Verizon caught upselling customers higher data rates with promises of "smoother" NetFlix [telecom]

Verizon caught upselling customer to excessive Internet plans for "smoother" Netflix

by Chris Leo Palermino

Verizon sales associates should be careful about who they try to upsell. When Dan Rayburn, a streaming video analyst, went to renew his Verizon FiOS internet service, he was recommended to upgrade his service to 75 Mbps because his 50 Mbps service wouldn't provide the smoothest Netflix experience. It's a ridiculous claim that Rayburn was in a unique position to dispute.

While most consumers would take Verizon's word at face value, Rayburn knew that upgrading his service simply couldn't change his Netflix speed. The average Netflix streaming speed on Verizon's FiOS service tops out at 3.5 Mbps, a clip better than all other major ISPs according to Netflix's own Speed Index tables, but a far cry below 50 (or 75) Mbps. After Rayburn explained this to Verizon sales reps, they argued that more bandwidth is needed given the demands of multiple users in a household.

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Bill Horne
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In Australia a major telco is currently running TV ads exhorting their customers to upgrade their modems associated with one of their subscription services to devices with better Wi-Fi specs to "improve" the streaming experience!

Since the bandwidth bottleneck will be the incoming WAN connection changing the internal Wi-Fi from 300 to 600mbps won't make one iota of difference, but most people won't realise that and some will get sucked in to upgrading unnecessarily.

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