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Old 11-16-2014, 05:38 PM   #1
MikeSp
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Most number of failed Comcast cable cards?

I am wondering what the maximum number of failed Comcast cable cards are the record?

First MCard -- Activation OK, but total failure in pairing -- drive 90 miles round trip to swap it out with another Motorola MCard

Replacement MCard -- activates, partial pairing -- all installer menu setup values are good except for VAL: which gets a "?" instead of a "V" for validation -- this allows all channels but premium to work but Comcast AND Tivo Support cannot get FULL PAIRING accomplished that is VALID -- at least 18 total hours (including Comcast waits in the phone queue but NOT drive time to nearest Comcast store) and 15 tries including a number of reboots over a three day period. YIKES!!! No matter how many times it was "hit" by Comcast, or how many times MCard was removed and the whole thing was started over, NO JOY!!

When we went to the bedroom to watch the other Tivo, we found that Comcast support had DEACTIVATED ITS MCARD -- another wait on the tech support phone line to get it reactivated and paired -- but that was successful and reasonably quick -- it is a Premiere XL and had been previously online for a few years.

I gave up and am having Comcast come out and personally install a cable card -- am wondering what the maximum number of failed Comcast cable cards is the record before getting one to fully work.

I WILL give credit to Comcast support and Tivo support for staying with me for up to and more than an hour at a time trying to get the pairing accomplished with a "V" value for validation in the installer menu.

(FWIW, all of my A/V components are hard-wired via Ethernet cables to gigabit router and gigabit switches using cat 6 cables)
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Old 11-16-2014, 06:11 PM   #2
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I am wondering what the maximum number of failed Comcast cable cards are the record?

First MCard -- Activation OK, but total failure in pairing -- drive 90 miles round trip to swap it out with another Motorola MCard

Replacement MCard -- activates, partial pairing -- all installer menu setup values are good except for VAL: which gets a "?" instead of a "V" for validation -- this allows all channels but premium to work but Comcast AND Tivo Support cannot get FULL PAIRING accomplished that is VALID -- at least 18 total hours (including Comcast waits in the phone queue but NOT drive time to nearest Comcast store) and 15 tries including a number of reboots over a three day period. YIKES!!! No matter how many times it was "hit" by Comcast, or how many times MCard was removed and the whole thing was started over, NO JOY!!

When we went to the bedroom to watch the other Tivo, we found that Comcast support had DEACTIVATED ITS MCARD -- another wait on the tech support phone line to get it reactivated and paired -- but that was successful and reasonably quick -- it is a Premiere XL and had been previously online for a few years.

I gave up and am having Comcast come out and personally install a cable card -- am wondering what the maximum number of failed Comcast cable cards is the record before getting one to fully work.

I WILL give credit to Comcast support and Tivo support for staying with me for up to and more than an hour at a time trying to get the pairing accomplished with a "V" value for validation in the installer menu.

(FWIW, all of my A/V components are hard-wired via Ethernet cables to gigabit router and gigabit switches using cat 6 cables)
I'm sure I did not set a record but I had to try a second Motorola cablecard before I had stability. The first cablecard would lose channel authorization ~every other day although it was not apparent the cablecard was the root cause. This went on for several weeks until Ian at the Comcast cablecard pairing dept. in Denver suggested I try another cablecard. Fortunately, I have a Comcast store within easy driving distance. Comcast support was very good regarding re-pairing, follow-up, and providing bill credits for the hassle.
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Old 11-16-2014, 06:40 PM   #3
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I am wondering what the maximum number of failed Comcast cable cards are the record?

First MCard -- Activation OK, but total failure in pairing -- drive 90 miles round trip to swap it out with another Motorola MCard

Replacement MCard -- activates, partial pairing -- all installer menu setup values are good except for VAL: which gets a "?" instead of a "V" for validation -- this allows all channels but premium to work but Comcast AND Tivo Support cannot get FULL PAIRING accomplished that is VALID -- at least 18 total hours (including Comcast waits in the phone queue but NOT drive time to nearest Comcast store) and 15 tries including a number of reboots over a three day period. YIKES!!! No matter how many times it was "hit" by Comcast, or how many times MCard was removed and the whole thing was started over, NO JOY!!

When we went to the bedroom to watch the other Tivo, we found that Comcast support had DEACTIVATED ITS MCARD -- another wait on the tech support phone line to get it reactivated and paired -- but that was successful and reasonably quick -- it is a Premiere XL and had been previously online for a few years.

