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Old 09-10-2013, 11:27 PM   #1
beevik
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Tivo Roamio with Comcast: VOD freezes. Problem solved!

I have a Tivo Roamio plus and Comcast Xfinity service. After installing my Tivo, everything worked but I got the dreaded Video on Demand (VOD) freeze problem that so many other people complained about. A VOD show would start and then the screen and sound would freeze 2-3 seconds later, but the progress would continue to advance.

I contacted Comcast support using the online chat, and the representative helped me fix the problem. (By the way, I recommend getting support online instead of on the phone; the phone techs don't know what they're doing and you'll spend time getting bounced from person to person, giving your account info over and over again. It's enough to drive a person crazy.)

Here is what the online rep told me she did to fix the problem:

She added the "Tivo Premier Cable Card Install" code, which is a free $0.00 code. When she first added it to my account, the problem didn't go away; I still got the freeze. Then she removed the code and added it again. At that point, my VOD started working.

When I asked her why it was so difficult to solve the problem, she said, "we need to really look for it, for the name is not labelled correctly in some accounts." So apparently the proper billing code is hard to find in their system. If they tell you it doesn't exist, let them know what this service rep told me.

I hope this helps someone else save time.
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Old 09-10-2013, 11:32 PM   #2
beevik
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Transcript of my support session

Here is the transcript of my support chat. As you can see, I was almost urged to give up. ("You need to buy a new Tivo box". Aauughh!)



Cassiopeia: Hello beevik, Thank you for contacting Comcast Live Chat Support. My name is Cassiopeia. Please give me one moment to review your information.

beevik: Whenever I start a VOD show, it plays a couple seconds, then the screen freezes with whatever was on it. and it does not advance.

beevik: According to this thread on the comcast forums, this is a common problem with Tivo systems, and it requires comcast to update a billing setting on my account. here is the page: http://forums.tivo.com/pe/action/for...3353#e11043353

beevik: sorry, here is the comcast link: http://forums.comcast.com/t5/Video-O...s/td-p/1437989

Cassiopeia: May I ask for a minute or 2 to check on this beevik?

beevik: yes

Cassiopeia: Thank you.

Waiting for response from Cassiopeia

Cassiopeia: I'll get back to you shortly

beevik: here is another link that might help: http://forums.comcast.com/t5/Video-O...s/td-p/1604805

Cassiopeia: Thank you so much for that information.

beevik: you're welcome

beevik: i appreciate your help

Waiting for response from Cassiopeia

Cassiopeia: Thank you so much for patiently staying in the line beevik.

beevik: no problem

Cassiopeia: As per checking, beevik, we do not have problem with the access since yes you have the access to VOD , we just to need to troubleshoot.

Cassiopeia: May I ask if, you have ever reset the box before?

beevik: I reset it this evening before this chat.

beevik: But the VOD has never worked. it has always frozen.

beevik: (with the tivo.. it worked fine on my comcast dvr)

Cassiopeia: I se.

Cassiopeia: I see*

beevik: according to other people who had this exact same problem, it is always a "billing code" that isn't set correctly. something needs to indicate a special tivo billing code to get VOD to work.

Cassiopeia: The signal for reset might work in my end. I will reset the box.

beevik: ok

Cassiopeia: Yes that is correct William, but it only works when you are getting certain errors on VOD which is common to happen than freezing.

Cassiopeia: Did the box resets?

beevik: yes i think so

beevik: it still has the frozen VOD problem though

beevik: it plays for like 2 to 3 seconds, and then the screen freezes. even though the progress bar below continues to advance. no sound.

Cassiopeia: I mean now? Did it?

beevik: let me try again

beevik: Hm, now I get a "Request failed" error on the screen. Reference GSM-2. locale code tivocrd-cmc-a4p.comcast.com

beevik: that's when I try to watch a VOD show

beevik: ok i don't get that error anymore

beevik: but it still freezes

Cassiopeia: We are currently working on it now as to how we can remedy beevik.

beevik: ok thank you

Cassiopeia: No problem.

