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Old 10-07-2006, 09:53 PM   #391
cotton168
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Congrats octomonkee! Glad to hear that the 5th time was the charm. I'll post tomorrow when Charter gets going on my S3.
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Old 10-07-2006, 10:19 PM   #392
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Smile Chin UP!

Quote:
Originally Posted by octomonkee
Update: (Pasadena, CA)

Have another Tech guy coming out tomorrow morning.

BTW, Chuckybox. I try to show the guys the instructions each time, and try to tell them that they need to follow the instructions. The don't want to listen.
You have to be forceful! Tell them to send someone else until you get someone to play ball. Tell them you want someone to help you troubleshoot this problem and that you are not happy with the technicians they sent before as they are not listening to your problems and you are not satisfied. Also do not allow them to leave or sign anything on the work request until you are happy. They are under tremendous time pressure and if they realize that they will be gone sooner is they do what you ask, they are more likely to listen. Between you and me, the only reason to have the cable guy come is to check to make sure you have a good signal level coming into your house and to dial the phone to call in the cablecard numbers. That's it, you can do everything else yourself, with a little study and some confidence. Also a lot depends on the person on the other end of the line at the cable card center. If it sound like the tech is struggling with the person on the phone, have them call again and get someone different or tell them to ask for the cablecard specialists! Charter has them so don't let them tell you different.

Oh, and print this and other guides and help out. That may convince the tech to do things your way, if he can read it off a paper.

I have 2 series three, so both I and 2 Charter cable techs (St. Louis) got plenty of practice. Here are the basics to get the Tivo Series 3 up and running.
1. Have them bring an extra card or two, if they "hit" a card too many times it will not work and have to be reset at the home office. So if you need 2 tell them you need three. If you don't need it they can take it back with them.
2. Right down the numbers to all the cards BEFORE, plugging them in. There are some numbers on the card that you cannot get from the Tivo setup interface. Popping the card out will require the setup to be repeated from the beginning. And take care to write the numbers down accurately. Pairing the wrong seral number with the wrong unit ID will give you strange results, like channels getting video but no audio.
3. Install one card into SLOT 1 ONLY. Go through the entire setup with just one card first.
4. let the cable company "hit" the card before backing out of the the set up. You may get an error when the card is hit. This is normal.
5. Once you get the word from the cable company go through the entire process of setting up. "Logging into the tivo server, getting channels, selecting channels you receive", ect. Note: this process can take upwards of a half an hour.
6. Use the built in fucionality of the tivo to check to make sure you are getting the channels you should, not getting the one you are not, and that they all have audio. The "channel checker" is part of the cable card menu and you can check each cable card separately.
7. Once #1 is installed and all everything is good, install card #2.
8. Same again, allow the cable company to hit the card before backing out of the "pairing" menu.
9. The tivo should recognize that the set up has changed, but if not, MANUALLY BACK OUT OF THE CABLE CARD MENU AND RUN THE SETUP AGAIN. This was one of the keys we found out. The tivo does not alway detect the new card needs to be set up and may give a "no channels found" error on the second cable card. By backing almost all the way out of the setup menu there should be a "restart and reset" menu, choose it and then choose the "run setup again" item. I think it was the second or third item on the list. You don't need to reset to factory defaults.
10. Check the channels again for the second card and you should be set.
11. If it fails along the way, power down, remove both cards (if both are installed), and power up and try again with a different cards.
All together it should take around an hour to an hour and a half to get everything working. And you have to go through the setup twice. Skipping steps or doing the tivo setup once at the end WILL NOT WORK. YOU MUST DO EACH CARD BY ITSELF.

Good luck
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Old 10-07-2006, 10:43 PM   #393
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Hey xjonx,

Thank you so much for the step-by-step. That actually explains a lot and will make me better prepared for tomorrow's fight. Actually, octomonkee was lucky enough to finally have gotten his S3 working with both CCs.

