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Better Business Bureau Recommends Verizon Modify FiOS Claims

The National Advertising Division of the Better Business Bureau, acting on a complaint from Cablevision Systems Corp., has recommended that Verizon Communications Inc. modify or discontinue certain claims that its FiOS service offers superior sound and picture quality.

The division, after analyzing consumer sensory studies submitted by Verizon to support its claims, determined the studies were “not sufficiently reliable” to support all of Verizon’s claims.

But the NAD determined that it is reasonable for Verizon to claim it offers the “the best TV picture, period,” as well as a testimonial claim “it’s the best picture and sound you’re ever gonna get. It’s insane.”

But the organization advised Verizon to modify its claim to “less pixilation.” Also the claims that FiOS “channels came on quicker” or “the colors were more vivid” were unsupported and should be discontinued, as should its  claim to superior HDTV picture quality, the organization said.

Heather Wilner, Verizon director of media relations, said: “We’re not surprised that Cablevision would attempt to prevent Verizon from bringing the facts about FiOS TV to the attention to consumers … Rather than compete on the merits of the service we offer, Cablevision hopes to prevent consumers from getting the facts, and the fact is that Verizon FiOS offers “the best TV picture, period’.”

Cablevision spokesman Jim Maiella offered this comment: "This is at least the third time that the NAD has scrutinized Verizon's advertising and ordered the phone company to make significant changes in the claims it is making to promote its FiOS services, a record that should obviously be considered by consumers in this competitive market."