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Old 05-07-2007, 04:55 PM   #2611
ccoulson
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Cable Card install checklist???

Sounds like we could really use a good checklist of things to go over as we "supervise" Comcast during their CableCard installs. Has anybody put anything together? My HD SET and Series 3 arrive Wednesday, Comcast comes on Thursday.
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Old 05-07-2007, 05:49 PM   #2612
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccoulson
Sounds like we could really use a good checklist of things to go over as we "supervise" Comcast during their CableCard installs. Has anybody put anything together? My HD SET and Series 3 arrive Wednesday, Comcast comes on Thursday.
As long as you have them follow the instructions on the sheet with the S3, you should be fine. The gist of the instructions is to get one card working and then proceed with card #2. Jamming both cards in the Tivo at the same time will not work, and it seems most techs want to do that, in the experience I've had.
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Old 05-07-2007, 06:29 PM   #2613
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Originally Posted by Gregor
Jamming both cards in the Tivo at the same time will not work
That works as well. Mine did. However, installing one card at a time is probably easier to debug and less prone to human errors.
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Old 05-07-2007, 06:38 PM   #2614
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I think the main problem is the staff at the head end, not the person who shows up at your home (assuming they actually show up when they are supposed to and have working cable cards). Unfortunately there's no real way to "supervise" the employees in Comcasts' offices to make sure they are doing their data entry completely and accurately.

As I posted (many pages up at this point, I assume), Comcast either has poorly trained staff attempting to enter cable card information or their system is buggy and needlessly complicated. It's amazing that they can't manage to reliably insert a cable card (or two or however many are needed) into devices at a customer's home and then enter the appropriate authorizations necessary to make everything work. It took four appointments to get both of my cards to work. I only recently discovered (thanks to the "heads up to Bay Area Comcast customers" thread as well as a message from TiVo) that I should re-check to see that my Host Validation information is correct for both cable cards; lo and behold, one of my cards is not properly authorized. I haven't had the courage to call Comcast yet to fix the problem because I don't subscribe to any premium channels and, so far, all of my channels are working. But my experience with Comcast surrounding the installation of the cable cards has me convinced that Comcast, while charging premium prices for supposedly premium services, isn't interested in providing consistently good customer service. Who knows how many calls I'll need to make to get both cable cards paired properly again (and what Comcast will manage to temporarily "break" in the meantime)? Last time they turned off my internet service because they couldn't get the cable cards working.
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Old 05-07-2007, 07:35 PM   #2615
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What would help immensely is for TiVo to provide installation instructions that include the common front-end instructions for the head-end configuration system. That, more than anything else, is where the problems seem to happen most.

There's realyl no good reason the entire process shouldn't be very simple. There's two numbers needed in the system, plus a third number for certain Motorola cards. But somehow cable companies have made this extraordinarily complex for their own people to handle. And mostly where it goes wrong seems to be at the point the CableCards are entered into their authorization system initially. Once that's done wrong, you're screwed no matter what you try. But for most of us, it's just a "black box" as to exactly what can possibly have been done wrong.
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Old 05-07-2007, 08:03 PM   #2616
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Originally Posted by dswallow
What would help immensely is for TiVo to provide installation instructions that include the common front-end instructions for the head-end configuration system. That, more than anything else, is where the problems seem to happen most.
While I'm all for tivo helping out the cable companies as much as they can to make the S3 sucessfull, at some point, the cable companies need to take responsibility for their own equipment/procedures.

Tivo probably doesn't have the expertise to even do this. Who knows what equipment tivo uses internally, and I would guess it doesn't include any of the systems that an actual cable customer support rep would use.
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Old 05-07-2007, 09:47 PM   #2617
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roderigo
While I'm all for tivo helping out the cable companies as much as they can to make the S3 sucessfull, at some point, the cable companies need to take responsibility for their own equipment/procedures.

Tivo probably doesn't have the expertise to even do this. Who knows what equipment tivo uses internally, and I would guess it doesn't include any of the systems that an actual cable customer support rep would use.
Considering it's pretty likely there's jsut a couple such authorization systems, and those should be well documented version-by-version, and TiVo obviously has been working with Scientific Atlanta and probably Motorola, there's likely something helpful they could be doing to help train the cable techs, even if it had to be done via the consumer reading off a cheat sheet included with every Series 3.

