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I remember years ago switching to Verizon from AT&T after being gouged for too long on Long Distance, etc. My, how I loved Verizon. They actually provided *decreases* in prices for DSL while they improved the speed and service. There were enough options to shave as much from my phone bill as desired, without being forced into premium "packages" or alternative providers. The last several years Verizon has taken on the practices that made me despise AT&T. Every other month it seems like another "minimum usage" fee or other hike is added. In response, I've dropped Verizon and found *much* cheaper provider options for such things as Regional calling, Long Distance calling, and switched to low usage Local bare bones calling. There isn't a lot of Verizon left to shave or I would. I've lost the love, and so I now hesitate to take a shot at the recently available internet FiOS service - it may even be time to consider cable.
I'm not arguing with any of you, but I don't understand why you are seeing what you are seeing. My bill has remained exactly the same, to the penny, for many months, including my August bill. I have the FiOS Triple Freedom package (Verizon Freedom Essentials, FiOS Internet (15/2), and FiOS TV Premier) for $109.99. Then add in the additional stuff, like DVR, SD STBs, and Movie Package (total $35.96), plus various taxes and fees ($25.20), a constant $171.15. And my bill very clearly lists every call made, date, time, location, number, minutes, and cost ($.00).
What is the difference? Are none of you using the Triple-Freedom package? If not, you should really look into it, it will protect you for one or two years.
Verizon FiOS TV, Internet, and phone
I finally called them and found out why mine was going up. In Feb.'08 is when I switched over to unlimited calling. I live to far away to get FIOS and I already have Directv. And the person that signed me up for the Freedom Essentials didn't tell me that it had to be bundled in order to continue getting the low price for the year. So I told them it was a waste of money giving me the unlimited calling for that price when they can't even give me the FIOS price because it isn't available here. So they put me back to my unlimited local calling and the 10 cents per sensible minute which I barely used before. It is saving me $15 a month.
Hey, I'd be more than happy to commit to an annual contract or longer if Verizon would provide one for the configuration I need, and indeed I do contract for internet service. But buying into even the lowest end contract for phone service is *way* more service than I need. Why take out all your profit frustrations on us low-usage customers & stick us with all the price gouging? Really - $10/mo for Caller-ID? If Verizon would offer me an annual contract rate that is higher than the monthly rate that I'm paying now I'd consider it in order to avoid the regularly snuck-in nickle & diming or worse. Just don't try to force me into paying for things of which I have no use. Me, unlimited calling bundles? Ha!