees like crap & want them to put sales before customer satisfaction. What about the shortage on HD settop boxes & the continuing drama over free tv promotions that have not been delivered? Not to mention their outsourcing to other countries. I wonder if Ivan Seidenberg would consider giving up one of his bonuses or lowering his salary to help the company’s financial problems….hmmm probably not-suing over a commercial seems a much better idea I guess. And isn’t this a contract year for CWA local 1023? When August rolls around, it’s gonna be interesting how Verizon is going to resolve customer’s issues if their employees’ union decides to strike.

  27. Oryx says:

    @eastvillageidiot:

    They do use the exact same tech., they just don’t bring the fiber to the premises yet.

  28. boss_lady says:

    @jamar0303: You’re correct. Verizon FiOS is a fiber to the premises service, whereas Time Warner Cable merely has a fiber backbone. Not at all the same thing, and this commercial actually made me angry because it’s so obviously false. Yes, Time Warner’s had fiber for years, but never once has it gone ‘to the premises.’

  29. milk says:

    TWC has a commercial poking fun at other people because it cuts out and has a reboot button on their box. I call BS because I have that same problem with my TWC, and just because it doesn’t have a reboot button doesn’t mean it won’t need rebooting. It just causes frustration as I can’t remember the retarded button combo to get it to reboot.

  30. Metropolis says:

    Thank god. I hate these commecials because they ARE complete BS. They are straight up lieing to the public. Theres a huge fucking difference between a fiber backbone and a fiber line straight to your damn house.

  31. mbd says:

    Cablevision’s Optimum Service, for internet is actually pretty good, although in my opinion a little (ok, a lot) overpriced. Their TV service leaves a lot to be desired in both programming and reliability. I was a happy DirecTv customer for 10 years, up until I wanted to add HD service and discovered that a neighbors tree was in the way of DirecTv’s HD satalite. In the 2 years I have been back with Cablevision, I have had more service calls than I did with 10 years of DirecTv. The Cablevision call centers are less than worthless. The good thing that Cablevision offers is their Optimum Retail Stores. The reps, at least in the store in my town, actually know what they are doing and will resolve problems while you are standing there. I even got them to take me off their computerized telemarketing list. There is also a Yahoo Groups list for Cablevision/Optimum TV, that some of their upper tech management people troll and when asked nicely, they respond and cut though the normal bullshit and resolve problems.

  32. BugMeNot2 says:

    Time Warner is a piece of shit.
    They also now run these bullshit ads that say :
    “All these great services on our advanced fiber network”..

    While technically true that they use fiber-optic cables for the large backbones of the network, they sure as hell don’t offer real fiber-to-the-home service like Verizon FIOS.

    They are intentionally and maliciously
    attempting to confuse customers as to the difference between cable and
    fiber-optic service. They want consumers to falsely believe that their cable internet and TV service is
    really a fiber-optic service, and that there is no need to move to services like FIOS — since apparently they are already “on a fiber network”.

    I absolutely despise this behavior and wish to cast light on this defrauding as much as i possible can. Verizon should sue the shit out of them for this as well.

    to prop up their ***** cable service as being equivalent to what you receive with a REAL fiber-to-the-home service such as FIOS.

    If I were verizon I would hire a great marketing company to blow them out of the water and show their prices/megabit of internet service versus Cable and also how they don’t add more compression to their HDTV!