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Old 01-03-2015, 08:20 AM   #1
DawnW
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Why does a cable guy even need to come out?

UGH. We just had a TWC guy come to our house to reconnect cable TV. We have been OTA for almost 4 years and have been ok, but we were offered a special promo and we thought we would get it back and see if we wanted to keep it.

I called and the work order was set up and I verbally went over every detail TWICE to make sure they got it right (yes, we are familiar with their incompetence!)

Well, the guy came at 7:00am on a Saturday morning as we had scheduled, but the work order was indeed entered incorrectly.

We wanted 5 TVs hooked up but only 2 cable cards (2 Tivos)

He said his work order only showed the TWO to hook up and that even if he only hooked up two but we hooked up the other 3 ourselves, there would be a $25 charge per line we connect ourselves.

It was a long hour of calls to TWC and assurance that they had changed the work order so he could go ahead and connect all 5, only to find out that the work order was cancelled all together.

GRRRRRR!!!!!!!!

But seriously, we have had TWC before. The wires are all there at the cable box area in the garage, my husband knows how to connect all that stuff. Why can't they just give me two cable cards and let us do it ourselves?

Now they want to schedule another work order day and I am inclined to just say that we are content with our antenna so never mind.

Dawn

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Old 01-03-2015, 08:29 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by DawnW View Post
UGH. We just had a TWC guy come to our house to reconnect cable TV. We have been OTA for almost 4 years and have been ok, but we were offered a special promo and we thought we would get it back and see if we wanted to keep it.

I called and the work order was set up and I verbally went over every detail TWICE to make sure they got it right (yes, we are familiar with their incompetence!)

Well, the guy came at 7:00am on a Saturday morning as we had scheduled, but the work order was indeed entered incorrectly.

We wanted 5 TVs hooked up but only 2 cable cards (2 Tivos)

He said his work order only showed the TWO to hook up and that even if he only hooked up two but we hooked up the other 3 ourselves, there would be a $25 charge per line we connect ourselves.

It was a long hour of calls to TWC and assurance that they had changed the work order so he could go ahead and connect all 5, only to find out that the work order was cancelled all together.

GRRRRRR!!!!!!!!

But seriously, we have had TWC before. The wires are all there at the cable box area in the garage, my husband knows how to connect all that stuff. Why can't they just give me two cable cards and let us do it ourselves?

Now they want to schedule another work order day and I am inclined to just say that we are content with our antenna so never mind.

Dawn
TWC is required to allow you to do self-install for cable cards. Just ask them to hook up the cable, and mail you a couple of cards, then do your own install.

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Old 01-03-2015, 08:41 AM   #3
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The guy said he had to leave and couldn't even hook up our cable TV without a work order expressly saying how many lines to hook up.

He also said if he hooked up two, as the work order stated, and then we hooked up the other 3, we would be charged for that.

I don't want them here at all!

I want to just say, "connect my line remotely" and then have us screw in the cable lines to the existing box in our basement.

This shouldn't take a tech coming out!

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TWC is required to allow you to do self-install for cable cards. Just ask them to hook up the cable, and mail you a couple of cards, then do your own install.

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Old 01-03-2015, 09:27 AM   #4
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Just for reference, how were you planning to hook up the other three? Wall jack directly into the TV? If so, there's no way for them to even tell that they're hooked up. Just don't tell them about it -- it's none of their business anyway -- and do it after the "installer" leaves.

On the other hand, that kind of connection doesn't necessarily work as well as it used to. I'm on Fios, and here -- even though we theoretically get all the locals in the clear -- I had to give up on actually using Fios' clear QAM, because they play some games with the channel mapping that made me have to constantly rescan. Meanwhile, some other cable systems are getting waivers from the FCC, to let them encrypt every channel. That's probably the future for all of us.

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Old 01-03-2015, 09:42 AM   #5
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Yes, just directly.

He says they do an audit and will catch it.

But now I am thinking he means the initial audio as he is a sub-contracted out company and TWC will just come a few days after he leaves to make sure the job is done correctly.

Honestly, I am researching longer range antennas right now and may just cancel the entire TWC TV thing.


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Just for reference, how were you planning to hook up the other three? Wall jack directly into the TV? If so, there's no way for them to even tell that they're hooked up. Just don't tell them about it -- it's none of their business anyway -- and do it after the "installer" leaves.

On the other hand, that kind of connection doesn't necessarily work as well as it used to. I'm on Fios, and here -- even though we theoretically get all the locals in the clear -- I had to give up on actually using Fios' clear QAM, because they play some games with the channel mapping that made me have to constantly rescan. Meanwhile, some other cable systems are getting waivers from the FCC, to let them encrypt every channel. That's probably the future for all of us.

