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Verizon Fios Battery Failures Surprising North Hills Customers

Customers are responsible for the cost of new, back-up batteries

Verizon's motto says they "can save you a bundle." But more and more customers with Verizon FIOS service say they are experiencing trouble with the batteries in their control boxes,(see video)and having to buy replacements, according to KDKA-TV.

Verizon customer Bob Gaertner of Ross Township told KDKA he noticed the replace battery light on his FIOS control box beeping, which meant his backup battery was dead.

Lee Gierczynski of Verizon says the backup battery is crucial because it provides up to 8-hours of backup power to voice service in case there is a commercial power outage, KDKA reports.

But when Gaertner called Verizon to get a replacement battery, KDKA says he was told his warranty was just for one year and that he was solely responsible for the battery.

Verizon FIOS is available to about 450,000 households in western Pennsylvania.

Its website states that customers are responsible for maintaining their battery. Verizon says that asking the company to make battery replacements would be the same as asking Duquesne Light to replace your flashlight batteries.

Verizon’s replacement 7-amp battery costs about $44 before taxes and the company recommends that customers not buy their batteries from anyone other than Verizon.

“Batteries Plus” on McKnight Road averages about 10 customers wanting to replace their battery per day.

“Every time we see someone coming in with that battery, 98% of the time it’s FIOS,” a store clerk told KDKA.

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Pam May 11, 2013 at 04:54 PM
I dropped Verizon after going through 9 batteries and paying for six of them, in four years!!! $300!!!! I had called and complained that it was not possible to burn through nine batteries in four years, and was told by their customer service, that I must have electrical problems coming into the house and I need to schedule service with my power supplier! (REALLY????) After 4 yrs of excuses from Verizon's customer service, starting with the power problems, to overusage of the Verizon equipment (yes, a service rep said we must use our phone & Internet excessively!!! Lol!!), to sending me a free battery because the old one was bad..... I finally had it and dropped verizon like a lead weight! I have comcast now (xfinity) and have for almost a year and I couldn't be happier!! The Internet service is excellent and incredibly faster than Verizon, the battery in my modem/router is fine and hasn't died yet (an added benefit is that there is no annoying warning beep on their unit like Verizon's, which was enough to make me pull my hair out every time a battery failed!)... And I love love love their on demand channel! It's totally loaded with movies etc.... The telephone service is identical to Verizon's. All in all, I feel that the battery issue could have been resolved by including free replacements which is why I dropped them in the first place! I'm not sure, but I think comcast charges for their batteries also, but they have a five year life, not six months!
Martin Gladish May 11, 2013 at 05:31 PM
I had the same issue and insisted that Verizon come out and check their equipment after replacing 3 batteries in 60 days. I bought the replacements at Battery Plus on McKnight road and had them check them after I took the first one back to them. Turned out my Verizon Fios box was shorting out the batteries.
pghbill May 11, 2013 at 05:33 PM
they require us to lease the equipment ( set top boxes, wireless router, back up battery device etc.) so they are responsible! If they would sell it to us or allow to provide our own I could see us paying for it. Their voice mail is lousy, we use our cell phones, who cares about their worthless back up!
BOB KENNEDY May 11, 2013 at 05:35 PM
I'm a former resident of North Hills and follow the Patch to keep up to date. I currently live in Plano, TX. I have had Verizon FiOS for 5 years. The picture of the wall unit shown in this article is exactly what I have. Last week my battery backup started beeping. I called Verizon to find out about replacing the battery and got the same story as everyone else - After one year, you pay for the replacement and it will cost $44 plus. I decided to go on line with Verizon Chat, asked the same question and I got a different answer. The Chat Line gave me instructions to disconnect and remove the battery from the wall unit. Then disconnect the red and black wires from the battery. Reconnect them and re-install the battery and the beeping will stop and your battery will charge. I did that and it worked or at least so far it has worked. I have checked the battery twice this week with my electrical meter and it is holding a charge. I would recommend that if you get these instructions from the Chat Line that you follow up by checking the battery to see if it is holding a charge. It is at least worth a try in order to save spending the money for a new battery and if you need a new battery, I would try Batteries Plus first before Verizon.
Iam Danceswithdachshunds March 09, 2014 at 11:09 PM
Buy a new battery per FIOS specification. Hook it up for 2 weeks then ... DISCONNECT IT. From then on, plug it in for a couple days per ~month keep it charged and then unplug it again. A quality lead-acid battery will last at least 7 years doing this. If you have the expertise add a switch to avoid wearing out the connectors from repeated connect and disconnect. And of course if you have a power outage - just plug it in (or turn the installed switch on). The FIOS phone box's charging circuit is WAY too high and cooking the life out of the battery for the typical time most of these batteries ever see service discharge which is like - almost NEVER for most people in the USA. (My theory is that the specification was not set by the best intentions of engineers for average service but by Verizon lawyers worried of the trade off in performance in places like Puerto Rico or wherever AC power can be dicey, i.e. often off for many hours per day.)

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