No one likes to get a bad deal. That’s why there are signup specials for new Verizon Fios customers all the time. But what about when you’ve had Fios for a couple of years? Is there anything you can do to get the new-customer price? In this article, we’ll talk about what to do if you want to negotiate with Verizon Fios for a lower internet bill.
Tactics to Negotiate a Deal for Existing Verizon Fios Customers
Unfortunately, Verizon Fios is a tough nut to crack. Negotiation techniques tend to work less with this company than other Internet/TV providers. Success in lowering your current bill can be hit or miss, and that can depend on factors like who you talk to, your payment history, and options in your area.
Don’t just call Verizon right when you decide you want to negotiate for a better deal. You need to do some preparation first. Think about it like preparing for a court case. You need to gather evidence, create a game plan, and know what your options are if things don’t work out.
Know your payment and credit history
It’s good to know your payment history. If you’ve had any late payments, they’ll be able to pull it up on the screen and see. Late payments can decrease the chance of you getting a deal. Being the best customer possible gives them more of an incentive to work with you.
Hopefully you’ve been asking for credits when there’s been a service outage. If service is interrupted in your area, you have the right to ask for bill credits on your account. Verizon Fios might not acknowledge past outages unless you’ve requested a credit. This is because your bill history is the only place where outages count on your account. They can see past outage history in their own system, of course, but if it’s not on your bill statement they might dismiss it.
The reason you would want a record of outages is so you can bring up the issue of downtime in negotiation and use it as leverage. You could say:
“My service was down for 16 hours one day, and company X’s offer looks really good since they advertise 99% connectivity.”
Bringing up outages gives you reason to argue that their service isn’t worth the high price of your bill right now.
Scope out new customer deals and offers from other companies
When you call in, you should know what your plan would cost as a new customer. But you also want to know what deal you could get if you jump ship and go to another company. If you say you’d like the new customer price, the service agent may say it’s for new customers only. At that point, you can say:
“Well, I also know I can get the same service from company X for this price too. I like Verizon Fios and don’t want to change, but I can’t keep paying this high price. Is there anything you can do for me?”
The key is to be polite and know your options. Remember, these customer service agents have to listen to angry people on the phone every day. They may actually have the power to give you a deal on Verizon Fios, or to get a manager on your side, but if you get short or unpleasant with them then you’re blowing your chance. Remember to take into account any extras that you have, like HBO or premium speeds, as these may not be factored in with an advertised price for new customers.
Timing your negotiation is everything
Don’t wait until you’re three days away from the end of your contract to call. At that point, you’ve only got one shot. They may or may not give you a deal, and if they don’t, you’d have to continue your regular service or change to a new provider quickly.
Try to call Verizon one to two months away from the end of your contract. This will give you enough time to talk to a few different people if you don’t get a deal on the first try. Also, don’t be afraid to hang up. Phones get disconnected all the time, and if the conversation isn’t going so well, it’s ok to pretend the call was dropped. This strategy is better than settling for the first bad counter offer they give you.
Call in, and be prepared to cancel
You don’t just need to know the other deals in your area, but you should also be prepared to actually take one if you need to. That’s because the best way of getting a deal on your service is to call in and say:
“My bill has become too expensive. I’ve seen other deals and want to switch. Please cancel my service.”
Don’t say you want to find a discount, or talk about deals with Verizon. Just say you want to cancel Verizon, and don’t budge until they start speaking your language. With Verizon Fios, there’s a chance they’ll cancel your service instead of giving you a deal. That’s why you need a backup option. But you won’t get the deal if they don’t think you’re serious about leaving.
Once your cards are on the table, be patient. It doesn’t work all the time, but some people have lowered their bill by negotiating directly with Verizon like this.
Important: If they agree to cancel your account, ask to schedule it out at least a few weeks away. In some cases, you’ll actually get a call from Verizon Fios offering you some kind of deal to stay before cancellation. And if not, you have a few weeks to plan your transition to another provider.
Next best option to save on Verizon Fios: cancel and sign up again
You can do this route one of two ways. Either you can cancel and sign up again yourself, or you can cancel and have your roommate or a family member sign up instead.
If you sign up again under your own name, you may have to wait a week to 30 days before you’ll be offered the new customer price. If it’s not the exact new customer deal, there’s still a good chance your new contract will be cheaper than your old one. But this technique is risky, since you may not get the deals as your information and address is already in their system.
Now, signing up someone else in your household pretty much works every time. When you go through the process, Verizon Fios will ask if the old account is active. Select the “current resident is moving” option and you’ll be able to proceed. You may have a day of downtime when you send the old equipment back and set up the new, but that’s not too bad. Of course, this tactic is hard to do if you live alone.
What we don’t recommend is to make up a name or to use someone who isn’t living at the house. Verizon does ask for mail to verify the person’s identity, and they also do a soft credit check. It’s a good idea to stay on the safe side with this.
Downgrade (or upgrade) your Verizon Fios Internet plan
Another option to save some money is to downgrade the plan that you have. Do you really watch all the channels you pay for? Do you need a landline? Maybe you could move down a notch in TV or internet speed to save a few bucks. When talking with an agent, be sure to ask about taxes and fees. Sometimes a bundled price doesn’t include the cost of fees for a landline phone, and it’s not “cheaper all together.”
Verizon Fios also offers some deals for existing customers. You can upgrade your service or renew a new contract. The deals won’t be as good as new-customer pricing, but you might get more bang for your buck.
Cutting the Verizon Fios cord
Maybe you’re an avid sports fan, or can’t live without HBO shows. The good news is the trend in streaming content continues to grow. No matter what you’re into, you can probably stream it online. Going cordless is definitely an option, and you can still keep your Fios internet.
Go ahead and see if you can reduce your Verizon Fios bill
Negotiation doesn’t work for every Verizon Fios account, but following this game plan will give you the best shot. Go ahead and give Verizon Customer Service a call at 1.800.837.4966. And you can always try the other options if you need to go to plan B.
Did negotiating with Verizon Fios work for you? Let us know! We’d love to hear from you either way so we can keep refining our approach.
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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.