BTW, welcome to the forum!
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Old 10-07-2006, 11:05 PM   #394
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My S3 will occaisonaly lose audio on only the on HD channels (regular digital cable). When this happens, under the conditional access area of the cable card setup, it gives the "missing_program_rekey" message. I have to then call Charter and have the send a signal to reset the box which fixes the problem. They came out and of course said "must be the TiVo" since everything is working from their end. Any ideas?
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Old 10-07-2006, 11:10 PM   #395
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xjonx
3. Install one card into SLOT 1 ONLY. Go through the entire setup with just one card first.
4. let the cable company "hit" the card before backing out of the the set up. You may get an error when the card is hit. This is normal.
By "hit", would calling Charter with the automated "press 2 for us to send a signal to refresh your cable box" (or whatever they say) work or does a tech have to be there?
Also, by setup, do you mean go through the entire guided setup for each card separately? I didn't do this so maybe this is the problem.

Thanks.
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Old 10-08-2006, 09:55 AM   #396
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsm363
By "hit", would calling Charter with the automated "press 2 for us to send a signal to refresh your cable box" (or whatever they say) work or does a tech have to be there?
Also, by setup, do you mean go through the entire guided setup for each card separately? I didn't do this so maybe this is the problem.

Thanks.
"Hit" was the term used by the techs when they were here. I think that it is when the activation signal is sent to the card. It might be the same as the refresh, but I don't know that to be a fact.

Yes, we had to go through the whole thing twice. Since I have two boxes we could expirement. We did try just doing the setup once at the end. When we tried to check the channels for card #2, we got a "Channel Not Availble" message and nothing tuned in on the second card. We then had to manually restart the setup process(in the tivo that is, not calling back to "home base"). The good thing was that it remembered the settings from the first time through, so I didn't have to re-enter the zip code or IP address, and it remembered the preimum channels I selected. It will ask these again, if you want to change them, but you can just "left arrow" through until it takes off by itself.

Don't feel bad, none of the techs realized this until we talked to the "cable card exptert" on the phone. She said you had to do each card by itself. The tivo instruction is a little confusing, just saying "insert card one first." It should really say "Insert card one and complete setup before inserting card two."
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Old 10-08-2006, 10:10 AM   #397
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsm363
My S3 will occaisonaly lose audio on only the on HD channels (regular digital cable). When this happens, under the conditional access area of the cable card setup, it gives the "missing_program_rekey" message. I have to then call Charter and have the send a signal to reset the box which fixes the problem. They came out and of course said "must be the TiVo" since everything is working from their end. Any ideas?
Not sure. I have had both of mine running for less than a week and have not "lost" any channels yet.

When I lost audio, it was from the very start. It was missing from some of the HD channels from the start. The reason for getting video but no audio is not understood. On mine we did find that on a tivo, an earlier tech had confused the serial numbers of the two cards so that the SN and unit ID didn't match up. This was weird because before we started card 1's channels were messed up (some I was to get didn't come in, while other that were to be blocked were unscrabled) and some were just missing audio. Another clue was that some of the lower channels, like TBS were missing. Card 2 strangely enough was working correctly.

The only error messages we got were "error 161-4" when the hit was sent to the card. And some of the cards had the message "The host considers the RF traffic to be one way." which seems silly as they are one way cards.

I must also add that I also have a Pioneer Plasma that has a cable card. It has, a couple of times in the past, completely lost some HD channels. Using the automated "reset" guide over the phone solved the problem.
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Old 10-08-2006, 10:14 AM   #398
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If anyone in the San Gabriel Valley area of California would like the contact info of the Charter supervisors and such that I was working with please PM me.
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Old 10-08-2006, 12:21 PM   #399
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Hey octomonkee, is your supervisor named Pedro? If so, yes, I do have his info and will be calling him later if my tech does not show up today.
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Old 10-08-2006, 03:51 PM   #400
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Success!?