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Old 01-03-2015, 11:18 AM   #6
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IF he was a sub-contractor then he goes where the money goes. He might not get paid for 5 tvs if his order says 2. And if he had high profit/low effort jobs after yours and finds out your job is going to take longer and cut into those then he starts combing the "book" for excuses to get out of your job.

When I moved into my new home not too long ago I didn't even have a tv ready to go and just told him to hook up the free box to the outlet and activate service on it.

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Old 01-03-2015, 11:46 AM   #7
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No, he got on the phone and asked them to add the 3 and they couldn't do it and had to cancel the entire order. He was pretty ticked with TWC when he got off the phone.

Our connection required taking the wires that were RIGHT THERE and screwing them in to the box.

He said the problem was that he couldn't give us a box to hold more than 2 connections (well, 3, one for the cable modem and 2 for the TVs.

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IF he was a sub-contractor then he goes where the money goes. He might not get paid for 5 tvs if his order says 2. And if he had high profit/low effort jobs after yours and finds out your job is going to take longer and cut into those then he starts combing the "book" for excuses to get out of your job.

When I moved into my new home not too long ago I didn't even have a tv ready to go and just told him to hook up the free box to the outlet and activate service on it.

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Old 01-03-2015, 11:58 AM   #8
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Yes, just directly.

He says they do an audit and will catch it.
Doubtful. I've had TWC for over a decade, and no tech has ever come out to do an "audit". I've rearranged my cabling several times, adding additional outlets, and nobody at TWC has ever complained or added any additional outlet charges to my account. As far as I know, TWC doesn't even have "additional outlet charges" the way Comcast and other cable companies do. They just charge you rental fees for every cable box and every CableCard.

I suggest you just have them hook up the 2 CableCard lines, because those are the only 2 lines that they will know about or should even be charging you for. After that, you should be able to add the additional outlets yourself.

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Old 01-03-2015, 12:17 PM   #9
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Yes, do not tell them about your Mini's - it will just confuse them!

You need them to come out becuause you do not currently have service - a truck roll will be required.

A cable card install alone does not reqiure a truck roll, but you might as well have them do it when they are at your home anyway. As for the Mini's? I wouldn't mention them at all - it is none of their business and he cannot charge you an outlet fee for a drop without a tuner!

Also, because you are streaming (no tuner) they have no audit mechanism - not that it would matter. If you added a box with a tuner, they can tell you have another outlet.

But the point is - you don't have additional outlets, your full TiVos are your ONLY outlets and your installer is an idiot.

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Old 01-03-2015, 12:43 PM   #10
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He said the problem was that he couldn't give us a box to hold more than 2 connections (well, 3, one for the cable modem and 2 for the TVs.
You mean a splitter? There's nothing special about them; you can buy your own at Radio Shack, or wherever.

@bradleys: DawnW has not mentioned Minis.

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Old 01-03-2015, 01:02 PM   #11
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Yes, we actually have one.

We just weren't sure of what all they would be doing and if we could just swap out what he installed for what we already have.

He said we couldn't......but that could just be his way of not allowing us to do it ourselves and saving his own rear as he said TWC would come up behind him to check on his work and if there were more TV cable wires hooked up than he was allowed to do per his work order, he would get in trouble.

I have just ordered a Roamio and a mini, but I currently have two S3s hooked up to an antenna.

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You mean a splitter? There's nothing special about them; you can buy your own at Radio Shack, or wherever.

@bradleys: DawnW has not mentioned Minis.

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Old 01-03-2015, 01:19 PM   #12
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Dawn: You don't mention what area you are from, but thankfully, Time Warner Cable has a more or less standardized pricing structure across most or all of their regions, so I'll assume your area is similar to mine.

Based on my experience, no matter what your installer may have said, Time Warner Cable does *not* charge additional for the presence of each outlet. You could have 2 or 20, it doesn't matter. There's no "audit" that they do... they're not going to suddenly spring a monumental charge if you hook up all the coaxial outlets in your house.

Now, there is a caveat there. As of about a year ago, there IS an "Additional Outlet" fee, but that is "for second and each additional set-top box or CableCard." Here, that fee is $1.50. So, for example, if you lease two CableCards from them, you will be charged the monthly lease for each, plus one "additional outlet" fee.

If you only rent one CableCard from them - no "additional outlet fee," even if you have 20 outlets hooked up in your house.

There is also a charge for the installer to *add* additional outlets, but that's if they have to pull a new wire. If the wire is already there, there is no charge for them to hook that up.