Cassiopeia: Just to update of what I am doing, I am checking on the rate codes that we can possibly add.

beevik: ok. i think on the comcast forum, someone else said the "tivo premiere 4" code was used. don't know if that's accurate.

Cassiopeia: Does it seems working? We have tried to add one that is related.

beevik: i will try

beevik: no, it still frezes.

Cassiopeia: That is the one I am still looking for until now, out of this thousands of codes, that is why I am sorry for the delay.

beevik: it's ok, take your time

beevik: I don't know if this is helpful, but here is what someone else who had the problem said: "The fix was someone in Comcast Billing department needing to add the Tivo Premiere 4 billing code for Xfinity on Demand to my Comcast account. It's called "Tivo Premier" and it's under the Bolt-On Section, not in the standard cable card section"

beevik: (also, I have a Tivo Roamio, not a Tivo Premiere)

Cassiopeia: I figured it now beevik.

Cassiopeia: It says here that the TIVO has a new version of a TIVO box and that is the Tivo Premiere 4 that supports On Demand for Comcast.

Cassiopeia: And just to clarify this is a new TIVO box and this is not a rate code that can just be added.

beevik: oh

Cassiopeia: So basically beevik, we need to have your TIVO box replaced with the new TIVO Premier 4 cable box.

beevik: oh, this is the new tivo box that came out after the tivo premiere

Cassiopeia: For you to be able to have access to Comcast On demand.

beevik: are you sure you can't set the "tivo premiere 4" billing code on my account? because other people said it was possible, and that fixed it for them.

Cassiopeia: Yes, even me cannot figure out myself beevik, since we do not have more know how with TIVO since this is a third party already and is not handled by Comcast, but it says that it is only TIVO premier 4 that can be able to support On demand access.

beevik: another person with a tivo roamio posted this on the tivo forums: "I caved in and called the Comcast CableCard line. In under 5 minutes, the issue was resolved for me. There was -one tiny additional setting- (apparently) that needed to be configured to show that I could support Xfinity OnDemand that had not been toggled when I moved the CableCard to my Roamio from my TiVoHD on Tuesday. When I called just now to say that all other channels were fine, and that my symptoms were that an OnDemand show would play for a few seconds and then stop, the woman on the phone sighed knowingly, and and said, "just one moment, sir..." then asked me to try again. All was well."

Cassiopeia: But for now, can you please check if it still freezes? I found a code, but this is not labelled premier 4, but I hope this will work, as it was labelled tivo VOD.

beevik: so apparently other pepple have got this tivo working with vod

beevik: i will try

Cassiopeia: Yes please thank you!

beevik: it's working!

beevik: what change did you make? That way I can post on the forums to let other people know what to request.

Cassiopeia: Awesome!

Cassiopeia: I just added the code, and then I removed because it seems did not work, and then I added it again and indeed it worked!

beevik: Can you tell me what the specific name of the code it was?

Cassiopeia: This is the first time I was able to handle this issue, and I am glad we are able to resolve it.

Cassiopeia: Yes I was asking our higher department for the name of the code thge exact name one moment please.

beevik: ok

Cassiopeia: Its Tivo Premier Cable Card Install its a free code $0.00. But, I wonder why is was not labelled that specifically.

beevik: ok thanks. the more info I can provide, the more it will help other people who have this problem, and the more it can save your fellow support staff time.

Cassiopeia: Yes and please I know you will post this on the forum, please specify the they need to really look for it, for the name is not labelled correctly in some accounts. Thank you!

Cassiopeia: As your representative who seeks for your HIGH SATISFACTION, I would like to know if I was able to address all of your concerns. Would there be anything else I can gladly assist you with today? I'd love to help further.

beevik: thanks again for your help.

beevik: that's everything

Cassiopeia: You are most welcome beevik. I really appreciate your patience.
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Old 09-15-2013, 07:48 PM   #3
keithkemp
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Big Grin

Thanks for the transcript. With a little bit of force I was able to get customer support chat to add that billing code my account as well which resolved the Comcast On Demand freezing after a few seconds issue.
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Old 09-27-2013, 04:28 PM   #4
synch22
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Just wasted 20 minutes with a rep.... I tried to explain someone posted the fix regarding billing code $0.00 she wasn't having it. Reset...pull the card....jeez.
Will try again later and this time won't touch my damn box.

