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Old 06-07-2012, 10:20 AM   #31
jerryr001
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I received a call from Verizon, today. I was told they are in receipt of my complaint to the FCC, concerning the discount for using a self supplied DVR on the triple play plan that includes a free DVR. Someone from the sales department will be following-up with me within the next 2-4 businesses days. I will provide an update when I hear from them.
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Old 06-07-2012, 12:59 PM   #32
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Looking forward to hearing what they have to say.
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Old 06-07-2012, 05:47 PM   #33
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Besides the discount go for some free things because of the trouble you went thru with their way of pricing. They will give away a lot to get rid of the complaint.
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Old 06-08-2012, 06:56 AM   #34
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Just as an FYI, Comcast has been offering a free HD DVR with double/triple play promo for years now. In fact, I'm on that one now but I never picked it up since I have Tivos and WMC. However, they do offer a $2.50 a month credit for using a Cablecard.
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Old 06-08-2012, 12:13 PM   #35
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Just as an FYI, Comcast has been offering a free HD DVR with double/triple play promo for years now. In fact, I'm on that one now but I never picked it up since I have Tivos and WMC. However, they do offer a $2.50 a month credit for using a Cablecard.
Yes, I had Comcast previously. They gave us two free CableCards, since they offered two free digital set-tops with the plan. This seems to be holding to the CableCard regulation -- without even verifying you have an comparable, eligible device. Then again, it'd be difficult to not have a comparable or better basic digital tuner.

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Old 06-08-2012, 12:28 PM   #36
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The HD DVR is worth $17/mo., so I'm not seeing the diff with Verizon except that they give you a monthly card credit of $2.50 on Comcast and Verizon gives you $250 up front.

So, if you had one card instead of a Comcast DVR, you'd get service for $2.50 cheaper. But if you had their DVR, you're saving a net of $14.50 vs. getting a card. Either way I agree, Tivo is getting screwed comparatively speaking.
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Old 06-08-2012, 12:42 PM   #37
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So, I was called by a Verizon executive resolution specialist (or something like that).

She asked that I explain my complaint. I did so and she accurately replied with her understanding of what I was saying; that I believe I am entitled to a discount based on the fact that I selected a plan that provides a device for free and I was bringing my own. She then said, Verizon does not offer discounts for people who bring their own device. I agreed and said, that's basically the issue.

She then asked about the regulation (she obviously knew nothing about it) and why I thought I was entitled to a discount for life. I explained that I was not entitled to a discount for life, the regulation states I am eligible for a 60mo discount, because obviously at some point Verizon would need to replace/upgrade its devices at a cost, as would I. I also explained that if a subscriber brought their own set-top and a subscriber who rented their set-top from Verizon went from the Double Play package to the Triple Play, the subscriber renting their set-top would get it for free... what would I get for upgrading? Again, she said she understood my complaint, but Verizon didn't offer discounts for subscribers who bring their own device. At this point, she said she would have to refer me back to the FCC customer service.

Again, I told her I understood they didn't offer the discount and that is the root of the complaint. I also told her I could send her the regulation. She asked for the regulation number (76.1205) and then the title "CableCARD support". No sooner than I got the word support out of my mouth, she asked, "Did you say cable? Verizon is not a cable company." I said you are covered under this regulation, to which she asked, "Does it say Verizon?" I said no. She said she would have to refer me back to the FCC, because Verizon was not a cable company. She said FCC customer service would follow-up with me.

At first I was just plain irritated at her lack of knowledge and readily throwing me back to the FCC. But now I'm starting to think that 'FCC Customer Service' is actually a department in Verizon, who knows the regulations and called me the first time.

Waiting...

Last edited by jerryr001 : 06-08-2012 at 12:49 PM.
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Old 06-08-2012, 01:27 PM   #38
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It's still a much better deal on FiOS than Comcast. Even with no credit from verizon and the $4 cable card fee, it still costs less to have a TiVo on FiOS than on Comcast because of the digital outlet fee that Comcast charges.
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Old 06-08-2012, 02:03 PM   #39
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It's still a much better deal on FiOS than Comcast. Even with no credit from verizon and the $4 cable card fee, it still costs less to have a TiVo on FiOS than on Comcast because of the digital outlet fee that Comcast charges.
Hmm.. I didn't remember a digital outlet fee. I just looked at last months bill (still waiting for our Verizon to be installed) and this is what I have:

Double Play $89.99
Bundle Includes:
Digital Starter w/On Demand
High Speed Internet Service