I gave up and am having Comcast come out and personally install a cable card -- am wondering what the maximum number of failed Comcast cable cards is the record before getting one to fully work.

I WILL give credit to Comcast support and Tivo support for staying with me for up to and more than an hour at a time trying to get the pairing accomplished with a "V" value for validation in the installer menu.

(FWIW, all of my A/V components are hard-wired via Ethernet cables to gigabit router and gigabit switches using cat 6 cables)
I once had what I thought and Comcast support thought was a bad cable card, they sent out a Tech and he did not have a cable card with him, he told my there are almost no bad Cable Cards just Comcast people that don't know how to "fix" them from the head end. He had super "Sally" that he used from Comcast, called her and after a little time my TiVo said that the someone had removed the cable card (it was still in the TiVo), the card was totally reprogramed by this "Sally" and than provisioned for what I was paying for and it has been working great for the last two years. Few people (at Comcast) can set up a cable card from scratch, but some cable cards need that for reasons I don't know, as they do have flash memory on the cable card and some type of timer built in, and the normal provisioning of the Cable Card may not work if part of the original flash program got corrupted somehow.
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Old 11-16-2014, 06:48 PM   #4
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Yea, it is the people 99% of the time, not the cable cards. Since TiVo has an internet connection, I really wish the TiVo itself could just contact the cable company's web site and feed it all the relevant information rather than relaying it all through multiple people reading numbers off a screen or the back of the card.

There is all sorts of talk about a successor to cable cards, but I don't think we really need one, we just need a mandate to automate the process over the internet :-).
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Old 11-16-2014, 07:05 PM   #5
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Yea, it is the people 99% of the time, not the cable cards. Since TiVo has an internet connection, I really wish the TiVo itself could just contact the cable company's web site and feed it all the relevant information rather than relaying it all through multiple people reading numbers off a screen or the back of the card.

There is all sorts of talk about a successor to cable cards, but I don't think we really need one, we just need a mandate to automate the process over the internet :-).
If it was easy to reprogram a Cable Card from scratch than an E-Bay purchased cable card could be reprogramed and used on any cable card cable system. I think that why super "Sally" can only be talked to by a Comcast tech (that knows what he is doing, and many techs don't, they just put in a new Cable Card to fix the problem).
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Old 11-16-2014, 07:07 PM   #6
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Super "Sally" sounds like a great chick. I wish she were my friend.
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Old 11-16-2014, 07:47 PM   #7
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Super "Sally" sounds like a great chick. I wish she were my friend.
I wish she was my friend too - Super "Raj" called me tonight and is trying to do a Super Salley trick - awaiting his second phone call after my Roamio locked up and he didn't want to waste time waiting on a cold reset for a third time.

There really ought to be an automated system through Sony/Tivo directly via the internet to the Comcast computer that reprovisions or reflashes the cable card... sigh. ..
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Old 11-16-2014, 09:08 PM   #8
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I gave up and am having Comcast come out and personally install a cable card -- am wondering what the maximum number of failed Comcast cable cards is the record before getting one to fully work.
Good luck.. When I first got my Roamio basic, I went and got a CC from the comcast store. Wouldn't activate or pair. They insisted on sending a tech out, so I waited the 4 days for them to do that.. then when the guy came, he didn't bring any extra CC at all like he was suppose to.. When he couldn't get it to activate or pair, his supervisor told him that my package (Blast Plus) was to fast for the CC and or Roamio. I almost died laughing on the spot. I pointed to my Premier and asked why that one was working just fine and he couldn't answer that, only insisted what his supervisor said was correct.. They wanted me to change packages and if I refused they wouldn't help any further. So I sent the guy packing and had to call and get them to remove the charge they tried to stick me with.. Went back to the comcast store and exchanged the CC and that one worked just fine...
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Old 11-16-2014, 10:40 PM   #9
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Good luck.. When I first got my Roamio basic, I went and got a CC from the comcast store. Wouldn't activate or pair. They insisted on sending a tech out, so I waited the 4 days for them to do that.. then when the guy came, he didn't bring any extra CC at all like he was suppose to.. When he couldn't get it to activate or pair, his supervisor told him that my package (Blast Plus) was to fast for the CC and or Roamio. I almost died laughing on the spot. I pointed to my Premier and asked why that one was working just fine and he couldn't answer that, only insisted what his supervisor said was correct.. They wanted me to change packages and if I refused they wouldn't help any further. So I sent the guy packing and had to call and get them to remove the charge they tried to stick me with.. Went back to the comcast store and exchanged the CC and that one worked just fine...
After 15 years of like (DID NOT SAY LOVE) and HATE with Comcrap, the success of their service calls is directly related to the quality of the personnel that arrive -- usually pretty good. Super "Raj" that called tonight who had me jumping through the same hoops that I had already been through two dozen times said he would call back in an hour and of course, that was a LIE!!! GRRRRR