Last edited by synch22 : 09-27-2013 at 04:38 PM.
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Old 09-27-2013, 07:28 PM   #5
synch22
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Nt

Last edited by synch22 : 09-27-2013 at 07:48 PM.
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Old 10-03-2013, 11:51 PM   #6
shawndavid
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This thread just saved me hours with Comcast. This was my exact issue also. Thank you! Chat knew exactly what I was talking about and fixed it in 2 minutes.
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Old 10-06-2013, 02:46 PM   #7
MadPB
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You're all lucky...

Man, I don't know what it is, but I've got this freezing VOD issue and dadgumit, still no love from Comcast on this. After several calls and several more online support chats, telling them specifically about the billing codes I've ready about, I still got nothing.

Do I just need to request that Cassiopeia fake name next time I do an online support chat?

I'm wondering if I have some kind of older billing code on my account that's conflicting with the "Tivo Premier" code they tell me they've added. I used to have a Tivo HD until a week ago when I got my new Roamio. Makes me wonder if I should ask them to just delete everything on my account and set it up like I'm a brand new customer, but then they'd probably mess up my phone and internet and I'd probably lose half my channels.
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Old 10-07-2013, 01:44 AM   #8
synch22
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I had the issue and told the guy just delete and re-enter the code you have.

This fixed it for me.
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Old 10-07-2013, 07:58 PM   #9
grendell
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I tried chat with about 5 different techs and spent easily a few hours trying to get them to fix this for me. I copied the instructions from previous posts, etc.

They had me do the normal resend, wait 45 minutes, reboot, etc. They all told me that the billing codes looked correct. I tried getting them to just delete and re-add the codes and they wouldn't do that. They all insisted that the codes were correct and that they knew what they were doing.

As a last resort, I called the Cable Card activation support number since they seem to be a little more technically able. The first person that I got knew how to fix the issue and she had it fixed in 2 minutes.

Keep trying until you get a person that knows what they are talking about.
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Old 10-08-2013, 01:21 PM   #10
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"Cable Card activation support number"

Could you pass along the number you called?

Thx!
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Old 10-08-2013, 03:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Risuli View Post
"Cable Card activation support number"

Could you pass along the number you called?

Thx!
From here I gather it's:
877-405-2298
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Old 10-08-2013, 03:29 PM   #12
DeltaOne
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I've used the 877-405-2298 number for activating CableCards. The folks that answer don't do general tech support or customer service -- all they do is activate CableCards. No problems, they know what they're doing. Never call the regular tech support number for CableCard problems or activations.
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Old 10-08-2013, 10:07 PM   #13
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For my issue with VOD freezing, I called the cable card activation number a few times as well as online support chats. I'll agree, they were super helpful at getting the card paired and all that. But when it came to helping with the VOD freezing...not so much.

I mean, they did try, but I wonder if this issue with freezing is something they don't regularly deal with, because they seemed kind of clueless about it. It sure sounds like a lot of folks in the Seattle/Tacoma area have this problem though, so maybe whatever crazy billing codes are needed are somehow different in our area than in other places, so the usual "fixes" don't work.

Either way, I'm still getting VOD freezes, and my promised tech support call back in 24-72 hours has come and gone without hearing from them, so I guess they don't have any further info.

