Winter is coming as is the end of my Verizon FIOS two year contract for TV, Internet and phone aka the Triple Play. Recently, in the mail, I received an offer reserved for Verizon’s “best customers” as did a number of other folks as reported on DSL Reports. The deal offers a two year contract along with a three year price freeze. It’s a deal that’s hard to refuse since my “monthly rate is scheduled to increase”.
Currently, I’m paying $95 a month plus some ambiguous taxes and fees for 15 / 15 (in reality 20) megabit Internet, the base Select HD programming package and a land line. The new offer goes up to $100 a month and includes a bump to 50 / 50 Mb Internet with the same digital phone and TV channel line up. My neighbor received a similar direct mail piece where he would get an upgrade to 75 / 75 Mb with Preferred HD for $120 a month. Going online to Verizon’s website, you can also opt for the Ultimate HD package as well for an additional cost. In my experience, FIOS has always been good about letting you jump around between programming packages during the term of the contract.
Along with the boost in bandwidth, Verizon’s offer also includes a free upgrade to the Verizon Advanced Router which comes with gigabit ethernet ports and wireless-N. But the best part of the deal is the two years of included premium movie channels including HBO, Showtime, Cinemax among others. Finally, I wouldn’t have remember to cancel HBO so I could quality for the 50% off deal right before the Game of Thrones premiere.
On the surface, it feels like a no-brainer to sign up for the new two year deal. On the one hand, I don’t like long term contracts like this given how fast technology is changing. The reality is that there’s only one other choice for this type of service in my town, Comcast, who is offering some competitive deals for new customers. However, I’d opt to avoid an appointment with the cable guy and I’ve always have had a good experience with FIOS. Yes, I could go the streaming route but as I don’t think the economics are significantly different from my previous analysis as there are really not any significant savings to be had since you still need to order Internet service. Regardless, there’s lots of first run shows I enjoy watching including the Walking Dead, Mad Men and Doctor Who so I don’t mind the incremental cost of the TV package. Paired with my TiVo Premiere with a Lifetime subscription and the accompanying TiVo Stream, I have the freedom to watch when and where I want to.
Update (12/7/2014): I pulled the trigger and placed the order last night. Thanks to all who provided feedback. I’m curious to see how long it takes for both the new speed to kick in as well as the new router to show up. If you already renewed during the last few months, you may still be able to take advantage of some additional savings by logging onto to Verizon’s website as Tech of the Hub friend Dave Zatz did.
When you go through the check out process, Verizon presents a estimation of your next bill. What always surprises me are the additional charges for over $12. These do not include the cable card rental cost of $4.99 or what Verizon calls “taxes, government surcharges and fees” for only $1.47. What makes up Verizon’s additional fees: Federal Universal Service Fee, PEG Grant Fee, Verizon Property Tax Recovery Charge, Franchise Related Costs and FDV Administrative Charge. This leaves me wondering which of these are Verizon versus government fees?