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HBO and several program channels being drop ...

HBO and several program channels being drop ...

Contributor bezverizon
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎09-15-2018
Message 41 of 59

I have the Extreme HD package including HBO since I first got FIOS back in 2010/2011.  On my last bill, which I just paid (was due Sept 12) HBO was still included.  Today I went to turn on HBO and it is saying it's not part of my package.  I called support and the guy said my package changed and I'd have to sign a new 2 year contract just to get HBO again.  Pathetic customer service.  First of all - I check all my emails - never got one saying HBO was removed from the Extreme HD package.   Second it's beyond absurd that my bill says I was grandfathered in with the package yet you guys STILL removed HBO!  I'm paying MORE money than I was (which I accepted as I'm in the midst of trying to purchase a new home) for LESS service and the only response I kept getting from the customer service rep was "Sorry".  The WORST service ... just pathetic.  I want HBO back in my package and someone should call me with a solution


Bundle Discounts

Fios Internet 100/100 85.00 -25.00 60.00

Fios TV ExtremeHD 59.99 -15.00 44.99

Showtime .00 .00

HBO .00 .00

Fios Digital Voice Unlimited 30.00 30.00

Bundle Price $174.99 -$40.00 $134.99

Copper Contributor ATalkingWalnut
Copper Contributor
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎09-17-2018
Message 42 of 59

I am in the same boat as the OP and countless other Verizon's FiOS subscribers. 


First, for the people that claim that this action is a breach of contract on Verizon's behalf, unfortunately you are mistaken. It says in the contract that Verizon has the right to add or remove channels at any time. However, this goes both ways, as the customer can move to a higher or lower channel package without penalty. I'm not sure if there is a penalty for dropping the phone and TV from the Triple Play and sticking with standalone internet, but I'm sure about the TV package part. 


As for the price increase, I have it on VERY good authority that this is a direct result of AT&T's purchase of Time Warner (HBO & Cinemax's parent company) and a subsequent renegotiation of their broadcasting agreement with Verizon. This, my friends, is absolutely ridiculous. Sure, I'm mad at Verizon, but I'm far angrier with the government for letting this merger go through. There was an antitrust lawsuit against it, but AT&T won and the merger went through on June 14, 2018. Yes, Verizon acted on suspicions that this would happen (check the date of the original post), but those suspicions were unfortunately correct. I don't know about you, but I certainly don't think it's right that AT&T has the ability to directly influence their competition's pricing or profits. In case you forgot, they own DirecTV. The first market they went after following the merger was the NYDMA, which includes most of NJ. For those of you who are calling up and venting your anger at a customer service rep, you need to take a deep breath and count to ten. There isn't some guy sitting in an oversized chair in the dark, petting a white cat with one hand and stacking gold bars with the other while he says to himself, "these stupid people are getting what they deserve." There is a LOT of outside influence that goes into calculating your bill.


Unfortunately, I'm a huge fan of Verizon's gigabit internet speeds and a hater of all copper-based ISPs. Altice is running fiber in some towns in my area, and if that becomes an option, I will absolutely look into it, but as of right now, their service is hot garbage as far as I'm concerned. I have friends with Altice (they either can't get FiOS or are stubborn **bleep**) who can barely use their Netflix streaming service unless it's non-peak hours, the TV is in the room with or next to the router, and no one else in their household is online. Fiber is the only option for me until 5G. 


IF YOU WANT TO LOWER YOUR BILL (sorry for the all caps, this part is important), go to www.verizon.com/connections and see if your job offers a corporate discount of $10/mo. Get creative. Another option is to buy the router instead of renting it. You can get a perfectly good Actiontec G1100 from eBay for less than $100. This might even be an upgrade for those of you who are still using the old MI424WR. Between those two steps, you can save up to $20 on your bill.


I pay my bill on time and in full every month, and as a result, they were nice enough to add a $15 discount to my bill, so it only went up $10. I still filed a complaint with the FCC, and maybe that will get me another $10 discount, if not, I'll probably cancel Cinemax. Now that Banshee is over, I have no need for it. Plus, I've got a Fire Stick running Kodi with the Exodus, Covenant and Neptune Rising add-ons. If you don't know what I'm talking about, do yourself a favor and google it. This is a capitalist country, people. We work to earn money, just put in time and effort into finding ways to save money too.  Caviat emptor. 

