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Verizon’s Big Mistake
I type with venom spewing from my fingertips in the form of words hitting a page in hopes for change. If nothing else, this venom will paralyze the current thought process of Verizon, giving the company a chance to rethink their pending action. I have had my trials and tribulations with Verizon over the years. But this time Verizon has gone too far, so much so that I have put aside time from grading, Ph.D. work, practicing Zumba® routines, caring for the kids, my husband recovering from two broken hands (yes two!), and everything else that envelopes my life to address this matter.
On Wednesday, February 15, 2012, Verizon sent out the following notice to its customers:
“On, or after, March 15 2012,Funimation (channel 262) and Bridges TV (channel 278) will be removed from the FiOS TV® lineup and you will no longer be able to view this content.
“This programming has been discontinued due to very low viewership and the continued effort of Verizon to offer our customers the most popular channels while keeping our rates reasonable.
“We appreciate your loyalty to Verizon FiOS TV and apologize for any inconvenience.
Remember that you can access the most current local TV line-up 24 hours a day/7 days a week at verizon.com/fiostvchannels.
“Thank you for choosing Verizon.
You do not mess with anime fanatics. We are loyal and vicious if nothing else. We will fight for our favorite characters and shows. The most pertinent line of the above letter is: “We appreciate your loyalty to Verizon FiOS TV and apologize for any inconvenience.” Loyal certainly describes anime fans and Verizon certainly is causing an inconvenience. Unfortunately, loyalty and inconvenience may do Verizon in. There is already very little keeping my husband and I Verizon customers. And this latest action may be the tipping point. My threat does not come lightly. My husband previously (many years ago) went three years without cable because he was upset with Verizon, and we have certainly switched companies before.
Other Verizon mistakes included the upgrade to FiOS. I remember waiting for what seemed like forever for Verizon to choose our street to put in fiber optics. My next-door neighbor and us were on a waiting list to receive the e-mail that we were among the chosen to have this great new service. The wait was torturous. It was like looking across the street and seeing the other side paved and our side made of nothing more than packed dirt.
Recently, Verizon changed the interface for viewing. Here was yet something else we had to get used to. And that was after they changed all the numbers for channels.
Oh, and did I mention that we used to get a lot of HD channels for free, and then those were taken away. However, for a fee, we could have back the HD channels we used to get for free.
And then there are the times I am in a rush to record something only to get the red curtain screen that says, “Please wait a moment”, as the television and box top initializes and adjusts for changes that happened at some random and inconvenient time. While this happens I am left to ponder the eerie orange glowing dot on the box top: Big Brother or just logistics for technological advancement?
How do some of these inconveniences apply to their statement above: “the continued effort of Verizon to offer our customers the most popular channels while keeping our rates reasonable”? Recently Verizon tried to entice its customers to subscribe to a movie package, namely Starz. So we got three months free. On the surface, this was a great promotional move. However, the marketing was horrible. All the movies were one’s either collecting dust as a DVD on my shelf, or even worse a VHS, and made during the last century (the 20th). Out of six or more premium movie channels being given for free, my husband and I scrolled through with disappointment more often than not. I was sure to write down the date our three-month trial started, and we called to cancel once the three-months was up. If I want to watch a movie like Big, released in 1988—six years after I was born—and be nostalgic, I can just go to my movie rack.
Thanks to reading another hubber’s , Onlera, articleabout supporting anime, I know that Netflix is an option. Verizon’s mistake could not come at a better time. Netflix is running a special of a one-month free trial. I am more than willing to pay to see the shows I want when I want without worrying if it will be ripped from me with little notice and then be subject to increased fees after the trial offer. And I can also sign-up for a free trial of HD, commercial free episodes on Funimation.
A Viewer of Funimation:
Part of the aforementioned letter states that “This programming has been discontinued due to very low viewership.” I find this hard to believe. But then again, I do not have Verizon’s figures sitting in front of me. Here is what I can say. I do not have much time to watch television, but when I do, there are only a few select channels I go to. And Funimation is the top of the list. As I look at my DVR list, 7 out of 14 shows and movies are from Funimation. They include Dragonaut, Fairy Tale, Witchblade, Choas;HEAd, Chrome Shelled Regios, Darker Than Black, and Trigun Badlands Rumble. This list would be even longer if I had not already watched Yu-Yu Hakusho, B Gata H Kei,and other shows that are in re-runs like Baka and Test.The point is this one person racks up a lot of hours of Funimation viewing in a week.
Even as I sat down last night to return papers to my online students, the chattering voices of familiar Funimation characters resounded in the background. I looked up at 9:27pm EST, as something strange appeared in my periphery. A scrolling message now graces the bottom of the Funimation channel. It thanks its viewers for their support and Funimation tells us that they are trying to work with Verizon to keep the channel from being dropped. I do hope negotiations go well. If not, I certainly have other options that I would be more than willing to pay for. In the mean time, I hope this article reaches my fellow anime fans. And on Monday I will certainly call Verizon to let them know how I feel. Funimation is urging us to keep letting Verizon aware of the impact this decision would have on Funimation viewers. One thing is for sure, the final decision should not be made lightly. Please make Verizon’s choice easier by showing support for Funimation.
Are You a Fan?
If you have Verizon, do you watch the Funimation channel?
Well unfortunately I had to update this article in a way I was hoping to avoid. A few weeks ago I sat down on the couch to enjoy the little bit of down time I get in a day. As I nestled into the couch cushions, I realized something was wrong with the television. Originally the children were watching a DVD, but the preset channel was 262, Funimation. When they were done watching and I switch the TV from auxiliary mode to television mode the TV went black. I figured it was another lapse in service. In a way it was. I checked service by trying to go to other channels. There was life in cable after all. But as I scrolled using the guide option, Funimation was off the list. So I am down to the last of my Funimation series episodes that are on DVR. What a pity and shame. So, on to Netflix and signing up on Funimation to stream episodes through my computer.