To FIOS Or Not To FIOS

For years and years and years I was a die-hard cable fan.  I remember when it first came to our area back in 1979 and we were so excited to have 14 channels of service, most of which were local broadcast channels like NBC, ABC and CBS.  Then when I began to work for the cable company my love for the industry grew even stronger. 

When so many were switching over to satellite companies because they wanted sports packages or more channels, I could give them more than a dozen reasons why they should stay with cable.  We had the best customer service and quality of service and I was so proud to wear my company shirts when out in public. 

As the years progressed, my love affair began to fade.  The company was making promises to Wall Street that they couldn’t keep and the dollar became more important than the customers.  Our billing became complicated, rates kept rising while the quality of the service went down, focus on the employee went down and so did morale and the caliper of new hires was also on the decline which made my job as a customer service supervisor difficult and stressful.

Sadly, the stress of the job took it’s toll on me mentally and physically and I became very ill.  It was my intention to return to work so I never filed for workers comp, and because I was really sick my LTD (long term disability) paperwork did not get filed on time (my doctor’s office held on to it for too long) so I was denied coverage.  When I wasn’t able to return to work my employment was terminated.  It wasn’t a nasty split, they told me I was welcome to apply for a position when I wanted to come back and I honestly thought I would be back to work in no time.  About a month later I needed a service call for my cable service and I found out that not only was I being billed for service, but I was being billed ala carte for each service – that relates to about $125 per month.  I was so upset.  I had over 15 years service with the company and should have received 3 years courtesy service, but they changed policy while I was out on leave so no courtesy service for me.  I wasn’t a happy camper about that, but I was more upset that they did not even bother to call me and see what services I wanted.  So I called Verizon and signed up for their DSL service and Direct TV and cancelled my cable account. 

I must admit, the DSL was pretty reliable for the most part.  It wasn’t as fast as my broadband but it was a lot cheaper.  The Direct TV wasn’t too bad either and that was way cheaper too.  The only downside to the dish was service outages whenever the weather was really bad and no On Demand, but the upside was over 10 Christian programming channels to cable’s 1, Direct TV had the NFL packages and cable didn’t and I could change my service through the Internet rather than having to call and speak to someone from another country – which is pretty sad considering the cable company has an office not more than 5 minutes from my house and a call center 15 minutes up the road – tsk, tsk, tsk…

Anyway, the reason for my post today is that Verizon has launched their answer to the cable company – FIOS!  I found out that my area was set up for FIOS so I placed my order – 6 weeks ago and today was the first available appointment!  Can you believe that?  I was in total shock that I would have to wait so long, but boy was it worth the wait!

The technician arrived at 10:30 am and was not finished until 4:30 pm which explains why so long a wait to get an appointment.  And here’s the kicker, he didn’t have to replace any of my internal wiring!  I now have Verizon for everything, my cell phones, house phone, Internet and television and I got a really good deal!

The picture is amazing, my Internet is super fast and I love having caller id again.  I didn’t take any premium channels for right now because we don’t really watch a lot of TV and I don’t want to be lured to watch it because of a movie. 

Once the tech left, I called Direct TV to cancel my service which was a royal pain in the behind.  The first time I called, I was on hold for 10 minutes, then when the rep came on the phone she announced her name and I was disconnected.  I called back again, another 10 minute hold but this time I got through.  The rep tried 3 times to transfer me to someone so they could give me info and rates on Internet service – where she got the idea that I wanted to take their service I have no idea, especially since I had said several times that I was calling to “cancel” my service, not “upgrade” it.  She informed me that I had to keep the service until September because I had a 2 year contract.  I said, NO, I had a 1 year contract, to which she stated that since I got a DVR, they extended my agreement another year.  She stated if I cancelled now, I would have to pay a cancellation fee of $62.50 to which I replied, well that’s better than paying $52 a month for the next 6 months.  So, with that cleared up, she proceeded to tell me that I was paid through April 24th, so that’s when my billing would stop – uh, duh, what???  Why would I pay for service I wasn’t using??  I firmly but politely told her that she would stop my billing today or I would have to call the FCC and my Governor and report them for fraudulent business practices.  Needless to say, my billing was stopped as of today and they are sad to see me go and hope I have a wonderful day.

Whew!  So as I sit here happily typing away, watching an amazing picture with my new FIOS as the Phillies play their home opener, losing by 5 runs in the 9th because some dee-dee-dee pulled out Romero and put Gordon in who let Washington score 5 runs in the top of the 9th!  I’m not sure why I’m upset by this because I’m a Baltimore Orioles fan – it’s my husband and sons who like the Phillies – I guess I’m feeling sympathy pains for them. 

So, as to my question, “To FIOS Or Not To FIOS”, I sayFIOS, and FIOS it NOW!  It was well worth the wait, I got a great price (I’m actually paying less for my Internet, phone and tv now and I’m getting faster Internet, better TV picture, and lots of features with my phone not to mention unlimited long distance!)  So my next question is, “what are you waiting for?”

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