SHOULD YOU CHOOSE CHARTER SPECTRUM OR VERIZON FIOS AS YOUR TV SERVICE PROVIDER?

If you’re in the market for pay-TV services, then you’ve probably heard about Verizon Fios TV and Charter Spectrum TV. While both providers do offer similar services, there’s quite a bit of difference between the two. And we here at CableTV want to help you pick the one that’s best for your viewing needs.

The “Fios” portion of Verizon Fios TV is short for “Fiber Optic Service,” as the service runs through fiber-optic cables. Charter Spectrum, on the other hand, offers traditional cable services that run through coaxial lines. Verizon currently provides its Fios TV service to more than 5.8 million video subscribers. Charter Spectrum, which has been on the pay-TV scene a bit longer, serves more than 16.9 million video subscribers.

Numbers aside, your choice of provider should be informed by which service operates best in your location. If you want to know what providers are available in your area, use our provider search by ZIP code to find and compare.

Now, onto the comparison.

 

Customer Satisfaction Comparisons

Charter Spectrum 

Overall customer rating

3.25 Stars (3.25 / 5)

 

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Verizon Fios

Overall customer rating

3.66 Stars (3.66 / 5)

 

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Installation & Set-Up

Charter
3.46 Stars (3.46 / 5)

Although Charter is on the lower end of the scale when it comes to installation and setup satisfaction, the company makes up for it with low installation fees. Although some customers have reported technicians who don’t keep the installation appointment, Charter does offer $20 credits for qualifying missed appointments.

Verizon
3.76 Stars (3.76 / 5)

While Verizon takes the lead in most ratings, they don’t have quite as much satisfaction for their installation and setup process. Some customers have complained about setup fees, though you may be able to get those waived if you ask.


Channel Selection

Charter
3.32 Stars (3.32 / 5)

While Charter doesn’t have the channel variety of Verizon, a lot of its channels are available in HD. The company also offers over 10,000 On Demand titles with all of its packages.

Verizon 
3.75 Stars (3.75 / 5)

Verizon beats out all of its competition when it comes to customer satisfaction over channel selection. Verizon offers over 425 channels in select areas, with over 145 of those available in HD. Customers can also add dozens of international channels or enroll in a Spanish plan with over 205 channels.


TV Signal Reliability

Charter 
3.67 Stars (3.67 / 5)

For a few years, Charter was known for providing poor and unreliable TV signals. However, in recent years, Charter has improved its TV signal so customers don’t have to worry about missing a moment of their entertainment. And cable signals aren’t likely to go down with the weather, so you won’t have to worry about missing the game during a thunderstorm.

Verizon 
4.08 Stars (4.08 / 5)

While Verizon is still in the lead when it comes to a reliable TV signal, the company has dropped a bit from last year’s survey. This might be due to union strikes that left the company underprepared to keep up with demand and service. On the whole, though, fiber-optic technology allows for clearer pictures, providing you with better entertainment than ever.


Monthly Bill (Pricing)

Charter
2.5 Stars (2.5 / 5)

Yikes! Charter sits at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to pricing, likely due to a lack of transparency on monthly bills. However, some of Charter’s middle-range packages offer more channels for a lower price than comparable Verizon plans, so if you’re budget-conscious, this may be a good fit. Charter also offers bundled TV, internet, and phone plans starting at $89.97 per month for 12 months.

Verizon 
3.02 Stars (3.02 / 5)

Verizon has a number of packages for those wanting fiber-optic TV service. Advertised plans start with Fios TV Local, with over fifteen channels and five HD channels costing only $10.00 a month for one year. At the other end of the spectrum is the Ultimate HD package, which includes over 425 channels and over 145 HD channels for just $89.99 per month for one year. You can also bundle Fios TV, Fios Internet, and Verizon home phone service for as low as $69.99 per month for two years with a two-year agreement.


Tech Support & Customer Service

Charter
3.3 Stars (3.3 / 5)

Charter is still at the bottom when it comes to customer service satisfaction, but it has improved since last year’s rating. The company has committed to taking measures to ensure subscribers get the service they deserve.

Verizon 
3.7 Stars (3.7 / 5)

Verizon customers are incredibly happy with their service, leaving Fios TV with one of the top scores for customer satisfaction with service and support. Fios also comes in first on the American Customer Satisfaction Index’s list for subscription television services. The company’s customer support website offers several resources, including sections to check on repair requests, submit help tickets, and learn more about other Verizon products.

 


Equipment

Charter Spectrum TV with DVR

  • Store up to 300 hours of prerecorded content
  • Receive DVR free with your service
  • Record multiple shows simultaneously

 

Verizon Fios Quantum Gateway DVR

  • Use the DVR with the Fios TV app
  • Store and record up to 200 hours of HD programming
  • Watch from 10 separate TVs
  • Record up to 12 programs simultaneously

 


Advantages & Disadvantages

Advantages:

  • No contracts required
  • Contract buyout available
  • Fast internet speeds
  • 10,000 titles On Demand
  • Availability in most states
  • Short installation time
  • Clear connection during bad weather

Advantages

  • No contract required (though they are available)
  • Large channel selection
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Reliable fiber-optic technology

Disadvantages

  • High regular prices after promotional periods
  • Prior customer service issues
  • Hidden fees and confusing billing

Disadvantages

  • Limited availability
  • Hidden fees
  • Involved setup process

Internet Options

Charter Spectrum

Internet Service Satisfaction Rating

3.36 Stars (3.36 / 5)

  • Comes with a security suite
  • Is free from data caps
  • Offers speeds starting at 60 Mbps

Verizon Fios

Internet Service Satisfaction Rating

3.84 Stars (3.84 / 5)

  • Offers up to 300 Mbps internet speeds in select areas
  • Provides equal upload and download speeds
  • Is easily bundled

The Verdict

Choose Charter Spectrum for best coverage availability, cost-effective service bundles, and more HD channels.

Charter has improved drastically in recent years, recovering well after a detrimental financial scandal and a previously poor reputation for customer service. As one of the biggest cable providers in the United States, Charter offers affordable TV bundles for those who want fast and well-priced internet service.

Choose Verizon Fios for the best overall experience—if it’s available in your area.

Verizon Fios outranks competing services in most areas. While it doesn’t take number one in every category, Fios ranks high across the board. Because Verizon Fios is relatively new on the TV scene, it’s still being expanded into new markets. If you do have Fios in your area, you can be sure you’ll receive good customer service, a reliable signal, and excellent channel selection.

 

To learn more about Charter Spectrum or Verizon Fios TV, check out our detailed provider reviews. Each review offers an extensive look at the company’s history and offered services, as well as summaries of equipment, areas of concern, billing issues, fees, package details, installation processes, and more.

If you want to see an overview of this year’s ratings of several TV service providers, read the full CableTV’s 2016 Provider Customer Satisfaction Survey here.

 

*Pricing and speeds are current as of writing. Pricing and speeds are subject to change. Not all offers available in all areas.

Find out  if Charter Spectrum and Verizon Fios are available in your area: