Comcast vs Verizon

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills

Comcast vs Verizon

Postby davidkw » Sat Apr 11, 2009 10:04 am

Two years ago I purchased the Comcast Triple Play for $99 a month (well with taxes, etc it turned out to be $113). I received my bill in the mail for $185 this month last week. I called up and asked what is going on, and the rep was able to give me a new fee of $117.99 a month + taxes - a $20 good customer discount. I was supposed to get a new bill in the mail this week. I called up today and they said the new fee would be available next month, but I owe $140.54 this month.

I have a Verizon discount coupoun in the mail for $99 + tax for two years. It also has Fox Business News, ESPNU, and the International History Channel. Verizon said after two years the rate would be $140 a month, but often discounts are available.

Has anyone had Verison for two years and been given a decent rate not like the $140 a month?
David | | From Jack Brennan's "Straight Talk on Investing", page 23 "Living below your means is the ultimate financial strategy"
User avatar
davidkw
 
Posts: 491
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 7:39 pm
Location: Sterling, VA

Postby Dagwood » Sat Apr 11, 2009 10:32 am

We pay $220 a month for a Verizon Fios package with, I think, the second highest or highest internet speed, a fairly extensive package of TV channels, including the movie channels, and unlimited local and long distance phone service.

We are generally pretty pleased with it. We may get rid of the extra movie channels, which we got becuase we have a newborn, so we figured we'd be home a lot, but we still aren't using them much.

As far as customer service goes, Verizon is much better, at least so far, than Comcast. But I am sure once they get everyone all hooked up to Fios, they'll have stinky customer service like Comcast. But I might be wrong.
Dagwood
 
Posts: 1016
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 6:26 pm
Location: MD

Postby Random Musings » Sat Apr 11, 2009 11:08 am

Verizon Fios, IMHO, is a better package. They (had) a good deal for one-year teaser, and at that time, could evaluate.

RM
User avatar
Random Musings
 
Posts: 5035
Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2007 5:24 pm
Location: Pennsylvania

Postby SamB » Sat Apr 11, 2009 11:37 am

I am coming up on the end of the two-year Verizon contract for $99.99. Based on the current offerings it is quite likely I will renew for the same price. Note that the contract price does not include the set top box rental, and over $10 in taxes and fees. Verizon will attempt to sell you HBO and other add-ons. You might want to request that you be put on their 5-year do not call list.

A Verizon marketer called my home when I was not there and tricked my teenage daughter into accepting HBO. My daughter thought she was getting something for free, and I did not notice until the bill changed two months later. I filed complaints against Verizon with the county and state.

Verizon's service has been very good, but their telemarketing department is basically out of control.

Sam
SamB
 
Posts: 695
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2007 4:17 pm

Security protection

Postby davidkw » Sat Apr 11, 2009 1:56 pm

With Comcast, I get the McAfee security package. Does Verizon have a similar plan?
David | | From Jack Brennan's "Straight Talk on Investing", page 23 "Living below your means is the ultimate financial strategy"
User avatar
davidkw
 
Posts: 491
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 7:39 pm
Location: Sterling, VA

Re: Security protection

Postby tonythered » Sat Apr 11, 2009 2:47 pm

davidkw wrote:With Comcast, I get the McAfee security package. Does Verizon have a similar plan?


Not sure, but McAfee is completely unnecessary. There are free packages out there that offer similar/better security (ZoneAlarm for Firewall, AVG free version for antivirus, CCleaner to clean out junk, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware for spyware, etc.).
tonythered
 
Posts: 832
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 5:08 pm

Postby kayman » Sat Apr 11, 2009 4:26 pm

Some of the worst customer service I have ever seen in my life has come from Comcast. (company-wide, not just a few employees) I have never seen a more poorly-run business, especially in regards to their promotions. If I was you I would run to Verizon and stay there.
kayman
 
Posts: 221
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2007 3:23 pm

Postby NYnative » Sat Apr 11, 2009 5:30 pm

Both Comcast and Verizon have only one interest - sign you up as a customer - and their salepeople are relentless. I have Comcast as that was the only choice where I live for many years. Now we can go to Verizon, but it seems to be somewhat more expensive for the same service.

Verizon requires rental of a box for every non-digital TV - Comcast does not. If you take away that, they are very similar. The problem is that we have had power outages lasting many hours, if not days, in bad weather. That means you will lose your phone service when the back-up battery dies. And cell service will die also if the towers are down. So a landline may be your only form of communication.

I have cable TV and internet only. Comcast really, really stunk in the early years of service, but now that there is real competition, they seem to be more responsive.

