TiVo and Comcast

My adventure started a couple of weeks ago. I wanted to have all the HD channels that I get be viewable in my bedroom on the HDTV there. So I started by asking Comcast how much it would be to get a HD Receiver for the bedroom. To my surprise they wanted over $14 a month for a RECEIVER! I was like screw that. So as time went on I keep looking at the TiVo Premiere since it does HD, and has 2 tuners in it. Well 2 weeks ago, I bought one. I then contacted Comcast about getting the cable card for it. Lets just say since then it has been pure hell.

First I went to their web site, yup no info on how much they cost, etc. So I opened a chat session with them and they told me it was free (government mandate) and that I could go pick one up at the local Comcast office. I asked if they had any in stock so I could make sure I got on, and they told me I had to call the local office to see. Ok, so the next day I went to call the local office, surprise, the local number is “disconnected” and tells you to call the 800 number..

So I call the 800 number, they then proceed to tell me that I can’t pick one up, and they are not free ($3 a month) and it also will cost me $16 to have them come put the card in the TiVo. Holy shit what a different story. So on my way home one night I stop by the local office to ask yet a third person. She tells me that I can’t pick it up, they have to come install it and now it is $25 for some one to come install it. Damn can we say they don’t have a single answer they give every one. So now I am pretty well pissed at them. I go home and get back on the chat (so I can log it all to later send back to comcast as a complaint). The sales person I talk to this time tells me yeah the card is free and I can go to the local office to pick it up. When I tell them that I tried to do that and they told me I couldn’t he all of the sudden changed his story. So I asked about the whole install fee thing and he said he could waive that and give me the card for free. I said ok, but I need it installed on the weekend because I am not wasting 8 hours waiting for some one to come to my house during the week.

The online tech scheduled my appointment for 12 ~ 4 PM today. I received automated calls from Comcast on Thursday and today around 11AM verifying that I would be here and available. Well around 3:50PM I get a call from Comcast saying “our tech is running really late (no shit sherlock) and won’t be there till 5:30PM. We will give you a $20 credit because we missed our window. Do you still want him to come?” To which I replied yeah… So 5:30 rolls around, no tech. About 5:40 he shows up and he brings the card in side. We plug it in and he calls Comcast in Pittsburgh to activate it. Well 15 ~20 minutes pass, no “hit”.. 1 hour passes no luck.. So he calls back and they tell him either the card is bad or it is just taking a while. So he leaves at 7:40PM… (Yes almost 8 hours waiting on this install).

I then run out to the market for a while and come home, and try to see if it got the signal, no such luck. After a quick shower I sit down and fire up the good old Comcast chat and sit on “hold” for 20 minutes. Finally “Roel” comes in and here is the transcript:

Me > Cable card not working in TiVo
Roel > Hello Me_, Thank you for contacting Comcast Live Chat Support. My name is Roel. Please give me one moment to review your information.
Me_ > ok
Roel > I see here that you have a concern or problem with your cable card, I understand the trouble that this has caused you and I want you to know how sorry I am for the inconvenience.
Roel > As your service representative today, I want you to know that your satisfaction is of my topmost priority and I assure you that we can resolve this issue together on this chat, Me.
Roel > To ensure the integrity of your account information, kindly provide me your 14 to 16 digits Account Number and the Last 4 digits of your Social Security Number.
Roel > Thank you for that information.
Roel > Let me check that here on my end.
Roel > By the way, while waiting for your account to pull up, I will share you a feature of Comcast that you can truly benefit. Are you aware of the customer self-help on comcast.com?
Roel > Comcast.com has an extensive series of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that cover all of our products. Customers do not have to sign in to access the FAQs. Quick steps to do it…Open a web browser window and go to http://www.comcast.com/. On the home page, the navigation menus are on the left side of the window and click on Customers then Help and Support.
Roel > I will be resolving this issue for you today, can you give me 2-3 minutes to work on this?
Me_ > yeah, self help is of no use..
Roel > Thank you for waiting.
Roel > May I ask if your Cable Card SN is this :XXXXXXXX ?
Me_ > let me check
Me_ > yes that is correct XXXXXXXX
Roel > That is okay.
Roel > May I ask what trouble shooting have you done so far?
Me_ > the card was “installed” today . the tech called the “activation” center and they supposedly sent a couple of hits to it. That was about 4:30 hours ago, it still has not activated. I have rebooted the tivo and it still has not received the activation signal
Me_ > key verification says “success” but provisioning says none, and auth state says disabled
Me_ > the card was also removed and re-inserted by the tech when he was here.
Roel > I see, thank you for confirming.
Roel > At this time, I am going to send a notice to our higher department since normally this should be done within 45 minutes, but the thing is the maximum time to wait for this when it is fully activated during the first installation would be less than 24 hours.
Roel > So I really do hope that you still have the patience to have it completely done for the process of installing.
Roel > Need not to worry, I am going to make a follow up on this so that you won’t have to wait for that long.
Me_ > yeah, just none of the numbers are changing like the person who the tech talked to on the phone.
Roel > I see, I’m sorry to know that and need not to worry about this anymore.
Roel > I am making sure that your cable card will be activated less than 24 hours.
Roel > What I am hoping for is that you will still have the patience for that.
Me_ > yeah.. already wasted 9 hours today waiting, guess a couple more isn’t going to hurt.
Roel > I am glad I was able to assist you by sending a notice to our higher department for the follow up of your activation process..
Roel > It has been my pleasure serving you today and I truly appreciate your understanding and cooperation.
Roel > Do you have other concerns for me today?  I will be glad to assist you further.
Me_ > no that is all.
Roel > It is with gratitude to have you on this chat and I appreciate the opportunity you’ve given us today to resolve your cable card activation process concern.  Enjoy the rest of your day and take care.
Roel > Do you want to watch full TV shows and movies online? Go to http://www.fancast.com. Thank you for choosing Comcast as your cable TV provider and have a great day! Comcast appreciates your business and values you as a customer. Our goal is to provide you with excellent service. If you need further assistance, you can chat with one of our Customer Support Specialists 24 hour a day, 7 days a week at http://www.comcastsupport.com/videochat. To close this chat, please click the end session button at the top of your chat window.
Roel > Analyst has closed chat and left the room

Based on the above, absolutely nothing of use occurred.. Half the stuff he said didn’t even make sense.. And nothing has been fixed with the cable card.. So I guess I will wait some more time and see if it does activate..

Now here are some things that piss me off about Comcast today.

1. The tech’s don’t have spare cable cards with them. Why the hell would you not let your techs carry spare cards. This is like not having a spare wheel in your car. So now if this “activation” does not work I have to waste another 8 hours waiting on a tech to bring a card that may or may not work. (My friend took 3 techs coming out to get his done.)

2. You don’t have any transparency in anything you do. None of  your people give the same answer as the others.

3. You are greatly understaffed in the Morgantown area. When the techs show up almost 2 hours late… get a clue.

4. Your tech’s used my phone to make long distance calls to Pittsburgh and Massachusetts . (over 43 minutes of them) You going to pay me for that?

2 Replies to “TiVo and Comcast”

  1. Time Warner is no better. Was a huge fiasco, 2 days and a tech staring at my TV while on the phone for 2 hours, just to get two cable cards installed in my tivo.

  2. my follow up appointment is for friday afternoon. will have to see if it works then.. if not comcast is going to get a nice letter.

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