When my Comcast tech came out to do the install, he actually had the sheet from TiVo himself; so info they send out does make it to the right people. They just need to send out more info.
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Old 05-07-2007, 09:54 PM   #2618
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The Comcast guys left their instruction sheet at my house the other day. It's from the "Comcast University" or some such thing. It was pretty thorough and correct. It had not only all the Tivo information but info for cable card TV sets. So the installers had the info but not so sure about the people they were giving the numbers to on the other end of the phone. All my problems came from the other side getting the numbers wrong. Those people could certainly use some help with LISTENING. She managed to screw up the numbers on ONE card while I sat there and listened to her on the speaker phone. Clearly there is no accountability for the people at the other end of the phone. The installers on the other hand disconnected the WRONG card so they need a lesson in learning how to READ. I'm not so sure this is a problem of not enough information being out there and more a problem of hiring people who just don't seem to give a rats butt if they make a mistake.
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Old 05-07-2007, 10:02 PM   #2619
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bareyb
The Comcast guys left their instruction sheet at my house the other day. It's from the "Comcast University" or some such thing. It was pretty thorough and correct. It had not only all the Tivo information but info for cable card TV sets. So the installers had the info but not so sure about the people they were giving the numbers to on the other end of the phone. All my problems came from the other side getting the numbers wrong. Those people could certainly use some help with LISTENING. She managed to screw up the numbers on ONE card while I sat there and listened to her on the speaker phone. Clearly there is no accountability for the people at the other end of the phone. The installers on the other hand disconnected the WRONG card so they need a lesson in learning how to READ. I'm not so sure this is a problem of not enough information being out there and more a problem of hiring people who just don't seem to give a rats butt if they make a mistake.
The 3 times I'd had installers over about 10% of the conversations between the tech and whoever was manning the phones was business; the rest typically was personal, flirting, talking about sports, or just otherwise chit-chatting about things.

The process could be improved about 30-fold and cut down to 1/10th the time by automating it; either via wireless PDA or touch-tone/voice response phone.
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Old 05-07-2007, 10:54 PM   #2620
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Check details on the enclosed link for the fix for 'host validation'. That is a fix for ME. Hope it works for you too.

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Old 05-08-2007, 10:49 AM   #2621
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Originally Posted by dswallow
The 3 times I'd had installers over about 10% of the conversations between the tech and whoever was manning the phones was business; the rest typically was personal, flirting, talking about sports, or just otherwise chit-chatting about things.

The process could be improved about 30-fold and cut down to 1/10th the time by automating it; either via wireless PDA or touch-tone/voice response phone.
I really don't understand why they don't automate it via a webpage or something. Reading long strings of numbers on the phone and transcribing them is just asking for trouble.
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Old 05-08-2007, 11:10 AM   #2622
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Old 05-08-2007, 12:24 PM   #2623
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffsinsfo
I think the main problem is the staff at the head end, not the person who shows up at your home (assuming they actually show up when they are supposed to and have working cable cards). Unfortunately there's no real way to "supervise" the employees in Comcasts' offices to make sure they are doing their data entry completely and accurately.

As I posted (many pages up at this point, I assume), Comcast either has poorly trained staff attempting to enter cable card information or their system is buggy and needlessly complicated. It's amazing that they can't manage to reliably insert a cable card (or two or however many are needed) into devices at a customer's home and then enter the appropriate authorizations necessary to make everything work. It took four appointments to get both of my cards to work.
AGREED!!! i previously owned a S2 that went kaput last summer, switched to the moto 3416 and then decided to go back to the loving arms of tivo and a S3 with the recent welcome back deal. i'd read nothing but good things about installs in the seattle area (where i live) and i read up up and up on all the issues just in case, and it still took 2 days (including a second trip to the local comcast store to swap the cards in the hopes it was them), about 6 hours of phone time with at least a half dozen tech reps -- along with lots of waiting inbetween while the signals queued up on a busy network highway to come through -- and a house call by a technician (who did nothing other than what i'd been doing previously), before i finally got both cards working properly with the premium channels. i even had my laptop open with the common install probs discussion from the forums, telling the reps "i'm seeing X issue, when means you need to do Z resolution." still took two days.

