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as2higpark

Don't charge loyal customers to upgrade to necessary new hardware

Status: Acknowledged
by as2higpark on ‎02-09-2011 05:41 AM

I was amazed to find out that now that the new DVRs are available and I have been a loyal customer for over 3 years, patiently waiting and signing up for the official lists to get the new DVR hardware, I win the right to pay VZ $39.99 just to use the new hardware!!! Hardware that I pay monthly for anyways!!! Why is there an upgrade fee for something that I lease? This is unbelievable that we get charged monthly (and I am sure when I upgrade, my grandfathered 12.99 will go up too) and we still have to pay for the actual upgrade? Especially those of us using 6416s which cannot take advantage of new features of the new IMG1.9 (ESata and other features).

 

VZ, can you explain this? I bet if I was a new customer, I would get the new DVR without a $39.99 fee.

Status: Acknowledged

If you have had your DVR for 3-4+ years.... then I have already acknowledged we need to see if there are other options...

 

But to many of the comments below... when you lease a car and next year or the year after they come out with a better one do you expect to get the new model for free?  And they are the same... your content purchases are separate from equipment charges by federal regulation (buying HBO doesn't subsidize your equipment).  In this comparison gas = content and the car = DVR.... 

 

So "under review" for customers that have had a box for 3-4+ years, but if you have had your DVR for less than 3 years, then "maybe later"... and I think the fee is fair (just like upgrading your leased car early).

 

New customers could get any one of the 3 available models just like an existing customers ordering a new DVR for their existing account. We have made this as fair as possible for new and existing customers. 

Comments
by Employee ‎02-14-2011 04:04 AM - edited ‎02-14-2011 04:10 AM
Status changed to: Acknowledged

If you have had your DVR for 3-4+ years.... then I have already acknowledged we need to see if there are other options...

 

But to many of the comments below... when you lease a car and next year or the year after they come out with a better one do you expect to get the new model for free?  And they are the same... your content purchases are separate from equipment charges by federal regulation (buying HBO doesn't subsidize your equipment).  In this comparison gas = content and the car = DVR.... 

 

So "under review" for customers that have had a box for 3-4+ years, but if you have had your DVR for less than 3 years, then "maybe later"... and I think the fee is fair (just like upgrading your leased car early).

 

New customers could get any one of the 3 available models just like an existing customers ordering a new DVR for their existing account. We have made this as fair as possible for new and existing customers. 

by as2higpark on ‎02-14-2011 05:24 AM

@Joe_Ambeault, 

 

I don't think that your car comparison holds water. In the car comparison, you end up paying drastically less in the lease than value of the car. In our case, we are paying $12.99 a month (36 * 12.99 = $467.64) and I have the cheap rate, many people are paying $575.64(15.99 *36). I believe that we are paying full value for our DVRs, if not higher than actual value and should be entitled to upgrade without additional fees.

 

What is the retail price for a 6416? 

by ‎02-15-2011 09:34 AM - edited ‎02-15-2011 09:35 AM
@Joe_Ambeault Comparing exchanging boxes to leased cars is ABSURD and insulting to say the least. So how the hell does that apply to me!?!?!?!/ I am on my FIFTH 6416 box in the last year because the piles of CRAP keep failing!!!!!!! Every time it fails I get another P.O.S. 6416. If I had a leased a car and it's a lemon I expect a new car, not another re-conditioned lemon. Treat your existing customers like crap and they'll be EX-CUSTOMERS before you know it!!!!!! Just ask Comcast!!!
by dataguy on ‎02-15-2011 10:01 AM

I've always thought the DVR was subsidized by the subscription rate, term commitment, or monthly DVR fee (or likely all of the above). There's no option to buy the box outright like a car (and I mean the same box that supports the same features like VOD, not a third-party DVR). In fact, one of the arguments for essentially leasing a box is that you don't have to pay for new technology--you pay for the service, not the equipment. And over time, the company probably makes more money, as as2higpark pointed out.

 

Also, from a usability standpoint, the experience on the older boxes is so poor that you'd think VZ would want to get them out of homes to reduce support calls and avoid people from jumping to other providers, especially with the growth of Internet-based video services.

 

I would suggest that if the recovery of the hardware cost on the DVR's (new or existing) was so important, that there should be a choice to pay a flat upgrade fee, a sliding fee based on length of service, or require a new term commitment for the upgraded hardware.

by on ‎02-16-2011 05:31 PM

...I've had my 6416 since 2008, its been "blacking out" and dropping audio for the past year.   ...I'm hoping that my toubles are worth a free upgrade :/

by as2higpark on ‎02-22-2011 08:06 AM

@Joe_Ambeault, 

 

I don't agree with your logic, but can you at least confirm that if we are in the situation where we have had the 6416 for 3+ years that we will be able to upgrade without a fee? If so, how would we go about doing this?

 

 

by Employee ‎02-23-2011 04:08 AM - edited ‎02-23-2011 04:29 AM

Fair that there is still some terminal value left on a car compared to a DVR, but also fair to say that it is not practical to endlessly swap hardware each time a new model comes out.  The monthly fee is based on the unit being in service in your home for 4-5 years.  Updating hardware more often would necessitate higher monthly prices.

 

The DVR is not subsidized by content purchases.  In fact that is not permitted by the FCC.     

 

And really now... it costs over $20 just to ship the box and recover your existing unit (whether we send it to your house or you go to a store)...This is real shipping costs.  We are not making any profits on these swaps.  Actually they cost us more than $40 to do.

 

Last I agree if you have had the box for 4 years or more it is a different story and I am working to see if there are options, but most of our customers haven't had DVR's that long (FiOS TV has only been available for 5 years and in some places for only 1 year).

 

Mostly I look forward to bringing the stuff we showed at CES to y'all (IMG working on all sorts of IP enabled devices). 

 

You can go to the store and buy a $50 or $2,000 device of your choice (flat screen, game console, bluray player, etc) that would provide access to all FiOS TV content.  And when it's time for new hardware you can rinse and repeat or not... if you don't want to drop the benjamins.  My last DVR upgrade (not from Verizon) cost me $200 plus shipping & handling... had the device for 4+ years with a monthly fee (one of 4 DVR's in my entertainment center).

 

by Employee on ‎02-23-2011 04:31 AM

as2higpark

 

The retail DVR's out there cost about $1000 over 3 years... you can check for yourself.  And they cost in many cases hundreds of dollars to upgrade to new units.

by Employee on ‎02-23-2011 04:37 AM

Bobbo527 You situation seems pretty unique... generally that high of failure rate is heat related.  Does your DVR have other devices stacked on it / enclosed in an entertainment center?  I would be happy to have an engineer check out your situation (not a tech -- actual engineer)... a couple years ago we have a similar situation and the engineers learned that there was a cat sleeping on the unit... which made it get too hot and fail.

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