Just wanted to share a Comcast success story. My background -- have had a Sony series 1 Tivo for about 6+ years with a SD TV. Upgrading to Series 3 now, and plan to upgrade to HD TV soon.
Tivo arrived via UPS earlier in the week. Called Comcast for a visit. Feigned shock that they would need to roll a truck. After complaining that they always are late, I was reminded of their $20 visit guarantee. (If they miss an appointment, they credit $20.) She credited me $20 on the spot for a visit 2 years ago. OK, good start I guess for customer service. Told her I had a Tivo, and would need 2 cards. She immediately said she would put 3 cards on the order, just in case. Appointment was for between 3-5pm today (Friday).
Got home at 3:01pm. Comcast tech arrived at 3:17pm with 3 cablecards.
The short version... one cablecard worked immediately. The second cablecard did not work at all. It just said "Not operating normally" or whatever. So it's DOA. The third card worked. However, when the tech called to provision the second (third) card, he was told that it was already active on someone else's account and I was out of luck. It would take a week to un-associate the card with the other customer, even though he was holding it in his hand.
He then went to his truck and got a 4th cablecard. THis one, when he popped it in, came up with all zeros for the Cablecard/Host/Data numbers. He spent about a half hour on the phone with someone trying to hit that card to get it to work, no dice.
Tech called someone else, who was more helpful and started the ball rolling on transferring card #3 to my account. That took maybe 20 minutes. Ultimately, we got card #3 running in my Tivo.
Comcast tech left at 5:25pm, so he was here for 2 hours, 8 minutes. But got both cards working ultimately.
I must say... the tech was very nice, and had worked with Tivo series 3 systems before. He was not at all confused by them, etc. He did exhibit frustration at Comcast for how much the cablecards suck. His impression was that the big problem is that at the 'warehouse', when they do the firmware flash onto the cablecards, that quality control is very low. He indicated that he has about a 50% failure rate on cablecards. It's very frustrating for him, because it's a visit that should take 15 minutes, and takes 2 hours. He also agrees that it shouldn't even be a visit, and I ought to be able to pick up cablecards at the Comcast office and install myself. So my technician gets two thumbs up for his efforts, and endless honesty about what was happening behind the scenes.
Edit: I should also probably add, for the record, that this was in Watertown MA, just outside Boston.