I'm glad I at least have a Comcast box on another TV, so for the few shows that I missed, I can catch up on my smaller screen. That all had to do with Tivo and the issue in Seattle with Fox shows not being playable, so I had to watch On Demand to catch up for a few episodes.
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Old 10-09-2013, 07:24 PM   #14
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This has become a real lesson in futility. Tried the CableCARD number without luck. Unpaired and repaired the card. I suppose the good news is that I still have all channels. I'll give chat a try a little later. I sure wish I could get some of these Comcast CSR's that know what to do.
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Old 10-09-2013, 08:45 PM   #15
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No love. Tried again via chat with beevik's chat help from above. Going to try another cablecard in a few weeks. Argh!
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Old 10-17-2013, 07:51 PM   #16
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Fixed for me... finally!

I had an awesome tech at Comcast looking into things. I talked to him on the phone once a few days ago, and he looked into it for me. I got a message today from him saying he adjusted some codes and re-paired the card, and I should try the On Demand again.

Well, I tried it just this morning and it wasn't working, so I wasn't hopeful, but I went and found a show to start, hit play, and after the first few seconds came and went *without* freezing, I seriously felt like it was Christmas morning.

I've now watched about an hour of On Demand content on my Tivo and it's going great.

He didn't mention in his message exactly what he changed, so I wish I could be more helpful to anyone who has the same problem. He just mentioned re-initializing, swapping some codes, and re-pairing.

So, to summarize, it took a while, and just like I figured from what everyone else has experienced, it ended up being something they were able to fix on Comcast's side of things. But it works now, and I'll take that.
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:20 PM   #17
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Thanks for all of this info. My VOD was working on my Roamio until it received an upgrade. Afterwards; VOD did not appear. I called TIVO and they put it back on but I started experiencing the freezing problem. I was told that it's the type of cable card that I have. SA is not supposed to work but Motorola is. I'm not in a Motorola use area so my local Comcast can't give me one. However, I'm certain that the VOD was working before the upgrade, so I'm going to try your suggestion.
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Old 11-01-2013, 04:59 PM   #18
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So now I'm 5 calls and 3 chats into this issue with Comcast. Last Saturday (after waiting 2+ weeks) had a truck roll and the sub-contracted "tech" didn't have a card with him. Fail.

At this point I'm considering just pulling the M-card out, taking it into our local office and getting another one. But hey, all channels we're supposed to get come in great. It's certainly possible at this point that swapping out the card will result in issues with receiving channels.

It simply cannot be THIS difficult to get VOD working. Not that we would use it often, but we're paying for this service and it should be available.

Anyone that can chime in with any info to assist would be appreciated. I've tried the billing code posted above several times on the phone and chat.

Frustrated.
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Old 11-01-2013, 05:36 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skid71 View Post
Anyone that can chime in with any info to assist would be appreciated.
From my experience (going through four CableCards to get two good ones), I'd advise you to take the bad CableCard back and ask for two or three. Hopefully at least one of them will be good.

And you know to use the special CableCard activation number.

At first I thought our OnDemand wasn't working -- I was getting there by entering channel 1 (which worked on our Comcast DVR). But going to channel 1 on our TiVo returned an error. Then I noticed OnDemand in the TiVo Central menu -- and that worked.
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Old 11-04-2013, 12:22 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skid71 View Post
Anyone that can chime in with any info to assist would be appreciated. I've tried the billing code posted above several times on the phone and chat.
Persistence paid off for me. In the end, after swapping a cable card and numerous attempts at contacting the cable card activation line, online support chats, and also calling the regular support line, here's what worked for me:

I opened a ticket and told them specifically that a truck roll would only be acceptable to me as a last chance effort if nothing else they did worked. I was pretty emphatic about that because, like you, everything else worked fine. Premium channels and everything else were perfectly good and everything reported that it was paired and activated just fine.

I wish I knew what magic things my assigned tech did, but he kept the ticket open and did a few things to it... about a week after I opened that ticket, he just called and left a message that he re-paired the card, changed some stuff on the account (I think he mentioned setting it all up again) and then sent a new hit.

I noticed that my cable modem had reset at the same time, so the hit probably went not just to my cable card but also the cable modem (and presumably my Comcast cable box too). Maybe that was a result of resetting all my devices properly.

