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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by amjustice, Sep 14, 2006.

  1. Allez

    Allez Padawan Learner

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    Dec 8, 2007
    Baltimore, MD

    True, although in sgibbs33's case if he 'rents' an M-card hopefully there won't be a monthly charge for the card itself. That's the case for me (through Comcast also). In any event, $23.99 is not an outrageous amount in the big picture. I do wonder, though, what happens if the card fails or starts acting weird . . .
     
  2. RareSanity

    RareSanity New Member

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    May 20, 2006
    Unfortunately, Comcast does not let you call into their service centers, so there is no public number. I just kinda showed up one day and asked. If they have any, they will give them to you. The Chamblee office is off of Peachtree Industrial near Chamblee-Dunwoody Rd. The street name is Malone.

    That is their main service center for the Atlanta area. It's where all of their (southeastern) studios are as well.
     
  3. pl1

    pl1 Active Member

    1,256
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    Jan 17, 2007
    MA
    Well, they aren't charging anything here for the cableCARD. Just one A/O for premium content at $2.75/mo. after the first outlet. In my case, 4 cableCARDs, 3 $2.75 charges per mo.
     
  4. Devx

    Devx New Member

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    Jun 1, 2006
    Atlanta, GA
    Thank you again. It would be nice if I could at least call the generic 404-COMCAST number and have a CSR tell me if they at least have some in the warehouse but I know that's probably pointless. I'll have to give it a shot and try them one day this week. If you happen to beat me to it, can you post back and let us know they have them in stock and I'll do the same.
     
  5. RareSanity

    RareSanity New Member

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    May 20, 2006
    Sure thing.
     
  6. Brad Bishop

    Brad Bishop Member

    285
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    Sep 11, 2001
    Atlanta, GA
    Just complaining here about the billing-Hell I'm entering:

    About a month ago I got my cards installed (3 separate Comcast Visits). Requested the M-Card. They kept sending out bad M-Cards or M-Cards attached to other accounts.

    They charged me an additional outlet fee of $5.99 last month. I called and the lady said, "That isn't right." She said she fixed it and I'd be set.

    So I just got my new bill. $5.99 is back. I called. the lady on the phone says, "Well, that second cableCard is the reason for $5.99. That's just the cost of it. "Not according to your website," I tell her. While she's not rude, she's not looking to fix this either.

    I explain that:
    - First off, I requested a single M-Card (and I tell her the difference). You guys couldn't get it to work because you kept sending out broken M-Cards or M-Cards attached to other accounts and you couldn't switch it over the phone. It's no fault of mine why you couldn't get it working, yet your charging me for your screw ups.
    - Secondly, I was told by the cable installer who specifically checked with you guys during the install, that I wouldn't be charged extra for the second S-Card
    - Third - even if you ignore the first 2 issues. Your own web-site says you'll only charge me up to $1.91 for the additional card.

    "Well, sir, for you to get what you want I suggest you take your 2 S-Cards down to the local retail location and get them to swap it out," she tells me.

    I then explain, "They don't have them there and require a 'specialist' to come out and plug the cards in."

    Basically, I go round and round with her. The end result: She wants me to take these 2 cards down to the local office and tell them, "Swap them out." Which I'm almost certain will result in the lady at the office telling me, "We don't do that here. You can only drop them off. You have to have a technician come out and install the cards."

    I would bet money on that being the response.

    So, I'm left either paying the $6/month or wasting time fooling with it all.

    I suppose I should just choke down the $36/year even though it pisses me off that it's just a bogus charge in 3 separate ways.

    And the cable companys wonder why people hate them...
     
  7. pl1

    pl1 Active Member

    1,256
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    Jan 17, 2007
    MA
    Try going down to the office and asking if they have any M-Cards BEFORE you do anything. If they have them, then go home, get yours and exchange them. Just a suggestion.
     
  8. Brad Bishop

    Brad Bishop Member

    285
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    Sep 11, 2001
    Atlanta, GA
    Just an update:

    I tried a chat session via Comcast's site.

    The lady I spoke to there determined that not only did I need to pay the $5.99/month for the additional Digital Outlet but that I should have been paying an additional $1.50 for the extra cable card on top of all of that. She sent my account to their Auditing department to make sure that they could find any and all fees that I need to be paying.

    Yeah - I took her through the entire explanation - she ticked me off. It was like, "Yes, sir, rather than try to understand what you're talking about I'm going to make it worse for you." I was really close to just cancelling Comcast altogether after that session.

    I tried calling back one more time. I got a hold of a rep, asked him if he understood cableCards and then explained the difference, what I had been trying to do, and why I shouldn't be charged. He seemed to not only understand it but said, in reference to all the stuff I had been through, "That doesn't make any sense at all why we'd charge you anything extra." He's escalated it and said he'll do what it takes to make it right.

    So he's going to either: Figure out how to make my account right or figure out how to get me an M-Card as Comcast's billing system seems to be what's in the way.

    I even told him, "I really don't want to blow another afternoon on this. I'd be happy running the S-Cards to someone who can exchange them for an M-Card. Really, whatever is easiest for this problem to go away." He agreed and called back to let me know the status (still not resolved but they're working on it).

    Sounds like this guy is on the ball.
     
  9. RNSAMRN

    RNSAMRN New Member

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    Dec 14, 2007
    Southern...
    So the gentleman from Comcast just left. Actually, he was subcontracted by Comcast to install the cable cards. Very nice person, but admitted he knew nothing about installing the cards into Tivo. I had printed out step-by-step instructions for him and he read over them. Everything seemed to be going OK. I called Tivo just to ask a few questions before we started.
    The outcome was this. The cable cards were Motorola starting with the serial number MA. Apparently Comcast has had trouble with the Motorola cards starting in MA in my area (Southern New Jersey). The woman who was trying to program them said that if the serial number started in NG, she would have had no problem, as these cards have been working. So the bottom line was no successful install with the cable cards, and "they will get back to me as soon as the issue is resolved." So I am stuck. I am waiting for the subcontractor's supervisor to call me, so I can see if there is any way of getting these other cable cards. Apparently the error message given was not the 161-4 one that is ok to ignore. The phone number the guy called to activate the cards was not the one that popped up on the gray screen on Tivo that is provided by the cable company, but some number he was told to call. Don't think that matters. Basically, it sounds like I am screwed. The guy had two other cards with him, but they had the same type of serial numbers, so he wouldn't try them, and I am sure he didn't want to waste any more time. He was here for an hour and a half, and seemed to want to get on his way to see other customers. He didn't indicate any of this was a Tivo problem, but a Comcast and Motorola problem. Said that his company was not being provided with the cards starting with NG, and didn't seem to think he could get them.
    I feel like a beaten horse. This is crazy. As far as I am concerned, per the FCC law they are required to provide me with these cards. So I will wait and talk to the supervisor and see what comes of it.
    RNSAMRN
     
  10. SunDogMedia

    SunDogMedia New Member

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    Dec 17, 2007
    The installer showed up with both S-cards and M-cards. He told me upfront that he had never done a TiVo installation before. So I suggested he start with the M-card. He plugged it in, called the office to activate it, and it worked. Simple as that.

    Amazed and pleased.
     
  11. RNSAMRN

    RNSAMRN New Member

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    Dec 14, 2007
    Southern...
    Obviously it is in the activation of the cards that there is a problem. I am on hold with Comcast right now to see if they can send someone out who has actually done this before. I KNOW it can be done. Guess it just takes having the right technician, the right activation person, the right cards...........AHHHHHHH.
     
  12. mae

    mae member

    243
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    Dec 10, 2001
    USA
    I've had a Scientific Atlanta Mcard working in a THD since Septemeber, and it still seems to be working fine. Getting it running wasn't the best or worst story on this board, but it did only take one visit (you can search for my posts in this thread).

    If this is true, I sure hope it doesn't break what doesn't need fixing!:confused:
     
  13. tmesser

    tmesser New Member

    121
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    Apr 12, 2003
    Naperville, IL
    Yes, I experienced this in Naperville (I see that you are in Aurora) during my final two (of three) installation attempts. The $23.99 is installation for the CableCARD, and the $17.89 is an additional outlet activation fee. You really shouldn't be getting the $17.89 charge unless you already have digital equipment on another outlet elsewhere in your home. I got Executive Care to give me a credit for both charges because they tried to ding me for install fees on each of three visits, even though it was their fault they needed to come back at all.

    All of that said, the rep is wrong. You're not buying the card, you're renting.

    Hopefully, yes, your charge should be zero. I had a CableCARD in my Sony TV long before I owned a TiVo HD, and I never had a monthly fee, as it was supposedly included in the Digital Classic fee. I only got hit for one CableCARD installation fee at the time of activation.
     
