I would like to share with you my fairly recent experience with Verizon, in particular Verizon FIOS.
I have had Verizon for many years for my land line, cell phone and DSL Internet connection. I kept receiving mailings from them wanting me to switch to the FIOS product. We had the Dish network for our television. The mailings were always enticing due to deals such as a $200 Best Buy gift card for signing up. I finally took them up on their offer back in April of this year. I had no idea what a big deal it was to get connected!
After several phone calls back and forth and time off work, they finally dug the ground for the "cable" and had a hell of a piece of equipment to get it to go from my fence to under the pool filter/pool plumbing/gas line/etc area! Actually, all of this went ok. It just took a lot of time.
We went with the big guns! We got the HD DVR recorder with a Multi Room package, 15/15 FIOS internet, and the Freedom calling plan! I was so excited!
So it's our first night with the new FIOS and the TV picture froze up. I rummaged through all my new paperwork to find a number to call. After about a half hour of going through prompts and hold time I finally get connected to a....computer voice! It was not a human, but believe it or not it helped me!! 'It' had determined that my box need to be re-booted. It did re-boot it and it started to work again! I was impressed.... until it kept happening and happening. I finally got wise and quit calling the computer to re-boot for me and just started to unplug and plug it back in myself! The next day I called Verizon and told them that their piece of shit equipment was not doing so well at my house!!! They sent a tech guy out (more time off work). He inspected the work of the previous installer. He replaced a couple of connections and all seemed ok. The next day, the same thing happened! I called "the guy" again! He came out (more time off work) and installed a new box. That seemed to solve the problem. Whew!
So I try to pause live tv in the bedroom. Doesn't work. I try to record from the bedroom. Deosn't work. I call Verizon again... they tell me that I can't do that. I couldn't believe it because I could with the Dish service. "we're sorry, but our equipment doesn't do that". That was a letdown.
So now we're cooking. Our TV in the bedroom wasn't HD capable so we could only watch the recorded programs that were not in HD, but that was ok. Of course, that was all we could do with the fancy DVR from the bedroom.
I called Verizon the other day to ask where my $200 gift card was. Hadn't received it yet. After about a half hour on hold, the gal said "I'm sorry, but you aren't qualified for the gift card because you aren't a new Verizon customer.". What! Are they serious??? I was told I would be receiving it when I ordered the Verizon FIOS service. She finally agreed to give me a $50 credit on my bill for the 'inconvenience'. That sucks!
Our living room tv lamp went out a couple of weeks ago. We had ordered a new one, but it was going to be a week or two before it would arrive and be installed. My wife and I decided to upgrade our bedroom TV to an HD capable TV so we could watch the HD programs we record. We bought the tv, but hooked it up in the living room until our lamp was replaced. So last week, we got our lamp replaced and I hooked the new HD TV up in our bedroom. It was not a digital signal (our old tv was an analog tv), and when I tried to watch an HD recorded program it said I didn't have an HD receiver and to call to order one. So I did.
The new HD receiver arrived via UPS and I hooked it up myself. Yeah! Nice clear picture on our new HD TV in the bedroom!!! Wait, only local channels were coming up. It said we weren't subscribed to things like CNN etc! Back on the phone again. Talked to a live person who kept me on the phone for about an hour until he figured out what the problem was on their end, but at least he did figure it out. Yeah...again.
Wait. When I push the DVR button on the bedroom remote nothing happens. That's weird. Back on the phone again with Verizon. I was told they sent me the wrong receiver!!! Great! Now what? Well, I was then told they don't actually have a receiver for what I want!!!! Excuse me??? What??? He said they are still testing the Multi Room DVR for HD, but it isn't on the market yet. I said "what about those commercials where they say "you mean what I record in here I can watch in here, and over there and in there?"". "Not in HD".
Ok - I've about had it. I asked to speak to a supervisor. That guy told me the same story about how HD recordings can NOT be viewed anwhere but where they were recorded from. I couldn't believe it. He was also going to check on the bumb steer we got with the $200 promotion. I asked him if I could keep both boxes for the bedroom tv for one price so I cold watch HD tv and watch non HD recorded programs. he said "no". He said he would check on things and get back with me within a half an hour. He called me back in about 5 minutes! He said the billing office is now closed and he would have to wait until tomorrow. That was last Wednesday. Today is Sunday evening and I still haven't heard back from the supervisor...
I decided to contact Verizon during my lunchtime today. I was going to get to the bottom of this.
After all, I had 25 minutes before I had to head back to work.
So I call Verizon and went through the standard prompts and quizzes and finally get put on hold for the next available person. After what seemed like a half hour, but was probably only five minutes, I get a live person. I have to go through the entire story and tell him my reference number, but I thought it would be worth it to get to the bottom of this. "I can't access that reference number" I am told. "I am just a tech, you will have to talk to a different department. let me transfer you.". "wait..." too late. Now I am back on hold again, and this time I am pretty sure it was for about ten minutes. My time is running out already!
"Hello, this is Shirley" or some pretty voice on the other end. Ok, so now I tell her the whole story with reference number. She said "you probably need to talk to tech support" WHAT!!!??? I just got transferred to her FROM tech support!!! I told her I didn't have time to continue this any more today. She gave me a different 888 number which is supposed to help me get further the next time I call. Oh brother!!!!
I had to get something done about this because I have two "boxes", and I'm sure to get billed for both of them, so I decided to call Verizon once again. I pleaded with the support person to help me get this resolved once and for all. He reset my bedroom box and said that I should be able to get HD on my bedroom TV AND use the DVR button (but without viewing HD recordings). Yeah! Wait...it still doesn't work!!! Hmmm. After several minutes on hold, the tech informed me that if I would just be patient (one day to one week), that an update would be installed automatically that would fix the problem! Really? He said I should call billing tomorrow and inform them that I am going to keep both boxes until the "patch" arrives. Are you buying this??? I'm not, but I'll just have to wait and see....