I received an auto-generated letter from Verizon yesterday re: my long snail-mail letter criticizing the dropping of FUNimation Channel.
("We have attempted to contact you by telephone and have been unable to reach you"? Not true.)
I indulge the letter and call the Sales Department before 3/17 (a lead time of one day isn't much). The rep I talked to was nice enough, but couldn't connect me with my correspondence. Rather than follow this path to nowhere, I restated my disapproval of the FUNi drop.
We'll see if they can find the letter again by the time I start cancelling premium channels.
IF Verizon were smart, they could have deflected at least some of the pain by adding CARTOON-HD. No, it's not the same and the programming is different, but it at least would have assuaged some of the loss by adding what apparently is a Top Ten channel to the HD line-up. But noooooo...if they add anything, it will be more sports and foreign channels. While I don't know who is in charge of programming at Verizon (I STILL miss MGM-HD, which they took from my EXTREME plan,,,but I won't switch to ULTIMATE and be burdened with even MORE sports channels that I won't be watching), but it's time for a changing-of-the-guard in that position.
Film 11... If Verizon were smart it could have handled this whole situation a LOT better. They could have contacted FUNimation directly to let them know about their concerns and they could have started some negotiations with them in private. They could have sent out a message to let subscribers know that they were in negotiation with FUNimation and hoped to be able to keep the channel for subscribers while trying to keep their rates "reasonable". During that process they could have updated subscribers to... at the very least ... let them know negotiations were still going on... and of course, FUNimation could have done the same and called on subscribers to let Verizon FiOS know how they feel about the channel. Verizon could have instructed their phone support and internet forum moderators to explain that negotiations were going on. At the end of that they could have explained that they were not able to keep the FUNimation channel BUT that some details would be coming about an On Demand option for subscribers to continue to get the content. You know who was smart and shared info? FUNimation (via social media sites).
But Verizon was not smart. This has been a public relations disaster for them. First they surprise everyone (including FUNimation it seems) with their one-sided decision to just drop the channel on or after March 15 in an email they sent out to subscribers. They state a "reason" for dropping the channel but provide absolutely NO evidence to back up that excuse of "very low viewership". They did not mention at all when FUNimation contacted them and they were in negotiations. Some of their phone support and forum moderators were NOT informed at all with what was going on and there didn't seem to be any attempt to craft a message for the public... which in turn resulted a LOT of confusion and in one of the most callous responses ever that basically came down to: "Why do you expect Verizon FiOS TV to offer TV content? Just go away and use our most excellent FiOS Internet service to view TV shows online instead". If subscribers were not upset and angry enough before... they certainly were after THAT. And then they never let suscribers know how the negotiations turned out... and instead simply dropped the channel and... in most markets AHEAD of the date they had said in their original email generating even further anger. And at no time did they even seem to acknowledge anything that has happened:
There is an idea to keep FUNimation Channel in this forum that is now the 3rd most popular voted idea in a very short period of time (with the other 2 ideas having existed for a year or more to build up their vote counts). That is pretty impressive right there. On top of that... there is this thread with its many pages of comments. If you exclude the completed/launched ideas... the request for FUNimation HD (which is grouped with a request for G4 HD, Cartoon Network HD, etc...) is now the 5th most popular idea in votes. There is a petition that, last time I checked has over 2,700 signatures asking Verizon to keep FUNimation and add the HD feed. If you check out Verizon FIOS facebook page... you'll see almost nothing but posting asking them to please return FUNimation and add the HD feed. But, of course, to acknowledge this would be to communicate... and Verizon as a communications company can't seem to figure out how to do that.
Would Cartoon Network HD have deflected any of this? No, I don't think so. There is a huge difference in the content. One is 24/7 high-quality Japanese anime... the other? Well... every time I've turned it on they have cartoons that look like they were drawn by a demented 1 year old. Don't get me wrong... in principle I think Verizon FiOS should be offering HD (if available) for any channel they carry in SD.
I also agree that holding channels hostage to force customers to pay more is NOT good. I had to move to Ultimate in order to keep some channels that were in Extreme but then moved away and I was assured that Verizon would NOT be taking away channels if I had that package (and, with a switch to digital voice and a discount they were able to offer me... it wasn't all that much more (although recently I've seen it start to creep up which has me concerned)... but obviously the, well with that package you won't have content taken away was a lie. I did manage to get a one-time credit from Verizon after I called to complain about this - from a phone support rep who had no clue ANY of this stuff with FUNimation happened). Not the best outcome... I mean, I would rather Verizon bring back FUNimation channel and add the HD feed. You know something? Before Verizon FiOS was allowed into the city where I am... there was another provider. That provider was the only cable provider in the city and was constantly bullying subscribers by taking away channels and holding them hostage to force people to pay even more money. I couldn't switch to Verizon FiOS fast enough when they finally got approval because I was sick and tired of that other cable company's behavior. I am really worried that Verizon FiOS is becoming that other provider. It is a shame, because Verizon FiOS has some things going for it with their network infrastructure and such... but when they start to remove diversity (let's face it - there is nothing else like FUNimation channel on Verizon FiOS) there is yet another strike against them. This adds up over time.