  14. BurnBaby

    BurnBaby New Member

    90
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    Sep 20, 2007
    Don't know if you ended up getting info on this today or not. If not, I got some information from the billing dept:

    If you are not having luck getting confirmation that Comcast carries M-cards from your local Comcast, you can call the 800 # and choose billing on the automated menu. They are trained to deal with billing disputes. If you call that 800 # before 8pm (not sure if this only applies to weekdays or what), you will likely get a representative from the Philadelphia Comcast, which is where the headquarters are. All the billing people I've talked to so far know about M-Cards. The customer service reps do not.

    The billing rep can look up your local information and help facilitate b/t you and your local office - All you have to do is give them your phone #. If the person cannot resolve your issue, ask for a supervisor, be polite & tell them that you've been getting the run-around and just would really like to straighten this out. It is possible that your local office may not carry M-cards, so if you can find someone in your area code that has definitely gotten an M-card that would help & then you can tell them that you've talked to people in the same area who have received M-cards.

    The three Boston Comcast #s the rep gave me, in case you want to go the local route again, are:

    (601) 268 1188

    (601) 693 2366

    (662) 842 5625


    Good luck! PM me if you'd like the name of the first rep I talked with - I think you'll be fine with most of the reps at the home office, but in case you need to.
     
  15. RNSAMRN

    RNSAMRN New Member

    27
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    Dec 14, 2007
    Southern...
    And the saga continues...........
    Soooooo - the "technical supervisor" who is supposed to "arrive before 5 p.m." never shows, and never calls. Why am I not surprised????? I had to leave for work at 6:15 p.m. I get home today and call good 'ol 1-800-COMCAST. The rep says, "oh the last notation was that someone was going to call you back to see if they could get someone out to fix the problem." I informed her that I did get a phone call back, about an hour after that, and tell her about the whole no call, no show thing. "Oh, let me try to help you...." Anyhow, now a "trouble-shooter" is supposed to come out today between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.
    I would so love it if someone showed up who actually can resolve this cable card issue, but after nearly a dozen phone calls, 1 cancelled appt., 1 appt. that failed, and 1 no call/no show, I am not going to hold my breath. The only thing I know is there is no TIVO GOD. Take it from me, because I have been praying to him, and any other god who might listen all week!! Soon my insane laughter will turn to tears though. And they wonder why people go postal!!!
    RNSAMRN
    Southern New Jersey - Land of Chaos
     
  16. Lensman

    Lensman Member

    156
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    Dec 22, 2001
    Hoboken, NJ...
    Comcast is not monolithic in this. Every different locality is a little different. Some people can pick up cards at their centers, some can't. Some have M-Cards, some don't. Some don't even have any S-Cards in stock.

    I've never heard that they won't come and install cablecards at all! You'll have to try the "call back later until you get the answer you want" method.

    Beware, though, the phone agent told me that I could pick up the cards myself at a center but then they later told me at the center that I had to have a truck roll. All this so a guy can show up with two cablecards and tell me that he's never done this before. I had to walk him through the process and even then, I think it was done wrong because he never read anything off of the screen - just read the NGblahblahblah serial numbers off of the cards themselves. My cards are now acting like they haven't been activated - surprise, surprise.

    This all contrasts with my experience with Cablevision in Northern New Jersey where the guy came over, stuck the cards in, read the numbers on the screen, called up an fought with the phone agents for 10 minutes, and got everything activated.
     
  17. Lensman

    Lensman Member

    156
    0
    Dec 22, 2001
    Hoboken, NJ...
    Now for a continuation of my saga with Comcast of South Broward (hey, if there's one good thing about Tivo is you get to figure out what to call your specific circle of cable hell):

    Installer comes by in the appointed time period, but is very cautious because this is his "first cablecard installation". He's a contractor, btw. He is obviously hesitant to follow my lead but I tell him that I've been through it before and it'll be alright.

    First off, we get into a mini discussion of the fact that the TV has to be turned off first. Of course, I'm thinking, "how are we going to get the pairing information from the screen"? Obviously, he's under the impression that he's supposed to install the cablecard in the TeeVee, not the Tivo. I don't want to think about what language he thought I was speaking when I said he was supposed to install it in a Tivo. :)

    Anyway, he calls in the "NGxxx" serial number on the first card, then we put it in slot 1 of the Tivo HD and get the dreaded 161-4 error. No getting around it (though I heard that we're just supposed to ignore it), so we try restarting, etc, but nothing.

    He then calls in the "NGxxx" serial number on the second card and we put that one in. It seems to be going well, but he has no idea what to do next. Finally, after calling dispatch, he gets in touch with someone who he says tells him that the people she has to talk to are out to lunch and that she'll call me back in a half hour when they get back. I'm pretty familiar with this story but decide to let him go his way as long as it leaves the cablecard in my grubby hands (or at least my shiny new Tivo HD).

