Verizon FIOS NFL RedZone Activation Fail

My husband isn’t one to ever do something in advance — he’s a world-class procrastinator. So it was no surprise that he raced into the bedroom to wake me up from a nap (yes, a nap) at 1:05 pm on Sunday. With panic rising in his voice, he told asked why, after I promised him we would had the NFL RedZone during football season thanks to our new FIOS package, he couldn’t get the channel.

You know, 1:05 p.m. on Sunday — just when the first NFL games of the season were kicking off.

You misunderstood the FIOS sales rep, he claimed. We never really had NFL RedZone! I replied that I most certainly understood correctly, and that we WERE supposed to have it.

(For you non-football watchers out there, NFL RedZone is a seizure-inducing channel that broadcasts only the NFL games where scoring is imminent, by switching to that particular game in real time. Lots of back-and-forth. Great for fantasy-football players.)

After spending another 10 minutes in bed ignoring his freakout, I padded downstairs to see what was going on. When we tuned to the channel, it said you had to “activate” it through your remote. Apparently, Mr. Not-So-Frugal had tried this without success.

I attempted to call the toll-free number that popped up on a dialog box when the activation failed — I couldn’t even connect, or the call would drop after hearing, “Press 1 for English, 2 for Spanish…”

I Googled, and I searched Twitter, which is how I found out that Verizon didn’t expect so many FIOS subscribers to activate the channel at the same time — and it temporarily fried the network and customer service phone lines. Lots of livid football fans took to Twitter to complain, and the NFL even tweeted that Verizon was working on the RedZone activation issue. Verizon later tweeted that it could take up to 90 minutes to activate the channel, and apologized.

Around 3:30 p.m., we finally got the NFL Red Zone channel to work.

This could have been avoided if Verizon FIOS didn’t lay it on the subscriber to activate the channel. I’m sure there was some benefit to them to go with this method.

I also would have had a longer nap if my husband hadn’t procrastinated, as usual. But hey — there’s always next Sunday.