Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Verizon gives us another lesson in how to mislead the customer

Again, it's 2008. The bait and switch; the false promise; the misleading information; the obvious trickster tactics; do they even work anymore? Are they even worth it when there is this thing called blogging that is becoming more and more popular?

Then again, cable and phone companies have such a bad reputation that they probably think they can't really get any deeper into the gutter.

This is me finding out about FiOS - the Verizon very-high-speed internet service:

"Hmm, FiOS. Heard that before somewhere else, didn't know it was available. How fast is it? Really, that fast, omg! How much? What, are you joking, $40/month? For the cut-down version right? The whole enchilada? Wow!! Is it available in my area? You can check on the web? - me going to, entering in "verizon FiOS" as a search, finding the FiOS "check area" site, entering in my address, waiting for some (pointless) graphics to scroll, and find out that...

First reaction: OMG it's available! Verizon, I love you!

Second reaction: Wait, what's that fine print?

Third reaction: new google search, "how to carpet bomb verizon headquarters"

I mean, come on? What deluded piece of marketing pulp decided that blurting out in loud red colors that Verizon High Speed (that's DSL, so it's worse than what I have now) is available after someone just searched for (life changing) FiOS? Which isn't available.

It's the marketing equivalent of shouting, "here, have this for free, NOT! - you lose!".

Brand commitment/affinity/love, whatever you want to call it, doesn't erode slowly. It's lost in an instant with pranks like this.

There is no excuse.

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Aaron said...

My, you and cable/phone companies just don't get along, do you!

Anyway, I've heard tons of WOM on the unavailability of FIOS; it seems like it's nowhere to be found. I'm in North Jersey, and it's not like it's the boonies. Sure, we're backwards in many respects, but I would figure that the proximity to NYC and the existing (supposedly) Fiber Optic infrastructure would make roll-out here pretty easy.

Even further, it's ridiculous to spend what seems to be big ad dollar on something that's not available. I would venture to guess that they've been on air for almost 2 years with no actual product to back up their pitch. Any FIOS anticipation is certainly not keeping me from using another Internet service (cable), which, by the way, I've become decently happy with.

Tony said...

Would you rather it be Comcastic?

I have Comcast cable, the upgraded package that claims the fastest up/down load speeds. I also have FiOS on my street, but have yet to change. It's such a hassle. Plus, I don't think FiOS would be as fast. They would have better consistency in the speeed, but I am good for now...

Beecham said...

Doesn't cable use fiber optic, too? I'm afraid their advertising campaign is misleading in more than one way. "Fiber optics" seems to mean something different to everyone!

And Verizon FIOS IS available where I live . . . When the salesman came by, I realized the "nice truck" tv ad has been so effective that I was ready to chime right in: "so clean it is 20 Db hot"!

Paul Soldera said...

@Aaron - yeah I agree. Strange to spend so much on something that is not available. Maybe it was all a DSL campaign in disguise! That's what it feels like when you try and sign up.

@Tony - I think FIOS is faster than cable. That's just what I've heard. If it wasn't and I bought it, I would definitely be bombing Verizon headquarters!

@Beecham - some cable companies might, mine definitely doesn't - at least the part that comes to my house isn't fiber optic.