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Introducing the Verizon at Home Blog

by Employee ‎07-15-2009 04:24 AM - edited ‎08-19-2009 05:15 PM

Welcome! You've found our new blog, Verizon at Home. Here we'll be talking about Verizon services that customers use in their homes – services like Internet, TV and phone service. We'll cover the gamut of Verizon residential services, but we'll pay a lot of attention to FiOS because that's what people are talking about. And we'll address issues like customer service and billing that are already hot topics at the Verizon Community Forums.

Here’s a video that explains more about what we’ll be doing at Verizon at Home. Come join us.





Senior Vice President -- Media Relations

Eric RabeEric W. Rabe directs corporate media relations, serves as strategic public relations counsel to Verizon senior management, and is Verizon’s principal spokesman on the company's telecommunications business.

Message Edited by Eric_Rabe on 08-19-2009 02:15 PM

Comments
by Paul on ‎07-15-2009 04:27 AM
Welcome, Eric.  I hope to hear more about the media guide and any plans Verizon has for it. 
by Employee on ‎07-15-2009 09:25 AM

Hi Paul,

 

Glad you found us.  I just posted the latest update for FiOS TV -- Widgets Bazaar that (for now) gives you Twitter and Facebook options on FiOS TV as well as links to Internet video right on the TV screen.  To your direct question about the IMG, we're constantly updating and pushing new versions to FiOS TV subscribers.  You will know that we've done that when you see a new feature or in those cases where we actually put a message on your TV screen pointing out something new.  Look for it, but know that the IMG is continuously being upgraded.

by MVP Justin MVP on ‎07-15-2009 02:25 PM

Hi Eric,

 

Glad to see you here. I think you will find it interesting if nothing else.....

 

I posted a comment over in the policy blog months ago and never got an answer, so I will try here.

 

When is Verizon going to make FYI Television deliver an accurate Guide? Or switch to a provider that does provide accurate data? I am not talking about the format or functionality of the Guide IMG), I mean the accuracy of the data provided. It is truely awful, inaccurate on many channels frequenty.

 

Last year I sent an email to Verizon's chairman expressing my frustration with the poor data in the Guide, I got about 4 phone calls from several people around the Eastern US, final "solution" I was offered was (paraphrased) "whenever you see an error in the Guide call tech support and report it." That just doesn't hack it! There are other guide data providers that deliver far more accurate Guide data than FYI; Verizon either needs to force FYI Television to deliver accurate data, or Verizon should contract with another data provider.

 

FWIW, I really have no interest in more Widgets, FB or any of that other stuff. What I care about is having a TV experience where I can accurately see what programs are on, and watch them ALL in HD. And by the way, in late Sept. I wlll have had FiOS TV for 4 full years!

 

Thank you for listening.

 

__________________________________
Justin
Verizon FiOS TV, Internet, and phone
QIP6416, IMG 1.6.2, Build 08.58
Keller, TX 76248

by on ‎07-15-2009 05:49 PM

Welcome Eric

Blog away.

 

I look forward to hearing new news. I guess the latest message posted to the TV was something about Verizon looking for good people.

 

I am with Justin regarding FYI. Would be nice to see more data if it was accurate. You know when the show first aired, or the year the movie was released. You know silly stuff like that. I must say SyFy did show accurate New status for Warehouse 13, instead of recording every repeat show of the first show that was aired during the first week. It actually recorded only first runs. I was amazed.Perhaps FYI is getting better, or it will only last until the next contract is signed. Don't sign the darn thing, I really do not want to buy a TIVO.

by on ‎07-16-2009 02:09 PM

Eric,

 

Thank you for providing me and others a way to interact with you and Verizon!

 

Firstly, I applaud you and Verizon for bringing FiOS to me.  The overall experience has been fantastic!  I left another provider and the just didn't get it as you clearly do at Verizon.  Thanks.

 

I would like to tell you what I would like and it mostly surrounds TV and the DVR experience.   We need better guide DATA.  The IMG guide is terrific looking guide but the data is far from accurate and complete.  I record plenty of sporting events.  I have no way of telling from within the guide if the event is Live or a repeat.  A little "Live" added to the event would most certainly be welcomed!  I also record Movies.  Movies in the IMG have no star ratings, no director, and  limited actors are seen.  Please work with FYI to bring their guide DATA up a few levels.

 

Another point is the limited DVR Hard Drive space.  If you record anything in HD you will quickly see how limited we are limited and how much we can record and save.  Please take a look at larger storage DVR's as well as allowing us to add to the DVR via USB.

 

I would like to say how much my family love the Multi Room DVR.  That is a killer feature!  There are some things I would like to do in addition with Multi Room but I am very happy as it is now.

 

Thank you for letting me have a direct voice to your ear.

