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Please check out my other blogs
Pick of the Literate 
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Sunday, October 18, 2015

FIOS Retention Scam, Comcast Lack of Competition or A Sad Commentary and Maybe a Ray of Hope

Face it we are captive to our TV and Internet providers.  It is a major hassle to change from one provider to another.  Awhile back I got a price increase by FIOS.  I called and expressed my frustration with the continuing inflation of my bill.  More fees, bumping up the box payment leases a dollar or two a box.  Doesn't sound like much but consider the customer base and what a single dollar increase per customer equals.  Try $9,000,000.00 for a single dollar increase. (9,000,000 subscribers as of 4/24/14)   I called FIOS and a service rep told me because I wasn't screaming and ranting she would talk to her supervisor to see if she could help me.  She came back on line and told me she got my bill reduced $40.00 per month.  Wow!  I was totally impressed, I called over a $6.00 per month increase and she was going to get me a $40.00 per month decrease.  Just sign up for a two year agreement.  I would get an email that I should ignore the prices on as the decrease wouldn't come until it was processed.  Foolishly I believed her!

Got my FIOS bill today, not only did it NOT show a $40.00 decrease, it showed a $9.00 increase.  So that is $15.00 over the August bill.   I called and got another very nice rep who said the best she could do was take me back to the original bill I complained about.  So I am paying the $6.00 increase, not the $9.00 increase and supposed to be relieved I am not paying more?  Was I scammed into another two year contract by the ever so friendly rep who promised a decrease and delivered an increase?   I'll never know!

Consider the alternative, Comcast bandies about numbers that appear to be a savings but when you add in the box fees, the lease fees, the taxes and other mysterious fees they aren't any better than FIOS.  

Face it we are being hosed.  On a flight recently from LA to Denver, my seat mate was from France.  He said he is astounded that Americans put up with the prices from our TV/Internet/phone providers.   He has what is equivalent to triple play for just less than $50.00 American in France.  He laughed at how foolish we are to pay the ridiculous fees that our "unregulated" vendors charged.  Collusion?  Monopolies?    I spent 1.5 hours today trying to improve my communications pricing and saved $9.00/month, of course, that will probably disappear by next month. 

Yes I could drop it all and save money but sadly I am not willing to go off the grid.  I guess I don't have to worry, I am sure I will get an increase in my Social Security this year, Oh Wait, that isn't happening either. 

Addendum later that week: a different representative at FIOS found the info about the price decrease  and had no idea why it had not been done.  Said she would look into it and bump it up to her supervisor. In the meantime she credited my current bill the $40.00 discount I was suppose to get.  She said that discount should show
up regularly as per my November bill.  I won't hold my breath but I will cross my fingers.

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