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Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by mchad, Sep 12, 2006.
Verizon is too big to be scared by anyone, alas.
Update: The install was yesterday and went off without an issue, 2x cablecards in the S3 (along with 2x SD STBs) working flawlessly. The installers were quick and knowledgeable - so far I'm VERY impressed with FIOS.
Hopefully today will go as well (but I doubt it), I'm sitting at my parents waiting for the Comcast guy to come with an M card for the THD I got them for Christmas. I'm sure glad I left the house at 0530 to be here for the 7-10 install window, since it's 0930 now and no sign of them!
I just had a strange experience with Verizon. I called to order two CableCARDS... the woman I spoke to seemed to understand what they were, but also insisted that they didn't require an installation. I'll be pretty darned happy if that's the case, but it doesn't seem to mesh with anything else I've read online. Has anyone else experienced this? They say they'll be shipped to me via UPS... but the back of my head worries that I'll be calling Verizon to figure out where they disappeared to in two weeks (or at least be stuck with two inactive cards...)
How are you guys getting anyone on the phone at Verizon?
I keep trying the 800-688-2880 number to change my upcoming FIOS order for a couple cable cards rather than an HD box since I got a Tivo HD for Christmas, but I just can't get past the "due to an unusually high call volume your call cannot be answered at this time" message.
I even occasionally get transferred to someone in tech support who tries to be helpful and transfer me to an internal sales line which still says it cannot be answered. The phone company can't answer their phones, sheesh.
Edit: Woah, was on hold for the 5th time while typing this and actually got someone who says that they will add cable cards to my order. Actually, the first thing she said was that she needed to advise me that Tivo does not work with FIOS. I told her that wasn't correct, and she said "OK, I just needed to note that I had told you that." What's that all about? She did end up adding them to my order, though. $3 each.
The installer just left. Tried 4 cable cards and only 1 ended up working.
The first cable card would never show anything other than all zeros in the CableCard, Host, and Data fields even after waiting a very long time.
The second cable card did show some info, and we thought it was going to work. It had come out of someone else's TV, so it was assumed to be good. We recorded those data fields and tried activating it with the laptop, but never got any hit on it. Then the person on the "FCS" line told him to deactivate, reboot the Tivo, then reactivate it. Well, he wasn't able to reactivate it. It somehow wouldn't remove it from the system so his laptop program was complaining about duplicate serial number or some such. He called FCS back again and we again never received any hits on it, no 161-4 errors and the Conditional Status kept saying unknown.
The third cable card worked flawlessly in slot 1! Exactly as the directions said it should.
The fourth cable card went into slot 2, but it had the problem of all zeros in the CableCard, Host, and Data fields. He called his regional office and verified that it had been authorized for use, but it never did update that info and give us the info to pair it.
He gave me his cell number and I'll call after work tomorrow for him to head over with 4 more cable cards.
Picture sure does look good on card 1 though. 8)
Like many, I am a soon-to-be ReplayTV convert (although I had a couple of expanded Series 1 TiVos back in the day)...
I've had FIOS for about 6 months with LOTS of router/guide issues... I purchased a NIM online, and am using my own D-Link, but still have intermittent Guide/VOD/DVR issues. I recently decided make the Tivo leap again and return my three HD STBs (at a cost of $9.95, $9.95 and $12.95, respectively) in favor of 2 TiVoHDs.
I just got off of an excruciating 30 minute call with the Verizon folks to order 4 CableCARDs for my two brandy new TiVoHD units. After getting through the initial bullsh%$ about it not working with Tivo and me letting them know they must install them by FCC mandate, they quoted me the following fees:
$ 2.99 per cable card X 4 - $11.96 per month. OK. That makes sense.
$49.95 service downgrade fee. WTF? I'm feverishly trying to look this up. Anyone have a link to FIOS TV Terms of Service? If so, please provide. I can't locate them.
$24.99 per STB return fee x 3 - $74.97. Again, WTF?
$24.95 per CableCARD install fee x 4 = $99.80. Seriously, this is crazy... has anyone else had this issue. I eventually just decided that they are insane, and I will deal with it when the bill arrives, but I'd love to hear from anyone else of they've heard of such insanity.
My appointment is set for Tuesday, 1/8/2008. I'll keep you abreast of my progress.
In the meantime, please share any similar experiences or tidbits of advice.
A necessary evil, at least until Verizon makes MCards available.
First time I've heard of this one - Yikes!
I think you can get around this by tellling them you will drive the STBs to a Verizon store to turn them in.
I think this fee basically ties to the truck roll itself. I would think that you can get this reduced to a flat $24.95 if you ask (politely) to speak with the CSR's manager.
Let us know if you get around these roadblocks. I have not made the leap back to TiVo since getting FiOS (was a DirecTiVo user for years), and I'm basically waiting for M-Cards to make my move.
I've gotten some good research out of the DSL Reports FiOS TV forum here:
I was charged one $29.99 fee. It covered the truck roll, turn in of an HD DVR and a SD STB and install of 2 cablecards.
These fees are ridiculous. I think you should send a letter to the FCC, since it seems they are using price gouging as a tactic to dissuade people from getting and using cable cards.
I got my tivo a few months back and was not charged to have my box returned. I believe i was charged $25.00 for the service visit.
Thankfully, whoever gave you the above information was misinformed.
