Thursday, June 19, 2008

"We're number one, so you can just suck it"

Sorry folks. I'm only back to rant about Verizon.

I was already annoyed that their voicemail system seems to have gotten flakey recently (have you received a message indicator for a voicemail a week after the original message was left?) but the events over the last few days have me pretty ticked at this point

Ironically, I just upgraded our home service mere hours before this, and even during that process, I was getting myself incremental frustrated and angry.

We have FiOS internet. We've been pretty happy with it. We have a 20/5 plan, or 20Meg download, 5Meg upload plan for about $50.

Rather than burn minutes on her work cell to call clients, the SOOTTAD has been using our home phone which has an unlimited minutes plan with Vonage. (Whoo VONAGE! We <3 Vonage.) This was a reasonable solution until the clients started calling the house because they had the number from their caller ID. Clients calling the home number is unacceptable so we've started looking into picking up a second phone line. Enter Verizon FiOS that has been aggressively pushing their service bundles. (generally with somebody calling or stopping by the house at least once a week for as long as we've been living in this house.)

Anyway, Verizon suffers from the same problems as all the other providers (read Comcast and RCN) in that it is virtually impossible to find out how much the services cost short of signing up for the service or dealing with a customer service rep on the phone. So I ended up digging around online looking for prices through our Verizon account, only to discover that they had raised the price of our internet connection to $57.99.

Um, hey. That's not cool.

I eventually found an email (sent to an account I never wanted, and that I never check because it's been full of spam since day 1) that notified me of the change of price.


Seeing as I still hadn't found the fee structure for the bundled services, I called them up, so I could then ask them how SOL I was about the new price. Only to discover that I was actually going to be $65.99 because I hadn't signed a new contract.

Proof that we're a captive audience is reflected in the fact that 2 days later, I've actually signed up for a 1-year contract for Internet, Phone and Cable. Yes Cable. We're getting Cable TV, god help us, complete with HD DVR. We are so screwed. And not just by Verizon. It works out to a decent deal as a bundle, especially since we're getting an extra $5/month discount, effectively $50 for internet, $25 for phone and $50 for cable. We'll see how the year goes, and decided whether or not we want to ditch it. (especially if they decide to raise rates again.)

So fine, done is done.

Except that I just looked through my most recent Verizon Wireless bill, and was struck by the $14 charge for text messaging, which seemed like I lot since I only pay $0.10 a message.

Except that I don't. Apparently I missed it when they raised it to $0.20.

Except that I really missed the boat, because apparently they raised it to $0.15 over a year ago. I guess we were a little busy.

I can't help but feel like there's something illegal about raising your rates when you're under contract, but I'm not sure what I can do about it.

I'm going to have to figure something out. Hopefully things won't be too busy that it'll drop under the radar again.

No comments: