As cord cutting grows, “cable” companies are fighting back with plans to entice potential cord cutters to stay with their current service. One of the biggest ways companies like Verizon FiOS is trying to keep TV subscribers is with smaller plans called Double Play that look less expensive at the beginning of the contract. So let’s take a close look at these plans and see if they really are cheaper than just getting an Internet-only plan and buying streaming services.
Now before we start, I want to point out that we did not include cable modem rental fees in these cost roundups. Both plans allow you to buy your own or, at $9.99 a month to rent you will pay $239.76 over the course of the two years per plan. Go out and buy a modem, some for as cheap as $50–70, and never pay a rental fee again. We also don’t include taxes, which vary by location.
Plan #1 Double Play TV and 50/50 Internet:
The advertised Double Play 50/50 plan on Verizon FiOS site is $50 a month, which looks great next to the $54.99 advertised Internet-only price, but it is for two years and $50 per month lasts only for the first year.
This package comes with 20+ channels, mostly local, and 5 in HD.
$50 for 12 months equals $600.
$70 for the next 12 month equals $840.
A $22.99 bill credit ends after 12 months, so add an additional $275.88 to your overall bill.
A $1.99 board cast fee equals $47.76.
A $11.99 set-top box fee, which you cannot avoid, equals $287.76.
That brings the total cost of your plan before taxes to $2,141.39.
The average monthly bill for the Verizon FiOS Double Play 50/50 package over the life of the plan is $89.22.
Note: Yes, you do get free HBO with this plan.
Plan #2 50/50 Internet Only:
Here is the breakdown of the 50/50 Internet Only plan:
$54.99 for 24 months equals $1,319.76
Total Savings compared to Verizon FiOS Double Play $821.63
The Internet-only plan form Verizon FiOS is advertised at $54.99 for two years, which makes it look like it will cost more, but that price is locked in for two years. So when you compare it to the $89.22 you will pay on average for The Double Play package you are saving $34.23. So the real question is what you can get for $34.23 a month.
(Now remember the Double Play only comes with 20+ channels and only 5 will be in HD.)
Netflix costs only $7.99 a month.
Amazon Prime $8.25 a month.
HBO Now $15 a month.
Total $31.24 savings $2.97.
(If you do not want HBO, your total savings will be $17.97 a month.)
The $2.97 turns into $71.28 over two years. Again that does not sound like a lot, but when you compare how much content you have access to for your money purchasing the Internet-only plan with Netflix, Amazon Prime, and HBO Now will deliver a lot more content for your money compared to only 20+ channels. Considering that most of the 20 channels with this package are local channels just buy an antenna and never pay for Fox, CBS, ABC, and NBC again. You may be surprised at how many channels you can get free over the air.
Also ask yourself if you signed up for the Double Play package would you still subscribe to Netflix or Amazon Prime? If so, make sure to add that to the costs listed above.
In short, don’t let Verizon FiOS pressure you into the FiOS Double Play with deals that don’t last the whole contract. Make sure you are informed about what the true cost of the plan is over the two-year contract.