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The Big Lie

Copper Contributor
Copper Contributor
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎07-13-2009

The Big Lie

Message 1 of 13

FIOS is a deceptively advertised product:






You will always have to rent equipment above & beyond your bundle's stated price ...


Plan on spending $5 - $20 per TV on top of the bundle. 


This -- of course -- is a totally legal typical TelCo/CableCo practice. 

Gold Contributor IV
Gold Contributor IV
Posts: 1,340
Registered: ‎10-13-2008

Re: The Big Lie

Message 2 of 13



You don't need a box if your TV is capable of getting the QAM channels.


QAM tuner is a device present in some digital televisions and similar devices which enables direct reception of digital cable channels without the use of a set-top box


You can read more by going here

Posts: 1
Registered: ‎07-13-2009

Re: The Big Lie

Message 3 of 13

(my first post here 🙂 )


You are correct... sort of. While you can receive channels without any additional equipment there is no way to complete an order with Verizon without ordering a set-top box. 


When I called to place an order for a local only channel package and no STB I was told I had to have a STB because of the digital conversion. I explained I did not as I had a digital/hd tuner in my TV. We argued for a few minutes and she agreed to set up the account the way I wanted. Later that day (I already had FIOS internet) I was recieving the 20ish channels I wanted and thought I was only paying the $13ish for the local package. A day later I got a call from an installer. I advised him I did not need anything installed and all was working fine as I wanted. He said he had to install the STB or I would not get any channels. I explained again that it was working and I was happy. To shorten the story a little... the STB was on my bill. It took four months to get it removed (complaint to the BBB finaly got someone in management to help) and I was informed that the system does not allow a FIOS account to exist without a STB on it and they had to manually go into the system and trick it somehow to get the box off.  Five months latter I got a call from a guy saying he worked for the unit recovering STB that had not been returned. I explained all that happened and that I never had a STB. He claimed "I think you are the only FIOS customer in the country without a STB". Who knows.  I also was told the local only package is no longer offered.


I agree, their pricing should include a standard STB as it IS REQUIRED for service and not optional.

Message Edited by Gtstricky on 07-13-2009 09:24 AM
Silver Contributor II
Silver Contributor II
Posts: 280
Registered: ‎01-30-2009

Re: The Big Lie

Message 4 of 13

great story GTstricky.... very impressed that you were able to get what you want without any additional expenses.


I agree that the advertising is deceiving.  however, any reasonable person could tell you that when you see an advertised price for a telecom, those are the just the basics rates, and that there will be additional fees involved.  you don't them advertising the taxes and 911 fees that go along with it?  that's b/c that is now standard across the board (albeit required).



You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there. --Yogi Berra
Copper Contributor
Copper Contributor
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎07-13-2009

Re: The Big Lie

Message 5 of 13

I was surprised to see three things here:


  1. a response from a technical person employed by Verizon -- I'll check to see if I have QAM compatable HDTVs even one would be cool to get my bill down
  2. another customer concurring ... although I'm sure I have sentiment shared by many Verizon customers who are as disgruntled as I am
  3. this post / thread is still here for now

I think it's pure negligence that I'm forced to put a set top box in place.  To be clear, all sales reps & customer service reps told me I, too, had to have a set top box ... that I had to mar a wall hung TV, add more clutter to a desktop (I have a TV line in to my iMac through a Pinnacle USB converter).


This doesn't have any thing to with unforeseen fees!  This is a tangible extra cost that ought to be disclosed in every ad that says $99 for TV, Phone & Internet.


The only upside to FIOS is internet't qualify as an unforeseen fee; it's flat out misleading.  To hear, "now many set top boxes will you need?"  I say, "none, thanks."  Verizon: w don't work without those ... but you have choices.


I should be allowed to convert my account from Triple-No-Play to a pure internet account ...


The best of both worlds would be the half decent cable service I had with the fast FIOS internet connectivity I have now.


(And go back to a VOIP provider with a $14.99/month plan for 500 minutes -- which is quite adecquate if you have & use a cell phone).


