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Old 03-06-2014, 03:46 PM   #1
gmcc
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Angry Comcast cable card fiasco

This is my experience with Comcast in trying to get a cablecard working in my new Tivo Roamio:

Just for general info, I have two cable boxes and a Tivo HD all working fine.

1. Went to the local CCast service place and picked up an M Card.

2. Called the activation # to get said card authorized.

3. It started working but I got no HBO channels that I get on all my other devices.

4. Called the support # back to tell them of this.

Note 1: Every time you speak to an individual you have to give them a bunch of info... phone #, name, address, SS last 4 digits and this is after wading through all the apparently useless auto attendant business. When that person transfers you to someone else you have to give it all again, usually multiple times and frequently I was routed to India and often couldn't understand what they were saying due to poor english language skills. And I suspect when one of them is presented with a problem they don't know how to solve, they just put you on hold a bit and hang up on you.

5. Waited on hold various times over a 30 minute period and was hung up on.

6. Called again...gave the auto-attendant all the stuff it wanted and hung up on again.

7. Called again...talked to another person who transfered me to the 'activation' department (see Note 1) and was told they couldn't help me because the card was already activated. Transfered to 'tech' help. Following another 30 minutes mostly on hold I was told it didn't work because the card had been 'coded' as a cable box rather than a cable card and I would have to return it to the service center for another one.

8. Took that card back to the service place and got a different one.

9. Call back the activation #. It asked for the last 4 digits of the serial number from the card, saying it had to begin with M or G or some third letter. Mine began with a T which was not acceptable so it just kept asking the same thing over and over until I pounded the 0 key to get to a person.

10. (see Note 1) spent about 30 minutes with this person trying to activate the card but it wouldn't work. Transfered to the 'activation' department again (Note 1). 30 more minutes there while it was determined that the card was showing an 'error' when they tried to send it a signal. One more person tried to pair it manually which also didn't work, so they scheduled a service call to get it solved.

11. I decided on my own to take that second card back since it isn't too far away and I figured it would save CCast a service call and get me working sooner.

12. This time they gave me a card that looked beat all to heck but she said they just got it from the 'warehouse' so it should be good.

13. That card was not even recognized by the Tivo, showing it as not installed. I gather that the service place is just handing out broken or dead cards that have obviously not been tested after being pulled from some other service.

Summary: After 3 trips to the service place (the third by choice) and a large portion of one day which I estimate around 4-5 hours on the phone with 'support', I still have no working device and will be waiting several days for a Comcast person to come to my house to hopefully solve this. I am really looking forward to the day when I can dump Comcast and move my Internet and Cable service to a local fiber provider.

I post this partially just to vent but also to ask... what are the odds that it is my new Tivo that is broken rather than a cable card issue?
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Old 03-06-2014, 04:31 PM   #2
mpf541
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I would be will to bet it was the Comcast techs more than any thing else. The one time I had and issue I called Tivo support and the tech I got knew exactly what he was doing and setup a 3 way call. Have you tried that. They can at least help you with figuring out if the tiro is the problem.
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Old 03-06-2014, 04:35 PM   #3
NashvilleKat
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I still have no working device and will be waiting several days for a Comcast person to come to my house to hopefully solve this.
I predict that person will show up with a cable box, not a cable card and not know WTH you are talking about. Good luck.
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Old 03-06-2014, 04:36 PM   #4
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3. It started working but I got no HBO channels that I get on all my other devices.
This means that your card was working fine and was activated on your account correctly but was not paired to your TiVo. The people on the Comcast CableCard hotline should have been able to walk you through the pairing process over the phone, assuming they knew what they were doing.
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Old 03-06-2014, 07:40 PM   #5
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The odds that it is a Tivo problem vs a Comcast pairing one rest somewhere on the slim to none scale.

My S3 cable card pairings went fairly well, and that was years back before the special CC assist number. With my Roamio, I was on with untold reps at various numbers until I reached one who *poof* corrected everything in a moment. I refused offers of a truck roll and kept calling back.

It's the luck of the draw with them, and sadly sometimes one has to go through nearly the whole deck.
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Old 03-06-2014, 09:07 PM   #6
mattack
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Did you call the # that the screen tells you when you tune to a channel?

THIS is the Cable Card Hotline, which seems to work better...
1 (877) 405-2298
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Old 03-06-2014, 10:44 PM   #7
c133roamioerrors
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15 months ago I paid Comcast to hook up my xl4. The installers were pretty clueless regarding Tivo and after they left I needed to make a call to Comcast to get the premium channels to work. Three months ago I bought a Roamio Pro and decided I would do it myself. After struggling for quite a while setting up the Roamio because of wireless communication errors, I called Comcast to set up the cable card. They were familiar with the process and walked me through it. Everything went smoothly and only one call was necessary.
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Old 03-07-2014, 08:29 AM   #8
tomhorsley
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Yea, I was shocked recently when I moved my cable card from my old Premier to my new Roamio. I was prepared to spend days on the phone to get it all working, but it only took about 10 minutes and all my channels were coming in on my Roamio (when I got the Premier it was a lot like the initial post in this thread, but they insisted on a truck roll, so it was the tech constantly on the phone and driving off to fetch new cable cards, not me :-).
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Old 03-07-2014, 08:51 AM   #9
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Thanks people... I did try the hotline number on one of the cards and they were the ones that eventually told me my card had been entered as a cable box instead of a cable card and so the card had to be returned to the center. On the surface that seemed really stupid to me, someone couldn't just correct the entry error? And the service place said it had been entered correctly anyway.

