Should I Choose Verizon FiOS Over Comcast?

I’m not a big fan of Comcast or Verizon — but I am a fan of saving 50% on my phone/internet/cable bill each month.  We have been Comcast customers since 2001, so our history with them has been both rough and pleasing.  Verizon FiOS is getting installed en masse in our neighborhood, and we were told by the landlord that Verizon would need access to our apartment to “run a FiOS installation line from the basement to our closet and then to all the closets above us in the building.”  We can choose to sign up for FiOS, or not, but the construction for installing a FiOS pipe will be done no matter what.

FiOS is offering an $89.00 a month plan for internet/phone/cable for one year. That price, Verizon told me, matches our current Comcast service and saves us almost 50% off our current Comcast bill.

I called Comcast this morning to tell them “Verizon FiOS is in the house” and I wanted to know if Comcast would match the FiOS deal for a year or not.

Of course, the Comcast answer was, “Not!”

The Comcast retention representative told me this about FiOS:

  1. If your service breaks, Verizon will be there in four days to fix it. We’ll be there in a day.
  2. Verizon has higher taxes.  You’ll pay $25 a month with them and only $10 a month with us.
  3. After that first $89 year, you’ll never get another discount from them again.
  4. FiOS doesn’t have On Demand.
  5. FiOS doesn’t have DVR.
  6. Comcast has more HD channels than FiOS and more are coming.
  7. FiOS is not giving you 16mb/5mb internet service like we give you for that $89 a month bundle price.

The woman apologized that she couldn’t do better on our current bill.  She said we already have the “top of everything” and there’s no lower plan to put us on that would give us the same service.

She then offered to take $5 off our bill each month for six months — no strings attached — and to send us two Pay Per View coupons worth $4 each.

I thanked her for her time and for the information — and now comes the hard part as I need to decide if we want to part with Comcast and take a chance that Verizon FiOS will deliver what they promise.

One thing I do know is this: Comcast needs to have a better price response for current, loyal, customers to blunt the Verizon FiOS onslaught that is getting ready to conquer our neighborhood.

29 comments

  • David,

    What up / down connection are they offering? At my last office when we got fios it was ridiculously fast.

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  • I also live in an apartment. We used to be with Comcast till they start jerking with my bill and crappy service. We switched to FiOS and it’s way faster and much better HD quality. We use cell, so we do not have home phone. Do a little research on google and youtube. Use key words like: Comcast vs FiOS internet speed, Comcast vs FiOS HD quality, here is a link
    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1008271. Comcast uses a technology called Power Boost, which usually makes your internet speed fast for the first 30 seconds of the download, then it slows down (do a little research on that too). When I used to stream Netflix with my bluray player using Comcast, it always use to lag and buffer, with FiOS, that problem is gone. My word is if you get FiOS dump Comcast now.

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    • Thanks for that real life example, Art. I’ve had bad experiences in the past with Verizon on site support. My DSL line went out and they could not fix it for 10 days. I cancelled them and went with Comcast and, so far, the result has been pretty good for voice, internet and telephony. FIOS has been available in our building now for a couple of months, but I don’t think anyone has called to sign up yet.

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  • listen the things the Comcast rep said was simply not true, of course Fios as on demand, and their internet is faster and their tv picture is a heel of a lot clearer. Comcast wants you to pay for a service that is lousy. You don’t know me from a can of paint. but i can honesty say get away from Comcast,and go with verizon. you are going to hear everyone opinion about this and that, but it all boils down to the better service

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  • I am currently contemplating this change. Ever since Comcast switched to digital cable boxes on every television, we get extremely poor service on the two televisions that do not have DVRs. It’s like Comcast can’t offer basic cable anymore.

    My experience at my last home was that whenever the other apartment in our two family changed residents, I would lose cable and Internet for several days because Comcast would shut off cable to the entire building and then treat my problem as a non-urgent service call.

    Right now, Verizon is offering a free multi-room DVR for the life of our bundled package at a guaranteed 1 year rate of $99/month for television/internet/phone. If FIOS can deliver high speed internet, it seems like a no-brainer to me to try the change for a year.

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    • Make sure you get the best deal, Tammi. FIOS is new in our area, and they’re offering us a $69 a month deal for what they’re trying to give you for $99. Going for FIOS for us, right now, would result in a monetary savings, but we’d lose 2/3 of our internet speed. I’m not quite yet ready to take that leap into a degradation of service for a lower price point.

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  • How does multi-room dvr work?
    On my Comcast, I can be recording 2 programs and watch a pre-recorded one at the same time. Can FIOS do that?