Contributor retiredengineer
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎09-14-2018
Message 43 of 59

I completely agree with the last post comments on why Verizon did this. Like everyone else I am a few months into a new 24 month plan that included HBO and Showtime as part of my 2 year bundle agreement. What I find conflicting with Verizon's claim that they can delete these premium channels as part of the Extreme TV line-up is that both HBO and Showtime are separate line items on my monthly bills under the Fios Internet, TV & Phone Bundle Details. I accept that Verizon can change the channels such as HGTV, ESPN, etc. under the Extreme HD TV channel line-up but the fact that Verizon lists on their monthly bill: "Your bundle includes Fios Gigabit Connection, Extreme HD TV which includes $25 for basic service, Showtime, HBO and Fios Digital Voice Unlimited." all as individual items in the bundle, showing both Showtime and HBO as outside of the Extreme HD TV therefore these should not subject to the same conditions as for example HGTV or ESPN channels. Just like the gigabit connection and digital voice it was clear both Showtime and HBO are not part of the Extreme HD TV line-up but two separate items of the 2 year bundle agreement per my Verizon bill details. Everyone I spoke to at Verizon agreed the Gigabit and Voice are not part of the Extreme HD TV based on the billing details so how can Verizon claim that HBO and Showtime shown exactly the same way on the monthly bill are under the Extreme HD TV? At a minimum their own bills show a clear conflict to their claim and this should be basis to file as a complaint with their local franchising authority; for NJ customers it is the Office of Cable Television and Telecommunication at the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, 44 South Clinton Ave., Suite 314, P.O. Box 350, Trenton NJ 08625-0350 or call them at 1-800-624-0331. 

Copper Contributor tennisnut15
Copper Contributor
Posts: 18
Registered: ‎01-05-2012
Message 44 of 59

Like everyone else on this thread (except for the MVP's who tout the company mantra) I too have lost my HBO and Cinemax. Then my latest bill came, and it shows HBO as a separate line item, so now I'm really confused. On top of that, my bill increased by about $15. So I lost 2 premium channels but not only am I not getting a price reduction to compensate for that I got a price increase?


Folks, Verizon, and frankly all the big companies, care only about new customer acquisition. All their adverstising is geared towards getting new people to sign up. All their promotions are aimed at getting new people to sign up. Once they have you, whether you are on a contract or not, they really could care less about you. Threats to leave mean nothing to them, they lose people every day. Their executives make hundreds of thousands if not millions and they too care little what us little **bleep** any customers think about them or Verizon. It used to be you could reach out the their executive customer service and get some resolution that placated you enough to stay with them, but even that appears a thing of the past.


I have dealt with 3 levels of Verizon support since I got my letter. Chat support is located off-shore in who knows what country and while we are chatting in English the person I'm chatting with is working off a script, barely understands what I ask, and has no real authority to do anything with regard to billing or content issues, so if you go that route you undoubtedly will leave unsatisified. 


Phone support - you often wait 30-60 minutes to get someone on the phone. They are bright and bubbly but still relatively ineffective. The last person I got on the phone said he thought he could help me, he just needed to review my plan to confirm what he could do and he would call me back in an hour or so. That was almost 3 weeks ago. I'm glad I wasn't holding my breath for his callback.


The executive support told me there is nothing that could be done, but they could offer me a $10 off coupon for 12 months. So I would only pay $15 more rather than $25 more. I felt that was not a viable solution. Then the bill comes and I'm paying $15 more but without HBO/Cinemax.


As soon as I can get some shows I have recorded off my DVR (I do have a way to record them to DVD and save them but it is time consuming) we will be dropping our service. I'll probably stay with their internet as a matter of necessity because Altice is even worse than Verizon in my opinion as a former customer of theirs. I just can't justify paying the ridiculous amount (now at $270) per month. There are so many other issues with their service already mentioned like old equipment, crappy on demand service, etc., but this is the last straw. I almost guarantee the day after I turn in my equipment I will start to be beseiged by offers to come back at a reduced rate. I'll report back whether I am right or wrong on that one.

Contributor Endicott65
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎06-23-2017
Message 45 of 59

Ditto - not able to add "Kudos" to any messages. Since VZ is now charging $15 for what I used to get for free, it's a de facto price increase. I was offered Starz for 12 months, but don't need another crappy "premium" channel. Fortunately, I'm not a Game of Thrones person and can get HBO in a non-VZ package for less than $15. Dropping a line to the FCC.