It is also true that half of the phone people have no idea what is a cable card. I could always tell because they would want the serial number of my cable _box_ and I had to stop them to say my box is fine.

But after the third card and hours of time on the phone they offered a truck roll at no cost to me so I gave up and said do it, by now being really tired of the whole mess. I recall when I got my HD Tivo they sent a guy who sat in the living room floor for around two hours, talking on two phones at once before it started working.

I didn't think to try calling Tivo for help and probably should have.

I do have a local fiber on the poles outside my house and only keep CCast because my wife needs to keep her Comcast email for a while longer. Once that's past I will dump them in a heartbeat for the local fiber folks, where you get support from a local person that speaks English and aren't required to wade through all the auto attendant stuff. They simply answer the phone. What a concept!

Last edited by gmcc : 06-26-2014 at 06:57 AM.
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Old 03-07-2014, 11:55 AM   #10
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Thanks people... I did try the hotline number on one of the cards and they were the ones that eventually told me my card had been entered as a cable box instead of a cable card and so the card had to be returned to the center. One the surface that seemed really stupid to me, someone couldn't just correct the entry error? And the service place said it had been entered correctly anyway. It is also true that half of the phone people have no idea what is a cable card. I could always tell because they would want the serial number of my cable _box_ and I had to stop them to say my box is fine. But after the third card and hours of time on the phone they offered a truck roll at no cost to me so I gave up and said do it, by now being really tired of the whole mess. I recall when I got my HD Tivo they sent a guy who sat in the living room floor for around two hours, talking on two phones at once before it started working. I didn't think to try calling Tivo for help and probably should have. I do have a local fiber on the poles outside my house and only keep CCast because my wife needs to keep her Comcast email for a while longer. Once that's past I will dump them in a heartbeat for the local fiber folks, where you get support from a local person that speaks English and aren't required to wade through all the auto attendant stuff. They simply answer the phone. What a concept!
One thing to ask them is whether the cablecard is listed first in your account, before the cable boxes you have. Believe it or not, this makes a difference, as I found out the hard way when I had Comcast. Also, if you have fiber options in your neighborhood and still need comcast email, just dump and switch your TV service to fiber and keep comcrap for internet only.
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Old 03-07-2014, 11:35 PM   #11
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I had a protracted fight with multiple representatives who insisted to me that I had to take my CableCARD back to the local office to get a new one, because I could not "un-pair" it with my old Premiere in any other way. Shockingly.....they were wrong.
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Old 03-08-2014, 12:12 AM   #12
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I do have a local fiber on the poles outside my house and only keep CCast because my wife needs to keep her Comcast email for a while longer. Once that's past I will dump them in a heartbeat for the local fiber folks,
If you have a family member or good friend with Comcast, your wife could move her email to their account. I did that for someone and it's no big deal for someone who doesn't need/want to use the 7 emails which are allowed.
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Old 03-08-2014, 12:12 AM   #13
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I had a protracted fight with multiple representatives who insisted to me that I had to take my CableCARD back to the local office to get a new one, because I could not "un-pair" it with my old Premiere in any other way. Shockingly.....they were wrong.
I just had the exact same thing told to me, which was BS. They set up a tech to come out, he called before he came, asked me the problem and he called someone to pair it correctly while I waited on the phone and it was working within 2 minutes. Second time that has happened.
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Old 03-09-2014, 04:03 PM   #14
gmcc
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HarperVision
Quote:

"Also, if you have fiber options in your neighborhood and still need comcast email, just dump and switch your TV service to fiber and keep comcrap for internet only. "

That's an idea I have given some thought to but just haven't contacted the local fiber provider to see what they could do for me in this case.

moonscape
Quote:

"If you have a family member or good friend with Comcast, your wife could move her email to their account. I did that for someone and it's no big deal for someone who doesn't need/want to use the 7 emails which are allowed."

That is a very interesting idea and one I might be able to handle. As long as CCast doesn't check IP addresses for POP mail, it could work for me.


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Quote:

"They set up a tech to come out, he called before he came, asked me the problem and he called someone to pair it correctly while I waited on the phone and it was working within 2 minutes. Second time that has happened. "

A tech is going to have to visit now and I'll just use his advance call to make sure he has a card with him because the third one I got from the serivce place was beat all to hell and isn't even seen by the Tivo.

