Verizon Infuriates Baseball Fans With "Misleading" Blog Post "Announcing" MLB Extra Innings On FiOS

Back in February of this year, Verizon posted the following message titled “MLB Coming to FiOS, Mom and Apple Pie Rejoice!” on their Policy Blog:

Judging from the number of comments, I get the feeling that this will be welcome news for baseball fans that are, or are considering becoming, FiOS TV subscribers.

We are currently working with MLB Extra Innings and we’re optimistic that we’ll begin offering the package soon. It won’t be everywhere, all at once unfortunately, but we are working hard to get MLB EI on FiOS TV for as many fans as we can as soon as possible.

Though Verizon didn’t actually announce anything in the post, it was picked up by a few blogs and websites and more than a few Verizon customers and potential Verizon customers took the post’s headline to heart, signing up for FiOS with the belief that Extra Innings would be available by the start of the 2008 season.

The “announcement” (or lack thereof) turned out to be premature and for months a steady stream of enraged baseball fans have been leaving vicious comments on Verizon’s post. Here are a few:

Thanks for getting us jacked up for nothing.

Well, since the season starts tomorrow morning, I signed up for MLB EI through Cablevision this season. By draging your heals, Fios has lost out on this willing subscriber for another 7 months. I’ll check in with you again next winter – hopefully the landscape will have settled somewhat by then. I can only switch if I can be sure I will be able to get MLB EI. It seems silly to give up customers like me who will pay tons of money for extra services, but so be it.

I too have left and contacted Directv as the seasons starts tomorrow. you’ve lost another customer not so much becuase you didnt get the deal done but becuase you’ve mislead us. i would have just signed up for mlb.tv if it werent for your misleading statements.

Wow, Red Sox kicked off the season today and I’m sitting here in Portland, OR with no Extra Innings even though I was told the package would be offered when I agreed to leave Comcast…..If I knew it was going to be like this I would have never left as now I have NO Red Sox games probably for the season!

Please send information about MLB Extra Innings. My husband almost divorced me last year because I switched our TV service to you guys and then I couldn’t get extra innings. If you don’t get it this year, I will be forced to discontinue service with you and start up with our cable company that does offer extra innings.

Very disappointing Eric. Why would you EVER make an announcement like this and then go to ground and ignore us. I have bounced around among a number of cable companies over the years as I move from place to place and each one is more disappointing than the next. But, this takes the cake. You started this thread – you owe us an explanation IMMEDIATELY!

Why would you even announce that last month unless a deal was imminent. That was a reckless act by whoever authorized it. I’m guessing the reason why we haven’t heard from Eric again, is b/c he’s been fired. The only legitimate reason for announcing the potential deal that I’ve read on this blog, was to keep people around for at least one more month. What a terrible way to do business.

What really makes me angry is that back in January, the salesman that sold me Fios told me that Fios would be getting EI. Had I known, I would not have switched.

No salesman should ever promise something like that just to make a sale, that is just bad business…I should have known better as he also said that Fios would be getting Sunday ticket in ’09. I am not holding my breath on that one either.

You’d think at some point Verizon would decide enough is enough and treat their subscriber’s interests as a priority. While they’re debating how they’ll split up millions, the baseball season is now well under way. You guys had all winter to hammer this out and you didn’t. When I signed up for Verizon I was specifically told they’d have the EI package, so I left Comcast and signed up, thinking I was sacrificing nothing. Baseball is an important part of cable for a lot of viewers, and we’re willing to pay hundreds of dollars a year to watch these games. Wake up, Verizon. We’re sitting here willing to give you our money. Wait much longer, and I, like a lot of others, will just walk away. This is one of the most despicable things I’ve ever seen a cable company do, promise their customers over and over a service is coming yet never delivering it.

This was a total scam on your part and you should be ashamed of yourself. I live in the Boston area and if you don’t have EI by May, I am going back to Comcast.

The last update on Verizon’s blog instructed the angry customers to order MLB.TV (Major League Baseball’s internet service) in lieu of Extra Innings. FiOS customers could then “see games with the broadband speed and clarity that FiOS makes,” whatever that means.

Did a Verizon CSR promise you Extra Innings when you switched to FiOS?

MLB Coming to FiOS, Mom and Apple Pie Rejoice! [Verizon Policy Blog]

Comments

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  1. Hanke says:

    Uhm, don’t judge a book by it’s cover, and don’t judge the content of a blog post by its headline.

  2. iEddie says:

    They said they’re optimistic about it… That doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. Still, the salespeople lying is an issue.

  3. DanglinModifiers says:

    I wasn’t promised Extra Innings, but I was promised Bravo and TLC in HD by October ’07. Still waiting…

  4. bonzombiekitty says:

    Don’t put the blame on the guy for the blog post, just because you jumped the gun when the post clearly does not say anything is definite.