I had the installer out yesterday. Before he came I pulled both of the old cards and rebooted the box. When he arrived, he was not optimistic, but had seen the S3 before (but was only able to get one card working in that one). We went step by step, and the first card appeared to work perfectly. The second card was an "updating firmware" card, we waited a few minutes, and he was ready to believe that there was a problem with the second slot on my box. We tried another card and got the same thing, reinforcing his position. I convinced him to try another and, voila, it worked. He called it in, and then both cards were acting funky, like they had just reset both of them. After a while, the first one started working, but the second continued to have trouble getting channels and kept kicking up the authorization screen. The installer had them re-hit the cards, after verifying the information, but not a lot changed. He didn't have any more cards to try, so he said wait an hour and if it isn't working (which neither of us thought it would be), call the supervisor again and see if I could get someone out here with more cards.

He left, and I went out and ran a bunch of errands. When I got back a few hours later, it seemed to be working -- both tuners could tune everything in my package, and I haven't seen an authorization screen from either card since. It's still working today. I think it is a bit too early to claim success, and I cringe every time I change channels, but if it keeps working like this, I'm going to be very happy.

So keep at it folks, eventually we will wear Charter down and they'll get these things working for everyone.

BTW, one think I did notice was that the first card, that worked easily had OS version 2.3.149s2 with a build date in 2005, but the balky card had 2.3.148s2 with a build date in 2004 -- I don't know if this is significant (and I wish I had written down the version of my old cards).
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Old 10-08-2006, 06:03 PM   #401
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ChuckyBox, that is wonderful to hear and I will keep my fingers crossed for you so that both of your cards will work for a long time to come.

The Charter guy was not able to come to my house because the first house he went to, he went through 8 cards and none of them worked so he actually ran out of cards. LOL He said that he still wants to get the thing to work so I have another schedule appointment for Tuesday between 8-10. We shall see how that goes and wish me luck! He's actually going to talk to the guy that had both cards working on an S3 and figure what he did and what he is doing wrong. We shall see and I'll post back with more info.

Ocotomonkee, thanks again for providing me the tech's name. I might actually use that when he comes so that he can contact them to figure out what is going wrong.
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Old 10-08-2006, 06:25 PM   #402
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckyBox
I had the installer out yesterday. Before he came I pulled both of the old cards and rebooted the box. When he arrived, he was not optimistic, but had seen the S3 before (but was only able to get one card working in that one). We went step by step, and the first card appeared to work perfectly. ...

...BTW, one think I did notice was that the first card, that worked easily had OS version 2.3.149s2 with a build date in 2005, but the balky card had 2.3.148s2 with a build date in 2004 -- I don't know if this is significant (and I wish I had written down the version of my old cards).
With my expirence with the first card, if it manages to hang on to everything after three days, you should be golden.
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Old 10-09-2006, 01:03 PM   #403
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckyBox
BTW, one think I did notice was that the first card, that worked easily had OS version 2.3.149s2 with a build date in 2005, but the balky card had 2.3.148s2 with a build date in 2004 -- I don't know if this is significant (and I wish I had written down the version of my old cards).
That's interesting - I also have those two versions on my cards. Slot 1 is version 2.3.148s2 and slot 2 is version 2.3.149s2. But all channels are working and I'm dual-tuning. If I don't get any screens of death for a few weeks, I'll declare success.

BTW, there still seems to be some possible bandwidth issues on some HD shows. I'm not sure if it's the wire being overloaded or a problem with the specific channel. Sometimes Oprah sometimes becomes lots of tiny squares with no audio, but Discovery HD is always perfect. So I'm happier than my wife...
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Old 10-09-2006, 01:49 PM   #404
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LOL Hi-Bred. At first I thought it was you who watched Oprah, but I was mistaken. I get the pixelation thing like crazy on Channel 7 HD and it is seriously driving me nuts. It's not because of Oprah but actually Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy, and 6 Degrees. Yes, I miss it, but I go to abc.com to watch those episodes until Charter comes and fixes my issue!!!
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Old 10-09-2006, 02:57 PM   #405
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Arrow Charter in Upstate SC

I just got my S3 last Thursday, Charter seemed very friendly and helpful by setting up an appointment right away for Friday afternoon. I thought hmmm... maybe this will be quick and painless.