That said: it's not worth fighting with the installer. Get him to get you service to your house. What you do with it past that point is completely your business, none of his. If he doesn't want to screw in the extra runs, then don't make him. Let him leave, then you can screw them in yourself.

As far as a box to hook up all 5 of your runs... you can get a splitter that can handle that very easily. You probably can even find one at your local big-box hardware store. That said, what I'd do is look at a box like this:

This is a powered splitter. It isn't amplified, because that can make the signal too "hot" for your equipment, but instead it just makes sure what comes out of the splitter is at the same level as what goes in. It will work with all of your equipment, including MoCA equipment (like TiVo Minis) and with cable modems.

You don't *have* to use this. You can just use a regular old 6-way splitter (Cable splitters usually, but not always, come in multiples of 2, so just get a 6 way and don't use one leg) like this:

Depending on how good your cable signal is, it may work just fine, so you could start with something like this then graduate to the powered splitter if you start seeing stuff like your cable modem losing signal or such.

So, to conclude: just get the installer to make sure you have service to your house and to one TV. Then, order the cablecards (you may be able to pick them up from a TWC store or service center... otherwise, have them mailed to you) and activate them yourself. You will only be charged extra if you have more than one cablecard or set-top box from them.

Hope that helps!

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Old 01-03-2015, 01:43 PM   #13
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He said the problem was that he couldn't give us a box to hold more than 2 connections (well, 3, one for the cable modem and 2 for the TVs.


It isn't bad advice for a connection that loses the least amount of signal. You bring your signal in on a coaxial cable, hit a MoCa filter, then split it three ways. On the split that is down 3 dB you attach another filter, then run a coax to your modem. Your router must be located with a short distance of your modem so you can connect those two with CAT-5/6 (ethernet cord). The remaining two coaxial cords (labelled -7 dB) go to your TiVo boxes, where one Tivo Box is close enough to the router to connect it with CAT-5/6 cable. The MoCa network will be confined to the two coaxial cables. The minis can be connected to the TiVo's using CAT-5/6 cable.

But most homes have enough leeway to permit more splits. So while it may not be ideal, in most cases you could wire it with more splits.

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Old 01-03-2015, 01:55 PM   #14
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I have one exactly like the first one you posted.

No, he didn't say they would charge for the presence of an outlet, what he said was that there was a one time $25 hook up fee for every connection (just screwing in the cable line) that wasn't on the work order and he was only allowed to connect two per his work order.

It was nuts.

He had to leave and TWC has to reschedule the entire thing.

If I had realized, I would have just told him to go ahead and then had TWC double check his work as they wanted to, and THEN go in and reconfigure everything, but I didn't know.

After posting here I went to the basement and hooked up every cable line not currently connected and went around with my small TV to plug it in and make sure all the lines worked. They all work fine! I got reception with our antenna.

Dawn

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Originally Posted by LoadStar View Post
Dawn: You don't mention what area you are from, but thankfully, Time Warner Cable has a more or less standardized pricing structure across most or all of their regions, so I'll assume your area is similar to mine.

Based on my experience, no matter what your installer may have said, Time Warner Cable does *not* charge additional for the presence of each outlet. You could have 2 or 20, it doesn't matter. There's no "audit" that they do... they're not going to suddenly spring a monumental charge if you hook up all the coaxial outlets in your house.

Now, there is a caveat there. As of about a year ago, there IS an "Additional Outlet" fee, but that is "for second and each additional set-top box or CableCard." Here, that fee is $1.50. So, for example, if you lease two CableCards from them, you will be charged the monthly lease for each, plus one "additional outlet" fee.

If you only rent one CableCard from them - no "additional outlet fee," even if you have 20 outlets hooked up in your house.

There is also a charge for the installer to *add* additional outlets, but that's if they have to pull a new wire. If the wire is already there, there is no charge for them to hook that up.

That said: it's not worth fighting with the installer. Get him to get you service to your house. What you do with it past that point is completely your business, none of his. If he doesn't want to screw in the extra runs, then don't make him. Let him leave, then you can screw them in yourself.

As far as a box to hook up all 5 of your runs... you can get a splitter that can handle that very easily. You probably can even find one at your local big-box hardware store. That said, what I'd do is look at a box like this:

This is a powered splitter. It isn't amplified, because that can make the signal too "hot" for your equipment, but instead it just makes sure what comes out of the splitter is at the same level as what goes in. It will work with all of your equipment, including MoCA equipment (like TiVo Minis) and with cable modems.