Verizon FiOS, please return FUNimation and add the HD feed. That is really the only way out of this public relations disaster for you... and even then, don't expect anyone to forget what you have done right away... it is going to take a while because of how badly you have handled this.
03-17-2012 05:20 PM - edited 03-17-2012 05:30 PM
I agree (and stated as much) that the programming is vastly different between the two animation channels. The point was that at least Verizon could show that they would do SOMETHING to appease animation fans (even if the Cartoon offerings are less sophisticated), as well as responding to those who have long requested CARTOON-HD...plus, since it is also a Top Tier channel...it would have been a no-brainer. Would it have een enough for Funimation viewers? No, of course not. But it would have shown that they weren't being totally arbitrary...and at least understood that animation fans are plentiful.
As for communication, most service providers NEVER reveal plans or negotiations with other companies...that is the norm with almost ANY business. And airing dirty laundry is even more of a no-no. There are numerous reasons for this, the most obvious being that they don't want competitors aware of the nature of any on-going deals or discussions. As such, even other Verizon departments/employees have no insight into these negotiations. (So do not expect answers from the poor Customer Service reps...in any organization, they are the LAST to know!) These things are ALWAYS handled behind closed doors. For example, everyone knows the .tv channels are junk and watched by hardly anyone. If those channels vanished, very few would care or miss them. With HD space at a premium on the Verizon system, those channels should have been dropped when the contracts ran out last year. Yet, despite being universally reviled (and preventing the addition of better HD channels), for some unknown reason Verizon went with a NEW contract to continue airing them! Don't know how long the new agreement is for, or why it was even extended, but that's how these things are handled. We may not like it, but that's how it goes in the corporate world.
At this point, one can only hope that Verizon and Funimation come to some sort of agreement for the channel to return...prefereably with an HD feed. Fans should keep making your voices heard. And, if possible, write directly to the programming people. (I doubt that they keep very close tabs on this forum.)
I'm still furious about this. Removal of channels mystery charges of things you don't what they are. Complete disregard or utter contempt for customers. How many times do they think they poke someone in the eye before they get fed up with it. I'm not letting this go Funimation channel needs to comback.
I'm ready to downgrade my TV service in response to the channel drop (and have said so on Verizon's Facebook page as well as to a Verizon sales rep this past weekend). If I have to pay extra per month for an additional streaming service with FUNi content -- especially if there are limitations compared to a true STB channel -- it's coming out of Verizon's pocket.
I'm more annoyed at Verizon over this on principle than at FUNimation. Verizon gave a sketchy reason for the channel drop ("very low viewership" never rings true, considering that cable TV is essentially targeted broadcasting), and then backed it up with a canned statement which on its face appears something between insincere and condescending. Also, it's because of my suspicion that Verizon, having less to lose in a relationship with FUnimation, was the party to first cross the line.
We customers may never get the behind-the-scenes story concerning Verizon, FUNi and the drop. Just because we didn't get to see how sausage is made, however, doesn't mean we should readily eat the results.
PLEASE BRING FUNIMATION BACK!!!!!!!! Losing Funimation has been a major blow to me!! Like many of you, it was the only reason I went with Verizon and the only channel I ever watched. Ever since I had to retire due to medical reasons it wasn’t just a source of entertainment to me, it was also a comfort. Anime has so much more meaning and depth to it than most TV and the variety in the type of shows has something for everyone. I’m just shy of 50 but there is not a show on there that I didn’t watch. May DVR was constantly running recording every show (in fact, thank God, I still have some things on my DVR that I will never erase since they’re the only comfort I have left). Since the loss of Funimation, my TV is barely on and when it is it isn’t from me. As for the viewership, many of you are right, there’s no way it had a low viewership and even if it wasn’t the highest, never will Verizon ever see a community with such loyalty as anime folk! I would like to see all of the stats on ever channel because I will never believe it. When my contract is up I will be leaving Verizon.
There are a few things that could be done:
1. BRING IT BACK
2. At least make it a subscription channel
3. Work with Xbox or Playstation and make it an app
Regardless I only need one thing: FUNIMATION
Verizon is it so hard to try to bring back funimation channel?Why must you make this hard for everyone.Its not big deal, charge customer like the way you are charging for the anime network.I'll pay pay for it.