To me, it's a coin toss - either way you will not be 100% happy. You pays yer money and you takes yer chances. Good luck.
NYnative
 
Posts: 310
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 11:41 am

Postby paulsiu » Sat Apr 11, 2009 5:57 pm

In the old days, Comcast was the only game in town and their services was so terrible that I decided that I did not want cable after all. I am guessing now that they have competition, service will be better.

I have had decent luck with Verizon in the past, though FIOS is not available in my area. They do have problems where different department do not talk to each other.

If I had a choice, I would go with FIOS, but check around to see who will give you a better deal.

Paul
paulsiu
 
Posts: 1353
Joined: Sun Nov 16, 2008 8:46 pm

Postby LadyGeek » Sat Apr 11, 2009 6:24 pm

restonham wrote:Verizon requires rental of a box for every non-digital TV - Comcast does not. If you take away that, they are very similar.
I'm betting that Comcast doesn't require a box for non-digital TV because they haven't turned off the analog channels in your area. When Verizon turned off their analog channels last year, they offered all subscribers up to 3 "free for life" digital adapters. Free, as in free for as long as you subscribe to Verizon. They don't have any guide or DVR info, but work just fine otherwise. That deal isn't around anymore, but those adapters are only $3.99/month.

Verizon's customer service is horrible, lots of problems to get the billing correct. But, you can probably find complaints about any other provider. For better info on Verizon, checkout the Verizon FiOS TV forum over on DSL Reports. Lots of forums that should answer most questions.
To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.
User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
 
Posts: 18962
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 6:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia

Postby Gekko » Sat Apr 11, 2009 6:31 pm

i pay Comcast -

TV - $32.86 Digital Starter
Internet - $27.13
Total - $59.99

i scrapped my Verizon landline and just use my Sprint "Simply Everything" Plan - $99.99 Per Month - Unlimited Voice/Data/Text/GPS.
User avatar
Gekko
 
Posts: 3773
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 6:00 pm
Location: USA

Postby stevewolfe » Sat Apr 11, 2009 9:52 pm

I have Comcast and, frankly, I hate it. The internet service is fine, the cable TV is a rip off (in my opinion). We pay a total of $118 a month - about $25 more than I think is reasonable for our service. So many channels we don't want, on tiers we're required to buy (for example Digital so we can get HD service) - and one of the channels we do watch - NFL network - is going away on May 1st. Wonder if they'll continue to charge me $5 a month for the rest of the programming on that tier - 5 FOX channels from nowhere and the Big Ten network...

I'm on the phone with them every few months because, while we've been with them for 10 years or so, I get irritated with the "$19.99 a month for 6 months for new subscribers" advertisements. So I call in and ask them to match. Usually spend 10-15 minutes on the phone with someone who doesn't really want to talk with me and they typically knock $10-20 off the bill, sometimes more. Which just re-affirms in my mind the fact that it is overpriced to begin with...

Oh and don't even get me started on the "we paid for an HDTV with cable card so we wouldn't need a set top box" but Comcast requires us to pay $8.95 a month for a set top box (+$5 for HDTV service) - if we want HDTV... grrrr....
User avatar
stevewolfe
 
Posts: 1308
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 8:07 pm

Postby knowmad » Sat Apr 11, 2009 11:33 pm

I get the package Comcast hopes you won't find - High Speed Internet + basic analog/digital cable for $53 a month. You don't need a box and you get about a dozen channels in full HD. High end TV packages are a ripoff. My cell phone is prepaid and costs less than $20 a month. I have no land line.
knowmad
 
Posts: 459
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:39 am

Postby runner26 » Thu Apr 29, 2010 11:21 am

restonham wrote:Verizon requires rental of a box for every non-digital TV - Comcast does not.


Comcast is now dropping analog service. They are rolling this out in phases across the country so that set top boxes are required. For the first three TV’s, there is no additional charge.

However, even though my area was down the list for conversion, and Comcast should have had lots of experience by now, this process has not all gone well at all.

They sent me one set-top box and two digital adapters for my three analog TV's. The digital adapters worked fine, but the set-top box did not work at all for the extended cable channels. I was told to drive across town and exchange it at the local office. Unfortunately, the local office only had large boxes that would not fit in my cabinet. I said I wanted a small box like I was sent, and they said I could only have one by paying for a service call, or by calling the customer service number to have on mailed.

I made a call back to customer service, after driving home, and I was sent a replacement box. I was told I would not be charged for shipping this replacement since the first was faulty, but they did charge me for the shipping.

