First of all, I apologize for posting this here but Verizon did ask for this. I would prefer to work directly with Verizon on a complaint, and it is obvious that this sort of stuff never gets past the rep I speak to on the phone. There is no feedback form or email address, so here we are, airing out the dirty laundry for all to see. I also apologize for posting to a support forum but this is as close as I can get to providing ANY feedback related to my TV experience.
I will start by first saying that I find Verizon FiOS to be a gem in what is definitely a monopolistic industry in a hurried race for the bottom. That said, I think VZ is still beholding to some very unfriendly industry practices making doing business with you very costly. In short, I think your FiOS TV bundles are terrible. I might even go so far as to say that they are engineered in such a way to force people into a package that contains a majority of channels they don’t need, just to get a couple of good ones. For example I recently renewed my service with you and thought at first the Preferred bundle would be suitable but of all of the trash that is included, Smithsonian, BBC, MTV Live (Palladia) and Sundance were not included. To get these, I was forced into the Extreme bundle which only adds cost and more things I do not want, like all of the kids programming and woman channels.
I am also a CableCard user and utilize Media Center software to watch TV and have a very nice consolidated home theater setup that far surpasses anything the industry currently offers, BUT, because HBO, MAX and all Fox properties force VZ to enforce the copy-once flag, I cannot tune these in (as well as anyone with a Tivo). I did remove MAX from my package but kept HBO so I can use HBO GO as it is still cheaper than subscribing to HBO NOW. Still, I am forced to pay for all of the Fox channels I cannot tune in with my current setup. These also cannot be removed.
A while back, probably 3 or more months ago, I saw on your web site that you had these smaller $10 per month mini bundles which can be added to a basic cable package. I was very impressed because I knew I was close to my renewal date. I printed what was online, did my research and selected a combination of bundles that almost perfectly suited my needs, at a reasonable price. When I revisited this close to my renewal date, I found them to be gone! You can imagine how disappointing this was. So here we are, back to the way it was, me not getting close to the value I am paying for.
I renewed for two years. This gives me two years to determine if I will continue this, or cut the cord. If VZ and the rest of your industry doesn’t wise up to this, you will continue to hemorrhage customers while losing any potential to gain new customers. In fact, if the last 2 years are any indication, a lot can happen in the next 2 years that will essentially make big cable irrelevant. This is not too hard to see. VZ would be well placed to be an industry leader and provide better offerings that suit the market’s demand, like smaller more topical bundles. I like your proposed IPTV service I read about in the media, as long as it is open and platform agnostic. It seems to hold some promise but could also just be another way to deliver the same business model. We are watching this closely.
I have enjoyed being a VZ customer. I think your fiber tech is top notch and you do have great customer service in my experience, especially compared to your competitors, but soon that won’t be enough. Again, posting in a publuic forum was againt my better interest but I figure if you don’t hear about this from customers, nothing will change. Based on my renewal experience today, I truly feel like I am a victim and not a customer.
A few comments for you:
1) I beleive there are lots of poeple using cable cards and they can all view premium channels as well as Fox channels. I also seem to remember that some devices and software verisons had issues with the copy flag. It is an issue with your setup not Verizon. Look in the forums for assitance.
2) Verizon (and most other providers) have limited options as it relates to packages. They are bound by their contracts with the content providers. Verizon had to drop the mini packages due to a lawsuit by ESPN against them.
3) Even though you have a contract, you can change your TV bundles at any time.