Digital Cable $9.25
Digital Starter with OnDEMAND

Cable Card 2 @$0.00 each

Looks like the $9.25 appeared recently. We have two TiVos with one CableCard for each and get full HD. I just called Comcast and inquired about the $9.25 and the rep said one cable box comes with the bundle and the $9.25 is for the second box. I told him I didn't have any cable boxes, I only have the two CableCards that are listed. Without further question, he said he'd remove the $9.25 from the bill.
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Old 06-09-2012, 05:24 AM   #40
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Hmm.. I didn't remember a digital outlet fee. I just looked at last months bill (still waiting for our Verizon to be installed) and this is what I have:

Double Play $89.99
Bundle Includes:
Digital Starter w/On Demand
High Speed Internet Service

Digital Cable $9.25
Digital Starter with OnDEMAND

Cable Card 2 @$0.00 each

Looks like the $9.25 appeared recently. We have two TiVos with one CableCard for each and get full HD. I just called Comcast and inquired about the $9.25 and the rep said one cable box comes with the bundle and the $9.25 is for the second box. I told him I didn't have any cable boxes, I only have the two CableCards that are listed. Without further question, he said he'd remove the $9.25 from the bill.
There is a thread around here talking about the digital outlet fee for each STB you have connected. It might differ by area but it seems to be pretty widespread. When I had Comcast five years ago they had an outlet fee around here and they tried to charge me for several of them for each TiVo I had. But somehow I convinced them that I only had one Comcast outlet and I split the cable myself, so they only charged me for one outlet instead of several.
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Old 06-09-2012, 09:26 AM   #41
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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-Top...fe/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.
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Old 06-12-2012, 08:16 AM   #42
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Verizon is currently offering a multi-room dvr free for life as part of its 2YR TV, Internet, and Phone package (Triple Play). The free set-top box amounts to a savings of $19.99 per month. If one chooses a cable card, instead of the multi-room dvr, there is a cost of $3.99 a month. This amounts to a $23.98 penalty for selecting a cable card for this package.

This is a violation of FCC CableCard rule:

"Pay only for equipment you have. Your operator must give you a discount on any packages that include the price of a set-top box if you choose to use your own CableCARD-enabled device. FCC Rule 76.1205(b)(5)."

http://www.fcc.gov/guides/cablecard-know-your-rights

Verizon is appeasing CableCard users by automatically giving the alternative promotion, a $250 gift card. However, CableCard subscribers should have a choice between the discount or the gift card. The discount is obviously the wiser choice, as it is a long-term savings and surpasses the value of the gift card in the 11th month of the 24 month term (250/23.98=10.4).

If you have this package, you are considering it, or just don't think Verizon is playing fair with TiVo, file a complaint with the FCC at: https://esupport.fcc.gov/ccmsforms/f...orm_type=2000E

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.
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:18 AM   #43
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It's a rule violation, depending on how you want to look at it.
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Old 06-13-2012, 02:01 PM   #44
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It's a rule violation, depending on how you want to look at it.
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.
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Old 06-13-2012, 02:28 PM   #45
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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.
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Old 06-13-2012, 02:37 PM   #46
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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.
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Old 06-13-2012, 02:38 PM   #47
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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.
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.
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Old 06-18-2012, 12:48 PM   #48
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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.
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.
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Old 07-11-2012, 07:20 PM   #49
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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.

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Old 11-15-2012, 01:18 AM   #50
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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.
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.
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:42 AM   #51
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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.
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.
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:13 PM   #52
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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.
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.
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:29 AM   #53
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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.
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.
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:36 AM   #54
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This promotion has been around for a while but I never thought getting something for free was a "penalty".

That being said, I think the loophole here is that Verizon doesn't technically include boxes as part of any service packages. You can either take the free DVR or the VISA as a bonus for signing up. They otherwise handle boxes as separate charges. So it's debatable if the FCC rule applies in this case.

This is opposed to actual bundling where a cableco would require you to take a DVR to get a digital package at a specific price, for example. That's the FCC's intent.

That being said, it wouldn't hurt them to offer a free cablecard in its place. But as far as the FCC rules go, I'm not so certain.
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.
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:30 PM   #55
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Anyone try using their own M-Card ($8-$10 on eBay) to avoid the monthly cablecard fee?
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:06 PM   #56
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Anyone try using their own M-Card ($8-$10 on eBay) to avoid the monthly cablecard fee?
Yep some have tried. They won't work. In a nutshell, it has to come from the cableco.
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:18 AM   #57
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Anyone try using their own M-Card ($8-$10 on eBay) to avoid the monthly cablecard fee?
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.
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:30 AM   #58
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Are Verizon CableCARDs really going up to $5.99/mo ea.?

That is the price now listed on the Verizon website:
http://www22.verizon.com/home/fiostv/#equipment


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Old 01-29-2013, 06:20 AM   #59
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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.
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:11 AM   #60
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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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