Anyway, the tech came out on Friday and installed the two cablecards while I was at work, he left while they were still "Acquiring Channels" and he told my wife that he had to go and they would probably start working after a little while. Of course they didn't. I called Friday night and they reset the cards and had be reboot the TiVo, etc. all to no avail. They sent another tech out on Saturday late in the afternoon, he had never seen a CableCard or a TiVo and looked totaly perplexed when I explained why there are two CableCards in one device. Needless to say, he was not able to correct anything since he said they (Dispatch) had not told him that there would be CCs involved and he didn't have any with him. But, he said he would have someone out the following morning (Sunday) between 8 and 12. No one called or showed up so I called them back Sunday after lunch, they apologized and said that someone would be out before 5. Again, no one showed up.

I called back today they said that they have it listed as a "Priority" call now and that someone will be out on tomorrow (Tuesday) between 8 and 12 to fix it. I am not optimistic.
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Old 10-09-2006, 03:17 PM   #406
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsincavage
I just got my S3 last Thursday, Charter seemed very friendly and helpful by setting up an appointment right away for Friday afternoon. I thought hmmm... maybe this will be quick and painless...

...I called back today they said that they have it listed as a "Priority" call now and that someone will be out on tomorrow (Tuesday) between 8 and 12 to fix it. I am not optimistic.

There is little the tech can do, expirenced or otherwise, with the cards themselves. The only reason you need a tech is to check for the proper incoming signal, and he has the phone numbers and contacts to call.
What I would suggest is:
1. Call and make sure that who ever comes has a replacement card with them just in case. If they don't bring a card, don't let that stop you. If the cards you have fail, they will just have to come again.
2. Read and print out the suggestions from my post #392.
3. Have the tech check, confirm or improve your signal into your home. You should not need an expirenced guy to do this. If it turns out that the person they send cannot check the signal. Send them away and reschedual with a person that has the proper equipment.
4. Follow the suggestions from mine and other posts.
Keep in mind that this is new to them. The techs I had were good, but they can't know everything about each piece of equipment. They said that they were going to a class on cable cards next week. I also found out that "certified" techs are very rare. I just happen to get one of the two Charter Certified techs in all of Illinois. Give them a little slack and read up and learn about the stuff you've got, and become your own service tech.

Good Luck
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Old 10-09-2006, 03:20 PM   #407
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So my cable cards have been working since last Wed. the 4th of October. I called Charter on Friday the 6th to add the HD tier. They infomred me that I already had an appt. for Monday between 8am and 5 pm. I asked why I had a previous appt. when I never scheduled one, and I did not need it. They just needed to add the tier to my acct. She said she would take care of it.

Here it is Monday, and no HD tier.... So I call, and they say no worries the truck will be there today. I said no one was home, I do not need a truck roll, they just need to add the channels. The guy say sorry, and it will be taken care of.

I just checked my voicemail, and there was a message form Charter saying I missed my appt. I am currently on the phone with Charter and they are saying they will roll a truck to add the 4 channels. I am telling them that they do not need to do that, they just need to send the signal to authorize the 4 additional channels on the cable cards.

The level of ineptess is amazing. I better not be charged for the truck roll......

--Larry
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Old 10-09-2006, 03:24 PM   #408
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsincavage
But, he said he would have someone out the following morning (Sunday) between 8 and 12. No one called or showed up so I called them back Sunday after lunch, they apologized and said that someone would be out before 5. Again, no one showed up.

I called back today they said that they have it listed as a "Priority" call now and that someone will be out on tomorrow (Tuesday) between 8 and 12 to fix it. I am not optimistic.
This just seems to be typical of Charter. They make their customer dissatisfaction problems far worse than necessary because they seem to be incapable of following through on commitments. My cable cards have been working since last Tuesday (fingers crossed), but prior to that I had been promised call-backs on 4 occassions by Charter personnel -- none of them happened. When I got to speak to a supervisor, I found that NONE of the very detailed info that I had provided on 3 occassions had been documented in their call tracking system.