There has got to be a way to refresh/reflash each CC with fresh f/w and whatever data is needed to make sure that they work -- Sony/Tivo has worked hard on this problem as has Comcast support via phone and several times in a three-way conference call. Kudos to those efforts to get the card fully paired -- my advice to them was to send out a tech that knew Tivos which I am sadly willing to pay after me wasting a couple of dozen hours and two 80 mile trips AND BRING AT LEAST SIX CC's and keep trying them until one of them actually pairs. (They tell me that they are no longer making CC's).
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Old 11-17-2014, 11:51 AM   #10
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This Thread shows why TiVo will never grow their consumer market much, cable card hassle as opposed to the MSOs DVR.
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Old 11-17-2014, 12:02 PM   #11
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There has got to be a way to refresh/reflash each CC with fresh f/w and whatever data is needed to make sure that they work
I'm sure there is, but it's apparently a state secret. They don't want anyone knowing the secrets that would let them hack a CableCard and get all the channels for free.
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Old 11-17-2014, 01:18 PM   #12
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This Thread shows why TiVo will never grow their consumer market much, cable card hassle as opposed to the MSOs DVR.
Total agreement here -- I cannot recommend Tivo's to friends knowing that they probably will have to go through this same stressful and time-sucking crap just to get everything working. We love our Tivo that actually works but getting to that point is just too tough and this is my last attempt IF IF IF Comcast can get their card fully paired during a personal service call at my cost, otherwise Sony/Tivo gets it back and a refund demanded. It IS a shame since most of the issue belongs to Comcast -- in several of the two dozen calls trying to resolve this (most were from India), they tried to tell me that I was not subscribed to Xfinity VOD, and the two channels that I cannot get -- 829 (AEHD) and 300 (HBOHD) but my two year contract states otherwise. Sometimes I have to wonder if Comcast is actually doing this on purpose in order to promote their own DVR.
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Old 11-17-2014, 02:21 PM   #13
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Total agreement here -- I cannot recommend Tivo's to friends knowing that they probably will have to go through this same stressful and time-sucking crap just to get everything working. We love our Tivo that actually works but getting to that point is just too tough and this is my last attempt IF IF IF Comcast can get their card fully paired during a personal service call at my cost, otherwise Sony/Tivo gets it back and a refund demanded. It IS a shame since most of the issue belongs to Comcast -- in several of the two dozen calls trying to resolve this (most were from India), they tried to tell me that I was not subscribed to Xfinity VOD, and the two channels that I cannot get -- 829 (AEHD) and 300 (HBOHD) but my two year contract states otherwise. Sometimes I have to wonder if Comcast is actually doing this on purpose in order to promote their own DVR.
If the truck roll doesn't fix your problems, you can file a complaint with the FCC. That usually gets Comcast's attention and will usually get you in touch with someone at Comcast who actually knows what they are doing and how to fix these sorts of problems.
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Old 11-18-2014, 09:10 AM   #14
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If the truck roll doesn't fix your problems, you can file a complaint with the FCC. That usually gets Comcast's attention and will usually get you in touch with someone at Comcast who actually knows what they are doing and how to fix these sorts of problems.
I‘m a new TiVo user my Roamio basic Comcast cable card would not bind to the cable card slot VAL = 0, VCTID = 0 . I had multiple activation hit’s swapped out Cable Card, even replaced Roamio. Truck Roll and tech did his best but no joy, I have four Comcast supplied STB’s in the house that will be phased out with TiVo Roamio and Mini’s.

What got me working was the truck roll tech getting the Comcast CAG group on the phone with him. That CAG eng. looked at parameters of other Comcast STB’s in the house. They found that the cable card was associated with the wrong downstream. At his end he changed the downstream parameter that should be associated the TiVo cable card as with other Comcast STB’s in the home…………bingo video pops up on the TV.

Now VAL = V and VCTID = number other than 0 and additional fields showed up in the TiVo CA screen AUTH= S.

