Please Avoid Verizon
ALLENTOWN, PA, PENNSYLVANIA -- When you see VERIZONâs RED logo, the first two associations that should come to mind are red-faced ANGER and red DEBT. This past year, my family has experienced a significant amount of both thanks to Verizon.
Following my fatherâs passing, my mother decided to âbundleâ our familyâs services through Verizon in order to minimize costs. Specifically, we purchased the DirectTV/Land Line/Internet bundle along with a 1400 minute âFriends and Familyâ wireless plan. Currently a comparable âTriple Playâ bundle advertises for $59.99 per month and a 1400 minutes âFriends and Familyâ plan advertises for $89.99. This bundle incudes basic local landline, DirectTV, and high-speed internet. When we purchased our bundle and wireless plan, we expected to pay around $150 per month for these services (perhaps even up to $175 per month when taxes were added).
Well after a year with Verizon, we have paid a staggering average of $458 PER MONTH! Note thatâs over 3 TIMES the advertised amount. In one year, we paid Verizon $5,496.17 for services that were advertised to cost around $1,800 for the year! Is this not insane?! $458 per month for 3 basic cell phone lines (only 1 of which recently was upgraded to internet), basic DirectTV (NOT Fios), basic internet (NOT Fios), and minimal landline services! Let me repeat, $5,496.17 in ONE YEAR!
Note that most of these fees are attributed to Verizonâs deceptive practices. In fact, Verizonâs numerous deceptions are so intricately interrelated, I am at a loss for where to begin. Letâs start with the most recent bill we are contesting- November of 2011. In November we were billed an outrageous sum of $636.05. The purported reason for this excessive bill was that our family went over our allotted 1400 minutes at a whopping cost of over $.45 per minute. The total number of minutes our family used that month: 1279. But wait, 1279 is under 1400 right? Well according to Verizon, our plan was limited at 700 minutes not 1400. Why had our plan changed from the original 1400 to 700?! The answer is further revealing of Verizon.
Earlier in the year we had received yet another outrageous bill (do you see a pattern developing?). The bill was invalid, but Verizon would not refund any of the mistaken fees. (Note: We have automatic bill pay, and unfortunately by the time we recognize these invalid charges and errors, Verizon has already withdrawn the money from our bank account. Subsequently, they are extremely reluctant to refund any of the charges.) As a consolation though, they did offer a way to reduce future bills- they recommended decreasing our âfriends and familyâ minutes from 1400 to 700. This, my mother was told, would save her $20 per month. Now I love my mom to death, but she can be a tad gullible and easily persuaded by salespeople. The salesperson (and my mother) failed to note our family frequently goes over 700 minutes per month! So the next month an apparent $20 savings became hundreds of dollars in overage charges! Feeling duped, my mom went into the local Verizon store to request our plan be increased back up to 1400 minutes. The salesperson offered her apologies and stated that our plan was adjusted accordingly back up to 1400 minutes. Well several months later this adjustment never occurred. And despite the fact that Verizon has record of my momâs visit, they are only offering to refund half of the overage charges.
Please, avoid Verizon at all cost. Do not use automatic bill pay because once they have your money, they will probably not refund excessive charges. If for some reason youâre still tempted to purchase Verizonâs bundle, consider the quality of services youâll be receiving:
Television- Admittedly we do not have Fios, we have DirectTV. DirectTV is extremely limited in local channel selection (not even their premium packages offer an adequate selection of local channels). For example, Iâm a big sports fan and miss out on most of the local professional sports teamsâ games. And Iâve never been able to catch local high school or minor league sports teams which are regularly broadcasted through local cable. Oh, and prepare to have a rather large diameter hole drilled through the side of your house upon DirectTV installation (ie a hole big enough to see the lawn outside- and no, we were not told of this prior to the installation).
Internet- At the moment Iâm typing this (~8pm on 1/11/12) our internet connection has been out for over 24 hours and counting. No there was no inclement weather, accident, or obvious explanation. My neighbor (who does not have Verizon services) has internet connection. I was told by Verizon this outage is due to regular updating. (Fortunately I can use my neighbors more reliable internet service.) But when our internet is working, it typically clocks in around 0.78Mbps download and 0.69 Mbps upload. Generally this is acceptable for casual internet browsing, but it is substantially less than the 1.2-3.0 Mbps advertised by Verizon.
Phone- Well a landlineâs a landline I suppose. We have bare minimum (no caller ID for example) and it seems sufficient.
In conclusion, unless you want to pay nearly $500 a month for a poor television selection, unreliable internet, and the most basic cellular services (ie no smartphone), my family and I recommend avoiding Verizon. If you donât believe me, check out their Better Business Bureau rating (F).
Let Verizonâs RED logo be a forewarning- youâre in for a lot of RED-FACED ANGER and RED DEBT with Verizon. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me (Brian) via email: BGabes27 âatâ Gmail.