Other than, by persistence and luck, finding an individual with both the knowledge and desire to help you out, I don't know how you get anywhere with Charter. It seems their official support methodology is to make their customers frustrated to the point that they give up and stop calling.
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Old 10-09-2006, 04:21 PM   #409
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Oh adventurelarry, your post made my day! Yes, they don't seem to quite understand what you are trying to tell them. My brother and I actually walked into a Charter office and requested the HD tier and all she did was punch in some numbers (of course she managed to also cancel my appointment for the CC installs, but that is besides the point. ). Seriously though, all they have to do is on their end, punch in some numbers and you should have the HD tier. I just wish we could go through the telephone lines and strangle whoever is on the other end from Charter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by adventurelarry
So my cable cards have been working since last Wed. the 4th of October. I called Charter on Friday the 6th to add the HD tier. They infomred me that I already had an appt. for Monday between 8am and 5 pm. I asked why I had a previous appt. when I never scheduled one, and I did not need it. They just needed to add the tier to my acct. She said she would take care of it.

Here it is Monday, and no HD tier.... So I call, and they say no worries the truck will be there today. I said no one was home, I do not need a truck roll, they just need to add the channels. The guy say sorry, and it will be taken care of.

I just checked my voicemail, and there was a message form Charter saying I missed my appt. I am currently on the phone with Charter and they are saying they will roll a truck to add the 4 channels. I am telling them that they do not need to do that, they just need to send the signal to authorize the 4 additional channels on the cable cards.

The level of ineptess is amazing. I better not be charged for the truck roll......

--Larry

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Old 10-09-2006, 04:48 PM   #410
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Some Success, But Not Complete

So, one week later, after my initial appointment, Alfredo came back with new cards. After 4.5 hours and several tries with different cable card pairings, we were partly successful.

Cable Card #1 gets no HD Tier and No Premiums, but everything else.
Cable Card #2 gets some HD Tier programs, and Premiums.

That's really all to report. Alfredo showed up with a higher-level tech and was on conference with the guys are the head-end for three hours of his visit. They tried updating firmware, swapping out cards, etc. Nothing was a total success.

What's next? Another visit to try to figure out why some channels come in and some don't.

PlungerMan and CKolbe. They talked to me about your hookups. Hope you guys are still getting channels.

This sucks
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Old 10-09-2006, 07:44 PM   #411
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Hang in there slowdrag. At least you have two CCs. I currently only have one because the Charter tech ended up taking my other two CCs and replacing it with just one since he said they were all the same build and if one didn't work, none of them would work. I cannot wait to get my dual tuner back so that I can watch one thing and record another.

Good luck with you and I hope you have better success the next time.
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Old 10-09-2006, 11:07 PM   #412
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Quote:
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Not sure. I have had both of mine running for less than a week and have not "lost" any channels yet.

When I lost audio, it was from the very start. It was missing from some of the HD channels from the start. The reason for getting video but no audio is not understood. On mine we did find that on a tivo, an earlier tech had confused the serial numbers of the two cards so that the SN and unit ID didn't match up. This was weird because before we started card 1's channels were messed up (some I was to get didn't come in, while other that were to be blocked were unscrabled) and some were just missing audio. Another clue was that some of the lower channels, like TBS were missing. Card 2 strangely enough was working correctly.
Thanks. Turns out it may have actually been my A/V processor. When I turn it off and back on, the audio reappears. Guess it might not be the TiVo afterall (or all its fault at least).
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Old 10-10-2006, 07:59 AM   #413
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cotton168
Oh adventurelarry, your post made my day! Yes, they don't seem to quite understand what you are trying to tell them. My brother and I actually walked into a Charter office and requested the HD tier and all she did was punch in some numbers (of course she managed to also cancel my appointment for the CC installs, but that is besides the point. ). Seriously though, all they have to do is on their end, punch in some numbers and you should have the HD tier. I just wish we could go through the telephone lines and strangle whoever is on the other end from Charter.
I got tired of calling Charter (since when I got home no Hi-Def Tier) so I sent an e-mail. Here is the response:
Thank you so much for contacting Charter Communications. My name is Raymond and I would be glad to assist you in the best manner possible.

