We all like price guarantees and we should all appreciate having any degree of choice in cable and Internet providers, so it’s nice that Verizon is now offering guaranteeing rates to new customers for two years (even without a contract), but it probably should be more up front about the other costs these subscribers could face.
Verizon is offering two monthly rates to new customers, depending on how they sign up. Those who order FiOS service online will pay $90/month for two years while those who order service from any other way will pay $100/month for the same amount of time.
An interesting twist is that the monthly rate is the same regardless of whether you agree to a two-year contract or not. However, Verizon is hoping that the lure of a $250 Visa gift card will entice people to sign up for a contract. Non-contract customers don’t get the gift card.
But as DSLreports.com’s Karl Bode points out, Verizon recently began charging new customers a $50 activation fee that it had not previously charged. [NOTE: As per update above, this fee only applies to offline orders and may not be charged in every market.]
Additionally, a number of FiOS subscribers have complained about getting their own wireless routers to work with the system and being nudged by the company to rent one for $5/month. [NOTE: As per update above, Verizon has not yet started charging this fee, but will begin doing so on Feb. 16.]
There is also a deadline on this deal. Verizon says customers will need to sign up before April 19 to get the price guarantee.
Of course, this is all a non-issue if you’re one of the many, many, many Americans who have been twiddling their thumbs waiting for FiOS to come to their neighborhoods, if only so they can say they have a choice in cable and Internet providers. For the rest of us, the options are A) whatever cable company has a local monopoly; B) satellite TV service, which generally means you’re getting Internet via that cable company mentioned in option A; or C) going without.