Verizon Fios – $2.80 monthly fee boosts broadband bill for FiOS customers with old equipment.
Verizon FiOS customers using certainly one of the company’s older routers are being told they must pay a new monthly “maintenance charge” of $2.80 to cover the cost of supporting the apparently outdated equipment. Customers also get the option of buying one among the company’s newer routers, though some report being able to convince Verizon to give them a new one free of charge.
“Our records indicate you have an older model router that may be being discontinued,” says an e-mail to customers published today by DSLReports. “If you do plan to keep using your current router, we will begin billing, on 9.29.16, a monthly Router Maintenance Charge of $2.80 (plus taxes), to ensure we deliver the best support.”
Verizon confirmed the change to DSLReports, saying that the notice was sent to customers making use of the BHR1 and BHR2 routers. “Many of these routers have been in use for nearly ten years and have required more frequent repairs, so we’re trying to reduce that maintenance load and expense,” Verizon said.
Customers getting this e-mail were also told they can “upgrade to a certified, pre-owned FiOS Advanced Wi-Fi Router” for any one-time purchase of $59.99 with free shipping. But some customers discussing the change in a DSLReports forum thread say it’s sometimes possible to get a newer router at no cost by calling Verizon or asking on the Verizon Direct forum. One customer who followed this advice says Verizon promised to send an Actiontec router that doesn’t require a maintenance fee. The Actiontec model isn’t the newest one Verizon pitches to customers, but it’s new enough that it hasn’t been discontinued through the manufacturer.
New FiOS customers are told that they can rent an FiOS Quantum Gateway for $10 a month or buy it outright for $150. This is Verizon’s most up-to-date model, with 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology.
You are able to also get the FiOS Quantum Gateway from Amazon for $134 or an older Actiontec model. If you buy one outright, you’ll avoid the maintenance fee-at least until it’s “discontinued.”
Using a router not approved by Verizon is a bit complicated. Some customers hook the Verizon router but connect it to another router that provides Wi-Fi as well as other capabilities for their home networks. As such, they’re annoyed that they suddenly have to pay a new fee. “The only thing the piece of junk does is run into my high quality network,” One DSLReports user wrote. “I’ve even turned the Wi-Fi off. Seems illegal to make you get a maintenance contract without choice. If I’m paying a ‘maintenance surcharge’ this must mean I have maintenance and they’ll, of course, replace it free if it breaks (trying not to laugh too hard).”
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