comcast sent a tech out on the second day and we both agreed that it wasn't anything on my end and it was ALL ABOUT getting the right person on the phone at the head end who understood all the issues about pairing and authorizing the cards, and had actually done it before. previous to getting this rep i had been told by the others that: the cards were bad (hence the trip for a 2nd pair); that both should be paired at the same time; that everything is okay; that they re-sent the right authorization information to the cards and its out of there hands... yadda yadda yadda. 6 different stories from 6 different reps. finally when the right person was reached (the on-site tech called someone at the head end who he'd worked with previously on cablecard installs) they entered the correct pairing information (for the billionth time), re-sent the codes (for the billionth time) and i waited a few hours for the signal to get through the queue... and voila. FINALLY!

i'm convinced that any knuckle dragger can do a home installation of the cards themselves. it's easy enough. it's just getting the people on the head end properly trained. i know folks in seattle have had nothing but glowing reports about easy installations, and maybe mine was just a fluke, but if what i went through is anything like what others have had to put up with when is comcast going to get its act together?

as an aside, i discovered that the female comcast employees i spoke with were much nicer and much more willing to work through the un/pairing -slash- authorization issues than the male reps. men: nothing wrong on our end, i show everything is authorized correctly, it should be working now, and if it's not just wait a few hours and it will (or it won't and you'll have to call back). women: i'm very sorry it's not working and this is your 4th call asking to have the exact same thing done yet again for the billionth time. i promise i'll do my best to get everything working for real before hanging up.

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Old 05-08-2007, 08:50 PM   #2624
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Southern NH Ex-Adelphia Comcast CableCard Install

Hello,

Just wanted to post my experience with the install. Thanks to this (very long) thread I was armed with lots of info. Bought my Series3 on the $499 deal going on for previous Tivo customers, got free shipping & free wireless adapter.

I started by calling Comcast, politely explained that I was concerned about the install, that this Tivo was a very expensive piece of equipment and would like to have an experienced tech dispatched.

Tech (subcontractor) showed up on time, armed with 4 ex-Adelphia cable cards.

I had the area clean, and the TiVo easily accessable. WiFi was already configured.
Tech explained that he had done two of these and they were extremely difficult and that he makes no guaratees to get it working.

He had a good attitude overall though, I showed him the Install instructions and he did look them over. One of the cable cards could not be called in because it was still in the system as being with a previous customer.

Tech installed card slot 1. The info would not display until we went to the Diag screen, then the card info screen was OK. He wrote down the info for Card1, and then installed Card2.

Then he called in to provision both cards. He provisioned Card1, verified that we were receiving channels (test channels) and then provisioned Card2.

We then stepped through some of the guided setup and he left when the large download was taking place (which failed once).

Once today's guide info was pulled down, I began investigating channels on both tuners (toggle between them with the LiveTV button) I only had a handful of channels that worked on each tuner, however FoxHD worked on both tuners although no other HD channels worked. The Tech did say to give the channels some time. I scheduled my wife's soap opera to record in HD and went to work (around Noon). By the time I got home at 8pm all of the channels are working fine on both tuners. Soap recorded fine in HD as well. Set up the rest of my Season Passes.

Was also able to schedule a Season Pass via Tivo.com (which rules!).

The tech did say that Comcast is going to be getting rid of the Adelphia equipment and I'll have to have new CableCards done when that happens. Still, process was smooth and I am SO glad to be back with Tivo!

Lessons learned: When making your appointment, ask that the tech bring more than 2 cards. Seems like common sense but an inexperienced person may assume the process is smooth. My day would have been VERY different had the tech arrived with two cards because one could not be provisioned.

2nd Lesson Learned: Don't panic if your channels aren't all there when the tech leaves. I gave mine about 8 hours and they all showed up on both Tuners.
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Old 05-09-2007, 06:33 AM   #2625
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Last night I find out that I'm not getting all the channels I should. I flip to the other tuner and it's working perfectly. One cablecard seems to be acting up. I called Comcast and after an hour, it still wasn't working. Now I have an appointment scheduled for this Saturday.