From what I was told the parameter change would go away after 24 hours or so until the Comcast billing department update was made to the TiVo cable card on my account. The Comcast CAG person said that the billing department was made aware and would send a billing hit to the cable card. I'm not sure if that was when AUTH=S then showed up in the TiVo CA screen.

So no bad cable card for me I just needed the in home Comcast tech to get the right folks in Comcast on line with him to resolve my issue.........good luck Dick

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Old 11-18-2014, 04:07 PM   #15
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If the truck roll doesn't fix your problems, you can file a complaint with the FCC. That usually gets Comcast's attention and will usually get you in touch with someone at Comcast who actually knows what they are doing and how to fix these sorts of problems.
While the Comcast service tech person was not that familiar with the new Roamio, I got him into the two menus that he needed, showed him the current statement from Comcast that I really did have HBO (since several techs on the telephone stated that I was not supposed to be getting it) and suggested that he try a different MCard, but he very politely declined, made a quick phone call, gave that person the SAME four sets of numbers that I previously gave out more than a dozen times in the past three days, and INSTANT SUCCESS

(I wonder WHY it was not possible for the MORE THAN 12 times that I gave those same numbers to various techs online -- twice with Tivo Support also helping in a conference call -- that they could not do whatever the person that he called, did do, taking mere seconds for success???)
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Old 11-18-2014, 05:46 PM   #16
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While the Comcast service tech person was not that familiar with the new Roamio, I got him into the two menus that he needed, showed him the current statement from Comcast that I really did have HBO (since several techs on the telephone stated that I was not supposed to be getting it) and suggested that he try a different MCard, but he very politely declined, made a quick phone call, gave that person the SAME four sets of numbers that I previously gave out more than a dozen times in the past three days, and INSTANT SUCCESS

(I wonder WHY it was not possible for the MORE THAN 12 times that I gave those same numbers to various techs online -- twice with Tivo Support also helping in a conference call -- that they could not do whatever the person that he called, did do, taking mere seconds for success???)
Read my post #5, your tech had his super "Sally"
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Old 11-19-2014, 05:58 AM   #17
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Our household needed two CableCards, went through four to get two working ones.

Yesterday a Comcast rep on the Xfinity forum was answering questions and complaints about CableCard activations and posted this:

-----
I have also shared your experience with an internal team who has been reviewing the current cable card activation process as there is certainly room for streamlining and overall improvement here.
-----
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Old 11-19-2014, 08:49 AM   #18
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I'm at the point that I get three cards, if they have em.

One of Comcasts standard defenses is to blame the card and tell you you need to go get another one to get you off the call. Then they switch to the "rolling a truck" tactic and you generally get some guy who's never seen a tivo before.

If upgrading to a new unit, I never pull a cablecard from the older box, since they average like three to five days in my city to finally send the right combination of signals. One tech resorted to bombarding a box for over 15 minutes, making the card reset over and over before it finally took. He told the on site tech he was just systematically flipping all of the software switches he had available to him until one random combo magically worked. Certainly didn't make my parents (who had tolerated me coming over ever day for several days sitting on the phone with the cablecard hotline) impressed with Comcast's technical savvy...
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Old 11-19-2014, 09:34 AM   #19
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Certainly didn't make my parents (who had tolerated me coming over ever day for several days sitting on the phone with the cablecard hotline) impressed with Comcast's technical savvy...
Over the last month there's been a Comcast rep on the Xfinity forum telling folks with signal issues that they have some "flux" on their line. I have no idea if "flux" is real or not...but it sure sounds funny!
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Old 11-19-2014, 10:00 AM   #20
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I'm at the point that I get three cards, if they have em.

One of Comcasts standard defenses is to blame the card and tell you you need to go get another one to get you off the call. Then they switch to the "rolling a truck" tactic and you generally get some guy who's never seen a tivo before.

If upgrading to a new unit, I never pull a cablecard from the older box, since they average like three to five days in my city to finally send the right combination of signals. One tech resorted to bombarding a box for over 15 minutes, making the card reset over and over before it finally took. He told the on site tech he was just systematically flipping all of the software switches he had available to him until one random combo magically worked. Certainly didn't make my parents (who had tolerated me coming over ever day for several days sitting on the phone with the cablecard hotline) impressed with Comcast's technical savvy...
Something is fishy here - since the techs at the official number that we as users are forced to call, often cannot get the CC properly paired but a service tech on a PAID service call who is unfamiliar with Tivos can call his version of "Magic Sally," and pair the card in seconds after the user has tried for days -- that the FCC ruling forcing the cable companies to provide CC's to users to avoid a $60 service call appears to a legal way to STILL GET THE $60 SERVICE CALL ANYWAY but stay within FCC guidelines.

