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.

We Got an Amazing Verizon FIOS Promotional Deal

It was just a whim, to look at the Verizon FIOS website to see if we qualified for any new promotional contract deals. The Verizon FIOS deal we wound up with is so amazing, I have to share it with you.

Our original two-year FIOS triple play contract (phone, Internet & cable TV) expired this past June, and our promotional price went up by $10 per month. In this original packaging, the ‘triple play’ portion was $95, which was the Extreme HD channel package plus $32 for the full movie package — Mr. Not-So-Frugal cannot live without ALL the movie channels. We were rewarded with a $150 prepaid Visa debit card for going under contract for 2 years. After the contract expired, the pricing went up $10, for a package total of $137. We’re still charged for the DVR & set-top boxes we have in the house, along with all the requisite taxes and fees.

When I looked on the Verizon FIOS website, I saw that we could upgrade to the Ultimate HD channel package which includes more channels and all the movie channels except for Starz and HBO, which would cost extra. The internet and phone service would also be upgraded to be faster and include more features. The total would be $135 for the package with a 2-year contract. The kicker? A $300 prepaid Visa debit card just for committing to 2 years of service.

As I tried to figure out how much more it would be to include HBO & Starz in the package, I saw that there was another special promotion, including those two premium channels at the same price. It seemed too good to be true, so I started a live chat with a Verizon customer service representative, who was very nice and confirmed the HBO/Starz channels would be included in the pricing.

So not only will we be paying $2 less a month, we’ll have nearly 100 more channels (crazy talk), faster Internet service (from 10/2 mbps to 25/25 mbps), and the new digital voice phone service with upgraded features.

Old month-to-month package:

  • $137/month for phone, TV & Internet
  • $150 prepaid Visa debit card

New promotional 2-year package

  • $135/month for phone, TV & Internet
  • $300 prepaid Visa debit card

I feel like we hit the jackpot. These are internet prices, so we got a great deal. Plus, it’s so much easier to order this stuff online, rather than talk on the phone to someone who’s just trying to upsell you.