For years, we here at Consumerist HQ have heard anecdotal claims that negotiating for a better rate from your cable provider is no longer as simple as it used to be. The discounts weren’t as deep, people would say, the offers were on the weak side, and in the wake of bad PR, companies have seemed more willing to call customers’ bluff and let them cancel service painlessly. Of course, anecdotes do not equal data, so we wanted to know: is this actually a thing? [More]
Your Cable Company Will Probably Give You Free HBO For A Few Months, But Good Luck Getting The “New Customer” Rate
If you live in one of the many parts of the country served by Comcast, you’ve likely seen the company’s nearly endless ads claiming that its Xfinity broadband “delivers the fastest internet in America,” and the “fastest, most reliable in-home WiFi.” However, an ad industry watchdog group has asked Comcast to rein in its bragging. [More]
Only a few months after Verizon FiOS effectively gave up on its “skinny bundle” attempt to provide pay-TV customers with more flexible channel options, Dish Network is giving it a go with a new pricing model that starts at $40/month… but goes up quickly when you add on the channels you might want. [More]
Verizon has been very clear, repeatedly, that they are over this whole FiOS thing. They are happy with the service they provide and the footprint in which they provide it, and do not have expansion plans for the future. Oh, wait, though — except for that thing where now they actually totally do.
It’s been clear for a few years now that our model of what “TV” actually means is changing. The rise of Netflix, joined later by Hulu and Amazon, made on-demand internet-based viewing a household standard. Then PlayStation Vue, Dish Sling, and other internet-based services and networks started coming online through 2015 and 2016, while cable bills kept climbing. And all that adds up to cord-cutting speeding up and running away with the industry.
Following Comcast Complaints, Ad Watchdog Says Verizon Should Revise Its “#1 In Internet Speed” Claims
Which broadband company has the blah blah blah fastest blah blah? Virtually all of them claim to be the best and speediest, using various surveys and statistics to justify their numbers, and subtly couching their boasts in language that best suits their goal. However, a private ad industry watchdog says that Comcast has a justifiable gripe about the way Verizon has advertised FiOS internet speeds. [More]
Over the last few months, we’ve reviewed cable and internet service bills for seven of the nation’s largest providers in an attempt to make sense of all those fees and charges. So what did we learn from these bills covering cable, satellite, and fiber customers from Connecticut to California? [More]
When you sign up for telecom services — some combination of TV, broadband, and/or phone — from your cable company, you’re told you’ll pay something like $49 or $99 a month… and yet the price you actually pay can be as much as 40% or more on top of that, thanks to a heap of sometimes confusing charges and fees. Which ones should you blame the government for, and which are made up by your cable company? One cable company at a time, we’ve been using real customers’ bills to break it down. In previous installations we’ve gone through Comcast, DirecTV, Charter, and TWC; now, it’s Verizon’s turn.
Copper wire is expensive and old-fashioned. Phone companies don’t want to maintain or use it anymore. Still, some customers like their reliable old land-lines, and the law creates certain obligations for phone companies to provide and maintain them. But Verizon is apparently so sick and tired of providing plain old telephone service that they’re threatening to disconnect customers who don’t “voluntarily” upgrade to fiber A.S.A.P.
Verizon is pretty much over this whole “FiOS” thing. They still support their existing networks, of course, but they’re pretty much done building out new ones. That, however, does not sit well with the city of New York, which is still waiting for Verizon to finish the city-wide build they promised to have done by last year.
Verizon isn’t a cable company. Its FiOS product doesn’t spring from decades of guaranteed local monopolies, which means most FiOS customers can, if they get annoyed enough, jump ship to a competitor. But you leaving is bad news for Verizon. They want to keep their subscribers. And they have an enormous mountain of highly personalized data on hand to try to do it with.
Most of the country doesn’t have much competition for broadband services. But in some of New York City’s boroughs, particularly Brooklyn and the Bronx, Cablevision and Verizon FiOS fight head to head for residential customers. The battle between the two is often ugly, and with a new lawsuit filed yesterday, it just got uglier.
Just about every basic cable package in the U.S. includes ESPN whether you want it or not. This is because the popular sports network’s contract generally forbids pay-TV providers from putting ESPN on a separate sports tier. But Verizon FiOS recently introduced “Custom TV,” a programming package that doesn’t necessarily include ESPN, and now the telecom giant is being sued by the sports network for breach of contract. [More]
Earlier this week, Verizon FiOS began offering customers a new way to choose which cable channels they pay for, by allowing them to pay for a small base package of core channels and then pay to add on niche-targeted bundles of 10-17 channels each. This didn’t sit well with ESPN, the most expensive channel on just about everyone’s pay-TV lineup, and ESPN’s corporate overlords at Disney are reportedly refusing to air ads for FiOS’s new offering. [More]
Last week, Verizon announced a new way to purchase its FiOS pay-TV service: Pay as little as $55/month for a core package of basic channels and then add on niche-targeted bundles of 10-17 channels each for an additional charge. One of the biggest differences between this model and the standard basic/premiumc cable offerings is that ESPN — the most expensive basic cable channel — was not included in the core package. The folks at the Disney-owned sports network say Verizon may be not be allowed. [More]
While some still hold out hope for the pipe dream of a true a la carte pay-TV option where the customer only pays for the channels they want (but at a price that isn’t outrageous), pressure from new streaming services appears to be nudging at least one major cable provider to offer a more flexible plan to subscribers. [More]