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]
A major annual consumer satisfaction survey is out, and it’s a mixed bag for the cable and telecom sector and all of us who use it. The bad: pay-TV, broadband, phone, and wireless companies still pretty much really suck, and most of us are very dissatisfied with them. The good: year over year, most of them are finally starting to suck less than they used to!
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.
While the Federal Communications Commission has okayed maybe going ahead with creating a market for non-proprietary cable boxes, Verizon FiOS customers who have been using their Xbox consoles or smart TVs to access a subset of channels instead of renting extra cable boxes for each television set in their home are about to be disappointed, as Verizon is ending these apps. [More]
A spat between the nation’s largest cable company and Major League Baseball’s most storied franchise is getting ugly, with the New York Yankees’ YES Network launching a campaign urging fans to “Drop Comcast.” [More]
ESPN is easily the most expensive single channel in any basic cable lineup, accounting for around $5 of the average cable bill just on its own. Cable companies are also contractually barred from putting the all-sports network on any sort of premium tier, which is why it was big news last year when Verizon FiOS announced a new “Custom TV” pricing model that made ESPN completely optional for everyone. That’s also why ESPN’s parent company Disney sued Verizon, alleging breach of contract. Now, Verizon has revised Custom TV to include ESPN and other sports channels for customers who want them. [More]
Not even a year after Verizon FiOS began offering so-called “skinny” pay-TV bundles that don’t include the pricey ESPN in the required core package — and in the midst of a lawsuit filed by ESPN’s parent company Disney, alleging that Verizon is violating its contract by doing so — the telecom titan is now hinting that it’s the end times for this dream world where consumers weren’t forced to pay so much for a channel they care so little about. [More]
ESPN is, by far, the most expensive single channel on most cable customers’ basic cable bill, responsible for more than $5/month, with some industry analysts putting an approximately $8/month price tag on ESPN and ESPN 2 together. While it’s long been considered a basic cable must-have, millions of Americans have been dropping their pay-TV packages altogether, and recent surveys show that ESPN wouldn’t be a part of many folks’ ideal a la carte cable menu, meaning not everyone has a desperate need for ESPN. So, could cable companies hold on to their customers by lowering rates in exchange for saying goodbye to the 24-hour sports channel? [More]
It’s a pretty basic tenet of American commerce: if someone advertises something to you at a certain price, they actually have to provide you that thing at that price. Like, for example, a broadband internet connection: if a company like Verizon, Cablevision, or Time Warner Cable says it will give you a connection of a certain speed, it’s supposed to make good. But in one sate, the top legal office thinks the ISPs may not be making good on their claims, and wants to know what’s up.
A few months back, the city of New York released a damning audit of Verizon’s FiOS rollout in the Big Apple. According to Verizon, they have met their obligation to bring service to New York as laid out in the franchise agreement. But according to New Yorkers, the telecom giant has a long, long way yet to go.