 

Mark

by Employee on ‎07-16-2009 05:38 PM

Justin,  prisaz and nascar,

 

I wanted to respond to your comments about the guide data.  We do our best to be sure the guide is accurate and to hold our provider's feet to the fire.  We run checks on the guide data every morning, and if we find an issue, we correct it.  We know we're still getting some errors, so feedback like yours is helpful.  In terms of making the information more complete, we do plan to add richer information in an upcoming release of the guide.

 

Eric

by MVP Justin MVP on ‎07-16-2009 06:13 PM

Eric,

 

Thanks for the reply. I really hope that things are improving with the Guide data, and maybe they are, maybe I am just so jaded by my experience so far that I just can't see the forest for the trees.

 

Have you ever taken a look at what customers are saying about the Guide data accuracy, or at least have said in the recent past? If not, here are links to three threads, one on the Verizon forum and two on DSLReports.com, that may give you some idea of the frustration many of us have experienced:

 

http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r21675807-Worst-Guide-ever-2009-guide-thread

http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r21514525-Cure-for-the-guide

http://forums.verizon.com/vrzn/board/message?board.id=FiOS_TV&thread.id=1887

 

I referenced all of these threads in my email to Ivan Seidenberg; interestingly, all of the people who called me about my complaint were never given access to the list of threads, so they had no real idea what my complaint was based on. 

 

None of these threads appear to have been updated since Jan. 2009 or so, so maybe the quality has improved and I just haven't seen it (or maybe people just gave up complaining, I don't know). Anyway, if you look through these threads I hope you will get an idea how bad the problem is, and how frustrated your customers are.

 

I hate to start this blog out on a negative note. I am really glad you are here, I hope you will stay around. I also hope that you can carry some of the messages to the rest of Verizon and maybe get some things improved, and of course I hope you will be telling us about new HD channels coming soon, expanded DVR drive space, and all the other good things that are coming (soon, very soon, right?).

 

Thanks for listening, keep in mind that I am really a happy FiOS customer, you just have a few things to make better.

 

__________________________________
Justin
Verizon FiOS TV, Internet, and phone
QIP6416, IMG 1.6.2, Build 08.58
Keller, TX 76248

by on ‎07-16-2009 08:50 PM

Eric,

 

Here are two more guide DATA issues. 

 

http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r22719837-Heads-up-Guide-wrong-for-Burn-NoticeRoyal-Pain

 

http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r22654591-Nascar-Race-Tonight

 

Thanks for responding that you are aware of the guide data issues and you plan on adding a richer experience in the future.

 

I'd also like to thank you for bringing FiOS 1 to New Jersey.  I know that people love News 12 NJ and will not switch to FiOS because of it.

 

I would like to comment that if you take a look at News 12 NJ you will see headlines on the bottom crawl.  On FiOS 1 we have on weather.  Please add  News headlines to the crawl.

 

Here is another link with various comments on FiOS 1...

 

http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r22529698-FiOS1-For-Long-Island-northern-NJ

 

Thank you for listening and responding!

 

Mark

by jerseygirlinvb on ‎07-16-2009 09:33 PM

Eric,

 

I am so glad I found this blog.  I am having the same issues.  Shows aren't recording when they should and other shows are recording that shouldn't.  The guide is also frequently incorrect (what is on TV is not what the guide shows). 

 

I have to say that your Customer Service department is really lacking in the information department.  I called about these exact issues today and they claim there are no issues about this being reported.   I was able to speak to a manager and all he could tell me was to do a hard reset on my box before he could escalate the issue.  That clearly is not the solution and I told him that would not solve my problem, but he wouldn't give me any more info. 

 

Do these issues not get communicated to customer service??????  I too found some of the links posted by other users above.  (Thanks to all of you who validated my issues here.)  

 

So, when is the TV guide issue going to be resolved?  I have been a customer for a mere 4 months and I am ready to go back to COX.   These problems clearly violate the service agreement. 

 

 

by Employee on ‎07-17-2009 03:41 PM

jerseygirlinvb

 

Sorry that you weren't satisfied with our response to your recording issues.  We're contacting you offline to see how we can help.

 

Eric

by on ‎07-18-2009 05:14 PM

Ditto on what Justin said. I could not have said it better. Thanks for starting this blog.

 

 

Justin Said,

"

I hate to start this blog out on a negative note. I am really glad you are here, I hope you will stay around. I also hope that you can carry some of the messages to the rest of Verizon and maybe get some things improved, and of course I hope you will be telling us about new HD channels coming soon, expanded DVR drive space, and all the other good things that are coming (soon, very soon, right?).

 

Thanks for listening, keep in mind that I am really a happy FiOS customer, you just have a few things to make better.

 

""
by Employee on ‎07-21-2009 11:43 AM

Thanks to all for the comments here so far.  We're passing them along to the right folks here at Verizon -- especially the comments about the IMG.  We'll have more to say about that in a future post.  

