Verizon FiOS: Beware that first bill

Despite my initial euphoria about Verizon's FiOS service--no outages and everything is just swell so far--the bill eventually comes due. And that first one is a zinger.

Despite my initial euphoria about Verizon's FiOS service--no outages and everything is just swell so far--the bill eventually comes due.

And that first one is a zinger. In a nutshell, Verizon charges you full freight for the first two months and then the promotional service you signed up for kicked in. Toss in miscellaneous service fees, installation and other odds and ends I barely understand you wind up with: $332.54, the sum printed on my statement.

Now Verizon's setup for the first two months with new service was disclosed ahead of time. What caught my eye was an "additional PC/laptop installation" charge to the tune of $75. During my installation (gallery right) the tech didn't touch my laptop other than looking over my shoulder to make sure it picked up the home PC network.

I called Verizon to see what the deal was only to be transferred a few times--apparently not all customer support folks are trained to deal with FiOS. Once I landed in Verizon's FiOS land I got the explanation.

The customer service rep said that there have been more than a few new FiOS customers that were incorrectly billed $75 for an additional PC and laptop. The Verizon rep reversed the charge, which was actually more like $79 or so when the taxes were also reversed.

Suddenly the bill made more sense at $253.04. I was charged $55 for wiring a TV in a previously unwired room. That charge I was ok with.

Bottom line: If you're a new FiOS customer and you have a stray $75 charge (or any other charge you don't get) be sure to call Verizon.

And speaking of bottom line Verizon also reported its second quarter results. In the second quarter, Verizon added 167,000 net new FiOS TV customers and 203,000 new FiOS Internet customers. Verizon has 515,000 total FiOS customers and 1.1 million FiOS Internet customers.

On a consolidated basis, Verizon reported second quarter earnings of $1.7 billion, or 58 cents a share, on revenue of $23.3 billion. Revenue was up 6 percent from a year ago. The results were fueled by 1.3 net wireless customer additions. The results were in line with Wall Street estimates.

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