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Hello to All,
I have been on this message board for about a year or so. You will see I have attempted to answer questions to help everyone out, particularly as it relates to Fios TV. I have answered a lot of questions about the new 1.9 and how to view only subscribed channels and how to change the Guide screen. I have tried not to get into petty complaining, but I imagine at one time or another it has happened. Overall, I am happy with Fios service. But I have noticed a trend in the many message board posts that I have read. So, I decided to start a list here about Verizon's biggest issues to its customers. I know that Verizon does not manage this message board and that it is peer to peer. However, I can't buy that Verizon employees don't read the message boards to get ideas or to see what issues there are.
I am going to start off this list with some of my pet pieves. Most of these are not huge deals, but the little things start to add up. I am not here to complain about the Guide menu or the new 1.9 or that I want more HD channels. That has been talked about enough here. It is my hope that we can have constructive dialog on this and other people can post their issues as well. This is not meant to be complaint-based postings or to post why something is not working the way it should. This is more based on a macro level versus micro level. I hope this will narrow down some of the issues that people have. Some of you will agree with the postings, others will not. That is okay. I just ask that we all be courteous. WIth that, here goes:
1. Communications or Lack Thereof
This is probably my biggest issue with the Fios TV service. There seems to be a huge lack of communication, of which I will site specific examples below. However, whether it be with channel changes, issues, or why something is the way that it is, Verizon does not do the best job at communicating with its customers. Maybe this is the way it is in the cable industry, but that doesn't make me feel any better. As for examples, I site the following:
a. The Tennis Channel Debacle
No matter what side you are on, I would hope many of us could agree that it would have been nice to get something other than an email that says the Tennis Channel has been pulled and they will continue to negotiate. What happened? Why? We all read about it in other places, but why can't our cable company tell us? Do they think we can't handle the truth (sorry about the pun). How about an update? We all have read about the Consortium that Verizon is a part of, and that this Consortium negotiated with the Tennis Channel to lower its tier status. Verizon had the ability to reject this. But why not be honest about it? Why do we have to read this somewhere else?
b. ESPN Goaline
Some have lost this channel (including me), others may not have. But why did it all of a sudden disappear? Two weeks ago, I had it. Last week, I did not. I still don't. Now, the channel is off my Guide. But, if I scroll down channel by channel, it shows up, but it is blacked out and my parental controls come on. Again, what happened and why? Did Verizon pull the channel? Is this temporary? No one seems to know. How about an email? Maybe this would stop all of the posts on this forum?
c. Why Verizon lists the channels the way it does (or, why don't I get the Hallmark Movie Channel with the Extreme Package)?
This has come up in numerous posts, most notably with Hallmark MC and MGM. I have never been with a cable company where you pay more for a package but don't get all the channels in the lower tier. As an example, the Hallmark Movie Channel is available in Prime and Ultimate, but not Extreme. How does this make sense? Have we ever received a reason? Maybe Verizon doesn't owe us one, but it would help. On three separate occasions, I have posting this question on the Ideas Exchane Forum. Verizon finally replied that they would try to get the Products Manager to explain this. It has yet to happen and I first posted this question back in March. If this is simply a ploy to get customers to order the Ultimate package, I don't expect Verizon to fess up to that. But don't tell me it is some contractual thing when I have never had this situation occur with another cable company. Just tell us.
d. Lack of emails or notices over TV
Some of these issues would not be issues if we received more notices. Verizon did explain that it sent notices out via email to those people that Verizon had email addresses for concerning the Tennis Channel issue. Why send it out via email? Isn't this the sort of situation where sending out a mass notice over the TV in your message inbox would make more sense? (If they did this, I never received it.). Why not send it out through the TV? We get notices for boxing matches, sports packages, new On Demand movies, but not for this? Though, I must say, it would be nice if my message inbox would actually show that I have a new message. That notification has rarely ever worked. I have to go into the message box to see if I have messages there. I rarely ever get the notice that says "New" with the envelope showing.
2. The "you pay for the service, not for the channels" mantra
Fine, we pay for the service of TV, not for the channels themselves, so you can change up the channel lineups whenever you want. And, I readily admit that Verizon adds channels as well as taking them away, so it is a wash most times. And, yes, your contract terms states this. But really, we all pay for the channels. If we pay for just the service, why are their different channel packages? Why do we have to pick a channel tier? Just let us do a la carte and pick what we want. I pay for Extreme because there were certain channels I wanted that were not in Prime, and I don't have Ultimate because it was not worth it to pay extra for those channels. Customers don't want to fee like they are being taken advantage of by having channels moved up tiers that seem to be channels people want. It makes us feel like this is only being done to get us to pay more, even if this is not the case.
That is all for now. I am sure I have other issues if I thought about it more. But again, I am not looking for this to be a gripe session. I was hoping for constructive dialog about the bigger, overall issues you have with Verizon. As I stated, overall, I like my service. I am fine with the HD channels I have. I was happy that Verizon listened to the fans and got Fox Soccer Channel in HD. I like that I can have all of my services bundled on one bill. So overall, I would say communication seems to be the overarching issue I have. This issue is not apparent all the time. It comes and goes with certain issues like those I have sited above.
Please feel free to comment or add your own. Let's have a good discussion. Take care and thanks.
I agree that Verizon has issues, but I'll try and explain from what little I know about the industry. The lack of communication is probably the biggest drawback to being a Verizon customer. No one in the company will say (and very few people actually know) an answer to programming questions. On the other hand, they can't really be forthcoming with information as we would like, because they are a competing video service everywhere they serve.
a. I suspect that Verizon didn't let us on to the Tennis Channel situation because they don't like to make disputes like this public. On the other hand, because of this, we woke up one day and just didn't have the channel.
b. If it's like last year, ESPN Goal Line is not available in the DC or Harrisburg areas due to some sort of exclusivity agreement. It would be nice for Verizon to explain this rather than simply removing the channel and giving no answers as to why.
c. From what I've seen, as packages evolve, channels take spots in different packages and leave others. It all depends on the super secret carriage agreements between Verizon and the programmers. What made sense when Verizon started the channel lineups might not make as much sense now, but you still don't want to rearrange all these channels and confuse people even more.
d. I think I got a TV message about the Tennis Channel, but it was a few days after it was removed.
As for the a la carte argument, people think that if channels were offered as a pick and choose deal, they would still cost 10 or 20 cents a month. If channel "x" now has 1 million subscribers paying 20 cents a month, they will base their programming costs on that. If all of the sudden they have 10,000 subscribers, either they will go out of business or have to charge $20 per month to bring in the same money to produce the channel. This is why channels like Fox Soccer Plus are so expensive with Verizon, since there's no way to spread out the cost to lots of subscribers. I would much rather have more selection so I'm not limited to watching the same channels all the time (but that's why I get Ultimate HD)