Anyway, I tried VOD just like I had been (through the menu on Tivo... yeah, anyone using their Tivo should hopefully know it's not just "channel 1") and right about where it would normally freeze the picture of whatever show, I held my breath and it kept on playing! Success!

I have a feeling that maybe those of us who have had older Tivos without VOD, or just been customers for a while and getting a Tivo for the first time, may be in this predicament because some old setting in there isn't playing nice even though we have the somewhat mystical "Tivo" billing code added to our account.

My best theory is that the VOD system has it's own activation/authorization thing apart from the one used by the regular channels... playback will start by tuning into that QAM channel used for VOD, but then something on the VOD doesn't think we're authorized, so it freezes playback. The command/control of VOD works (you can try to fast-forward, rewind, etc) but it's still frozen wherever it was... exiting and resuming will pick up at wherever you managed to rewind/ff which is interesting.

Anyway, yeah, just open a ticket and INSIST that this is something on their end, and you're confident a cable card swap is useless, and a truck roll would be even more useless.
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Old 11-30-2013, 07:58 PM   #21
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Xfinity On Demand finally showed up for me, took a couple of hours.. but it kept freezing after 2-3 seconds. I called 877-405-2298 and asked them to put the "Tivo AO billing code" on my account because VOD was freezing and, after maybe 5 minutes, VOD was working great.

Just another successful call to add to the bunch.
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Old 12-02-2013, 11:02 PM   #22
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Thanks for posting the phone number. My first CC issue took 4+ hours. This time took less than 5 minutes!
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Old 12-08-2013, 10:02 AM   #23
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This also helped fixed my problems. I moved my cable card from a HD to a XL4 this weekend. After 3 calls to tech support, VOD and some select channels did not work. In each call, I started with the fact I changed the cable card from one device to another. I then went to chat, told them what this forum said. The told me to call 1-877-405-2298 because I needed to repair my cable card with the new device. Called, a live person picked up immediately. They input the device information and all problems were resolved 30 seconds later.

So, the final solution took 2 minutes to resolve. Only a couple hours invested in talking to other tech support people, including the "tivo specialists".
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Old 12-09-2013, 08:53 PM   #24
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Add'l codes

I was also experiencing this issue. It would work for 2 or 3 seconds and then stop.
I called in the number for troubleshooting and they had no problem adding the additional codes to my account. As soon as that was done, my streaming from Comcast works flawlessly.
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Old 12-10-2013, 08:40 AM   #25
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So, here's my story (it doesn't end well, or at least it hasn't yet).

When I initially set up my Roamio/Mini about 1.5 weeks ago, after all was up and working, I called the cablecard hotline and told them that VOD was freezing. The person who answered said, "Oh, I know what's wrong. Give me five minutes." In about 2 minutes, she came back on the line and said, "Try it now." It worked perfectly.

Fast forward to about 5 days ago when I called to complain that after I had returned one comcast DVR and two cable-cards, my billing was still all screwed up and they were mis-charging me for various things. It took almost a half day until I was finally given a call back by a supervisor who agreed with everything I was saying, and he fixed the account correctly. Except, two days later, I realized that I was back to freezing VOD.

Yesterday, I decided to try to get it fixed again.

5:40 PM, Call the cablecard hotline. "Oh, I'm sorry, I can see the problem is that you don't have the VOD code on your account, but we are unable to fix that here. Only the billing dept. can do that. Can you hold while I transfer you?"

6:00 PM Billing dept. finally answers the call. He has absolutely no idea what I'm talking about. At 6:20 PM he tells me that he is going to escalate to a supervisor, and says that it will absolutely be fixed within a half hour, and he will call back in 45 minutes to make sure all is well.

7:20 PM It still doesn't work, and I haven't received a call back. So I call the cablecard hotline again, hoping to win the CSR roulette game. "Oh, I'm sorry, I can see the problem is that you don't have the VOD code on your account, but we are unable to fix that here. Only the billing dept. can do that. Can you hold while I transfer you?" I say "No, I just went through that, and it doesn't work." She explains that she knows exactly what the problem is, and she will wait on hold with me to explain to the person in the billing dept. what has to be done. I'm in disbelief, and ask her to clarify. She promises that I won't have to say a word to the billing dept. other than to confirm the account.

