You’ve been fed up with Fios for a while now, and you decide that you’ve finally had enough. As with most internet service providers (ISPs), they like to make it very difficult for you. They will fight to keep you on board with them, and if they fail, you can bet they’ll attempt to recoup some of their losses with cancellation fees.
Let’s take a look at a few steps that you can take to make the Fios cancellation process much less stressful.
Why cancel Verizon Fios?
Fios by Verizon is a relatively new service. Originally introduced in 2005, this fiber optic internet provider is a young’un among ISPs, and as to be expected with a new company, they are still working out some kinks. Here are a few problems that customers have had with Fios.
- Rising Prices. Being a newer ISP, Verizon wants as many people to sign up for Fios as possible. They may have succeeded in luring you in with a great Fios deal, only to find that your bill has skyrocketed over your time with them.
You may find yourself in the same boat as one Fios user who says: “I have been a customer for over three years. When I started paying, it was $39.99 per month for Fios; then it went to $54.99, then 64.99. I got my bill this month for 100/100 service, and it was $94.99 per month.” If you find yourself in this situation, it’s worth calling Verizon to see what they can do about lowering your bill
- Customer Service Issues. Some Fios customers have expressed frustration with the customer service department. Some struggle to reach a human representative or receive adequate support.
One user reports scheduling multiple house calls for hardware service following a severe storm, only to have the technician “no-show”. One Fios technician admits: “Verizon overbooks appointments, typical of the industry, and us techs can’t hit all the jobs.”
If you’re encountering the above issues, suffering from unreliable or not-as-advertised service, or simply want to find a cheaper internet alternative, here’s how to cancel Verizon.
How to Cancel with Verizon
Though the Verizon Fios website claims that you can cancel online, it will always end in a phone call. You can try your best to avoid the intimidating customer service representatives, but in the end, It is inevitable.
That conversation provides them with one more opportunity to keep you on-board with them. Their website states: “We never want to see you go and would love the chance to convince you to stay.”
Here are a few steps you can take to simplify your cancellation call:
Step 1: Reach the Retention Department
When you first call Verizon to cancel your Fios service, you will be greeted by a “Chat Bot.” This is an automated voice that will gather account and billing information from you. Be prepared for a little frustration at this point. The Chat Bot is far from perfect and is sure to test your patience.
After you successfully answer all of the robot questions and provide the needed info, you should end up on the line with a customer service department. Inform them that you intend to cancel your Fios service. At this point, you should be directed to the customer retention department.
Customer Retention is Verizon’s last resort to keeping you with them. Trust us, they’re ready for this phone call so be prepared. Their specialists are trained negotiators and are very effective in making “exclusive” offers and prices.
Here is the number for cancellations: 844-837-2262
Make sure, when you pick up the phone, you have every intention of canceling and that nothing can change your mind. Otherwise, you may find yourself being enticed into one of their “limited time offers.”
Step 2: Have a Solid Excuse Ready
Your excuse is your first line of defense in your battle to cancel. The First question that the retention rep will ask you is almost always: “Why do you want to leave Fios?”
If you give them a weak excuse, they will counter quickly.
For example, if you answer their question by saying: “I’m relocating.” you will immediately get a response such as: “Oh, Where to?” Then, they will proceed to push their services again if the new location is within their covered territory.
In order to combat this, you need a solid and detailed excuse that will make it difficult for the rep to navigate around. Here is a list of possible excuses that you could try on your cancellation call.
- “I am moving in with my parents/friend/significant other, and they already have another ISP.”
- “I just started a new job, and they are paying for all of my services.”
- “I just had [other ISP] set up at my house; I need to cancel with Fios.”
- “I’m moving to [foreign country] for work.”
Of course, these are only a few examples. Feel free to get creative with your excuse. It’s very unlikely that they will call you out on it.
A good excuse can either make or break your cancellation call. You need one that will make it clear that there’s no use in trying to persuade you to stay.
Step 3: Be Kind but Firm
When you’re on the phone with Verizon, you want to be friendly. It will make the conversation a lot more pleasant. Remember, the retention reps are people too. They’re just doing their job to the best of their ability, and if you’re finding it hard to cancel, they’re doing it well.
