Verizon’s latest request to the FCC: The telco wants the power to cancel your cable TV subscription for you if you decide to sign up for its “FiOS” digital TV service.
Right now, if you sign up for FiOS — which more than a million people have — you have to call your cable company and cancel TV service by yourself. That gives the cable company — Comcast (CMCSA), Time Warner Cable (TWC), Cablevision (CVC), whoever — one last chance to try to keep you as a customer before you switch. Verizon would prefer the power to cancel your old service by itself, so you don’t get wooed back to cable.
Their reasoning: That’s already the standard operating procedure for switching phone providers. If you change your phone service from Verizon to Time Warner Cable, you don’t have to call up Verizon (VZ) and tell them to cut you off. Your cable company handles that process. So it makes some sense that switching video providers should be as easy as switching phone providers.
The problem: This is all based on the idea that your cable company is going to go to great lengths to keep you as a customer. But — at least in our recent experience — that isn’t the case at all.