Pricing: 2 ¾ Stars
Verizon Internet customers who participated in our survey rated the company's pricing at an above-average 2 3/4 (2.66) stars out of five. Although a less-than three-star rating doesn't seem very high, it is the highest score in our ISP round-up (though not by much), which may be affected by the company's higher scores in other categories. After all, we have seen a trend of low scores attributed to non-pricing factors in our series.
"[The] price is just a little more than I think it should be," said one reader who rated pricing at just two stars, more or less supporting the theory that some customers won't be satisfied, no matter what they're paying.
Once again, I had to input a serviceable address to gain access to Verizon's coveted pricing information. Luckily, I'm in the process of moving, and my destination has every FiOS fiber-optic Internet service available. DSL rates were harder to find, as customers are required to have an existing phone plan in order to receive service. But after much digging, I found the information I was after.
|Verizon Internet Plan||Download Speed||Promotional Rate Term||Minimum Contract Term||Stand-Alone Price||Price to Performance|
|High Speed Internet (DSL)||Up to 1 Mb/s||12 Months||12 Months||$20/month||$20 per Mb/s|
|High Speed Internet Enhanced (DSL)||Up to 3 Mb/s, Up to 7 Mb/s, Up to 15 Mb/s||N/A||N/A||$30/month||$10 per Mb/s, $4.28 per Mb/s, $2 per Mb/s|
|FiOS Quantum Internet 50/50 (Fiber)||Up to 50 Mb/s||12 Months||24 Months||$45/month ($55/month for year 2)||$0.90 per Mb/s ($1.10 per Mb/sfor year 2)|
|FiOS Quantum Internet 100/100 (Fiber)||Up to 100 Mb/s||12 Months||24 Months||$55/month ($65/month for year 2)||$0.55 per Mb/s ($0.65 per Mb/sfor year 2)|
|FiOS Quantum Internet 150/150(Fiber)||Up to 150 Mb/s||12 Months||24 Months||$65/month ($75/month for year 2)||$0.43 per Mb/s ($0.50 per Mb/s for year 2)|
|FiOS Quantum Internet 300/300 (Fiber)||Up to 300 Mb/s||12 Months||24 Months||$165/month ($175/month for year 2)||$0.55 per Mb/s ($0.58 per Mb/s for year 2)|
|FiOS Quantum Internet 500/500 (Fiber)||Up to 500 Mb/s||12 Months||24 Months||$265/month ($275/month for year 2)||$0.52 per Mb/s ($0.55 per Mb/s for year 2)|
Verizon's price-to-performance ratio for DSL service is almost offensive. For 1 Mb/s, you pay $20 per Mb/s. In addition, the 1 Mb/s tier is subject to a $40 equipment rental and a $20 one-time installation fee. As if that wasn't bad enough, it has a 500MB (that's right, megabyte) monthly data cap. The company's "enhanced" DSL plans don't suffer the same hefty charges and limitations. This seems to be the single worst Internet service plan in our survey so far.
The "enhanced" Internet plan prices are a little better, with the best DSL service offering as low as $2 per Mb/s. But that's only if you can get up to 15 Mb/s, since the "enhanced" speeds vary by region and network strength. Still, the price-per-Mb/s is lower than AT&T in the 3-18 Mb/s plan range.
Some Verizon DSL subscribers were pleased with pricing. "[It's an] inexpensive DSL service, and luckily, I am one block away from the Verizon switch," said one respondent who rated pricing at four stars. Other readers weren't as satisfied. "There's not enough bandwidth, and it's expensive for what I do get," said one DSL customer who gave Verizon one star in the pricing category.
FiOS Quantum Internet plans (fiber-optic) benefit from a much more reasonable price-to-speed ratio, even when the second-year rates apply. These are not the best statistics in our series, but perhaps because of increased value placed on equally fast upload speeds, our readers rated Verizon's pricing above its competition.
"FiOS matching upload and download speeds makes it much nicer when using cloud storage, syncing and uploading," said one reader who rated Verizon's pricing at three stars. "Cable cannot match the upload speeds, the low latency or the consistency," said another reader, who awarded the company's prices four stars.
However, some FiOS fiber-optic Internet users who were generally content in other categories still seemed to be critical of pricing. "[The] service is above average compared to the alternatives in my area, but pricing is still on the extreme end," said one participant, who rated every category above four stars, except pricing, which received just two stars. "Very reliable and fast," said another, before adding "if only they could work on their pricing."
If you don't want to commit to a contract, you can purchase FiOS Internet services without one at the second-year price rates. But why would anyone do that if they intend on having the service for more than one year? Choosing to forgo the contract costs you $120 more after two years. So unless you're signing a one-year lease and plan on moving, the contract is worth the savings.
Once again, availability seemed to contribute heavily to negative pricing scores, with many surveyed readers pointing out that Verizon is the only high-speed Internet provider in their region; many respondents expressed a general disappointment with the lack of options.
"[There is] only 1-3 Mbps DSL available in my area," said one reader. "But it's relatively inexpensive." This participant rated pricing at just two stars, even after seemingly positive feedback. "Verizon DSL is terrible, and [it's] all that's offered to me," said another reader, who gave pricing one star.
If the prices for Verizon's 300 and 500 Mb/s service plans seem ridiculous to you, it's because they are. At $165 per month for 300 Mb/s, few find this level of performance to be affordable. Never mind the 500 Mbps tier, which costs $265 per month. Even though the price-to-performance ratio is relative to other slower plans, this service tier seems aimed at elite consumers with plenty of disposable income. Regardless of whether people can actually afford it, these are some of the top Internet connection speeds available from any company in our series.
Despite Verizon's middle-of-the-road price-to-performance ratio, our readers rated the ISP's pricing at a series-high 2¾ out of five stars. This shouldn't be the case if you look at the raw numbers from our other ISP reviews (particularly Time Warner Cable), but fiber-optic Internet connections appear to have a value advantage by providing higher upload speeds than cable or DSL.