The replacement box did not work either and after a lot of time with tech support, the said they would send a technician to try to figure it out, and that I would not be charged since service call since they needed to figure out what was going on. The service technician, after fiddling for quite some time, could not get it to work, through up his hands, and replaced it with one of their small local boxes. Billing charged me for the service call.

I have spent hours on the phone with service and billing in attempts to get this mess straightened out. The TV's now work ok, though my VCR is not of much use anymore. The billing fixes are still pending.

I am not a happy customer at the moment.
User avatar
runner26
 
Posts: 409
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 10:39 pm
Location: California

Postby delisim » Thu Apr 29, 2010 11:41 am

stevewolfe wrote:I'm on the phone with them every few months because, while we've been with them for 10 years or so, I get irritated with the "$19.99 a month for 6 months for new subscribers" advertisements. So I call in and ask them to match. Usually spend 10-15 minutes on the phone with someone who doesn't really want to talk with me and they typically knock $10-20 off the bill, sometimes more. Which just re-affirms in my mind the fact that it is overpriced to begin with...

You can also live chat with a rep on the internet. I did this last month and the convo went very similarly to the one in the article. They basically looked up the best possible price for me immediately and applied it.
delisim
 
Posts: 132
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2007 11:24 am

Postby GammaPoint » Thu Apr 29, 2010 12:08 pm

delisim wrote:You can also live chat with a rep on the internet. I did this last month and the convo went very similarly to the one in the article. They basically looked up the best possible price for me immediately and applied it.


I did the same last month. I'm paying $25/month for hi-speed internet (usually $45-60 if purchased by itself). That price is good for the next 6 months, at which I'll have to get back online and talk to another rep and do it all over again.

Comcast has the worst possible service of any company I've ever dealt with. It's as if they train their employees to be incompetent and rude (I don't know how else to explain it). Last May I was chatting online with a Comcast rep and we were talking about the 'digital transition' and what was required for that. I spent 1 hour talking to him trying to explain it to him because he kept giving me incorrect information (I had originally asked about something related that I did not know). He would repeatedly send me to Comcast website links with the intent of proving his point, but each time the website would clearly say the very opposite of what he was telling me. So I'd copy and paste the Comcast website info that he sent me to trying to show him that he was wrong, or at least asking him to show me how that was the same thing that he was saying, but he would just move on and give me another link disproving his claims. So there's incompetence. As for rudeness, here's another story. We had a Comcast tech rep come to our house to check on a bad connection. He's been in the house about 3 minutes. In the middle of our conversation he turns around, walks into our bathroom without asking, and uses it. Had he said "hey man, can I use your restroom?" I would have said sure, but the fact that he just walked in their was pretty shocking.
GammaPoint
 
Posts: 2552
Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2009 11:25 am
Location: California

Postby bsarabennett » Thu Apr 29, 2010 12:56 pm

Unfortunately, our new house is only a few hundred lines from ATT's available service area. We used to have ATT and LOVED it. Absolutely no problems, at all--with billing or anything. With Comcast, we just were disappointed. So much so, that we canceled and just got Netflix. We still have Comcast internet, and it works just fine. But as far as cable... boo.
----
mnui.com
Last edited by bsarabennett on Wed May 05, 2010 12:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
bsarabennett
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 12:27 pm

Postby LadyGeek » Thu Apr 29, 2010 5:47 pm

GammaPoint wrote:Comcast has the worst possible service of any company I've ever dealt with.
You can find the same complaints about Verizon. Especially with billing.
To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.
User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
 
Posts: 18962
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 6:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia

Postby amplifier » Thu Apr 29, 2010 11:42 pm

I have had so many absolutely appalling experiences with Comcast that I consider their customer service being bad an unchangeable and seemingly eternal law of nature.
amplifier
 
Posts: 64
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 12:12 am

Postby Tom_T » Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:27 am

This is all a matter of personal experience. Neither Verizon nor Comcast is known for their customer service. They are seemingly too big to care, unfortunately. You can find many complaints about both on the Web.

Also, for anyone signing up for a discounted introductory offer (like $99/month), neither Comcast nor Verizon plans for you to pay that amount forever. It will most likely go up at the end of the introductory period. I don't believe you can simply decide to renew it at the same price. There are many customers who experienced sticker shock when they got switched to "regular" rates at the end of their contract.
Tom_T
 
Posts: 1361
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2007 3:33 pm

Postby felixters » Fri Apr 30, 2010 11:52 am

Tom_T wrote:This is all a matter of personal experience. Neither Verizon nor Comcast is known for their customer service. They are seemingly too big to care, unfortunately. You can find many complaints about both on the Web.

