I had a mind-bending experience with the Verizon FiOS order system tonight.

I went looking at changing or re-upping my FiOS plan because I realized they raised the price on me in December. I had been paying $104.99 for our Extreme HD TV package and 25mbps/25mbps internet package up until July. (These prices aren’t my total bill, by the way, just the actual package prices before addons and taxes.) At that point, my previous 24-month agreement expired, and I lost the $5/mo contract discount so it then became $109.99. At the time, switching my package wouldn’t have been any cheaper so I hadn’t bothered with signing a new contract. However I noticed that it had gone up to $117.99 in December, so I figured I could find a better deal than that.

Into the depths of the Verizon website I went, with trepidition. I could sign a 24-month agreement on the current $117.99 price, but it seems that you don’t even get the $5/month off if you do that. A new double play package would have the same Extreme HD TV plan we have now, but it would mean going to a 50/25 internet plan instead of the 25/25 we have now. The price for this is essentially $119.99/month, but signing the 24-month agreement would mean I’d get $5 off, making it $114.99/month. $3 cheaper than now, woo. And, hey, it’s faster internet.

Additionally, for some reason there is a second discount for an extra $10 off the first month only, so that would be $104.99 for the first month, then $114.99 for months 2 through 24. I suspect this is just so they can put the first month price in big letters to make it sound cheaper.

I also checked the no contract price out of curiousity, and it looked like it was $109.99. This confused me, because why would it be cheaper than the contract price? After adding it to the cart, though, I realized that the $109.99 was a first month price and every month after was actually $119.99. Yes, I failed to notice that they labeled the $109.99 as a “first month price” but what bugs me is that they did not state what the price would be afterwards, until I’d started the order process. No biggie in the long run, it just added to my general frustration tonight.

So I went back and selected the contract price instead. And there’s where it got really weird…

After I added the contract package to my cart and clicked checkout, I got this pop-up message that I qualified for “bonus offers”. There were three options.

  1. A “$10 24-mo contract acceptance offer”. This apparently means that I get $10 off every month (in addition to the $5 monthly discount I already knew about) instead of just the first month, meaning every month would be $104.99.
  2. A “$5 24-mo contract acceptance offer”, which turns out to mean that it would be $104.99 the first month and $109.99 for months 2 through 24. I think this means you get an additional $5 discount on top of the other $5 discount, but get $10 off the first month instead of the $5.
  3. The third option was basically “I don’t want any special offers”.

I really don’t understand why they felt the need to add this third offer at a different point in the order process. And what’s even more baffling to me is why in the world would anyone choose the second or third option on this bonus offer screen? The first one so clearly seems to be the better deal.

All in all, I’m certainly pleased that I’ll be paying $10 less per month than I thought I would be and $13 less than I currently am, but was it really necessary to give me a headache in the process, Verizon? At this point, I can’t help but feel like they somehow pulled one over on me, even though it seems like a good deal.

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