## Note that I mentions no Verizon competitors; just stating the facts: call it what you will, Verizon lies. ##

Message Edited by paulgpetty on 07-13-2009 09:52 AM
Message Edited by paulgpetty on 07-13-2009 09:54 AM
Bronze Contributor I
Bronze Contributor I
Posts: 65
Registered: ‎12-15-2008

Re: The Big Lie

Message 6 of 13
How long ago did you sign up for the triple play? I belive that Verizon has a 30-day trial period. If you don't like the service, cancel TV and phone and keep the Internet. Simple.
Bronze Contributor II
Bronze Contributor II
Posts: 94
Registered: ‎05-19-2009

Re: The Big Lie

Message 7 of 13

Techman28 said:
"You don't need a box if your TV is capable of getting the QAM channels.


QAM tuner is a device present in some digital televisions and similar devices which enables direct reception of digital cable channels without the use of a set-top box."


The problem with this is the selection of channels is limited. QAM tuners without cablecards get the most basic tier IIRC as these are the only clear QAM channels available. It wouldn't be an issue if more 'cable' channels (CNN, Comedy Central, Discovery and others) were clear qam looking like the old analog days and the selection one got with a cable-ready TV without premium (HBO or Showtime) channels.


Solution: Put more channels in clear qam or use a standard cablecard one can purchase at Best Buy (or another retailer) for Verizon to authorize. All IMHO, YMMV.


I'm sure Verizon likes to retain control with its own STBs, but having to maintain those boxes must be a PITA. That and I miss the old cable-ready days. Pity analog to digital left those days in the dust.

Bronze Contributor II
Bronze Contributor II
Posts: 128
Registered: ‎04-30-2009

Re: The Big Lie

Message 8 of 13
If Essentials is the lowest service option available, then all those channels should be in the clear.  Verizon doesn't do that simply to milk $$$ for rentals of STB's.  Well, now that I hear the separable security waiver has expired, Verizon will not be able to buy any more boxes which don't use a cable card.  That means the SD/STB's could be more expensive.  Verizon really should keep those channels in the clear.  I know the age old argument is if a person subs only to Internet/Phone, they would get the TV illegally, but surely Verizon has a way of preventing this.
Gold Contributor V
Gold Contributor V
Posts: 1,692
Registered: ‎05-17-2009

Re: The Big Lie

Message 9 of 13

Essentials is not the lowest priced package. Its just the lowest advertised package. Verizon does have a "Local" Package ( I think it runs $14.99 per month). Which is all the clear QAM channels. So if you have a QAM tuner TV, you can subscribe to the Base package without the need for a STB.



What everyone seems to forget is this is exactly how "cable" started 25 years ago. You subscribed to cable and the Base package didnt require a box if you had a cable ready TV, but if you wanted "Tier II" programming you had to get the channel changer box.


Now with digital, its the same way.  dont worry, eventually they will get TV's and the Cable services to work together to be able to control what packages can be sent to a tv without having to rely on a cable box. Back when cable first came out, it took tv's and vcr's about 3years to get their act together and get everything working together. I figure it will take about the same for the Digital. (going from the date in June when digital became manditory).


Now you will always need cable boxes when it comes to the extras (widgets, VOD, Premium channels like HBO, and such) just as we always have with cable. But for the average packages, it will come.


Error exists between keyboard and chair.
Silver Contributor III
Silver Contributor III
Posts: 497
Registered: ‎05-21-2009

Re: The Big Lie

Message 10 of 13

If one provider doesnt have what you want, that is the beauty of being the consumer, you CAN go to another provider...


Obviously each has its pro's and con's and they will never please all of the people all of the time....


Complaining doesn't change that... If you want basic TV, get an OTA digital tuner, or go with the other guys and get "basic analog cable"... if you want what FiOS has to offer, order it and use it


If you have been around for any of the last 50 or so years, you will know that the advertised price is not what you get in the end.. with anyone


Bob Robertson - Lighter Klepto - I steal lighters, not bandwith
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