Tag Archives: TV

Verizon FiOS Steps Up Its Customer Support

Despite the tendency of technology to eliminate the need for human intervention, customer service still matters. In fact, it could be argued that good customer service now matters more than ever, a contention that’s well supported if you visit the chat rooms or social media pages of any well-known consumer brand.

Although the ability to reach a friendly voice is often a welcome surprise, access to the right online support is just as important. And I’m not talking about a pdf version of an incomprehensible user manual. Instead, I want well-organized, relevant information that gets right to the heart of my product or service issues.

These thoughts went through my mind recently when I took a tour of Verizon’s newly-designed online help pages, which might just be the new gold standard in online customer support.

If you are a FiOS Internet customer and you log-on to the support dashboard using the Verizon network, you might be a little surprised to see the page greet you by name. But this is more than just a gimmick. Because Verizon knows exactly who you are and what Verizon services you use, it can tailor its support pages to anticipate your exact service needs.

The support dashboard includes a QuickGuides link that’s a gateway to over 30 helpful and easy-to-follow videos. Each short video – most of them are no more than a minute in length – provides practical advice on a range of popular help topics, such as troubleshooting your Verizon router, or how to print wirelessly from an iPhone or iPad.

As well as the QuickGuides, there are more detailed support pages for Verizon’s three main services: TV, Internet and Phone. Want to set up parental controls on your FiOS TV? A dedicated support page will explain how parental controls work and walk you through the set-up. Want to re-set your Verizon phone voice mail passcode? There’s a help page for that as well.

At any time you can click the Ask Verizon button to connect with an automated Verizon agent. And if you really want to get down and dirty, there are always the Forums, where you can discuss everything from the best On Demand movies to how to find the recently-added SEC Network.

Verizon FiOS is well-known for its speed and reliability. It’s good to know that those qualities also extend to its customer support!

The Online Mom LLC receives a fee for participating in certain promotional programs for Verizon.

Binge Watching May Be Harmful to Your Health

By Stacey Ross

A few months back, my in-laws encouraged my husband and me to enjoy a date night, so we dropped the kids off at their grandparents for our “night on the town.” But instead of dining or taking a moonlight stroll on the beach, we made a beeline for the living room (how exciting, right?) and binge watched House of Cards. And oh, was our “fix” worth it!

Netflix, LoveFilm, Hulu — all coveted examples of on-demand and instant-gratification entertainment that can tempt our willpower yet, on the other hand, give us the opportunity to indulge if we darned well want to! And, thanks to our mobile devices, we don’t even need to be at home for our fix (I mean our movie marathon fun!).

What are the risks?

However, according to a new study, spending hours in front of the TV may pose a health risk. Research published in the Journal of American Heart Association found that adults who watch TV for three or more hours a day can double their risk of early death compared to viewers who watch less TV.

“Our findings are consistent with a range of previous studies where time spent watching television was linked to mortality,” Miguel Martinez-Gonzalez, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., the study’s lead author, said in a statement. “Television viewing is a major sedentary behavior and there is an increasing trend toward all types of sedentary behaviors.”

The study, surveying over 13,000 adults, found the risk of death was two times higher for participants who reported watching three or more hours of TV a day. Clearly, it supports The American Heart Association, which recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week with a mix of moderate to high muscle strengthening two days a week.

Just keep movin’!

So, yes, I got the bug, but it doesn’t have to be that bad! Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Downtown AbbeyStar Trek (any version), Mad MenDoctor Who … the list of the most popular shows that people binge on can also serve as incentives for better exercise plans (not counting those trips to the refrigerator!). The shows can wait for your health, in other words!

We are all good, so long as we get up and keep moving, and keep in mind that a sedentary lifestyle is the issue at hand here, not watching excellent entertainment!

So the moral of the story: Grab some organic snacks and some iced tea and enjoy the luxury of really good home entertainment, but keep on movin’, too! In the words of House of Cards’ Frank Underwood, played by Kevin Spacey: “There’s no better way to overpower a trickle of doubt than with a flood of naked truth.”

Stacey Ross is an online consultant, social media enthusiast, freelancer and owner of SanDiegoBargainMama.com. A former teacher and middle school counselor, she is now a mom of two who researches and freelances about lifestyle topics involving family and well-being.

Put Down Your Remote and Pick Up Your Tablet

By Robyn Wright

In my house, the clickers (remote controls) always seem to be missing or, if we can find them, the batteries have mysteriously disappeared. This is no longer a problem though, because I can use my tablet to control all of our home entertainment devices. No more missing remotes; no more digging through the sofa cushions; no more missing batteries. Everything is in one place, right on my tablet, which I usually have in my lap anyway.

One caveat is that your home entertainment devices need to be current. You cannot control your console TV from the 70s with a tablet. Anytime you are buying a new TV, DVR, stereo, or other equipment, be sure to check out those extra features, like being able to control them with apps. Be on the lookout for devices that say they are Wi-Fi ready. Bluetooth ready and Airplay compatible are other terms you might see. My preference is for Wi-Fi, so I can almost always find an app that will turn my tablet into a remote.

Once you see what your connection capabilities are, then you can look for the apps you need. Start with the manufacturer’s website to see if they offer an app themselves. These will be the easiest to use, since they are specifically designed to work with your device.

If you cannot find a manufacturer’s app, then it’s time to search your favorite app store. Again, search for the brand name first to see what you can find and then move on to searching for terms like “TV remote,” “DVR remote,” etc. Because there are so many options and configurations, you have to find what will work with your tablet and your entertainment systems. Search for “remote control” and you will be amazed at the options.

Most of the apps are very intuitive and easy to set up. Many will allow you to control devices by room – one setup for the living room, one for the bedroom, and so forth. There can be a lot of options, just take your time, and don’t worry, you won’t break anything. One small warning: the kids (okay, and adults too) will think it is fun to add the remote apps to their devices and change the channel on you when you aren’t looking!

Robyn Wright is a social media specialist and blogs on her own blog, RobynsOnlineWorld.com, as well as several other sites. Robyn has a love for family, technology, food and lots of apps!