* Verizon FiOS TV Problems

How to spoil a movie night in one easy step.

Last night, my wife and I decided to watch a movie using Verizon FiOS TV’s video-on-demand (VOD) feature. About an hour into the movie, the audio started breaking up and the video started pixelating. Then this error message appeared:

A problem has occurred with your request. Please ensure that the wires are securely connected to your set-top box. If you continue to experience problems please contact Verizon at (888)553-1555 and specify code (CL-14).”

Yes, happy Valentine’s Day to you too, Verizon. My wife had fallen asleep on the sofa, so I put on some soft music and used the opportunity to help Verizon debug their problem. I’m such a nice consumer.

Incidentally, in the old days, area codes were optional for local calls, which is why they were put in parenthesis. Most area codes are no longer optional, and toll-free area codes never were, so let’s all agree never ever to put area codes in parenthesis again. Mmm-kay?

I called Verizon and waited 18 minutes on hold before getting to speak to somebody. While on hold, I did what every TV consumer would do in the same situation. (No, not go to the bathroom.) I went to the basement, restarted the broadband router (being sure to leave it off for about 20 seconds), came back upstairs, restarted the cable box (ditto), and tried to access VOD again. No luck, same error message. One variant of the error message simply referred to “Error 14” and didn’t include a phone number.

Guess what the Verizon representative suggested? Yup, restarting the router and cable box. So we did, same results.

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
– Albert Einstein

At this point, my romantic Valentine’s Day evening was toast. Maybe the V-Day Blizzard of ’07 had knocked out a Verizon server? Maybe VOD was getting hammered by all the romantic couples in New England? I asked the Verizon rep where he was. California.

I was on the phone with Verizon for 55 minutes and they were not able to solve the problem. We verified that FiOS Internet service worked fine, Verizon TV worked fine, everything worked except VOD. Sounds like a Verizon VOD server issue to me. Or maybe I was just imagining the problem. Could be either.

I had to ask the rep what Verizon was going to do to make this very patient customer whole. (Hint #1: good companies take the initiative to make their customers happy and actually have their own ideas about how to do this. Hint #2: keeping customers on the phone for 55 minutes to debug a 2-hour movie and then offering no compensation isn’t one of those good ideas.) He asked me to call back and check on the trouble ticket. After my prompting, he said that he’d ask his supervisor about giving a week of service credit (whatever that means). I explained that I had invested 55 minutes of my life on this and was not investing any more time. I said that they could email me to close out the matter. The Verizon rep said he had no means to send email to me. (They should try Verizon FiOS Internet service in California.) “Humor me,” I said, “and enter my email address in the file.” He did. I’m not holding my breath.

Verizon is making Apple TV look better every day.

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139 Replies to “* Verizon FiOS TV Problems”

  1. Have contacted the office of the Verizon CEO with no resolution for ongoing fois tv problems ie: (lockup, blue sceen, etc.) have contacted the law office of Green Welling class action atty. that have sued verzion in the past and are interested in this case, anyone wanting to join this please contact them at 415-477-6700

    Someone needs to do something about Verizon now, They have been charging the consumer for months for a known issue! PLEASE HELP!

  2. Does anyone else have a problem like mine?
    I frequently, nearly every day have to reboot my HD box. I get a message that states currently not available.
    Solution, reboot and it works.
    I think the daily reboot is a little silly. I am about to call and complain about it. Figured I would try this first to see if someone knows why this happens.

  3. After about 6 calls to Verizon regarding “channels not available” and choppy DVR playback, I told them I would not longer unplug and reboot the box and that I wanted a replacement DVR/HD box.
    After a few minutes the tech came back and said there is a combination firmware/hardware problem with all of the HD/DVR boxes and that they would not send out a replacement.
    They said I would need to wait until they come up with a fix.

    Looks like back to Comcast who had more internet slowdowns but HD cable was pretty good with none of the problems.

  4. We are in a dilema (sp?). I live in So Cal and we currently have DirecTV and Verizon DSL. For the past 2 months my DSL has been going down continously say at least 5-10 times a night and very, very slow. So we decided to go with the new FiOS which was scheduled for today. The guy came out, installed the boxes and told me that they have a problem with the box on the pole and can not finish installation today. I am the 4th one in my neighborhood. I talked with my neighbor who had FiOS installed at the beginning of January ’09, and he said he now has DirecTV, because FiOS went out every 2-3 days.

    So, here’s my question to all….in reading the posts, it seems Verizon FiOS TV is not efficient, but is the FiOS internet working as it should be? And should I just go with that? I’m ok with keeping DirecTV, but the Verizon DSL internet is the problem.

    Let me know your thoughts


  5. Greetings Joe,

    The other people are saying that they have had problems with Verizon FiOS TV service. This is suggested by the title of this post, which is “Verizon FiOS TV Problems.”


  6. I have had nothing but great customer service with Verizon FiOS. Friendly and Couteous and knowledgeable. I am not sure what other people are saying.

  7. The service is worse than the old cable companys. At least they had the decency to not answer the phone. Verizon routes you to everyone that cant help you. Half hour later im so pissed im sweating. Nothing Resolved. Tomorrow ill call comcast.

  8. All you people who have problems with HD picture quality.
    Check your settings that your tv box is set to transmit in your tvs maximum input 1080p or lower and that you have an hdmi cable hooked up and are on the correct video input to your tv and that you have RG6 video cables. old RG5 dont work very well. if your house wire is old its probly the RG5. rewire it even the short wires between components will mess it up I had one 3 foot wire between the video box and tv, the picture was fuzzy. i changed to an RG6 and it came in perfectly clear. in short, check what your tv can handel and set your fios box to that setting and if your tv wont receive 1080 dont bother with an HD box it wont make any differance.ps dont use the computer check up i did it found 3 viruses ask me if i wanted to fix the prople i clicked yes and my computer promply locked up and cost me 150.00 bucks to fix and lost everything on it they had to reformat the hard drive to fix it.Get norton best not to get a virus than to try and remove one….
    I had several bugs when i first got fios, got them worked out and havent had any problems since you got to expect a few bugs in new tech.although the box is still slow to respond to the remote..

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