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article imageVerizon's FiOS Advertising is Deceptive According to N.J. Lawsuit

By Michael Krebs     Mar 18, 2009 in Business
New Jersey's Division of Consumer Affairs has received 266 complaints from FiOS customers since the high-speed service was introduced throughout the state. Move could be a setback for expansion plans.
Verizon Communications is facing a four-count lawsuit from New Jersey's attorney general's office on the grounds that the company's marketing and promotional methods around their high-speed FiOS service have deceived the public. The suit alleges the company violated state advertising regulations and the state's Consumer Fraud Act.
According to The Star Ledger, 266 complaints have been received since 2006 from FiOS customers across all four counts, including "billing customers at a higher rate than the originally quoted price, billing inconsistent amounts for the same services, failure to provide promotional gifts and failure to honor requests to cancel the service."
Early promotions of the Verizon FiOS service featured a Sharp HDTV give-away with every order. The company then ran into logistical problems when Verizon claimed Sharp was unable to meet the demand. Verizon had to then substitute other promotions to replace the shortfall. Reports surfaced that the Verizon FiOS offering was a lie.
The current Verizon FiOS campaign features a greater number of HD channels and $150 cash back.
"To put it simply, we have a big problem with Verizon FiOS," State Attorney General Anne Milgram said during a press conference. "We are seeking to rein in the advertising, to mandate fuller disclosure and we are seeking to resolve consumers' complaints with this action."
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