Verizon Expands Contract-Free FiOS Offer Nationwide

Verizon is widening a cable-like month-by-month pricing option for FiOS bundles across all its markets, hoping the move convinces more cable customers to dump their provider.

The telco has eliminated the requirement that customers sign two-year contracts to receive special pricing for FiOS bundles. With the offer, Verizon is guaranteeing prices for one year without an early-termination fee.

Verizon introduced the month-to-month option last month in Tampa, Fla., as well as in Pennsylvania, which "met with very favorable customer response," the telco said in announcing the expansion of the program Monday.

While Verizon has previously offered month-to-month bundles, those were priced about $20 higher per month than the contract term bundles. Now new FiOS customers can get a triple play starting at $99.99 per month (excluding taxes, fees, set-top charges and other options) without locking into a two-year contract. Early-termination fees for FiOS previously ran up to $360.

The month-to-month payment offer is available in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia and Washington, D.C. The offer also is available in FiOS markets in Indiana, Oregon, South Carolina and Washington, which are in the process of being transferred to Frontier Communications.

Meanwhile, Verizon now is offering all new customers who opt for the two-year contract a "30-day FiOS Worry-Free Guarantee," which lets them cancel their service within 30 days of the date of activation with no termination fee. However, the Worry-Free Guarantee is not available in the four states that are being spun off to Frontier.

"We've listened closely to the market and heard potential customers say that FiOS offers faster, more reliable broadband service and crystal-clear TV pictures in any conditions, but that they want time to consider their switch from cable," Mike Ritter, Verizon chief marketing officer for consumer wireline and business services, said in a statement.

Verizon also is offering new FiOS bundles customers 12 months free of Epix or the FiOS TV Movie Package with more than 40 channels including Showtime, Starz and The Movie Channel. That's the same current TV Movie Package offer for new two-year contract customers.

Verizon had 3.0 million FiOS TV customers as of the end of March.