Verizon Fios Experiences

I just got off the phone with Verizon customer migraine service, and am left completely mystified. My story starts with the fact that Verizon didn’t notify us that their was a shortage of HD DVR boxes when we placed our order. It continued to the installation process, where the affable technician, albeit sporting the classic plumber’s crack while installing, failed to explain to us that while he was connecting the DVR to the HD TV, that in fact, we wouldn’t be able to watch any HD programming. I had to wait until the next business day to speak to anyone about the problem (installation was on a Saturday, and though they advertise 24/7 support, that doesn’t apply to most FIOS issues). I was then explained to that there was a back order on the Motorola HD DVR boxes, and that it would probably be the end of the month (February) before they were in. Sounded fair. They would discount our account the price of the DVR until then, we’d get the new DVR via UPS, swap them out, mail back the standard box at no cost. OK, slightly inconveniencing, but fair.

First of March, I hadn’t heard anything, so I called customer service again. I was given the same basic information, but this time, I was told middle of March. Frustration is growing.

Mid March, I call again, I’d really like to be watching some of the movies and programming I enjoy in HD. This time, I was told it would be the end of the month, and that some boxes had already been swapped out, but there was still a back order. Frustration is reaching the point of wanting to yell and reach through the phone and choke the people on the other end of the line, but I managed to remain calm.

Which brings me to today. I call to ask about this issue, as well as to inquire about picture-in-picture. I get a tech support person who I’m sure isn’t based in the U.S., perhaps Mexico City? Regardless, I inquire about the PIP. This gentleman insists that if my TV supports PIP, then I should have PIP. I explain to him that sure, with an antenna, I can watch PIP, but that PIP with the cable would require the box to split the signal, and when would this be introduced. He doesn’t have a clue to what I’m talking about. I ask to speak to someone else.

The next gentleman I speak with is most likely Indian, again, the primary problem is communication, not nationality for me. This person informs me that if I want PIP, I would need a second box, or use a splitter from the coax entering the house and would get PIP for the first 50 channels. Again, I try to explain that for instance, BrightHouse supports PIP within their DVR boxes, but he doesn’t believe me. After another tech question about using the “last” (previous) button. The Verizon Fios boxes support 9999 channels, so if you want to watch, say channel 8, you can just enter 8, but there’s a delay, so I got into the habit of hitting 0008. Well, to me it’s a bug, to them, I’m stupid, but if you type 0008, then 0084, the previous/last button won’t work. If I do 8/84 it works. What ever. I then asked to be transferred to customer service, as tech support doesn’t know anything about FIOS DVR boxes. Oh, and he comes back and says, “they are working on the PIP as we speak, and might be available in 6 months”, obviously someone was listening in and corrected him to a degree.

I get a very nice lady, most likely U.S. based. She tells me she’s not been given any timeframes for the the swap out, and that she’s been collecting names to call back when she has information. At this point, I’m completely frustrated, and want to just cancel the package, without penalty (technically, we signed a 2 year contract, with a $199 cancellation fee) because they are not providing all the services outlined in the contract. I was transferred to a “retention specialist”, again, most likely American, who said she didn’t know anything about PIP, nor did she have any time frames for when the boxes would be swapped. I said I’d like to confirm I could cancel without penalty, and she said, no, you are still be provided with the bundled service. I then outlined that I had been lied to about the time frame of replacement during the first month when I could have cancelled the service. She simply ignored me. Had I been told in mid February that it might 4 months before HD boxes would be available, I might not have signed on with Verizon at the time. I could have gotten BrightHouse, without a contract, and simply switched when HD was available. But no, Verizon felt is was better to lie and hide information and con us into keeping the contract for a short term gain, and the loss of long term satisfaction.

I will say I have no qualms with the other two services provided, internet connection is as fast as advertised, and the phone service is fine. I don’t like the fact that to use the provided voice mail, I have to call a separate number to check my voice mail, I can’t simply call my own number to do so, but what ever, that’s what the memory is for on the phone I suppose.

I’d love to know just for personal satisfaction if indeed Verizon could be sued for their unscrupulous actions regarding the hiding/lying about HD service. I highly doubt I would have much of a case, as I don’t have any real documentation as to who/when I spoke with about the time frames, which I generally tend to do, and will start doing again when speaking with customer service reps.

Ahh, now I feel better.