You don't *have* to use this. You can just use a regular old 6-way splitter (Cable splitters usually, but not always, come in multiples of 2, so just get a 6 way and don't use one leg) like this:

Depending on how good your cable signal is, it may work just fine, so you could start with something like this then graduate to the powered splitter if you start seeing stuff like your cable modem losing signal or such.

So, to conclude: just get the installer to make sure you have service to your house and to one TV. Then, order the cablecards (you may be able to pick them up from a TWC store or service center... otherwise, have them mailed to you) and activate them yourself. You will only be charged extra if you have more than one cablecard or set-top box from them.

Hope that helps!

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Old 01-05-2015, 06:20 PM   #15
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Doubtful. I've had TWC for over a decade, and no tech has ever come out to do an "audit". I've rearranged my cabling several times, adding additional outlets, and nobody at TWC has ever complained or added any additional outlet charges to my account. As far as I know, TWC doesn't even have "additional outlet charges" the way Comcast and other cable companies do. They just charge you rental fees for every cable box and every CableCard.
Yeah, it's none of their f---ing business what's connected downstream of the demarc, as long as it's not causing noise ingress or interference or anything. I have 5 drops connected to mine, all Comcast knows I have is a TiVo and a cable modem. Everything else is just MoCA. Heck, they ran some of the wires, but it does't matter on the account side.

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I suggest you just have them hook up the 2 CableCard lines, because those are the only 2 lines that they will know about or should even be charging you for. After that, you should be able to add the additional outlets yourself.
Exactly. Or do the CableCard self-install, as required by law.

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Old 01-05-2015, 10:28 PM   #16
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Do you know that after this entire debacle TWC hasn't even bothered to call me to try to reschedule????

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Old 01-05-2015, 10:31 PM   #17
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Do you know that after this entire debacle TWC hasn't even bothered to call me to try to reschedule????
LOL, you expected them to call you to reschedule? That's so cute.

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Old 01-06-2015, 08:08 AM   #18
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I thought they would want me to get cable TV and increase my cost per month.

They seem to call all the time to beg me to get TV at least monthly. When I am actually agreeing to do it, they shrug me off.

I am thinking spending my $$ on a better quality antenna would be a better idea at this point.

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LOL, you expected them to call you to reschedule? That's so cute.

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Old 01-06-2015, 08:26 AM   #19
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If there is no termination fee (and I doubt if there is with TWC), then it is not all that costly try it. If the merger goes through, I've heard Comcast can be really bad about fees.

I experimented a bit before I cancelled cabletv. I bought a Roamio Basic, but kept TWC's DVR while I sorted out the antenna, then tried a cable card and then finally cancelled cabletv and downgraded internet. TWC's store is 3 miles away and everyone there knew all about Tivos. They have cablecards and tuning adapters in stock, the 800 cablecard help line is perfect and installation guys are prompt and fast. It was all pretty cheap everything worked excellently and it was plenty of fun.

I long ago told TWC no sales calls, never to send me junk mail or email And they don't.


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Old 01-06-2015, 08:49 AM   #20
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What is your current speed of downgraded internet?





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I experimented a bit before I cancelled cabletv. I bought a Roamio Basic, but kept TWC's DVR while I sorted out the antenna, then tried a cable card and then finally cancelled cabletv and downgraded internet. TWC's store is 3 miles away and everyone there knew all about Tivos. They have cablecards and tuning adapters in stock, the 800 cablecard help line is perfect and installation guys are prompt and fast. It was all pretty cheap everything worked excellently and it was plenty of fun.

I long ago told TWC no sales call, never to send me junk mail or email And they don't.

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Old 01-06-2015, 10:18 AM   #21
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What is your current speed of downgraded internet?
3Mbps $15 Every Day Low Price internet.

I own the modem, $27 on amazon but it now costs more. I had been paying $25/mth for 3Mbps, TWC increased the speed to 10Mbps for free in July. Netflix looked maybe, maybe 10% better. In the past, I have had more speed and less, so I was very familiar with the results. In Sept I downgraded to $15. Works fine for one user, one Netflix at a time.

However, if I now want to ramp the speed back up, their website says for me it would be $45/mth for 6 Mbps. Whew, hard to believe.

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Old 01-06-2015, 10:44 AM   #22
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Thanks. That makes me feel better.

We pay $65 for 20mbps and I think it is outrageous. I used to pay $40 for the same thing.

We are a family of 5, DH sometimes works from home and needs faster speeds. Two teen boys who are into gaming. Netflix often streamed on 2-3 devices at a time.

I had wanted to up it to 30mbps or so, which is why I even looked at getting TV. TV is only $20 or so more per month than upping the cable speed for the first 12 months.


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3Mbps $15 Every Day Low Price internet.