Also, for anyone signing up for a discounted introductory offer (like $99/month), neither Comcast nor Verizon plans for you to pay that amount forever. It will most likely go up at the end of the introductory period. I don't believe you can simply decide to renew it at the same price. There are many customers who experienced sticker shock when they got switched to "regular" rates at the end of their contract.


Oh you can, and I do. You just need to call and tell them what you are being offered by the competition, ask if they can give you their latest deal and you're set. Often times they even throw in extras. This last time I got free DVR for 6 months on top of the packaged discount. I've had a few reps tell me they can't do it, all you do is hang up and call back to get a different rep. I've done this every time my contract has come up since I've lived on my own. I haven't ever paid "regular" rates.

If you find that you can't do what I described, you can always bounce between Verizon and Comcast (if they are both in your area). When you switch they will offer you their special rates.

I have no preference towards one company over the other as they are both terrible in the customer service area.
felixters
 
Posts: 49
Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 5:09 pm

Postby pointyhairedboss » Fri Apr 30, 2010 12:39 pm

I was a Comcast customer, but switched to Verizon when I moved because they were offering the new customer discount and Comcast refused to match. I begged Comcast to match the price, but they refused. (And now twice a week Comcast sends me "switch to comcast" advertisements with great teaser rates)

Both companies have awful customer service, but in my experience, Verizon is the worst of the worst. It is deep seated in their company culture, as they were once the monopoly phone provider.

For installations and repairs, Comcast offered a 4 hour window with monetary compensation if they missed the window. Consequently, Comcast was never late for any appointment. Verizon also offered a 4 hour window, but did not have a monetary compensation promise. Consequently, Verizon missed two appointments - not late, but completely skipped without notice - and were late on the third appointment.

Comcast was never that difficult to get to a human being. Verizon has automated computer personality which you have to go through. One time, after going through 10 minutes of resetting box codes, the computer misunderstood my command, and erroneously concluded that it had successfully fixed my problem. I had to call back and go through the same 10 minutes of box code resetting.

When I signed up for Verizon, we setup an installation date. Three days before the date, I called Verizon with some questions unrelated to the installation. The operator noticed a problem with my order and started fixing it. The fix triggered the computer to cancel my installation appointment. The operator than rescheduled the appointment for a week later. I was upset and demanded the original installation time. She transferred me to some other department. The other department claimed that the installation people were completely booked and had no availability. That was impossible, because seconds earlier I was on the schedule. They refused. I got screwed.

I am in the middle of a two year price guarantee. Although it is highly obfuscated, my new customer package gives me a $10 discount from the price I would receive if I was a returning customer. I recently bought a hdtv, and inquired about upgrading to an hd package. Verizon could do it, but price quoted failed to take into account my $10 discount. I declined.

Despite my intense dislike of Verizon, my recommendation is to go with the company that offers the lowest price. Do inquire about any early termination fees. I believe Verizon charges $360 etf for a two year agreement.
http://consumerist.com/2010/01/verizon- ... -week.html
User avatar
pointyhairedboss
 
Posts: 369
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 11:47 pm

Postby delisim » Fri Apr 30, 2010 2:47 pm

pointyhairedboss wrote:Comcast was never that difficult to get to a human being. Verizon has automated computer personality which you have to go through.
Use GetHuman and you can "quickly" circumvent the computer personality.

I've actually always been satisfied with Comcast CS. Not their price, but that's what negotiations are for :) Their HD/DVR and Internet service has also met my high expectations.
delisim
 
Posts: 132
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2007 11:24 am

Postby gnosis » Fri Apr 30, 2010 5:23 pm

delisim wrote:You can also live chat with a rep on the internet. I did this last month and the convo went very similarly to the one in the article. They basically looked up the best possible price for me immediately and applied it.


delisim, you are the greatest! Thank you so much for that link. Live online chat with Comcast is ABSOLUTELY the way to go. I called them... again... to try to lower my bill just last week, and I finally got lucky but not very -- they only knocked off about $10. Well after reading this thread today, I did the online chat with Comcast for the first time, and somehow they were able to give me an incredible deal, even cheaper by about another $20, and they upgraded me from 6mb to 16mb internet speed, and now I get free modem rental. This new promo lasts for 12 months. You made my day to say the least. Cheers!

I have Digital Starter on two HD DVR boxes, no premium channels.