    Anyway, after about 3 hours or so of waiting, I decide to give Comcast a call. The phone agent says that they've scheduled a follow-up for the next day (today) between 11am and 2pm. No word about this alleged "signal" they were supposed to send out. I decide to wait until tomorrow, but I do reboot my tivo.

    So today rolls around and I turn on the TV and decide to check out the state of the cablecard. I wander around aimlessly but do notice that it's not active and "awaiting restart". I think about this a second then decide to restart the Tivo to see what happens.

    I restart and rerun guided setup and amazingly, I'm all set! Both regular and unencrypted channels work fine and I even have all my HBO channels!

    Now I just get to wait for the installer to come around again to install the second cablecard.

    What I don't know is how this all happened without the cable installer reading anything except the original serial numbers off of the cablecard. Can they just have the cablecard automatically pair to a host without reading any additional information off of the Tivo cablecard screen?
     
  18. Leopor

    Leopor New Member

    4
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    Dec 15, 2007

    Burn, thanks for the info!
    That guy that told me he'd call me back on Monday never did (surprise surprise). I'm on the phone with them right now, and on hold. The guy I'm speaking to is very nice, but is saying the same thing: "This says we only have S-cards. I can setup an appt for you and put on there for them to bring M-cards, but I don't know if they will"

    So I told him my dilemma, that we would need either 6 S-cards for 3 tivo boxes, or just 3 M-cards for the 3 tivo boxes, meaning half the price. He went and checked with 2 supervisors, and both of them told him "nope, just S-cards." He gave me different pricing though. He said that since one of the 4 Comcast boxes we have right now is included in the digital starter package that we have, we would be better off keeping 1 box and returning 3 of them, because returing all 4 would break the package. Because of this, he said, the first card for the box would NOT be free, as we are still keeping 1 of the Comcast boxes. So, he said I would need 6 S-cards, $2.75 for the first one, and $1.50 for the 5 additional, making it $10.25 total for 6 S-cards. That's not horrible, but having 3 M-cards would take $4.50 a month off of that. I'd like to give them the least amount of money possible, especially for all this aggravation...

    Thanks for your help!
     
  19. Gerhard

    Gerhard New Member

    231
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    Sep 29, 2002
    Folks,

    I'm getting ready to activate a TivoHD in Stoneham, MA on Comcast, and I wanted to know if there were any big issues to deal with?

    Had anyone had cable cards installed in the Boston, MA area? ...near Stoneham?

    Gerhard
     
  20. RNSAMRN

    RNSAMRN New Member

    27
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    Dec 14, 2007
    Southern...
    Well, here is the rest of the saga. After working all night, and being up all day the previous day (now I have been awake for over 24 hours thanks to Comcast and awaiting their alleged visits) I get in touch with Comcast who says the "trouble shooter" will come between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Tuesday. Keep the phone nearby, as he will call before coming. So I jump in bed to try to close my eyes, with phone next to my ear. Just as I have dozed off to the land of the dead I get a phone call. It is the so called "trouble shooter." Actually, it I discover later by looking at my caller ID that the phone call is not from Comcast, but from the same subcontractor group that screwed up the previous attempt. I as half asleep during the call, but what I heard was:
    A) We are not coming.........
    B) There is a compatibility issue with the Motorola cards and the Tivo boxes that seems to have occurred after the software update to 9.0
    C) You are screwed
    D) We will call you back at some time in the distant future when the issue may or may not be resolved

    Right. So I am TOTALLY ticked off, but so exhausted that I barely know how to reply. I just say, "well I guess it is time to take this to a higher level" (God perhaps?). So now I will have to try to figure out what to do. I talked to Best Buy last night, and they think I could just return the box and get a refund (which I hate to do, as I have wanted this thing for two years). The kid there has not heard of any cable card issues. That doesn't get me back my $399 for the Lifetime Service. I could sell it on eBay, and let someone who actually lives in an area where they can get cable cards benefit. Or I can continue to try to fight the fight. I am thinking of filing an FCC complaint, and perhaps a complaint to the local Board of Public Utilities, but doubt that will accomplish anything. I wish I knew how I could just pick up the cable cards myself and activate them myself, but Comcast here will not allow you to do this. But at the same time, they will NOT install them for me. What to do. Any suggestions? I guess I will call Tivo today, but don't know what they can do about it. I can try to find a phone number to someone from Comcast, but I am plain sick of dealing with them. No one knows what they are doing, and no one can help me. We will see what happens. Merry Christmas to me.
    RNSAMRN
    Southern New Jersey
     

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