Sunday, December 7, 2008

FIOS - Verizon - Vonage - Comcast

I signed up for Verizon’s FIOS Triple Freedom bundle a few weeks ago. Triple Freedom includes TV, Internet and Phone. The TV and Internet part of the bundle seems to be pretty good. Compared to Comcast, the Internet is a little faster the TV has many more HD channels to choose from. But compared to Vonage the phone part of the bundle was disappointing. There is no problem with the quality but the limited services and web control panel were an issue for me so I'm going back to Vonage for phone service.


Verizon offers only three features with their bundle and any additional features cost extra. While it's nice to have caller ID, call waiting and voice mail, the most important feature for me is call forwarding or SimulRing which is included with Vonage at no additional cost. With SimulRing, I never have to worry about forwarding or un-forwarding calls to my cell phone. All incoming calls always ring both my land line and my cell phone and I can choose which one to answer when I'm in the office.

The Vonage web control panel is easy to use and very complete. You can manage all your features and review all your incoming and outgoing calls. With Vonage you can sort, search and filter calls. You can see caller ID's and duration of calls. Verizon has a program called Call Assistant that you can install on your PC and/or use on the web. There is no custom reporting feature and no record of call duration. I couldn't find any record of outgoing calls. This may not be important for most users but I've been using the Vonage call logs to track and bill for some of my consulting services.

For me, the decision to switch back to Vonage was based not only on the features and control panel but also the pricing. I suppose I would have found a work-around for the things missing with Verizon, but after the one year special pricing runs out, Verizon costs about twice as much as Vonage. I was concerned that I'd lose my bundle pricing or that I'd have to pay for the phone part even if I wasn't using it. This was not the case. When I explained my desires to the Verizon customer service person, she made it easy for me to change my service plan to one called 'Flex Double'. This is an Internet and TV bundle that's about $30.00 per month less than the 'Triple Freedom' bundle; enough to cover my Vonage bill.

I've used this forum a few times to complain about customer service and tech support because I've had some awful experiences, but in this case it was very good. The Verizon rep that helped me sign up for my service was very helpful and worked past the normal closing time by 15 minutes to complete my order. The Comcast rep was very helpful when I called to cancel my account and she arranged for a courier to pick up my set-top boxes and remotes at no charge. Again, the Verizon rep that helped me change my bundle was helpful and a real problem solver. When I called Vonage to re-instate my service, their service person was also helpful and efficient. My thanks to all three companies and their quality customer service people.


1. Katie Stevens said...


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2. Andi said...

Apparently this is what the esteemed Willis was tlakin' 'bout.

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