However, at the same time, you will need to be firm and assertive. You could have the best excuse in the world, only to find that the representative is insistent that you stay on-board with them.
Yes, they might seem pushy, but they are likely under obligation by Verizon policies to be that way.
Just be very clear and to-the-point with them. While maintaining a friendly demeanor, Simply tell them that it’s not possible for you to stay with Fios.
Step 4: Confirm Cancellation
This last step is an easy but important one. You need to confirm your cancellation before you hang up! There’s nothing worse than spending an hour on the phone just to find out that your Fios account is still active and you have to make the call all over again.
When your call is coming to an end, be sure that you ask the retention specialist to confirm that your internet service is completely canceled. You should also inquire about any equipment that may need to be returned.
How to Avoid Unnecessary fees from Verizon
After the cancellation phone call, you may find yourself having to deal with termination and equipment fees. If you are canceling your Verizon Fios service because of high prices, you will no doubt want to do everything in your power to avoid any additional costs.
Here are a few tips that can help you avoid or reduce the fees associated with canceling your Fios internet service.
Count the Cost — Is it Worth Canceling Verizon Early?
When you signed up with Fios, you signed a service agreement. Obviously, this means that you agreed to pay the indicated amount each month until the end of the contract. Within that contract, it states that if you terminate your service prior to the service agreement end date, you would be charged an early termination fee (ETF).
Unlike many other ISPs that charge a flat rate for terminating your service early, Verizon Fios ETFs are prorated and decrease by $15 per month as you make your way through your contract. For example, if you wanted to terminate your service three months early, it would cost you $45.
This works in your favor if you are canceling late in your service agreement. However, if you are still early in your contract, you could potentially end up paying hundreds of dollars.
Count the cost and determine if it is advantageous to cancel early. You may find it more cost-effective to stick it out a few months until your contract is up.
Return Your Rented Equipment
If you have been renting a router or any other equipment from Verizon, they’re going to want it back. It’s best to return it as soon as possible.
Verizon allows you 30 days to complete the return. Failure to do so within that period will result in unreturned equipment charges.
Verizon charges for each piece of unreturned equipment individually, and believe us, they aren’t cheap. Click here for a list of all unreturned equipment charges.
You have the option to return the equipment via mail (a prepaid label will be provided through Verizon), or you can return it to a Verizon retail store. Either way, make sure you obtain a receipt indicating that the equipment is no longer in your possession. After you have made the return, it is best to call and verify that it has registered in their system.
What if Verizon Fios is the Only ISP Option in my Area?
If you live in an area that is only serviced by Verizon Fios, you might find it difficult to completely cut ties with them. Here are a couple of tips you can take that can at least save you some money.
- Simplify your plan. If you currently have an entertainment bundle that includes TV, you may consider switching to a simpler plan. With so many available streaming services like Netflix, YouTube TV, and Hulu, it’s easy to save money by switching to one of these alternatives.
- Negotiate. Usually, if you were attempting to negotiate a better price, you could threaten to leave Fios for another ISP if they refuse to lower your rates. However, since they are the only internet option in your area, this makes things a bit more challenging. Your best option is to firmly (yet kindly) express your frustration with the amount you are currently paying each month.
Tell them that you’ve been a loyal customer for a long time, and you deserve a better rate. They will almost always meet you in the middle in order to keep you with them. It may take some intense negotiating with Verizon, but with a little effort, you can settle on an acceptable price.
- Cancel and sign up under a different name. This one is sort of a last-ditch effort (and can put you in strife with Verizon if they find out), but it has proven to sometimes be effective for other customers. If you sign up under the name of your roommate, you can get the “new customer” price.
Successfully Ending Your Relationship with Verizon Fios
Canceling your Internet service isn’t an easy process. It can be frustrating, but If you follow these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to speed up the termination process, and hopefully save some money too.
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Patrick Ward is the Consulting Editor for High Speed Experts, a broadband connectivity search engine and IT industry education platform. A writer featured in Forbes and Ad Age, he has worked extensively across the insurance, real estate, finance, travel, and tech industries, with notable clients including Allianz, Cathay Pacific, and Fiji Airways.