Copper Contributor ATalkingWalnut
Copper Contributor
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎09-17-2018
Message 46 of 59

Hello again, guys!


Two important topics I want to address: customer service, and the HBO/Cinemax debacle. 


First, the customer service. We want to pay less for our service, right? We don't want to be forwarded to a call center in the Philippines or India, right? If Verizon spends more to higher specialized labor or more people to answer calls, the majority of those costs will be paid by our monthly bills. Download the My Fios app, go to "Support" and schedule a call with customer service. You can brief them on your issue so you spend less time explaining it, and you don't have to wait on hold. Just a suggestion. 


If you didn't believe what I was saying about AT&T and their antitrust behavior. Look into their current battle with Dish. It's far more public than their battle with Verizon, mostly because Dish refused to pay their exorbitant rates. Guys, this is disgusting behavior and we're paying the price for it. I'm cancelling my AT&T wireless service after more than 17 years. The CEO of Dish describes the situation perfectly: AT&T is using HBO as a weapon. One of the biggest reasons Verizon couldn't play hardball like Dish, is because they have far more customers and far more to lose. 



Contributor Steve55NJ
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎01-05-2018
Message 47 of 59

I received no letter or email. I receive many Verizon emails but not that the Ultimate HD package will no longer include HBO and Cinemax. This happens after I upgraded my Router and the representative stopped my cloud backup and it took a week and one dollar more to be my service back. I don’t know what’s happening over at Verizon but maybe they need more revenue after buying AOL and Yahoo. Who knows. 

Copper Contributor ATalkingWalnut
Copper Contributor
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎09-17-2018
Message 48 of 59

Considering VZ went up after the AOL & Yahoo! deals, that would be strange. However, what WOULDNT be strange is if a corrupt government ignored an obvious example of antitrust despite numerous warnings, and ended up costing the American consumer millions. I can't believe you all think it's some kind of coincidence that prices have gone up for almost every cable company since Time Warner purchased HBO. That's like building a supermarket right across the street from another supermarket so the consumers get choices, better options, and possibly cheaper prices, but instead, the town mayor says "You can build your new supermarket, but the old one across the street gets to price all your inventory."

Contributor Jfinkel
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎12-21-2018
Message 49 of 59

Like so many others, I’ve just discovered that I’ve been deceived by Verizon.  I responded to an recent email to take advantage of Black Friday pricing if I signed a new contract.  I did it via an online chat—it couldn’t be done over the phone—and made certain that I had the same tv package—Ultimate HD—and equipment with the new contract.  The “incentive” I was being offered was Gigabit internet and I’d save a few dollars.  


I’ve now discovered that my “new” Ultimate HD, does not include HBO.  This are now “a la carte.”  After over an hour on the phone with what Verizon calls customer service, I was told to add back HBO would cost $180 per year.  I tried to explain to the supervisor, Mrs. Robinson, that having two packages called “ultimate HD” that have different channel lineups, is at best, deceptive marketing.   I was told that it was my responsibility as a customer to know what I was buying.  I explained that the sales representative assured me that I would have all of the same services and that I had every reasonable expectation to rely on what I was told.


It’s clear that there are thousands of customers who have found themselves in this situation in recent months.  Verizon hides the fact that they’ve kept the same name for this package while offering less.  It’s even worse for those who are apparently being told that HBO is being dropped but the cost of the bundle will stay the same.  It’s not unlike some of the cereal companies that kept the same size box but decrease the amount of cereal.  Eventually, they were forced to stop that deceptive practice. 


In an age of disruption where more and more people are cutting the cord, this seems like a questionable business decision on Verizon’s part.  I plan to file formal complaints with both my local government’s cable commission as well as the FTC.   Hopefully, I can find a way to switch providers without having to pay an early termination fee.

Contributor Gpeg84
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎12-26-2018
Message 50 of 59

If you look at it Verizon is probably no longer including HBO/Cinemax in the Ultimate HD package because...they are now owned by...AT&T. AT&T is a competitor and they wouldn't want to just give them all that subscriber money. So if the HBO/Cinemax Time Warner merger is blocked then it might again be included in the Ultimate HD package. So while it might be economics and pricing it's probably more of Verizon not wanting to feed AT&Ts wallet

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