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Old 09-03-2008, 05:45 PM
 
Location: Texas
230 posts, read 933,176 times
Reputation: 65

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Hi everyone,

We are relocating in 2 weeks time to Vienna (22181) from Australia and I'm trying to sort out options for utilities for our rental home. We do have a relocation company provided through my husband's employer to assist us (what a joke) but we are finding they are way too slow at initiating anything so I'm trying to do the ground work myself. I have a couple of questions that hopefully someone can answer for me:

1/. Is there more than one company to choose from for water, electricity, gas, phone etc. Here in Melbourne the government privatized the utility companies so we now have several to choose from for each utility (really just means more annoying phone calls from the opposition companies trying to get your business).

2/. What is the best option for TV? Have read on this forum that satelite is a good way to go rather than cable. Could we get satelite TV in Vienna & what company can provide this?

3/. Do phone companies in the US offer packages that "bundle" home phone, cell phones & internet together to give you a better price? Any suggestions on a good company to go with?

4/. If there are options to choose from for our utilities, are there any companies we should stay away from because of poor service etc?

Thanks so much in advance for any advice or suggestions you can give!

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Old 09-03-2008, 07:16 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA
11,419 posts, read 20,299,331 times
Reputation: 16495
Dominion Va. Power is THE electric company - 1-800-222-0401 (Dominion Home)

Washington Gas is THE gas company - Washington Gas

Not positive about water but probably Virginia American Water - Virginia American Water

There are bundled phone/internet, etc. packages - DirectTV is one, Verizon is another, I'm not in Fairfax County or City of Vienna but I think Cox is also available there.

Hope this helps to get you started since nobody has responded yet.
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Old 09-03-2008, 07:26 PM
 
Location: Texas
230 posts, read 933,176 times
Reputation: 65
Thanks Flamingo13! That already makes it easier. Would you recommend one phone company over the other with regards to customer service etc?

If anyone else has some suggestions please let me know!
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Old 09-03-2008, 07:42 PM
 
206 posts, read 573,877 times
Reputation: 20
I have VOIP with Cox. That means I have phone, internet, and cable tv for ~100/month.

Also, I subscribe to Dish Network for an international channel. Of course, there's Direct TV also as another satellite option.

Verizon FIOS may or may not be an option in Vienna, but I doubt it. Newer communities have a better chance at having FIOS.

Be wary that if you buy a house that doesn't have a clear shot facing southwest because of trees, then dish will not be an option for you. Vienna is an area that has a lot of mature trees.
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Old 09-03-2008, 10:36 PM
 
Location: Texas
230 posts, read 933,176 times
Reputation: 65
Thanks for the info handy man88. I've just checked the Verizon website & it tells me I can get their FIOS TV,phone,internet & cell phone services where we will be living (I entered in our new address to check). Should this option be our first choice? So confusing with so many different packages, options & companies to pick from.

Thanks again for the help!
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Old 09-04-2008, 07:14 AM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
284 posts, read 786,696 times
Reputation: 111
"Should this option be our first choice? "

I vote "Yes". I live in one of those older neighborhoods where FIOS isn't available, but when (if?) it is, I’ll definitely sign up. Friends and colleagues who have it speak highly of the service. The only complaints I can remember hearing are having to “reboot” your TV every now and then, and when the power goes out, so does your phone (of course, the ubiquity of cell phones takes care of that).
Welcome to the area!

Last edited by g3org3; 09-04-2008 at 07:16 AM.. Reason: missed a word
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Old 09-04-2008, 11:37 AM
 
206 posts, read 573,877 times
Reputation: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melbourne Family View Post
Thanks for the info handy man88. I've just checked the Verizon website & it tells me I can get their FIOS TV,phone,internet & cell phone services where we will be living (I entered in our new address to check). Should this option be our first choice? So confusing with so many different packages, options & companies to pick from.

Thanks again for the help!
FIOS seems like the best bet for you. Everything in one. Simple.

If the power goes out, which it does often around here b/c of the mature trees, you might want to consider getting a generator.

But, Direct TV (satellite) offers international channels and programming, and also offers sports like the NFL package. So, if you wish to still see Austrailian programming (shows, rugby, etc.), you might have to spring for both FIOS and Direct TV, or just Direct TV.

That latter option will also depend on how your home is currently wired up.
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Old 09-04-2008, 03:11 PM
 
19,183 posts, read 28,398,471 times
Reputation: 4002
Hey...congratulations! All these months of work are about to pay off! Hope it goes well. A couple of notes...first, check with the owner or realtor re the water situation. There really isn't any standard for that. The bundled TV-internet-phone choices boil down to two -- Verizon or Cox Communications, which holds a (supposedly regulated) monopoly for Fairfax County. Customer service isn't really great for either of them, but from personal experience, I'd give the edge to Cox. The last time I needed something out of Verizon, I had to call corporate people in New York City to get anything done. Cox has never been that bad. Anyway, good luck pulling all this off...I think you'll enjoy the area once you get here...it has a lot to offer...
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Old 09-04-2008, 08:35 PM
 
Location: Texas
230 posts, read 933,176 times
Reputation: 65
Talking Thanks!

Thanks everyone for the great info and kind welcomes to NOVA. We are now in the very hectic period of packing up our home here in Melbourne whilst trying to sell it, saying goodbye to great long time friends, finalising all our paperwork etc and organising the details for a smooth (hopefully) transplant to the USA. As you can imagine we're all a bit fragile at the moment so all of your insight is greatly appreciated! A special thank-you to saganista who has provided me with very useful info on many
occasions

Most of the people my husband has spoken to at work in the Fairfax office have mentioned that they also have their setup through Cox. Does this company offer normal cable or is it satellite or Fibre optic? We have quite limited options where we live now (we currently only have the standard 7 or so free to air channels - no subsriptions needed just a TV & an antenna) so all of this is like a foreign language to me. We don't really need 200 channels (although if they don't cost extra we'll take them!) but would simply be after a few extra channels (our 10 yr old is desperate for Disney Channel so she can watch Hannah Montana) plus a home phone line with international call options, 2 cell phones and internet access (nothing too slow). Not sure if it's worth checking prices with both Verizon & Cox or if I'm going to end up confused with information overload.


Looking forward to an exciting time ahead exploring all that NOVA has to offer (not to mention the fantastic retail therapy I'm going to encounter!)
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