Here's my chat transcript that I trimmed down for our purposes:

http://www.comcastsupport.com/chatwithu ... artcom.asp

Subject: Considering moving to Verizon

Placido > Hello jason_, Thank you for contacting Comcast Live Chat Support. My name is Placido. Please give me one moment to review your information.
Placido > Hi Jason, how are you today?
jason_ > I'm fine, thanks
Placido > I understand where you are coming from Jason and I am sad that you are considering moving to Verizon however do you mind if I ask the reason?
jason_ > Because it costs less for the same services that I like.
Placido > I will check for options that will help you lower your bill.
Placido > Jason, I see here that your service are all under a promotional rate, right?
jason_ > Triple play, yes
jason_ > I have a promo rate on one of the two DVRs. Is there any way to get the promo rate on both?
Placido > Sure, let me check that for you Jason.
Placido > Jason, I see here that your monthly rate is $127.90, right?
jason_ > Correct
Placido > Jason, how about I will make it to the last stretch?
Placido > Instead of $127.90 to $114.85 a month.
Placido > How is that sound to you?
jason_ > That sounds good, but do I need to downgrade anything?
Placido > Also, your internet service changes from 6MB to 16MB, one of our fastest speed in internet service.
Placido > That is the only change in your services Jason.
jason_ > Would the bill be even cheaper than $114.85/month if I stay at 6mb? I don't need the faster 16mb.
Placido > It would be cheaper if you will have 16mb since the promotional is for the 16mb.
Placido > Also, I will give you your modem rental for free.
Placido > How is that?
Placido > So, your monthly rate will be only $109.85.
jason_ > I'm very happy with what you could do for me today, thank you
jason_ > okay that's great! we can finalize now. thanks so much. How long will this new promotional price last?
Placido > This is good for 12 months Jason and no worries still because you could just chat with us back the moment it is about to end and ask for another promotional rate.
User avatar
gnosis
 
Posts: 338
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:05 pm

Postby mithrandir » Sun May 02, 2010 9:39 am

stevewolfe wrote:Oh and don't even get me started on the "we paid for an HDTV with cable card so we wouldn't need a set top box" but Comcast requires us to pay $8.95 a month for a set top box (+$5 for HDTV service) - if we want HDTV... grrrr....

Comcast sends local broadcast channels in ClearQAM. I connect the coax line from the wall directly to my HDTV (no digital box in between) and I get all local broadcast channels in HD. This only works for local channels; if you want ESPN in HD you must subscribe to extra tiers of services and rent an HD box. Since cable channels are a rip-off anyway I am content to stick with the cheapest "Limited Basic" TV service.

Saw the 2010 Olympics in HD, since NBC owned the rights to broadcast, so there's my "free" high-definition sports experience.
mithrandir
 
Posts: 812
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2007 9:49 pm
Location: US

Postby mithrandir » Sun May 02, 2010 9:49 am

And as many have stated, deciding who has better service - Comcast or Verizon? - is indeed deciding who is less horrible.

When Verizon first started advertising FIOS I was ready to jump ship just to stick my nose at Comcast. Never made the switch though because I know Verizon is no savior and they wouldn't be investing supposed billions of dollars in laying out FIOS if it wasn't going to be a huge revenue/profit source for them.

I'm cheap and proud of it. Until a customer-focused company like an Amazon or Netflix can provide TV, phone and Internet service, I'll get only the cheapest options from Comcast and call it a day.
mithrandir
 
Posts: 812
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2007 9:49 pm
Location: US

Postby SP-diceman » Sun May 02, 2010 10:07 am

The cable companies say "Verizon Fios" also charges $300+ to
end the programs.
(have no idea how true it is)

Obviously they have a motive but its also not hard to imagine
a "good deal offered" then having difficulty ending it.
(thats why everything has "for 2 years" after it)


Thanks
SP-diceman
SP-diceman
 
Posts: 3963
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 10:17 am

Postby ipabrewer » Mon May 03, 2010 6:48 pm

Just wanted to share the fact that I used the inspiration provided by this post and managed to drop my monthly bill to Verizon by 30$ for a year. I didnt think it will be possible at the beginning, but I tried and got the deal.

I used the promotion that Comcast offered me about a month ago, 89.99 for a year for tv/internet/phone. Verizon matched their offer, and even went to give me 10 $ less than what Comcast offered me.

One thing that's important: if the representative you get is not cooperative and you think you can get a better deal, call back and start all over again.

I feel really good about this deal.
ipabrewer
 
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 6:30 pm


Return to Personal Finance (Not Investing)

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: CassieInVa, yakers and 17 guests