Verizon is—and please, hold your laughter—evidently “disrupting the cable industry” by offering a build-your-own cable and internet plan with no annual contracts, and it claims there will be no extra fees. It’s almost like all those alternatives to bad cable plans are catching up to service providers.
Verizon announced its Mix & Match solution for Fios on Thursday, with the company claiming it’s scrapping many of the universally frustrating elements of cable bundles, namely surprise charges, expensive and unnecessary bundles, and contracts that can be difficult to wriggle out of. Users can choose from one of three internet speed options (100 Mbps, 300 Mbps, or Gigabit for up to 940/880 Mbps).
Then, users can opt for one of three TV options ranging from 125 channels to 425 channels for between $50 to $90 per month. As an alternative to the cable options, users can also opt for a YouTube TV option for $50 a month that includes more than 70 channels and local sports and news. The two cheaper options for both cable and internet require $12 set-top box and $15 router rental fees, respectively. However, these fees are waived with the two most expensive plans and in the case of YouTube TV.
“No added surcharges, no broadcast or regional sports network fees, and no surprises. The price is the price, plus tax, and you’ll always know what you’re paying for,” a blog post about the offer reads. The company said both existing and new customers can opt into Mix & Match on Fios, though a reporter at Ars Technica discovered the company’s website is giving some existing users trouble when they attempt to change their plans.
That Verizon is presenting customers with a way to customize their subscriptions based on their individual needs is hardly surprising given that it, along with most other major service providers, are hemorrhaging pay-TV subscribers as users ditch cable in favor of cheaper and more customizable streaming options. It’s also not entirely shocking that people are sick and tired of being charged bullshit fees that are typical of service provider contracts. And making itself more like a subscription service for cable and internet certainly ticks off a few major headaches typical of dealing with a pay-TV provider, such as costly annual or multi-year contracts.
Whether people will buy into it, however, is another question entirely.