In what began in some limited markets of Florida and Pennsylvania is now available in most Verizon FiOS markets – no term contracts (or month-to-month service) for new customers. The Verizon Worry Free Guarantee is effective immediately and offers ‘price protection’ for FiOS bundles as well as no early termination fee for customers who decide to drop their FiOS service.
Customers who sign a month-to-month contract will pay the same monthly price as customers who opt for a contract term. Previous to this announcement, month-to-month customers paid $20 – $30 additional each month for the privilege.
The move illustrates on-going tactical adjustments to offer competitive pricing and terms in the face of stout cable competition. “We’ve listened closely to the market and heard potential customers say that FiOS offers faster, more reliable broadband service and crystal-clear TV pictures in any conditions, but that they want time to consider their switch from cable,” said Mike Ritter, Verizon chief marketing officer for consumer wireline and business services. “We want customers to know that the shift to FiOS is the best move they can make; that a two-year commitment provides them with price protection for their home-entertainment needs; and that our month-to-month pricing option and Worry-Free Guarantee help reduce anxiety from their decision.”
While Verizon is having some decent success with FiOS in some markets, they also recognize that over the past year, cable bundles are performing quite well, with big cable MSOs handily beating big telcos in broadband net additions particularly. Verizon, AT&T, and Qwest/CenturyLink need all of the promotional firepower they can muster to keep up.
This issue is one that may resonate with customers. ETFs and ballooning monthly bundled pricing (after a promotional intro period) are not well liked by consumers. These moves may entice some folks who were previously sitting on the fence to make the move to FiOS.