    If the CSRs said that they were getting it, then that’s a problem. But I wonder how many people were actually told something else (i.e. “we’re in negotiations to get it”), but interpreted it as being told they were getting it.

  5. tptcat says:

    This does suck, but these people don’t have zero options…

    Maybe I’m pointing out the obvious, but you can sign up for the MLB.TV package. The premium package is much less expensive than MLB EI and you’ll be able to watch & listen to games (almost) anywhere online. Plus, I did this last year and was able to be logged in at the same time as a friend of mine so we each paid half of the cost. I haven’t tried that this year, but unless MLB changed something, it should still work.

    Oh, and I should also say…GO SOX!

  6. 44 in a Row says:

    It’s true that they’re not totally without options, and they can definitely sign up for MLB.TV, but I think a big issue is that lots of people wouldn’t have even switched to Verizon in the first place if they knew there wouldn’t be sports packages. I almost switched to FiOS TV back in November, but no Extra Innings was a dealbreaker.

  7. Buran says:

    @bonzombiekitty: “MLB Coming to FiOS” sounds definite to me.

  8. awolcfh5150 says:

    I got the EI package through Comcast and what makes me angry is that they don’t offer it in HD. DTV offers up to 8 games a day in beautiful HD but Comcast says it ain’t happening with their service. The crappy part about all of that is that they have Comcast Sports Net which is in HD and broadcasts a ton of games, like my beloved Cubs. If you live in Chicago you get it. Anywhere else and Comcast says “screw you”.

    Oh and I live in Nashville so I’m not allowed to watch Reds or Braves games because apparently Nashville is a Reds & Braves market. WTF?

  9. tptcat says:

    @Buran: but the original post also stated:

    “It won’t be everywhere, all at once unfortunately, but we are working hard to get MLB EI on FiOS TV for as many fans as we can as soon as possible.”

    Based on that, even if they offered it in one market, big or smal, they would have kept their promise. This vague wording should have been a warning to investigate a little further.

    Also, one of the commenters on the Verizon board said:

    “My husband almost divorced me last year because I switched our TV service to you guys and then I couldn’t get extra innings.”

    Ummmmm….I think you may have bigger problems than being able to watch your favorite baseball team on TV.

  10. highmodulus says:

    Ah Verizon, you so crazy!

  11. Metropolis says:

    Maybe if these fans spent more time reading and less time watching baseball their reading comprehension skills would go up. In no way does that post state they WILL be offering MLB EI but says they are working towards getting it.

  12. theblackdog says:

    I guess the users didn’t RTFA!

  13. Buran says:

    @tptcat: No kidding as for the divorce thing. However, they made a rather definite claim on it and it’s their problem if people took them at their word. Maybe they should have actually offered the service instead of trying to weasel out of it and losing customers over broken promises.

    Next time, they shouldn’t promise something they have no actual intention of providing.

  14. jtheletter says:

    @Metropolis: Blog post or no there’s plenty of comments that indicate they confirmed EI availability with an agent before switching to Fios. So, how exactly can you blame the customer in those cases? They were lied to by representatives of the company, plain and simple.

    And the blog post seems rather calculated. It didn’t promise anything in a legally biding way, but was phrased such that the impression one is left with is that EI would soon be available. Sales and advertising groups are not completely daft, they know baseball is a big money maker, and I’m sure they knew that stretching the truth for this service would result in a lot of new or sooner sales than they otherwise may not have gotten. Walking that fine line between false advertising and mea cupla with profit in mind.

  15. jtheletter says:

    Ug, please excuse my grammar today, especially in that 2nd to last sentence. More coffee time.

  16. charliux says:

    “Infuriates Baseball Fans”

    Wow, people need to chill.

  17. tptcat says:

    @Buran: word is bond.

  18. elephantattack says:

    I tell you what… I know this is a pretty big disservice on a consumerist-type level… But I know how often it is that I will turn off the tv because there’s only one of four things on… Baseball, football, police dramas (HOW MANY CSIs DO WE NEED?!) and *shivers* reality TV. I can’t be the only one who wants to watch something else. What’s the deal?

    I’ve watched/had cable before. It’s the same crap as DTV. Only more of it. To add insult to injury, they have mass amounts of infomercials. Wait! I can subscribe to the movie tiers! oh boy! Now I can watch a 10 year old movie that sucked when it came out!

    It won’t be long before there is only one show on TV. It will be called “The Show”. Even the news will be part of the show, inter-spliced with the commercials.

    Seriously? What the heck is this madness?! I have only one word for the television/cable/satellite industries…

    FAIL

    As in, television has failed to entertain me. Kinda forces me to have a social life though.