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Activating FiOS TV Set-top Boxes Is Now a Snap – Just Plug It In and Go

by on ‎04-22-2010 04:11 PM

In December, I needed to order a FiOS TV standard set-top box for a TV we added in one of our bedrooms.  I called and 1047i7274C33EA76FBF39ordered a box and within 48 hours, there was a new set-top box drop-shipped to my house. 

 

After hooking it up, I called the number provided in the self-install guide to be prompted through set-up and finished it off by going to a website.  The guide said the activation process might take up to 30 minutes and to check back later.  All in all, pretty simple.

 

But “easy and painless” beats pretty simple most days, right?  How about unpacking the set-top box, plugging it in – and just walking away?  Now THAT is the best, which is why we now offer plug and play.

 

Today, if you order a new box, upgrade an existing box or on those rare occasions that a set-top box goes down and you need another, Verizon drop ships the box right to your front door, you plug it in and that’s all it takes to get your new box activated and functional.  You also receive a brochure that graphically shows step-by-step instructions and cable connections.  There’s contact information and frequently asked questions, should you need it.

 

What we call “auto provisioning” makes plug-and-play activation a snap. The remote control our customers use is pre-programmed to manage the set-top box.  Customers can access the Interactive Media Guide, and the new process ensures that all of the IMG's features are functioning properly, including video on demand and the search function.  Additionally, it verifies that the video services a customer has ordered – things like premium channel tiers and movie channel packages – are installed and accurate.

 

In effect, we’ve taken the same tools our technicians used to activate a box and installed them in the set-top itself.  The activation step that used to require a visit to a website or a phone call, followed by a wait to determine if the box was ready for use, is now virtually instantaneous.  No more waiting to see if it works only to find out an error was made, forcing you to start all over again.  Clearly plug-and-play is a much cleaner and more enjoyable experience for the customer.

 

We’ve added other great new self-service features over the past six months to make life easier for our FiOS customers – the In-Home Agent, an upgraded version of the Interactive Media Guide now available in all markets, even the ability to use certain cell phones as a remote.  Let us know what you think of these and if you want more … because more is coming.

 

Comments
by MVP Justin MVP on ‎04-22-2010 05:11 PM

Now that is a great step forward!

by bjdraw on ‎04-22-2010 06:56 PM

That's a great story, but I still wish CableCARD installs were that good too. No, instead you pay $50 for a truck roll, wait a week and then do the install youself anyways because the installer "doesn't install these very often."

by on ‎04-22-2010 07:09 PM

I never paid anything for a cable card truck roll. It is not even in the system to do so. There have been many posts in the forums regarding this. I was not charge for them to bring out my cable card. They will not ship them but will deliver them for free. If Bill could verify this it would be even better. Here is a link to the forum search that discusses it in multiple threads.

 

http://forums.verizon.com/t5/forums/searchpage/tab/message?advanced=true&filter=acceptedSolutions%2C...

by on ‎04-22-2010 07:12 PM

Very nice feature for some customers that might not have internet service. Good idea and eliminates possible support issues if things should go wrong, or like I said the customer does not have internet access. Helps everyone. Way to go!

by on ‎04-22-2010 08:42 PM

I called on the phone to swap an SD box for an HD box.  I told them I wanted to go pick it up locally so they gave me a number and transferred it to the local FiOS store.  I went a couple hours later to the store and did the swap for a new HD box.  It came with instructions for the web activation and a nice colorful installation guide.

 

I didn't have to call anyone to activate the new HD box.  I went to the web site located on the paper I was given and entered some specific information.  45 minutes later the box was up and running.

 

The entire process was terrific.

by on ‎04-23-2010 05:05 AM

nascar

Bills post says you should not be required to go on line and do anything. It should not take 45 minutes. Plug and play. Instant activation. I suppose not all boxes are set up yet.

by on ‎04-23-2010 10:17 AM

"Bills post says you should not be required to go on line and do anything. It should not take 45 minutes. Plug and play. Instant activation. I suppose not all boxes are set up yet."

 

Just saying my experience was terrific.  I guess one less step makes it even more terrificer. :smileyhappy:

by BarbS on ‎02-08-2012 08:46 AM

Our experience was a nightmare. 

Plug and Play?!?!  Not here.

 

We bought our first HD TV on Sunday and it was playing great with just the old standard definition STB.

Monday morning we went to the local Verizon store to exchange our SD box for a HD box (no dvr) to avoid waiting for a delivery.

At the store, we were offered a HMDI wire for $20 which I had expected to be included so refused to buy it, especially after hearing that the Verizon HDMI wires were malfuctioning.

All we were given was the receipt, the small black HD box and a card with the STS manual's website on it.

No instructions were given verbally and no instructional guide.

 

When we got home, I had trouble finding the HD Box manual online and when I finally did, it was just about wiring and troubleshooting.  No information about the FIOSTV HD activation process.  I hooked up everything and plugged the STB  in and really didn't see anything happening so I called the store and was told I had to call the activation number.  I called the activation number and gave a bunch of information and was told to wait 2 hours!  Still nothing was happening after 2 hours so called again and was told to wait another 2 hours and a tech would call me when the activation was done.  Finally after another hour, the system came to life and everything seemed to be working ok.  Tech called and told him we were good but then later found the STB in anbother room was frozen.  Unplugging and replugging reset it.

 

Next morning I am watching the new HD TV and it suddenly gets no signal and after a few screens get a message in red that the activation failed!!!  Called the activation number and told by a taped message to wait 45 minutes.  Called again after 45 minutes and told to wait an hour.  Called again after 90 minutes and had the same taped message, no live person to talk to like the day before.  Called Verizon's number  for tech support and was told to go to the website for help because of a long wait on the phone.  Called several times more and finally got connected to tech support by a customer rep.  The tech had our system running in about 15 minutes.  Also after the tech got our HD STB working, I had to unplug and replug our other two STBs to get VOD working on them. This whole scenario was so stressful that we will not be ever trying a dvr or a HD box on any future new HDTVs in another room and will stick with our old standard definition STBs.  I am afraid to turn on the new tv today, fearing the worse.   

 

I will give kudos to a customer rep (Ms. Phair) who did try to satisfy us with various offers.


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About The Authors

Bob Elek

Manager - Media Relations

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Bob stays on top of developments and issues with Verizon’s Consumer and Mass Business segment from his home base in Florida. He has been involved with FiOS since it was first being developed and deployed in 2004.

Alberto Canal

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Alberto is in the public relations group. He loves to share tech, sustainability, feel-good, and random news of interest. A happy FiOS quad play customer, he likes to use his family as guinea pigs.

Deidre Hart

Manager -- Media Relations

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Deidre is a member of the consumer PR team and loves to talk everything FiOS and everything football. She’s also a happy Triple Play customer.

Phil Santoro

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Phil has been extolling the virtues of FiOS ever since he had his Triple Play installed and can’t image how he ever managed without it. He writes about developing technologies that enable him to fuel his addiction to movies and sports whenever he wants, no matter where he is.

Caroline Wilson

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Caroline manages the Verizon FiOS Google+ page, capturing the latest in entertainment, technology, sports and everything in between. She loves using social media and the written word to extend the FiOS conversation.

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