Tivo techs should have access to a "Magic Sally" with the user merely calling Tivo and let THEM handle the entire pairing process since it appears to be able to be done within minutes by a properly trained and qualified individual at Comcast which only the Comcast service tech has authority to call -- it would have saved me 3+ days and evenings of aggravation and perhaps 25-30 hours of wasted time plus Comcast would not need as many worthless techs in the Phillipines or India. BUT THAT WOULD CHEAT COMCAST OUT OF A $60 SERVICE CALL THAT THE FCC THOUGHT THEY ELIMINATED. (frankly, I would rather have paid for the 5 minute service call instead of the time - sucking hours, frustration and headaches over several days, periodically in telephone queues and talking to people that I could not clearly understand that could not understand nor fix the pairing problem anyway - if Tivos are compatible with Google fiber, I will drop Comcast like a rock when Google fiber gets here.)

END OF RANT [BTW - after many hours on the phone over a period of days and evenings with no resolution, due to major frustration, I was soooo close to asking Sony for an RMA and if denied, would have taken the cursed thing into the back yard and put eight buckshot rounds into it, blowing it to hell and losing my money never to buy a Sony product again.]
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Old 11-19-2014, 10:35 AM   #21
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Over the last month there's been a Comcast rep on the Xfinity forum telling folks with signal issues that they have some "flux" on their line. I have no idea if "flux" is real or not...but it sure sounds funny!
They obviously failed to add the proper flux capacitors to the line :-).
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Old 11-19-2014, 01:25 PM   #22
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They obviously failed to add the proper flux capacitors to the line :-).
Flux is short for fluctuations, I'm sure, but funny nonetheless!
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Old 11-19-2014, 02:00 PM   #23
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Over the last month there's been a Comcast rep on the Xfinity forum telling folks with signal issues that they have some "flux" on their line. I have no idea if "flux" is real or not...but it sure sounds funny!
"OK, Comcast. I've got flux on the line. It's your line. Fix it."
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Old 11-19-2014, 02:37 PM   #24
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Something is fishy here - since the techs at the official number that we as users are forced to call, often cannot get the CC properly paired but a service tech on a PAID service call who is unfamiliar with Tivos can call his version of "Magic Sally," and pair the card in seconds after the user has tried for days -- that the FCC ruling forcing the cable companies to provide CC's to users to avoid a $60 service call appears to a legal way to STILL GET THE $60 SERVICE CALL ANYWAY but stay within FCC guidelines.

Tivo techs should have access to a "Magic Sally" with the user merely calling Tivo and let THEM handle the entire pairing process since it appears to be able to be done within minutes by a properly trained and qualified individual at Comcast which only the Comcast service tech has authority to call -- it would have saved me 3+ days and evenings of aggravation and perhaps 25-30 hours of wasted time plus Comcast would not need as many worthless techs in the Phillipines or India. BUT THAT WOULD CHEAT COMCAST OUT OF A $60 SERVICE CALL THAT THE FCC THOUGHT THEY ELIMINATED. (frankly, I would rather have paid for the 5 minute service call instead of the time - sucking hours, frustration and headaches over several days, periodically in telephone queues and talking to people that I could not clearly understand that could not understand nor fix the pairing problem anyway - if Tivos are compatible with Google fiber, I will drop Comcast like a rock when Google fiber gets here.)

END OF RANT [BTW - after many hours on the phone over a period of days and evenings with no resolution, due to major frustration, I was soooo close to asking Sony for an RMA and if denied, would have taken the cursed thing into the back yard and put eight buckshot rounds into it, blowing it to hell and losing my money never to buy a Sony product again.]
Um, no... theres never been a service charge for rolling the truck. Its thier fault for being incompetent. I am clear about it before I agree to scheduling it, and then Im clear with the tech before I let him in the house.

Um, what does Sony have to do with anything?!?
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Old 11-20-2014, 12:35 AM   #25
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Um, no... theres never been a service charge for rolling the truck. Its thier fault for being incompetent. I am clear about it before I agree to scheduling it, and then Im clear with the tech before I let him in the house.

Um, what does Sony have to do with anything?!?
Never paid for any Comcast service call as the problem I would call about would be a Comcast problem. I guess if called Comcast because your TiVo got unplugged from the cable you may have to pay.
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