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Moving from STB to Tivo...what to say to customer service?

Posts: 2
Registered: ‎01-19-2010

Moving from STB to Tivo...what to say to customer service?

Message 1 of 4

Hiya.  My new Tivo HDXL just arrived.  So, I called Verizon and said that I wanted to order a multi-stream cable card for it, and I wanted to return my STB, and I wanted to upgrade my current fios triple package.  (We were original fios customers, so we've got a 5/2 data transfer and I wanted to upgrade to the 15/5, but leave the phone and HDTV as it was.)


I apparently confused either myself or the person to whom I was speaking.  She said that Verizon in the Dallas area didn't have M-cards, I would have to take two S cards, and that if I upgraded my fios package before they were installed.... that installing them would break my contract.  (Er? What?) And that installing the cards and returning the set top box was an $80.00 service fee...which seems pretty high.


So, here are my questions:


What is it that I need to order for this Tivo so that I get multi-stream capacity?  Is there some magic word, or do I really have to install cards that were discontinued by Motorola a year or so back?


Is the $80 install fee normal?


Does installing the cards mean that I can't upgrade my fios package ever again, or should I just not sign a new contract until I get the data card (or cards, as the case may be) installed...and then I can upgrade?  I wanted to upgrade online since there's a discount for doing it that way, but you have to have a STB on the order before it will I can't do that once I've sent the STB back.  And a $60 a year discount seems silly to give up if I don't need to give it up.


What's the best way to get this all resolved, oh guru's o' the fiber?

Silver Contributor IV
Silver Contributor IV
Posts: 585
Registered: ‎10-22-2008

Re: Moving from STB to Tivo...what to say to customer service?

Message 2 of 4

From the AVS TivoHD FAQ:

Does the TivoHD work with Verizon FiOS?

Yes.  The TivoHD replaces the FiOS STB and DVR, so you no longer need to pay those fees to Verizon.  It supports all the same SD and HD channels as the FiOS DVR, including all subscription sports packages.

The TivoHD does not use the guide information supplied by Verizon on the Motorola boxes. TiVo supplies its own guide data for all FiOS channels with more accurate and complete program information.

The TivoHD does not support Verizon's own Video On Demand (VOD), nor does it support Verizon's on-screen widgets for weather and traffic.  If you don't want to lose Verizon's VOD, you can rent their Motorola STB and connect that to a separate input on your television.  Note the TiVo does not support multi-room viewing with Verizon's Motorola boxes; it only supports multi-room viewing with other TiVos.

The TivoHD requires one CableCard (M-CARD) from Verizon to support both tuners.  This card plugs into the front of the box to authorize all of the channels you pay for.  Verizon charges $3.99/mo for this CableCard, and requires a "truck roll" to install it.  Verizon will not ship CableCards under any circumstances; to the representative, it may look like they can ship you the cards, but if they submit the order that way, you will receive an automated phone message within 2-3 days with the date and time of the scheduled installation.

There is no charge for FiOS CableCard installation, so long as the only action performed is a CableCard install.  If you want to return or remove existing equipment, do not mention that when you order the CableCard. Give it to the installer when they arrive (get a receipt), or request a prepaid mailing label. Verizon charges $79 for truck roll orders where the caller references equipment removal.  Officially, free equipment return is only available by request of a prepaid mailing label.

Note Verizon's order system and CSRs scripts only list "CableCards."   Verizon sale representatives do not know anything about S-CARDs or M-CARDs.   As of 2Q 2009, Verizon FiOS uses M-CARDs for all new installs in all markets, without exception.  No matter what the sale rep says, that is what you get when you order a CableCard from Verizon.  Anything said to the contrary is outdated information (Verizon did not re-train reps when M-CARDs became standard).

The sales rep may think there is a $79 charge, but  you will not see that $79 charge on your bill so long as the only action performed is a CableCard install.

There's no need to argue with the CSR about S-CARDs or M-CARDs.  Order a CableCard and you get a M-CARD.  Verizon adopted M-CARDs as the default CableCard for all new installations many months ago.  They just didn't bother to re-train their employees.


If you are the original poster (OP) and your issue is solved, please remember to click the "Solution?" button so that others can more easily find it.
Platinum Contributor III
Platinum Contributor III
Posts: 6,820
Registered: ‎08-23-2008

Re: Moving from STB to Tivo...what to say to customer service?

Message 3 of 4

Also you may check to see if you have a local FIOS retail store. If you do, you can wait as long as you wish to return the Verizon DVR or set top box. Tivo has a trial period. I had them both connected side by side until I was happy with my Tivo, and yes I am happy with my Tivo. I waited a week and then took the box to the Verizon FIOS store and asked for a receipt. The box came off my account instantly. If a tech takes it back or if you ship the box, you are at the mercy of when they say they actually received the box. They will not turn the box off and take it off of your account until it is received. Be it the Verizon office or billing. That is why Ken said "Get a receipt".

Posts: 2
Registered: ‎01-19-2010

Re: Moving from STB to Tivo...what to say to customer service?

Message 4 of 4

I called today, and upgraded my package, and ordered a cablecard and got a date when the installer will be here.  They did say there was a $79 fee, just for installing the card into the Tivo, but I guess we'll see if it shows up on the bill.  It's not like you have any choice but to have them install it, they won't let you do it yourself. 


Thanks to advice here, I'll return the STB to the local fios store myself. 


I'll update the thread when I find out if the truck-roll charge sticks or not.

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