There is a $24.99 charge for a "truck roll" to install all the CableCards you requested. It is not a "per CableCard" fee.
There is a $24.99 charge for a "truck roll" to remove STBs and DVRs that you do not want (IIRC).
If the STBs and DVRs are removed during the same visit that your CableCards are installed, you only pay the $24.99 "truck roll" fee once, not twice.
There is a $49.99 charge for a "truck roll" to cancel TV service and remove all related equipment (IIRC).
Basically, there is at least a $24.99 fee any time that a FiOS service technician must visit your home for something other than maintenance / support. These "truck roll" charges are in line with most other cable companies.
CableCard installation requires a truck roll, so you can't avoid that $24.99 fee. However, you can avoid other fees by driving to the nearest FiOS office and dropping off the equipment you do not want. In some service areas, you can also request a Fedex return label for the STBs and DVRs.
Thanks All, for the very helpful information. I guess the best that I can hope for is that if this order is processed the way the sales rep indicated, that the billing people will have a better understanding of what is what when I call in to correct her, and eliminate those fees. In the meantime, I'll continue my search for the FIOS TV Terms of Service.
Here are the New Jersey drop off locations...
I got my second cable card Friday night. The installer came back after his normal work hours with only 1 cable card and said that we should just cross our fingers. We put it in, and the pairing screen popped up. He called in on his phone and didn't even have to give them any of the info on the pairing screen. He just chose the serial number of the card from the audible menu on his phone (they had it checked out to him), told them my phone number (also to the automated system), and they sent out two hits and 10 minutes later it was receiving channels.
The wait time after receiving the hits worried us. I thought the Conditional Access screen would update right away, but even though the diagnostics screen didn't show that it was downloading anything it still took a while for it to start working on with the test channels.
It took a repeat of Guided Setup to get both tuners going instead of just the one I had, but it works great now.
>>>He just chose the serial number of the card from the audible menu on his phone (they had it checked out to him),
Is this new? It sure seems like a good way to avoid a lot of problems.
Just to update all.
I finally (after 2 1\2 days of missed or non-scheduled appointments) got a tech visit. on Saturday. He immediately asked why was I going with a Tivo DVR. "Have you tried ours" "it's better". I smiled. Told him theirs was crap. I had already returned it. Nice guy though...we actually had a good time.
We better have, since he was here for nearly 3 hours...
First suggestion, ask your installer if they've installed cable cards on a Tivo yet. I did, and he said yes, but later revealed that he meant he'd installed cable cards on "some of our boxes" (wait, our boxes? I thought Verizon and the Cable Ops where still fighting introduction of their own cable card boxes).
Anyways, after several calls to his support group, and a couple of times double checking the serial numbers. We couldn't figure out why the channels weren't detecting. I finally said screw it, it's time to restart (we'd done the guided setup 3 times already).
Viola. Both cablecards came up and I was immediately watching and recording HD. What a beautiful sight.
SO remember, "when in doubt, reboot!"
Well, I promised an update, and here it is. Verizon called me Saturday night (1/5/2008) and indicated they had availability on Sunday (1/6/2008) a.m. which I gladly accepted b/c that meant I wouldn't have to work from home on Tuesday (1/8/2008), my originally scheduled time.
Unfortunately, once Sunday morning rolled around, they called me and indicated that they had NO cablecards in the area, and did not know when they would have more. That's not good consdering the fact that I need 4, and failure rates seem to be in the 25-50% range... seems like I'd want the installer to have at least 6 of them to have a good chance of success... so, he said they'd place the job order in "jeopardy", whatever the h@ll that means... [sigh] I wonder if I'll ever have my cablecards...
Anyone have asimilar experience where there are NO cablecards available?
I'll keep you posted on my progress... at least point I am not too hopeful that it will be done tomorrow, Tuesday, as originally scheduled.
That is a standard way to get out of installing cable cards. Not just Fios, butr alot of cable companies, incluiding Comcast in alot of areas.
They MUST give them, but the suppliers have no incentive to make them, so the cable company points at the manufacturer and says, 'none availabe'
I know someone who waited 5 months and then the order 'got lost', so they wanted him to wait some more.
Now, Comcast Boston brought out 2 shiny M-Cards for my 2 tivos, and they were in and gone in 15 minutes, at $2.95 per card. Total $5.90/month for BOTH tivo's!!
I even kept my std cable box, I was so impressed, to get Comcast On-Demand.
I've logged more that 8 hours during the past 5 weeks on the phone with Verizon trying to get 2 additional cablecards for a second Tivo - but no one at Verizon can get this done. They tried several times to mail them to me, but of course Verizon needs a truck roll. And they don't know how to cancel the work order. I'm beginning to think I might have to first completely cancel the fios-tv, and then start all over. Any other suggestions?
I've been in exactly the same boat - I finally called them again and sat through another hour of holds to find someone who knew that cablecards had to be installed... they're theoretically going to take care of it on the 15th.
My experience was that the lady who answers the phone for the local Maryland office is the problem (it's been the same woman every time I've gotten that far)... everyone else in the forwarding chain seems to understand how it's supposed to work. When I got to that point today I explained the whole problem again and she checked with her supervisor and finally scheduled the truck roll.
I'm not really sure what will happen to the last order where they swore up and down that they could just mail me the cards... I guess we'll see what my bill looks like in a month!
Unless they actually cancelled the older order, nothing will happen on 1/15