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ISP Promotes Higher Broadband Deal for ‘Ideal’ Streaming



/ 2 years ago

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We all know the basics that a better internet connection means better internet experience. Well, it seems that this is all Verizon customer service employees know too and it’s over Netflix streaming again.

Netflix offers two standard streaming qualities, standard at approximately 3Mbps and High Definition at approximately 5Mbps, but Verizon sales reps told one customer he should upgrade from his 50Mbps Fibre Optic service due to it not being able to provide the smoothest experience. Industry analyst Day Rayburn had a small run in with multiple sales reps who tried palming this pitching this to him.

“Last week I contacted Verizon to discuss the renewal of my two-year FiOS Triple Play contract which already gives me 50Mbps up/down,” Rayburn wrote. “Three different sales reps via the phone and one via an online chat all tried to convince me to upgrade to 75Mbps, with the false promise that it would give me better quality Netflix streaming, amongst other OTT [over-the-top] streaming services. I was told that with 75Mbps I would get ‘smoother video viewing’ and ‘better quality’ with a higher tier service. Of course, this claim by Verizon is 100 percent false and they know it.”

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“During HBO’s Game Of Thrones Season 5 premiere, I had ten separate streams going on at the same time via HBO Now and Sling TV,” Rayburn wrote. “All combined, I consumed just under 29Mbps of my 50Mbps connection and all ten streams had perfect quality. HBO Now’s bitrate maxes out at 4Mbps and some of the streams I had going were to mobile devices. Amongst the ten streams, they averaged 2.9Mbps per second. So even if I had a household of ten people, all streaming at the same time, going from 50Mbps to 75Mbps would not have given me any better video streaming quality over what I already have. Verizon is simply using the average consumer’s lack of knowledge of bitrates and streaming technology to scare them into thinking they need a higher tiered package than they really do.”

Rayburn, an analyst at Frost & Sullivan, actually tried defending the ISP last year over the financial dispute with Netflix; I bet he’s changed sides now.

I understand the “make a sale” pitch, but blatantly lying to a customer is just dirty dealings; I wonder how many customers they have falsely snagged with this hook.

Thank you to ArsTechnica for providing us with this information


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  • Joel Little

    It’s not lying so much as it is “stretching the truth as far as it can go.” Even if you called them on this, they could easily say “Well, that may be true, but if you’re already using 49 Mbps bandwidth when you start streaming, it’ll be choppy, and upgrading to 75 Mbps would fix this.” Overselling is a common and often encouraged, if not required, practice for companies. That’s actually the main reason why I refuse to ever be in Sales, because I couldn’t live with myself if I had to do this.