Now, here's the interesting part. Earlier in the day, I called Comcast about my bill. They were charging me $8.90 for an additional outlet fee. It took a few rep, but I finally got someone who understood that both cablecards are in one device. She agrees to remove the charge.

Then later on I discover that I'm missing channels on one cablecard. Coincidence?
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Old 05-09-2007, 06:41 AM   #2626
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Originally Posted by ChickenCheese

Then later on I discover that I'm missing channels on one cablecard. Coincidence?
Not.


I called to have them fix my billing and it disables one card. They either don't know how to do it or the software isn't correct at all the Comcast local sites.

One rep I talked with said to just call and get a credit every month. Go figure...
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Old 05-09-2007, 06:52 AM   #2627
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Then later on I discover that I'm missing channels on one cablecard. Coincidence?
Very unlikely. A good number of people have discovered that their local franchise software will not allow a cablecard to get service unless it has a separate accounting line item to be charged. Even given good-will by your franchise, it can be tough to find a workaround that works in their local software.

Comcast corporate realized that and instituted their $1.50 charge for the second cablecard to handle that problem. So your task is to convince your local franchise to use that line item code (but not all local franchises know about it or can use it).

If you continue to have problems (ie, your local franchise gives up and refuses to find a solution for you), there's a phone number in this thread somewhere of someone in Comcast corporate who's willing to talk to them. Probably searching for "Philadelphia" within the thread is the easiest way to find it.
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Old 05-09-2007, 07:01 AM   #2628
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Thanks for the help. I looked back in the thread and found some posts by TerpBE, who was in the same situation as me (called to get the A/O fee removed, then one card stops working).

He had the contact info of a person who knows what she's doing. I'm going to try and give her a call today to see if she can straighten it out.
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Old 05-09-2007, 09:37 AM   #2629
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Originally Posted by ChickenCheese
Thanks for the help. I looked back in the thread and found some posts by TerpBE, who was in the same situation as me (called to get the A/O fee removed, then one card stops working).

He had the contact info of a person who knows what she's doing. I'm going to try and give her a call today to see if she can straighten it out.
I hope it works out for your ChickenCheese. You should call her too, Steve Richards. I've only gotten one bill so far since getting it straightened out, but it looks like the solution was to give me an "A/O charge" of $0.00.
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Old 05-09-2007, 09:52 AM   #2630
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I hope it works out for your ChickenCheese. You should call her too, Steve Richards. I've only gotten one bill so far since getting it straightened out, but it looks like the solution was to give me an "A/O charge" of $0.00.
Thanks for the contact info, TerpBE. I just called her and left a voicemail. I'm at work, so I'm not sure she can do anything right now without me being in front of the TV. But I was hoping she could at least put the right info into the system.

I just don't want to get caught in that loop where they get the card working, charge me for the A/O, remove the A/O, card stops working, get the card working again, charge me for the A/O,....
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Old 05-09-2007, 11:55 AM   #2631
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I just don't want to get caught in that loop where they get the card working, charge me for the A/O, remove the A/O, card stops working, get the card working again, charge me for the A/O,....
Yep, I was in that loop for 3 months.
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Old 05-09-2007, 01:30 PM   #2632
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my Card 2 died

A repost: My Cablecard in slot 2 died, Comcast is coming today -

Question - I'm running the unit with 1 cablecard now. It receives all of my channels fine. Do I just "continue" the CC installation with Card 2 when the cable guy comes today, or do I start over from the beginning with Card 1?
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Old 05-09-2007, 02:22 PM   #2633
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You should just be able to deal with the one that is broken. I know that I had my cable card in the first slot for 2 days before the second could get delivered and installed. I then switched both of them myself to the new series 3 (old unit had broken OLED display and was being sent back). I think that the only reason they say to use #1 first is that with some dual slot or just dual whatever machines, if you only use one, you have to use a specific slot (#1), but if using 2 then it doesn't matter much as they are both separately working slots. The way to install them, one at a time (#1 being the first), is just the best procedure to use to install the items and have them work properly...

