Deceptive advertising - it is NOT $40 a month for 1Gb broadband!

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by seabass41 » Tue Apr 23, 2019 11:01 am
Hi everyone
I just signed up for Sonic Broadband. The prospect of $40 a month for 1Gb speed was so enticing! And that is what they advertise on their website. But don't believe what they tell you. I have found this out after signing up for Sonic, and I am therefore now looking at other options. To qualify for the $10 a month discount, you HAVE to pay to rent their router. That is $9.50 a month. So - that is $49.50 a month. You HAVE to pay for it. (Plus tons of fees with the phoneline etc, even though I didn't have that installed, but I kinda expected that).
My installer ascertained that my router was as good, if not better, than the RG that Sonic provides, so he set up my broadband with my own router, and told me that was money saved. Guess what? Turns out that wasn't true - they make you pay for it anyway. Unless you forfeit the $10 a month discount - so it is fifty bucks a month no matter what. You cannot get this service for $40 a month, even though that is what they advertise.
tbh I am happy with the service itself - the speed is good, and it has proven to be way more reliable than Comcast or Wave for me, but I am very, very unhappy at being sold a lie.
by igorru » Tue Apr 23, 2019 11:30 am
This has been discussed on these forums a lot. And while it's true that it may be a little confusing, all of the information is available on Sonic's website. I put together some screenshots for you here: https://imgur.com/a/jkC2NEk

Also, even with the fees for rental and phone fees and taxes, it is still cheaper than any other comparable service in the area and more stable and trustworthy.
by rconti » Thu Apr 25, 2019 10:21 am
It was very clear to me on the ordering page. I was aware that with Sonic I cannot do a BYOD and avoid the rental fee. Considering it's cheaper than the $150/mo Comcast wants for gig down/50Mbps up, I'm willing to pay the $6.95 or whatever.
by cmeisel » Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:37 pm
This emails and accusations are just so nasty and ungrateful. I posted this in a different thread and just repeat it here. I am sure sonic paid millions and millions to bring this service to home users. Maybe they should just charge what all this is worth and be done. I would think $100 is fair :)
The amount of whining and complaining I see in this forum about the $40 advertisement is mind-boggling. Here's a company, sonic, who has made it their business model to bring affordable, business speed Internet access to home users. in order to do so they currently need to include the phone line to be considered a utility.
If you go to the sonic webpage there is no hiding of the fact that additional taxes have to be paid. On the contrary, you can look up exactly what the taxes are for your city.
For of $40 per month plus taxes for the phone line and the cost for the router (which you do not need to have) you get:

super high-speed Internet access
net neutrality ( total privacy by sonic deleting all your data every two weeks)
free VPN service
phone line with free calls to 60 countries and free number portability
a free fax line for incoming and outgoing faxes
free web hosting and even a free domain

and people still complain? I find that absolutely unbelievable. Even if people don't need to phone and maybe never use the phone ( and I am not sure why they wouldn't you can even install the app on your mobile phone and make and receive calls on your mobile phone which might come in handy especially for international calls), the price for 1 Gb up-and-down is still unbelievably cheap.
by pumlek » Tue Apr 30, 2019 3:03 pm
igorru wrote:
This has been discussed on these forums a lot. And while it's true that it may be a little confusing, all of the information is available on Sonic's website. I put together some screenshots for you here: https://imgur.com/a/jkC2NEk

Also, even with the fees for rental and phone fees and taxes, it is still cheaper than any other comparable service in the area and more stable and trustworthy.


The fact that the truth is buried in the fine print while the big bold $40/month number is what is being promoted doesn't say "trustworthy" to me. It says Sonic is just another business that's willing to be as deceptive as possible within legal requirements in order to snare customers.

The refusal to unbundle phone service from internet service is another indicator that customer choice and transparency with their customers are not part of the Sonic business model.

So I'll agree with the "cheaper" claim, I'm not buying Sonic's pretense at being any more ethical than Comcast or ATT.
by cmeisel » Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:01 pm
There is no unwillingness to unbundle. Phone is needed to be considered a utility as far as I understand it. Until these outdated telecom rules exist there is probably no easy way to unbundle. If you feel this transparency is as unethical as att and Comcast you clearly have not deal much with them nor do you know any of their exploited employees.
by pumlek » Wed May 01, 2019 8:09 am
The "outdated telecom rules" apply only to copper phone lines. They do not apply to fiber internet service, which is what the advertisement the OP referenced was for.

Sonic is bound by no legal requirement to bundle phone service with their fiber internet service. It is a choice Sonic has made. They could offer them separately, but they are unwilling to do so.

Your argument that Sonic is not as unethical as Comcast or ATT may be valid, but that doesn't change the nature of Sonic's behavior in this instance.
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