7:45 PM Billing dept answers the call. Guess what? She wasn't there when the billing department picked up the call. And, once again, I'm dealing with someone who has absolutely no clue what I'm talking about.

8:15 PM He tells me that he is going to escalate to a supervisor who is "the best they have" and that the supervisor would call me back when it is fixed. I asked them to not bother with the call back, since it was time to put my kids to bed, and to just make sure that it was fixed properly.

It still doesn't work this morning.

At every step along the way, I explained to each and every person that in addition to the "VOD billing code", I also need the "Tivo Premier" or "Tivo AO" billing code. No one has any clue what that means, and they all say that it is properly set up, and should work fine...

Are we having fun yet?
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Old 12-10-2013, 11:16 AM   #26
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I can totally empathize. It took almost 2 months for us to get Comcast VOD working. A total of about 8 calls and 4 chats. One day I was just lucky enough to speak to a person that knew how to fix it.

I think it's a crap-shoot, dumb luck, whatever you want to call it.

Be patient and committed and you'll get there.

Best of luck.

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Old 12-10-2013, 12:25 PM   #27
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I've sent off an email to we_can_help@comcast.com, and pointed them at this thread as well. Hopefully they are able to help...The only other time I contacted them about an issue led to the most positive experience I've ever had with Comcast, so I do have high expectations. :-)
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Old 12-10-2013, 01:07 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by KevinG View Post
I've sent off an email to we_can_help@comcast.com, and pointed them at this thread as well. Hopefully they are able to help...The only other time I contacted them about an issue led to the most positive experience I've ever had with Comcast, so I do have high expectations. :-)
Kevin,
Please report back with any success/lack thereof.
I'm sure there will be other TiVo users that would find it useful.

Hope it works, good luck.
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Old 12-10-2013, 07:25 PM   #29
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Well, I'm back to report me experience with we_can_help@comcast.com.

Failure. They can't see this thread, as it is blocked by their firewall. Maybe we should start a thread on the comcast support forums?

Anyway, after talking to supervisors, and a million other things, the best they are able to do is send out a technician. I explained that this was useless, but I was told that the techs have access to all of the billing codes and will be able to fix it if that is what the problem is...I don't have high hopes.

That being said, they also couldn't get me a weekend appointment until a week and a half from now...which means I have a week and a half to play CSR roulette to prevent the useless truck roll.

One more thing, though...the point may be moot. As I was setting up to troubleshoot with the executive support person, my Tivo's starting getting C133 errors like everyone else across the states. Since I'm still in my 30 day return period for my lifetime support on my Mini and Pro, I'm very seriously considering just going back to my reliable S3s.
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Old 12-11-2013, 06:09 PM   #30
KevinG
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Mt. Laurel, NJ.
Posts: 278
So, since I have nothing but time (until the useless truck roll), I decided to try the cablecard hotline at least once per night that I am available.

Each time I do this, I plan to take extensive notes, especially including the CSR's name...afterall, how many possible "cablecard trained" CSRs can there be?

Tonight I spoke to "Kate". She isn't the one who knows how to fix this. She did unpair and re-pair my card, which was useful, because it got me out of the CL-13 Error code and back to the "freezing VOD" problem. But, no further help from her. She did the whole "I'll stay on the line with you while we contact the billing department" thing. And that's where we are right now (on hold). It's been exactly 42 minutes at this point.

Edit: 49 minutes. "Kate" lied. Just like the CSR the other night. They ARE NOT on the line when the "Billing Dept" picks up the call. The person on the other end is clueless. No idea what a Tivo is. I'm playing the game and letting her search for the correct billing code, but I know I am wasting my time...I'd rather take another shot at getting the right person at the cablecard hotline.

Last edited by KevinG : 12-11-2013 at 06:20 PM.
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