Verizon entices FiOS customers with prepay option

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Verizon is applying the prepaid concept that’s become popular in the wireless segment to FiOS, offering customers a pay-as-you-go option for TV, internet and phone services.

Verizon is applying the prepaid concept that’s become popular in the wireless segment to FiOS, offering customers a pay-as-you-go option for TV, internet and phone services.

Because the FiOS Prepaid monthly service eliminates unexpected charges month over month, customers can more effectively plan their expenses. Customers will be allowed to pay online with a debit card or use cash at payment kiosks in any Verizon Wireless store.

Besides equipping each customer with necessary gateway and set-top box video equipment, the new prepaid option does not require a deposit, credit card or a credit check. One thing that could be an attraction is that the prepaid option does not require an annual contract, something that’s been a frustration for consumer’s purchasing triple play bundles.

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"FiOS Prepaid offers a new way to experience FiOS for customers seeking payment flexibility," said Susan Retta, VP of consumer marketing at Verizon, in a release. "From students to snowbirds, consumers are looking for service and options on their terms.”

FiOS Prepaid is available anywhere that Verizon FiOS service is available in its East Coast footprint, including multiple cities in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Delaware.

Pricing for new prepaid FiOS option is competitive.

For $60 a month, customers get a standalone symmetric 25 Mbps connection which includes a Wi-Fi router. Customers can also add TV and/or voice.

Custom TV, which includes 155+ channels (one set-top-box is included), is $40-$50 per month depending on the channel package. The Mundo option comes with over 200 channels, including 35+ HD Spanish-language channels, for $40 a month. Finally, phone service can be purchased for $10/month.

Verizon is offering three main triple play bundles: Internet + TV + Voice: $110/$120; Internet + TV: $100/$110; and Internet + Voice: $70. Customers that opt for Verizon to install the service have to pay a one-time $90 fee, while self-install is free.

As Verizon has reached maturity of FiOS in the markets it currently serves, the service provider needs to look for new ways to attract and retain existing customers.

In the fourth quarter of 2016, Verizon reported that it only added 68,000 new FiOS internet net customers and 21,000 new FiOS video customers, falling short of analyst expectations. Wall Street analysts expected Verizon to add 83,000 FiOS internet and 31,000 video subscribers. FiOS internet subscriber growth is much lower than the 99,000 new FiOS subscribers it added in the fourth quarter of 2015.

The new prepaid option is just one of various methods Verizon is taking to make migration to FiOS more attractive. Earlier this month, the service provider launched a new promotion to lure more people to sign up for its latest Unlimited wireless plans, giving FiOS customers a credit for signing up for their latest wireless service plan.