Verizon Customer Service WIN (Round 2)

This summer, my wife and I wanted to stream the Olympics. In previous years we would watch them live or delayed (or DVRd on cable), but we've been firmly against having TV service to the house since our son was born. In the years since we have relied on a DTV converter and an analog antenna to grab OTA HD signals for a few notable events. NBC made the awesomestupid call to require an existing TV subscription in order to use their Live Extras service, so enter the quandary: Here we were, wanting to watch the Olympics, and having no other real-time options. I figured the only way this was going to work was to sign up for FIOS TV for a month and then cancel it, and that the privilege was going to cost me $50 or so.

History should have been a better teacher. Over three years ago, Verizon surprised me by saving me $180 a year by making some very small adjustments to my monthly plan, just for being a good customer. At the time I said:

Maybe luck will strike twice and the FIOS folks will give me a break as well. One can dream, right?

Lucky me. After a quick chat with one of their sales people, I found that I could add FIOS TV, never connect their box, and still qualify for NBC's streaming1. Since now I'm adding a 3rd service, my bundle pricing kicks in and actually saves me $10 a month over what I pay now.

And the icing on the cake: because each service has been upgraded in the last few years, I "have to" select a faster FIOS option and a more feature-filled home phone option.

So I'm now paying Verizon $10 less per month to have an additional service and two enhanced services. That's pretty cool.

It also tells me one very clear thing: We're all getting ripped off.

  1. NBC’s coverage of the 2012 Olympics was insufficient. They paid millions of dollars for the privilege of not showing us what we wanted to see. The events we cared about were all midday local time, which makes sense. However, they could not be replayed until their time-delayed replay time of 8pm that evening, which meant that we had no chance to watch the events until, usually, well after we had heard how they did via other sources. Consequently, on day 3 of the events, I paid for a proxy service that a twitter friend tipped me off to and started watching the BBC feed of the games. The BBC did a fantastic job, and I got to watch the women’s team’s final floor routines which clinched their golds. I watched the NBC replay that night only to find that the routines were split up, and kept switching to other events. I am very glad I was paying less for the privilege of, well, less service.

Aug 23rd, 2012