You should be fine, the only problems might be with the new cablecard that will get installed (if it causes problems by being faulty or something), or it not getting paired properly. I would make sure that you have your Host Validation as Valid and not Unknown for the Copy Protection Management System that they will enable again soon, since you will already have a tech there to help fix it with comcast if it is not already correct for your one card and your other card ends up needing it...


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Old 05-09-2007, 03:25 PM   #2634
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Thanks Ivy, good advice about the Verification. I just checked, I'm good (Valid 03).

Now if the guy just keeps his appointment...
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Old 05-09-2007, 06:21 PM   #2635
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As long as you have them follow the instructions on the sheet with the S3, you should be fine. The gist of the instructions is to get one card working and then proceed with card #2. Jamming both cards in the Tivo at the same time will not work, and it seems most techs want to do that, in the experience I've had.
Not in my experience. Between the Tivo install instructions, over half a dozen technicians on the telephone, a technician on location, several phone reps, and six Motorola CableCARDS, it took about six hours for the CableCARD installation to work. There seemed to be 'something wrong' with 4 out of 6 of the cableCARDS. Almost all of Comcast WA had little or no experience with the Series 3 Tivo and CableCARDS. The technician spent the first few hours doing everything I had tried the day before, in half the time, haha. Poor guy was too confident walking in, he dismissed the Tivo instructions, and later sheepishly kneeled before them, too bad the CableCARDS were so problematic.

My recommendation, make SURE your installer has at least 6-10 cableCARDS.
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Old 05-10-2007, 09:00 AM   #2636
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Well, after leaving a few voicemails for the person that TerpBE gave, I still haven't heard back. I guess I'll just have to wait until they come out on Saturday, which would be a waste of time.

I just don't get it. The tech is going to show up and then call some secret number to get my card working again. Why can't I just cut out the middle man?
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Old 05-10-2007, 03:01 PM   #2637
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I just called yesterday to try and get my cards validated for the CPMS, and was told by the woman I spoke to (after her checking to see if there was another # I needed to call for that topic specifically), that I *had* to have a tech come out and deal with it all. So I have a Sat 4-6pm timeslot truck roll appt waiting, and hopefully it will go well (didn't really have any problems when installing the 2 cards in the first place, so I hope that means things will go smoothly - and quick).
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Old 05-10-2007, 06:57 PM   #2638
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I'm in Comcast hell.

Installers showed up early. One of them had never seen a Cablecard. Bad start.

He read the numbers to the rep. but thankfully I was paying attention as he was reading them wrong (actually managed to get 3 of them wrong).

He showed me a few channels and I was foolishly tricked into thinking everything was working. Then they left.

Of course, they don't work (no surprise) and 4 hours of calls now still have me getting idiots who "will send a signal to the cards".

This is one of the most frustrating installs I have ever been through. Tivo is in deep doodoo if the sales of their devices depend on these idiots at the cable company.
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Old 05-11-2007, 08:30 AM   #2639
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So, after going through billing hell last month, I get this month's bill, and it is wrong yet again. I have two cable boxes and a Tivo S3 with 2 cable cards. My bill has the regular Digital basic charge, three digital service A/O charges for $5.99 each, and a cable card charge for $1.50. I call and immediately ask for a supervisor. She tells me that I have to pay $5.99 for each cable card PLUS $1.50 charge for the second cable card. In a word, bulls**t! I was nice to her but soon realized she was of no help, and wouldn't let me escalate further. I decided to go to my local comcast office, and the guy at the counter looked at it and corrected it (I hope). All my cable cards and cable boxes still work, so I think he did it correctly.

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Old 05-11-2007, 11:11 AM   #2640
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Well, I finally heard back from the contact that TerpBE gave out. She was able to correct the billing AND get my second card working again! I'm glad I was finally able to speak to her as she said there was no record of Comcast coming out tomorrow morning I would have been extremely mad if I waited around all morning and then no one shows.

She said she was going to pass the info along again to try and resolve these "training" issues.

Thanks to TerpBE for the info
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