 

On HD channels, as you probably already know, FiOS TV has more than 100 HD channels in each market, often 110 or more.  By and large, we're delivering the HD content that is available to us now, so I'm not expecting that we'll add a whole lot more HD, but we'll keep adding as new channels become available. 

 

On DVR drive space, we're adding larger hard drives to the set top boxes, and those should be available in coming months.

by maccur on ‎07-24-2009 03:37 PM
Is this where I can complain because FIOS TV is not available in my area and probably won't be because my area of California is considered not lucrative enough?
by Boots on ‎07-25-2009 08:23 AM
I am trying to activate Verizon Call Assistant, but am unable to do so because the software complains that I don't have a current browser, suggesting I try Netscape or IE 5.5 or 6.  I am using IE8, Firefox 3.51.  Is it possible for Verizon to contract with a US-based software provider for this service?
by on ‎07-30-2009 12:47 PM

"In terms of making the information more complete, we do plan to add richer information in an upcoming release of the guide."

 

More richer information is most certainly welcomed.  Accuracy in the guide is key as well.  Anyone that records sports would certainly welcome a "Live" indication in the guide.

 

I would also love to see a 28 day rule like TiVo has so the REPEAT recordings would stop.  Once I delete a recording it re records if aired again.  I'd welcome a 7 day rule to stop this.  Please!

 

In any event, I look forward to seeing this upcoming release!

by on ‎08-19-2009 12:57 PM

Eric,

 

I've been trying to record a season series of the Dodger games on FSN Prime Ticket (Channel 77 in Southern California).  The problem is, Prime Ticket airs a lot of repeats of the game later that night or even the next day.  Sometimes Prime Ticket even shows the repeat of the previous Angel game in the morning.  All of these repeats are marked as "New" and so ALL of them get recorded, even the repeat Angel games get recorded because all baseball games show up in the guide as "MLB Baseball."  In this case I end up with 3 or 4 recordings per day and because the guide data is so bad I can't tell which recording is actually the real one.

 

If, on on the other hand, I set the series to just record "New with no repeats/duplicates", it only records the first game of every series, none of the other games get recorded.  The fix to this would be to make sure that none of the repeats are marked as "New".

 

This is just another example of bad guide data affecting recordings.  Please work with the data provider to fix these types of issues as soon as possible as it is very frustrating.

 

Pete

by Employee on ‎08-20-2009 07:35 PM

BigPete82,


Live sports carry programming information that's different from the new/repeat flags found in TV series. We recommend you keep the series recording settings you have, but check the DVR menu a few times a week to make sure it is picking up the games you expect. If you see days without a game scheduled, you can set up a manual recording by scrolling to that day and time in the guide. We carry two weeks of future data in our guide each day. We realize this doesn't completely address your concerns , but it will help you capture the games you want to see.

 

--Eric

by on ‎08-26-2009 05:47 PM

 


Eric_Rabe wrote:
...We recommend you keep the series recording settings you have, but check the DVR menu a few times a week to make sure it is picking up the games you expect. If you see days without a game scheduled, you can set up a manual recording by scrolling to that day and time in the guide...

 


Eric,
This is what I currently do, but it is an unacceptable solution.  Because there are several games on the same channel (many of which are repeats) on the same day, you can't tell which game in the guide is actually the correct game because they all say "new."  In order to make sure you have the correct game scheduled, you have to fire up the computer, go to the website of the team and match up each game on the website schedule with the DVR schedule.  Now imagine doing this for 162 games in a baseball season and you can understand how FiOS MUST improve sport season scheduling and recording.  It should be automated.  Tivo seems to have no issues, and neither does DISH.  I'm not familiar with any of the other DVRs out there, but just having the guide correctly call out a NEW program would be helpful.  Preferrably, there should be LIVE, REPEAT, and CLASSIC tags for sports events.
Pete

 

 

by jim55 on ‎09-25-2009 02:00 PM

Eric, Thanks for the blog.  We are just back to Southern California after 4 months in Washington.  Here we have Fios and in washington we are on an Island and we have Direct TV.  My first impression now that we are back to Fios is the the picture quality and the programing is better than Direct TV.  However the two common complaints Fios customers have are quite true.  The Direct TV guide provides loads of information about the programs that really helps when trying to make viewing and recording decisions.  Fios has a long way to go in this area!  The second area needing improvement is additional recording time.  Again Direct TV has much bigger hard drives.  With their bigger drive I felt no need to add an external hard drive which can be done on their DVR.  Any improvement in increasing recording time woud be welcome.  These are not new issues but Verizon seems to not consider them too important judging by their lack of response to date.

Thanks for offering an oportunity to provide input to Verizon.

Jim

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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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