Have you ever haggled to get a lower price for a car? It’s a known practice. But most people don’t realize that it’s the same when ordering or renewing your internet service.
I had been paying for relatively slow but fast enough for me 15/15 Mbps Verizon FIOS service for $40/month. This was a two year deal which recently shot up to $75/month. So I called and asked what they could do. I even said that I wanted to cancel my service. Sometimes this gets you transferred to retention people who can offer you more. In this case, the representative said that he had to go off and talk to folks about what they could offer. Remember in Fargo when William H. Macey was selling a car to people and pretended to go talk to his boss? That’s what this felt like.
When the Verizon representative came back, he said that the best he could do was $50/month for 50/50 Mbps service. I said that I didn’t need that speed, but he said that it was the lowest speed currently offered by Verizon. I said that wasn’t good enough so he went to go to talk to people again. This time he came back and said that he could do it for $45/month.
Meanwhile, I was discussing the same topic with a Verizon online web chat person. This person said the best they could do was $40/month for 25/25 Mbps speed. So I hung up the phone and ordered through the web.
I don’t know if I got the best deal possible. I know someone who was recently given 30/30 Mbps for $45/month so it seems a little random. Both the phone and web person said that 30/30 wasn’t a current speed option. My guess is that the offers depend a little on who you happen to reach and what deals the sales people are told they can offer at the time.
Sadly, just like with buying a car, it’s the uninformed folks who can’t figure out the system and have to pay too much. These are often older folks who get tricked into buying an “internet security package” or are told that they need 50/50 Mbps speeds to watch Netflix. It’s no better than selling someone a pretend car undercoating.