Sorry, Current Equipment Is Only For New FiOS Customers

Marvin is experiencing a very modern problem, one that our great-grandparents would probably be unable to wrap their brains around. His new video baby monitor for his new baby doesn’t get along with his Verizon FiOS-issued wireless router. They use the same frequency. That means that when his baby goes to bed, so do his Internet speeds. There’s a potential solution to this issue: get a newer router that operates on a different frequency. Verizon has them in stock, but not for Marvin. They’re only for new customers, not for him. His best option right now: to pay $130 to upgrade to one of the new routers. Which he still won’t own.

I have been a FiOS customer for over 4 years. I am not a just a customer…I am a super customer. I have tons of additional boxes and services. I am even on their advisory board for new technologies and give feedback via surveys on new and exciting services. The service is usually great. Not ever a problem…until I had a baby…and that means I got a video baby monitor. It turns out most video baby monitors interfere with wireless routers because they are on the same 2GHz frequency. Basically that means after 7 pm in my house, my wireless network grinds to a halt. Speeds drop to near dial-up rates.

Of course, there is a simple solution to this problem. Upgrade to a newer 5 GHz router (802.11n). Only problem…I am an existing FiOS customer. You see, FiOS only offers modern equipment to new customers. Old customers, tough luck. No soup for us.

I have been working with Verizon on this issue since January. They have attempted to send me their dual band wireless N router 2 times. Unfortunately, both times they ended up sending me the same router I already had. When I pointed it out to them, they told me to try again in a month or two, and maybe then they will have the new router in stock to send out. Not so much.

Fast forward. 5 months, I still cannot get a new router from Verizon. I still cannot use the internet after 7pm. I have called, and called, and called some more. I have been bounced from tech support to customer service, to customer sales. Nobody can figure out how to help me. That was until tonight. Tonight I called FiOS support AGAIN. This time I had the pleasure of experiencing a conference call between 2 different departments and a supervisor (after 45 minutes on hold). They concluded the reason I am not able to get a new router to solve my issues is because I am current customer, and therefore not entitled to technology upgrades. WHAT! I couldn’t believe that could be true…so I kept pushing.

They did offer me the option of paying ~ $130 to buy a new 802.11n router. But get this, even if I pay that price, the router isn’t mine. That is an upgrade fee…but Verizon still owns the equipment. Seriously!! They stated I would still need to return the equipment I paid for should I terminate service….even though I paid full price for it!!

Anyhow, The only option to get new equipment from Verizon without being charged (according to the cryptically named Billing and Orders supervisor who also said he doubles as the customer retention supervisor – Mr. [redacted]) is for me to cancel my service and pay a $20 termination fee (yes, $20 – almost seems like a no brainer). Then, if I reconnect at a future time, I would be a new customer and be entitled to modern equipment. Wow…that is fantastic customer service. Bravo Verizon, bravo.

I didn’t really want to cancel my service – but this interaction brought me to the edge with Verizon. I just wanted a functional wireless Internet after 7pm without having to pay a “good customer” surcharge/penalty.

I hope someone from Verizon who has more sense, and more power than Mr. [redacted] will read this. I hope they review the tapes from my conversation with Mr. [redacted] from the evening of May 24, 2012 so they can hear the lunacy of the company policy.

I am sure it made sense in some boardroom…but in the real world, it just pisses off good paying customers and makes them investigate the competition.

So if Marvin wants to have functioning wireless access while his baby sleeps, he has to cancel his service, jump ship to a competitor, and then maybe come back later. Because after this experience, he surely will want to. Makes perfect sense, Verizon.

Other customers have learned that an EECB can be just the tool you need to find someone at Verizon capable of seeing logic. Good luck.