Cable providers are often cited as the most hated companies in the country.  It almost seems as if they compete to see who finds the most clever way to rip-off consumers. The most recent example comes from Verizon FiOS, which should be no surprise. Since 2014 Verizon has had to pay 3 FCC settlements and 1 FCC fine for various violations.Most recently, a  Pennsylvania customer filed a lawsuit against Verizon for frivolously charging set-top boxes leasing fees.

Set-top boxes are the cable boxes most people have in their homes to access TV programming. The problem is: consumers don’t need a set-top box to access FiOS programming. Verizon allows devices like Roku, Amazon Fire Stick TV, Google Chromecast, tablets, and phones to access the FiOS network without set-top boxes or their associated fees. The lawsuit claims FiOS “deceives and confuses” customer by not disclosing this information in order to charge additional fees.

The lawsuit claims FiOS collected up to 30 Million dollars by charging for unnecessary boxes. The monthly set-top box lease is between $9.99 - $12.00.

The FiOS Lawsuit Details

The Pennsylvania customer who filed the lawsuit that claims FiOS is violating the state’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law. The complaint stems from website functionality and interactions with Verizon employees. In both cases the website and employees state you need an additional set-top box for each TV in the house.

The solution becomes clear for Verizon Quantum customers who can stream content on cell phones and other devices.  Many of these devices have a one time purchase fee. Some devices cost as little as $35.00, which is less than the cost of leasing a set-top box for 4 months.


How You Can FIght Back

Although the ruling on this this issue is still undetermined, you can avoid being taken advantage of by Verizon today.  You can have professionals negotiate your bill to lower the cost for of a fraction of the earned savings.