Friday, September 19, 2008

FIOS vs. DirecTV

Faithful readers of this blog will recall my problems with DirecTV and Verizon last year, when the Brave Astronaut bought our house. If you would like to refresh your memory, go here, here, and here for the DirecTV saga and here, here, here, and here for the Verizon tale.

So, now after a year, I have received numerous offers to switch to Verizon FIOS TV from DirecTV. I have been happy with DirecTV and was not looking to give Verizon anymore of my money. But I thought I would at least give Verizon an opportunity to pitch to me. The price quoted was less than what I was paying for DirecTV. There was really no one at Verizon I should talk to except my good friend Nancy at Verizon, so I contacted her. I don't know if she recoiled in horror when my email popped up in her inbox, but she did call me and made the pitch to me. She offered all of the advertised specials that FIOS was running ($47.99 for the service, free DVR for the year) and talked about some "unadvertised" specials that might come my way, if I made the switch.

I decided to wait and give DirecTV an opportunity to keep my business. So on the way home the other day, I called DirecTV and explained the situation to the representative who answered the phone. He asked me to hold while he transferred me to a "retention specialist." Really.

So I explained my situation to the retention specialist and told her that I was not interested in leaving DirecTV if they wanted to make me an offer to stay. So here's what I got:
  • An extension of the $10 monthly credit (that was set to expire next month) for another year.
  • Free DVR service for six months ($4.99/month)
  • Free Showtime and Starz for six months (I wasn't really interested in Showtime, so I asked for HBO instead - so I got HBO for three months and Starz for six).
  • I had recently changed my package (dropping HBO) and agreed to step up to the next service package, which restored several channels that I had lost as the credit will make the price almost identical to the FIOS price.
I said thank you to the nice retention specialist, told them I was very happy with DirecTV and hung up the phone. Who says you don't get stuff when you ask nicely? But now I have to tell Nancy that I'm breaking up with her, again.

1 comment:

Lana Gramlich said...

I'm on the verge of doing the same thing with DirecTV, myself.
I'll NEVER EVER do business with Verizon, though (not that I have yet.) My brother was a regional manager for their SE US sales department. First Verizon yanked his pension away with no warning or valid reason (other than greed.) More recently, though, they've merged w/another company to become the largest wireless provider in the world, at which point they shut down Randy's entire region, sending those jobs to India & leaving Randy 41 years old with 2 kids & no job, not to mention the hundreds of people he supervised, as well.
In some cases things "aren't personal, they're just business." In this case, for me, it's definitely personal.