Last edited by gmcc : 06-26-2014 at 06:59 AM.
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Old 03-09-2014, 06:46 PM   #15
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next time this happens I recommend contacting Comcast Mike on twitter @comcastmike
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Old 03-11-2014, 09:09 AM   #16
gmcc
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The final outcome:

Comcast tech showed up, on time and with a cable card in his truck. He plugged it in, did something on his phone to activate it. HBO wasn't working so he called a 'secret' number, read some numbers off the card fail screen and within about 30 seconds all was working.

I told him if I'd had access to the phone number/person he spoke to this could have all been a done deal last Wednesday and saved CCast the tech visit. Why doesn't CCast get this?
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Old 03-11-2014, 11:17 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by gmcc View Post
The final outcome:

Comcast tech showed up, on time and with a cable card in his truck. He plugged it in, did something on his phone to activate it. HBO wasn't working so he called a 'secret' number, read some numbers off the card fail screen and within about 30 seconds all was working.

I told him if I'd had access to the phone number/person he spoke to this could have all been a done deal last Wednesday and saved CCast the tech visit. Why doesn't CCast get this?
All he did was call someone who actually knew how to properly pair the card. Brilliant.
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Old 03-11-2014, 01:58 PM   #18
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Yup!
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Old 03-15-2014, 08:45 AM   #19
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I feel your pain. I went through this about a month ago. Finally had a tech come out and I guess he called the right support person because he got everything working fine. It's crazy to me that this is still such a pain in the a$$.
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Old 03-15-2014, 01:12 PM   #20
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Comcast customer service
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Old 03-17-2014, 05:42 PM   #21
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Comcast customer service

That is cable customer service in general...
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Old 03-18-2014, 07:54 AM   #22
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That is cable customer service in general...
Yes, but just think with the combined power of Comcast and Time Warner, they should have the ability to drive customer service to whole new lows :-).
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Old 03-25-2014, 04:07 PM   #23
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OK, that wasn't quite the final outcome because just as I feared and just to add insult to injury so to speak, I see where they have added a $40 "in - Home Service Visit" after I was told by the CS rep on the phone would be no cost to me because of all the hassle I had already had to wade through to get this thing working. There are also 2 entries of $2.99 each for "Change of Service" which is for what? I did not 'change' anything other than getting the cable card to work that I spent too much of the previous week trying to get done on the phone!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmcc View Post
The final outcome:

Comcast tech showed up, on time and with a cable card in his truck. He plugged it in, did something on his phone to activate it. HBO wasn't working so he called a 'secret' number, read some numbers off the card fail screen and within about 30 seconds all was working.

I told him if I'd had access to the phone number/person he spoke to this could have all been a done deal last Wednesday and saved CCast the tech visit. Why doesn't CCast get this?

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Old 04-10-2014, 10:37 AM   #24
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OK, that wasn't quite the final outcome because just as I feared and just to add insult to injury so to speak, I see where they have added a $40 "in - Home Service Visit" after I was told by the CS rep on the phone would be no cost to me because of all the hassle I had already had to wade through to get this thing working. There are also 2 entries of $2.99 each for "Change of Service" which is for what? I did not 'change' anything other than getting the cable card to work that I spent too much of the previous week trying to get done on the phone!
Comcast sucks beyond belief. I have never ever dealt with such poor customer service and inept people. Hanging up on customers is normal tactic. This is actually what drove me to Tivo.

When I called to tell them why I was sending back all of their equipment and going to Tivo, the rep kept saying, "so you are downgrading because of technical issues". I kept repeating, "No, it was the customer service". He just kept saying, "Ok, technical issues" We went back and forth like that.

Now they are saying they wont cut back my monthly charges until they have the equipment in hand, AND I have to call back and get my services reduced on my own. I HATE this company.
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Old 04-10-2014, 10:57 AM   #25
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Now they are saying they wont cut back my monthly charges until they have the equipment in hand, AND I have to call back and get my services reduced on my own. I HATE this company.
Be sure to keep the receipt they'll give you (showing that you've returned hardware) in case there's a billing issue down the road.

When I bought my TiVo equipment I had planned on keeping the Comcast hardware for a month -- to be sure I liked TiVo. Shoot -- after three days I decided to return the Comcast stuff.

Visited my local office bright and early on a Saturday morning. Lucked out and got a rep that 1) seemed to know what she was doing and 2) cared about getting it right. Took much longer than it should have...but she took the time to get everything right. No billing issues after the fact.
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Old 04-10-2014, 02:01 PM   #26
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Be sure to keep the receipt they'll give you (showing that you've returned hardware) in case there's a billing issue down the road.

When I bought my TiVo equipment I had planned on keeping the Comcast hardware for a month -- to be sure I liked TiVo. Shoot -- after three days I decided to return the Comcast stuff.

Visited my local office bright and early on a Saturday morning. Lucked out and got a rep that 1) seemed to know what she was doing and 2) cared about getting it right. Took much longer than it should have...but she took the time to get everything right. No billing issues after the fact.
LOL Thats what I was thinking too. I'd keep it for a month. It took me about one hour and I was piling up their junk because I knew I was free!
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