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    • Multi-room DVR means you only need one DVR box in your house and then you can watch DVR recordings on your other non-DVR cable boxes in the same house. It’s actually done on the network. Your “DVR” shows are not saved on a local hard disk in your “DVR cable box” — program content is actually marked on the remote cable servers and then “live streamed” to your individual cable boxes as you see fit in a sort of modified, automatic, “On Demand” service that is easier to use and more invisible to set up.

      Multi-room DVR is rumored to be coming from Comcast in the Fall when they do a major update of their cable box software. I look forward to the change, because, right now, if you want to record more than two shows at the same time, you’re out of luck unless you have TWO cable DVR-boxes in your home. With “any room DVR” you can record anything you like and watch it on any TV you have at will.

      Yes, all the major cable TV providers now offer DVRs that record two shows and let you watch a recorded show at the same time.

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  • Just found this site. Am in NJ at a Holiday Inn Express. Their com cast went out and they can not fix it. I spoke to the tech and said I had Verizon FIOS at home and am VERY pleased. I have never experienced a long time problem. If there was one, it was fixed in a matter of minutes. If I needed a tech, one came to the house. Multi DVR’s in the room are awesome. The tech here is Jersey thinks that Comcast is the owner of the FIOS lines of Verizon. These techs are brain washed. Even the the Front Desk help want the FIOS back. If one has a choice, go with Verizon, you won’t be disappointed.

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  • I am currently moving from a Mother-In-Law style apartment where all utilites are included…the landlord uses comcast…now its time to get my own cable and really was not keen on comcast i think now i will call the Verizon and ask them some question about Internet and TV…we already have 2 cell phones and one landline with verizon so ONE bill heck ya im down for that!!!

    Reading comments you guys and ladies have helped me out tremendous! thanks!

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  • We dumped Comcast for FIOS a couple of years ago because their service was too unreliable. Comcast buried the cable only a couple of inches underground and even left part of the cable above ground in our front yard! They did not fix this after repeated calls. Once a neighbor cut off our service when he aerated his lawn. We were out of luck for a couple of days then.

    Then one day, a neighbor’s gardener accidentally dug up a 3 foot portion of the cable across the street. It took Comcast most of the week to get us back on line.
    So much for their “same day” service. We then signed up with Verizon FIOS and it has been relatively trouble free. They buried their cable deep enough.

    FIOS has video on demand. We have been watching movies regularly using this service since the Blockbuster closed.

    My big gripe with FIOS is their pricing is non-transparent.

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  • VERIZO FIOS IS THE BEST!! Comcast is such a ripoff and their customer service sucks.

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  • We just switched to FIOS.

    Before, we were paying for 10MB download speed and getting 2.

    Now we pay for 25 and sometimes get 30.

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  • We’ve had FIOS since they put it in our neighborhood a couple of years ago. It has always given us a little more than the advertised speed, and with no data caps. We started out at 15/5, then Verizon bumped us to 25/15, then to 35/35, all for the same price. At 35/35, speedtest.net and speakeasy.net always reported right around 35-40 Mbps down, 30-35 Mbps up. I was very pleased.

    Recently, Verizon changed speed tiers, so there’s no more 35/35 now, at least where I live. They were going to move me to 50/25 (faster download, slower upload than I had) for the same price. But for $10/mo more, I went to 75/35. I can’t say I see a difference in “real world” use of the Internet, but my download speed now is consistent ~85 Mbps, faster than advertised. Upload speed tests ~35 Mbps, exactly as advertised (no change from before). It’s crazy fast Internet and I’m pleased. I think FIOS is a great product. I never felt that way about cable.

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    • Thanks for that update. FiOS seems like a super deal now. We live in a FiOS building, but Comcast is still available. We’d switch if we were planning on staying longer than a year. As it is right now, Comcast is working fine and I don’t want to tempt the fate of upgrading against a known good thing.

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  • I had Comcast before 4yrs of FiOS. Moving has forced me into returning to Comcast because Nu direct tv or other dishes are permitted on our building

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    • I hope to return to Verizon for tv asap. I am paying few extra bucks a mo. to keep Verizon for phone and now broadband. You betcha I am on the notify list for FiOS in the future. My Comcast service won’t provide tracking for the new equipment! I will certainly avoid Comcast anytime since verizon is only ever down when PECO subcontractors have accidents tree trimming! And absolutely nothing takes 3 to 5 days to get done with Verizon. At least we will have netflix!

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    • That was exactly my situation when I moved to Kew Gardens. Verzon talked sense into our building complex. (Money talks?)

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