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Billing surprises ("video outlet" and backup battery)

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Timmazz1
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Posts: 1
Registered: ‎07-02-2013

Billing surprises ("video outlet" and backup battery)

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In May, my cable went out. A tech came out and fixed it. It went out again less than a week later due to a malfunction at the community hookup somewhere -- no weather event, no mass outage. Just me. 

 

While the tech was there the first time, I asked if it would be a hardship to move the existing wire to the other side of the room (I could've done this myself because my basement ceiling is unfinished). He did it with no questions asked and was very professional and competent. Verizon followed up with a phone call after the second visit and said they would credit my account $26. While I thought that too little to compensate for the Internet/cable downtime plus the inconvenience of giving access to Verizon technicians twice within 10 days, I swallowed it because I thought the gesture of an unprovoked credit was honorable. Then I got my bill...

 

$54.99 for "video outlet"

 

I called Verizon and they explained that it was for the outlet that I had the technician relocate. Hmph. Sneaky to give me a credit of $26 just to come back and charge me almost exactly double on the same bill. The day I noticed the charge, I also heard a beeping coming from my box. Time to change the battery. 

 

I am paying $150/month for basic cable, one DVR box, and FiOS Internet. To make it possible to enjoy that $150/month cost, I have to buy a $35 battery for the equipment and pay $55 for relocation of a wire. So for the month that my cable was out for more than a week I will spend approx $235 for Verizon's service. 

 

- Automatic bill-pay customers without a late payment since our account opened.

- Regular viewers of HD PPV movies.

- Happy Verizon cellphone customer since 1998. 

 

On top of everything, I know colleagues who live in my town and pay much less than me for MORE services. Perhaps that's my fault for not asking for the best rates. Not feeling much respect/fair dealings with a customer who has been a no-hassle customer up until this point. Without my knowing, my wife told me this morning  she confirmed we have unobstructed views to the south. 

 

This is the first time I've ever vented in a public forum like this. I decided to do it publicly because today is my birthday -- seriously. Thanks for the indulgence.

 

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gs0b
Gold Contributor VII Gold Contributor VII
Gold Contributor VII
Posts: 1,989
Registered: ‎12-02-2012

Re: Billing surprises ("video outlet" and backup battery)

Message 2 of 2
(640 Views)

The tech should have told you they charge for installing outlets.  That sucks.

 

The FiOS contracts state we users are responsible for the backup batteries.  You don't have to purchase a new battery from Verizon.  Amazon has plenty at much lower prices.

 

Verizon is a master at "gotcha" capitalism. They've been doing this for years with their unregulated businesses.  I could tell you stories about my experience with them in the DSL days; but suffice to say it wasn't pretty. If you blindly pay your bill every month without paying attention to you current contract and offers for new customers; you are Verizon's dream customer.  You'll be paying full freight in no time.  I've found the best way to deal with them is to contact them shortly before a contract expires and see what they can do for you.

 

If all else fails, you can always switch to cable for a few months in order to become a "new customer" to Verizon again.  Yes, we have a duopoly, but some competition is better than none.

 

Happy Birthday!!!

 

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