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Verizon penalizing TiVo / CableCard subscribers

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by jerryr001, Jun 2, 2012.

  1. Jun 9, 2012 #41 of 130
    jerryr001

    jerryr001 New Member

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    A neighbor told me he was reading posts on Verizon's forum, where Verizon reps were responding. So, last night I posted the below, non-threatening, simply inquisitive message. This morning it was gone. I re-posted today and it was deleted in under an hour.

    http://forums.verizon.com/t5/Off-To...-and-multi-room-DVR-free-for-life/td-p/447183


    Verizon is offering the choice of a free DVR for life or a $250 gift card with its Triple Play package. However, it is not allowing CableCard Subscribers who bring their own DVR (TiVo) to chose between the gift card or the long term discount. This appears to be in violation of FCC rule 76.1205(b)(5). How is Verizon getting around this regulation?

    FCC 76.1205(b)(5)
    For any bundled offer combining service and an operator-supplied navigation device into a single fee, including any bundled offer providing a discount for the purchase of multiple services, such provider shall make such offer available without discrimination to any customer that owns a navigation device, and, to the extent the customer uses such navigation device in lieu of the operator-supplied equipment included in that bundled offer, shall further offer such customer a discount from such offer equal to an amount not less than the monthly rental fee reasonably allocable to the lease of the operator-supplied navigation device included with that offer. For purposes of this section, in determining what is ‘‘reasonably allocable,’’ the Commission will consider in its evaluation whether the allocation is consistent with one or more of the following factors:

    (i) An allocation determination approved by a local, state, or Federal government entity;
    (ii) The monthly lease fee as stated on the cable system rate card for the navigation device when offered by the cable operator separately from a bundled offer; and
    (iii) The actual cost of the navigation device amortized over a period of no more than 60 months.
     
  2. Jun 12, 2012 #42 of 130
    Grakthis

    Grakthis New Member

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    You can take the $250 gift card and pay your cable card fees for well over 2 years.

    So what is the problem, exactly?

    It's not a 19.99 discount. It's a free cable box. The equivalent for you, would be a free cable card. That's worse than the $250 gift card.

    Don't complain.
     
  3. Jun 12, 2012 #43 of 130
    slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

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    It's a rule violation, depending on how you want to look at it.
     
  4. Jun 13, 2012 #44 of 130
    Grakthis

    Grakthis New Member

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    I don't think there are any way you can look at it that turns it into a rules violation.

    Like, if you push the issue, then the rules violation means they have to offer you a free cable box OR a free cable card OR $250.

    And of those three, no one is taking the free cable card.

    So, you know, what's the point of it being there? Everyone who would take the CC, is going to take the $250.

    I mean, again, it's not a $20/month credit. It's a free cable box.
     
  5. Jun 13, 2012 #45 of 130
    slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

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    The rule violation, IMO, is that the $250 GC does not equate to the rental cost of the box according to the FCC's specific rules about the discount. That's jerry's point, and it's valid.
     
  6. Jun 13, 2012 #46 of 130
    aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    I don't even see how it could be anywhere close considered to a violation. When I renewed my two year contract earlier this year. I had the option to get a free DVR for life or a $300 giftcard. There was no package that forced me to get a DVR. If that were the situation then they would be required to give a credit. But there is no package they offer(at least back then) that had a DVR with it. There was only an option to get the DVR with the bundle. Not a bundle that included the DVR as part of it.
     
  7. Jun 13, 2012 #47 of 130
    BobCamp1

    BobCamp1 Active Member

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    You've misread the rule. If the box is included with the bundle, and is normally valued at $20 / month, then Verizon would have to take $20 off your monthly bill if you used a Tivo. They'll still charge the Cablecard, but you'll still net a discount of $15/month.

    One way around the rule is to simply not bundle the free box with the service, but to charge separately for it then offer a credit with a two-year contract with an ETF as a separate promotion. Then the box really isn't free, it actually costs $10/month if the ETF is $240.
     
  8. Jun 18, 2012 #48 of 130
    Grakthis

    Grakthis New Member

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    Ah, it seems you are correct. My understanding was that if they gave you a box, they had to be willing to give you a cable card instead. But you're right, it explicitly lists the value of the box, not just a same-for-same deal.

