The "F" is still dancing (click to see), as the FTC's web site on "Advertising and Marketing on the Internet: Rules of the Road" says: "Disclaimers and disclosures must be clear and conspicuous. That is, consumers must be able to notice, read or hear, and understand the information." After my 10/27/05 "FiOS's "No Turning Back" To DSL Policy " which followed my 1st FiOS post, and my 2nd FiOS post, I then did an update on FiOS post, and then on 11/11/05 an "F" Stands For "FiOS" & "Frustration" post. I felt strongly that there should be disclosure through a disclaimer that Verizon FiOS would not let Verizon DSL customers go back to their previous copper DSL service once the FiOS fiber was installed!
In my last post I said that somewhere (I suggested in "FAQ's") within the Verizon "FiOS For Home" web site that it "..should have clear, conspicuous, complete, and comprehended upfront disclosure about it, as it could affect the initial "trial buying decision" of current Verizon DSL customers." The Verizon FiOS home page always had "fine print" that said: "Acceptance of Verizon Online Terms of Service is required". Then, at the very bottom of that page it has an underlined link that says: "Verizon Online Policies" vs. "TERMS OF SERVICE". I assumed that is where Verizon's "TOS" were, but I think many others may perceive that as UNCLEAR. Verizon should have a link right in "Acceptance of Verizon Online TERMS OF SERVICE is required". All this, of course, is in lieu of having the disclaimer where it is most conspicuous; RIGHT ON THE HOME PAGE, OR WITH THE "30 DAY MONEY BACK GUARANTEE" FAQ. However, once you click on "Verizon Online Policies" you are taken to a page that makes you enter your state in order to get your state's "TOS". Now, BURIED ON THE PRINTED OUT PAGE # 6 OF THE 28 PAGE "TOS" DOCUMENT is the following disclaimer:
[8.4 Conversion from DSL Service to Verizon Fios Internet Service. At such time as Verizon is able to provision the Service utilizing fiber optic technologies, we may in our discretion terminate your DSL Service and no longer make DSL service available to your location. In cases of such termination, we will offer to you Verizon Fios Internet Service and we will disclose to you applicable rates and additional terms, if any, and such rates and terms may differ from the DSL Services provided under this Agreement."] This disclaimer is fine, but why couldn't Verizon have more CLEAR communication to find it, and have it in a more CONSPICUOUS place?
6/18/06 UPDATE: The Verizon "FiOS for Home" home page has been changed. There is now a need to click on "Open the FiOS Internet disclaimer to read" near the bottom of that page. This opens up the "fine print" that used to be readily accessible without the extra click! The print is lightly colored and way too small to read easily! That fine print still uses the words "Terms of Service" vs. what Verizon uses below: "Verizon Online Policies". Instead of more conspicuous disclosure, there is less, in my opinion.
"Brokerblogger" was not the only blogger to blog about the initial lack of disclosure about "No Turning Back to DSL". On 12/15/05, "Verizon Fios: You must be joking " (scroll down to view post) made the point of NOT TRUSTING Verizon by saying: "It also seemed fishy that they were, at best, overly vague about the whole phone cutover and the *complete* removal of copper, which I would never have known about unless I dug it up myself. At that point, it's a trust issue. I don't trust Verizon to do the right thing in this instance. Period. Buyer Beware."
It appears, in my opinion, that initial "Message Control" was part of a "TRUST" issue for Brian and I. Verizon might say that it was an innocent "oversight" (I don't know for sure as no one from Verizon has ever given me feedback on my "disclosure suggestion"). In either case, in this day and age of consumer demand for collaborative power and reciprocity ("Concurrence Marketing"), Verizon may be "missing the boat". The fact is, as B.L. Ochman puts it, "...That Message Control is an Illusion". TRUST is crucial to the long term success of any company, especially if they do marketing on the Internet. This 10/26/05 CR WebWatch National Survey entitled "Leap Of Faith: Using The Internet Despite The Dangers" says on page 4: "Being able to trust the information on a site is not far behind, with 81 percent saying it is very important, little changed from 80 percent in the 2002 survey."
I BELIEVE THAT "WHAT YOU DON'T SAY" IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS "WHAT YOU DO SAY" IN MARKETING THINGS ON THE WEB (or in person, or on the phone)! I also believe that it is in the long term best interest of companies to listen to what bloggers have to say, because "Bloggers can be vicious, but they can also help companies avert disaster." This quote is from a 2/9/06 Economist.com article entitled "The blog in the corporate machine".
I wish Verizon well, as they are one of only a few companies who could afford the big initial investment it takes to install Fiber-To-The-Premises (FTTP). This 1/4/06 TELEPHONYonline.com article "Lehman: Verizon may want to rethink FTTP" says: "Verizon's FTTP initiative, which has now passed more than 3 million homes and businesses in 16 states, cost the company $1 billion in free cash flow in 2005, Bath said in the note. That cost could double this year, he said, draining another $1 billion to $2 billion per year through 2010. AT&T's investment in FTTN (Fiber-To-The-Node), meanwhile, is "smaller and more concentrated," Bath wrote, perhaps totaling $6 billion and ending in 2008, when it could begin to generate free cash flow."
7/19/06 UPDATE: There is an interesting 7/18/06 FiOS article on dslreports.com with many interesting comments entitled "I Want MY Copper and FiOS Won't Let Consumers Keep It" with a link to one of my FiOS posts. See = https://www.dslreports.com/shownews/76326
11/6/06 UPDATE: The "FiOS for Home" website now only says: "Check out the SPECIAL OFFERS in your area!", but the "Money-Back Guarantee" is still in the FAQ's under "Billing" there.
Animated image courtesy of www.artie.com.