I understand that you would like us to add HD channels to your package.

Due to certain security reasons we are unable to add HD channels to your package via email. we need to verify your identity. I apologize for the inconvenience.

In order to add HD channels to your package, please contact our phone support at 800-634-1008, this number is available 24-hours a day 7-days a week or you can also use our Live Chat by logging onto our website at www.charter.com

Thank you for your co-operation.

Sincerely,

Raymond
Charter Communications

I then wrote back and cc's the President and CEO of Charter, the CTO, the VP of Programming, the President of the Eastern Division, and others at Charter.

We shall see what happens. If I do get a postive response I will let everyone know so that you can contact them to assist with your issues.

--Larry
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Old 10-10-2006, 08:08 AM   #414
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Question

Hey new guy here. Anyone have any experience with Charter in Wisconsin?? My S3 will be here today and Charter is scheduled to be out tomorrow. From what I have read here it looks like it is going to be a painful experience. I did tell them that the 3 CC that wanted were for (1) for the TV and (2) for the S3 and they didn't have an issue with that, then again that was just the CSR. Wish me luck....I will keep you all posted.
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Old 10-10-2006, 08:27 AM   #415
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From what I have read here it looks like it is going to be a painful experience.
The negative experiences keep this thread alive, which is pretty much the nature of the internet, but I'd like to be a little bit positive. Once I actually got an installer in my house (every step of the way up to that point was painful) it was easy. I had a painless installation and it's worked perfectly ever since.

Hopefully the horror stories are over-represented here and you'll have a good experience.
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Old 10-10-2006, 08:30 AM   #416
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horrortaxi
The negative experiences keep this thread alive, which is pretty much the nature of the internet, but I'd like to be a little bit positive. Once I actually got an installer in my house (every step of the way up to that point was painful) it was easy. I had a painless installation and it's worked perfectly ever since.

Hopefully the horror stories are over-represented here and you'll have a good experience.
To be postive, the installers who came to my house were great, and determined to get my S3 working. They came 3 times, and it took a total of 6 cards, and I thought they were very professional, and courteous.

--Larry
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Old 10-10-2006, 08:57 AM   #417
Leo_N
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Wisconsin, USA
Posts: 487
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hayzer
Hey new guy here. Anyone have any experience with Charter in Wisconsin?? My S3 will be here today and Charter is scheduled to be out tomorrow. From what I have read here it looks like it is going to be a painful experience. I did tell them that the 3 CC that wanted were for (1) for the TV and (2) for the S3 and they didn't have an issue with that, then again that was just the CSR. Wish me luck....I will keep you all posted.
So far it's been a mixed story in WI. Plenty of people having problems, some not. I was one of the nots. I had 4 cards installed on the first appt. in about 1-1/2 hours and they all worked. This is in Pell Lake. (very SE corner of state)
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Old 10-10-2006, 09:07 AM   #418
drevnock
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 76
Hey Hayser,

They are getting much better at it.
I had 3 tech calls but am now fully operational.
The tech said they were getting up to speed state wide. This was a couple of weeks ago. Hopefully you won't have any issues.
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Old 10-10-2006, 09:24 AM   #419
Hayzer
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Oshkosh, WI
Posts: 3
Thanks for all of the feed back. I just called Charter and asked them to make sure the Tech bring additional cards, they told me that they would note that on the order. I will let you all know how it turns out appt is at 3pm tomorrow........
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Old 10-10-2006, 10:29 AM   #420
cotton168
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Monterey Park, CA
Posts: 228
Hayzer, welcome to the forum and yes, most of us here post about our problems with getting the S3 working at Charter. However, there are probably other people who had their S3s working from the get go and don't post here. Good luck with your installation and I look forward to hearing your experience.
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