    So, for example, he should be able to take the STB option then demand the monthly discount for providing his own box then pay the cable card fee and end up with a discount of $15 a month.

    Assuming the deal is worded that way, of course.
     
  9. Jul 11, 2012 #49 of 130
    jerryr001

    jerryr001 New Member

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    Philadelphia...
    I finally received a follow-up call from Verizon. It was a very short and sweet call. They simply said, we are waiving the fee for both of your CableCards. There was no mention of my complaint. So, I'm not sure if they got it from my post to the Verizon discussion board or my complaint to the FCC that the original rep insisted didn't cover them.

    Despite my belief that the rule requires them to discount the package the cost of the free set-top box, I graciously accepted... and I'm running.
     
  10. Nov 15, 2012 #50 of 130
    headless chicken

    headless chicken Member

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    jerryr001, was there a specific number, department or person you spoke to? I just learned of the FCC regulations through the latest Tivo advisors' survey which alerted me to the matter.

    I have a first generation Series3 HD TiVo which requires 2 Cablecards for dual tuner capability. I have called Verizon multiple times trying to get them not to charge me for a second Cablecard because it is not for a second device but a necessity due to older tech on the Series3 Tivo. However, I have been told it is there policy to charge per Cablecard regardless of what devices the cards are attached to. This pissed me off because I recently switched from Cablevision, which charges only $2 per card while FiOS charges twice that, $4 per card.

    I'm thinking I can use this FCC regulation to my advantage now and leverage them for the additional discount.
     
  11. Nov 15, 2012 #51 of 130
    aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Northern...
    FiOS has never charged per device, they have always charged per cable card. When I had three Series 3 boxes I paid FiOS for six cable cards for those three boxes. When those were switched out to single cable card TiVos, I paid for fewer cable cards.

    If you can get them to waive the fee that is great. I only wish they would have done it years ago when I had those three OLED S3 boxes along with several TiVoHD boxes.
     
  12. Nov 15, 2012 #52 of 130
    dianebrat

    dianebrat I refuse to accept your reality TCF Club

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    boston'ish
    I was coming in to the thread to say the same thing, Verizon has never used the "per device" phrasing on CableCARDs, it's always been priced per card.
     
  13. Jan 8, 2013 #53 of 130
    headless chicken

    headless chicken Member

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    I explained the situation and was offered a credit to cover the cost of the second CableCard. However, it did take a number of calls before a got a kind rep who was willing to work with me. YMMV.
     
  14. Jan 10, 2013 #54 of 130
    humm

    humm New Member

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    I took the visa when I recently re-upped. It seems like I got a very good deal. My POV is that using the Tivo instead of the motorola boxes is worth a little pain.
     
  15. Jan 28, 2013 #55 of 130
    Tivoitis

    Tivoitis Member

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    Anyone try using their own M-Card ($8-$10 on eBay) to avoid the monthly cablecard fee?
     
  16. Jan 28, 2013 #56 of 130
    BigJimOutlaw

    BigJimOutlaw Active Member

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    Yep some have tried. They won't work. In a nutshell, it has to come from the cableco.
     
  17. Jan 29, 2013 #57 of 130
    lessd

    lessd Active Member

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    That's part of the reason cable cards need pairing or people could just purchase them off E-Bay, order basic cable service and get all the channels. The MSO had this problem with the old analog cable boxes and could never stop this thief-of-service until the digital service came out, cable thief is very low now, some people share cable with their neighbors to cut cost, but both are committing a crime.
     
  18. Jan 29, 2013 #58 of 130
    CoxInPHX

    CoxInPHX COX Communications

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    Jan 14, 2011
    Phoenix, AZ

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  19. Jan 29, 2013 #59 of 130
    slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    3,501
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    In the ATL
    If that's true they need to give up all pretense that this is a rental fee to cover the cost of the card, and admit to the FCC that they are charging an outlet fee just like Comcast does.
     
  20. Jan 29, 2013 #60 of 130
    headless chicken

    headless chicken Member

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    Oct 8, 2004
    That's outrageous. Verizon already charges double the price of Cablevision's card and their new price will be triple that. Absolute price gouging.
     

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