I own the modem, $27 on amazon but it now costs more. I had been paying $25/mth for 3Mbps, TWC increased the speed to 10Mbps for free in July. Netflix looked maybe, maybe 10% better. In the past, I have had more speed and less, so I was very familiar with the results. In Sept I downgraded to $15. Works fine for one user, one Netflix at a time.

However, if I now want to ramp the speed back up, their website says for me it would be $45/mth for 6 Mbps. Whew, hard to believe.

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Old 01-06-2015, 05:54 PM   #23
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I thought they would want me to get cable TV and increase my cost per month.

They seem to call all the time to beg me to get TV at least monthly. When I am actually agreeing to do it, they shrug me off.
They are a complacent incumbent. They know that they have a sort-of monopoly in TV in many places, and an ironclad monopoly on internet in many places.

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Old 01-07-2015, 07:22 AM   #24
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TWC is required to allow you to do self-install for cable cards. Just ask them to hook up the cable, and mail you a couple of cards, then do your own install.
Ok, so, can they connect it up without coming out to my house? That is my main question.

There really isn't a need to come out here. I don't mind going to the TWC store and picking up my own cards. It isn't super close by, but I could do it.

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Old 01-07-2015, 09:28 AM   #25
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Ok, so, can they connect it up without coming out to my house? That is my main question.

There really isn't a need to come out here. I don't mind going to the TWC store and picking up my own cards. It isn't super close by, but I could do it.
If you just sign up for their basic service (not digital), they may still want to come out. It varies by location, but you can definitely do the cablecard install yourself after the fact. Of course, you said it was a promo, so YMMV.

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Old 01-07-2015, 05:56 PM   #26
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If you just sign up for their basic service (not digital), they may still want to come out. It varies by location, but you can definitely do the cablecard install yourself after the fact. Of course, you said it was a promo, so YMMV.
They should be able to deliver a working signal to the demarc without ever coming out to the house unless it's an MDU situation where they need to get into a wiring closet or there's some other oddity involved. If they're still using traps, then they would need to roll a truck, but they shouldn't have to go in the house. Life is so much easier when they go all digital and pull all the traps off the lines!

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Old 01-11-2015, 12:34 PM   #27
DawnW
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Cable guy #2 came out Friday.

What a nightmare. He didn't understand cable cards and took FOREVER to try to make it work. Once it started running through channels he said, "Well, its working" and drove away. We didn't even know he was leaving, until we looked outside and his van was gone.

He didn't stick around to find out that the box he gave us didn't work.

He didn't hook up our phone at all, just left the box for us to figure out.

He didn't hook up the 3 TVs upstairs at all.

We spend about an hour re-hooking up all the wires to hook up the upstairs 3 TVs as there were so many wires in the basement we didn't know what was what.

I spent almost 3 hours last night on the phone with TWC to figure out why we didn't get all of our channels, only to find that the reason was that he had given us a faulty DTR box (is that what is called?) and the other DTR box was never configured so he had to help me do that.

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Old 01-11-2015, 01:28 PM   #28
tarheelblue32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DawnW View Post
Cable guy #2 came out Friday.

What a nightmare. He didn't understand cable cards and took FOREVER to try to make it work. Once it started running through channels he said, "Well, its working" and drove away. We didn't even know he was leaving, until we looked outside and his van was gone.

He didn't stick around to find out that the box he gave us didn't work.

He didn't hook up our phone at all, just left the box for us to figure out.

He didn't hook up the 3 TVs upstairs at all.

We spend about an hour re-hooking up all the wires to hook up the upstairs 3 TVs as there were so many wires in the basement we didn't know what was what.

I spent almost 3 hours last night on the phone with TWC to figure out why we didn't get all of our channels, only to find that the reason was that he had given us a faulty DTR box (is that what is called?) and the other DTR box was never configured so he had to help me do that.
And this is why I always do self-installs. There are some good TWC techs, but a lot of them are awful. It's hit or miss. Truck rolls are an absolute last resort in my opinion.

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Old 01-11-2015, 01:56 PM   #29
DawnW
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Originally Posted by tarheelblue32 View Post
And this is why I always do self-installs. There are some good TWC techs, but a lot of them are awful. It's hit or miss. Truck rolls are an absolute last resort in my opinion.
They insisted they HAD to come out. It may not be true, but I didn't know any different.

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Old 01-11-2015, 02:09 PM   #30
tarheelblue32
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They insisted they HAD to come out. It may not be true, but I didn't know any different.
I understand. Sometimes truck rolls are impossible to avoid. I was merely trying to say that if a truck roll can be avoided, it is best to do so.

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