Cablecard Blues

Discussion in 'TiVo Premiere DVRs' started by lillevig, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. lillevig

    lillevig Cold in East Iowa

    1,778
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    Dec 6, 2010
    Marion, Iowa
    Got my new Premiere literally overnight (free shipping!) but I'm still not able to use it because of cablecard issues. My cable provider is Suddenlink (they took over the Cox network in West Texas) and it seems like it took them two truck rolls to get the card fully working on my HD unit. Now they let you install your own card ($25 savings) and then call in to pair it with the Tivo. First card refused to be paired. Second card paired in no time, but cannot get my premium HD channels (does get the local, basic level HD channels). One tech even tried to tell me that the signal might be too low or too high (NOT!). Anyway, Monday I go get a third card and do the phone marathon thing again. Anybody else have this much trouble getting a cablecard working? I'm almost suspecting that they really want me to pay for a truck roll. The only thing their tech could do that I can't is to bring a fistfull of cards to try. I have to do it one at a time. Good thing I'm only 3 miles from the cable office. :mad:
     
  2. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

    10,722
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    May 1, 2006
    Dallas, TX
  3. lillevig

    lillevig Cold in East Iowa

    1,778
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    Dec 6, 2010
    Marion, Iowa
    I don't really think there is anything intentional going on, just questionable cards and phone techs who may not know much more than what their computer is displaying. The kicker is that they now offer the Premiere as the upscale DVR choice so you would think they would have the Premiere/CableCard procedure down pat by now. Just had to rant....
     
  4. sbiller

    sbiller Active Member

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    May 10, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    Looks like some people are being helped over here --> http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cebridge
     
  5. jfh3

    jfh3 Active Member

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    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    CqbleCARDs are rarely defective. It's just that many techs and CSRs don't understand the required steps and, from the nature if many problem reports, seem to forget the validation step.
     
  6. arrestedcloud

    arrestedcloud arrestedcloud

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    Sep 10, 2011
    MD
    I think because cable cards are not as commonly asked for, most techs do not know what to do. I am with Fios and have till now activated 2 cable cards successfully but each of them took over 3 hours.

    For the first one the first time I called Vz and the rep said their system was down. The next day I chatted with a new tech for over 2 hours and he asked every number that was displayed in the pairing screen and on the physical card. He finally consulted a whole bunch of other techs and activated it.

    For the second one i chatted with a tech and his supervisor for over 2 hours and it would not activate. Finally the supervisor called me up and said they would need a truck roll. I said I did not want a tech coming to my house, who wants to deal with that hassle. I asked him to transfer me to the tech that had helped me the first time. He transferred me to the same center and this new tech also had a tough time activating it. He too after consulting with various other techs got it activated. But that also took over 3 hours he however did not put me on hold but rather called back every hour with an update.

    The techs rely to much on their automated software for activation and if there is any glitch they do not know what to do. Hence I do not think it is an equipment issue but technician knowledge or lack there of.

    Apparently what worked was to delete the earlier activation request and try a new one.
     
  7. lillevig

    lillevig Cold in East Iowa

    1,778
    1
    Dec 6, 2010
    Marion, Iowa
    I wouldn't have thought that CableCards were usually defective but the first one refused to pair, for four different phone techs, even with the guidance of Tivo tech support. Tivo tech support got into it because I was told at Suddenlink that they had support techs specifically for handling Tivo issues. Turns out that I got routed directly to Tivo itself. As I said, the second pairing went great, but then several calls later they still couldn't activate the decoding for my HD channel package even though my S3HD unit works perfectly with the same setup. That's when they keep suggesting a truck roll. I'll burn a tank of gas swapping cards before I give into that. :p
     
  8. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

    10,722
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    May 1, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    Intentional or not, my point was, it shouldn't be that hard to install a cable card, and that's what you're complaint to the FCC would consist of.

    These are just two examples, and the FCC needs to hear from us, the people, for a change.
    If the FCC gets enough complaints like these, maybe they will crack down on the cable companies to get their employees trained and put a QA program in place for the cable cards.
     
  9. lillevig

    lillevig Cold in East Iowa

    1,778
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    Dec 6, 2010
    Marion, Iowa
    Perhaps, but I followed your link and, technically, they are not doing anything wrong. Pretty much they are just alienating customers. Perhaps a better place to lodge a complaint would be with the cable company CEO.
     
  10. MC Hammer

    MC Hammer New Member

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    Jul 28, 2011
    Correct. The FCC can't tell a company how and to what degree to train its employees.
     
  11. danjw1

    danjw1 Member

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    Sep 13, 2005
    Yes, but they could probably fine them if they decide that the cable company is intentionally trying to make it harder for consumers to use CableCards.
     
  12. MC Hammer

    MC Hammer New Member

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    Jul 28, 2011
    I think you'll find that nigh impossible to prove especially since there isn't a cable company in the US that has the majority of its level one techs thoroughly trained on CableCARDs.

    You have to remember when you call Comcast, TWC or whoever, the person you're speaking with is there to warm a seat and is replacable at the drop of a hat. No reason to spend more money than necessary on thorough training when you're essentially dealing with a disposable employee that can perform the majority of the tasks requested of them on a daily basis. Plus, CableCARD issues make up a terribly low percentage of the calls your run of the mill CSR takes.
     
  13. finleyrc

    finleyrc New Member

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    Aug 14, 2011
    Didn't see this mentioned yet. This only applies for a tivo you've purchased - not one you're renting monthly from your cable co.

    There's a toll free "cable card hotline" number on the support pages at tivo.com. I was on my 2nd cable card (rcn chicago) and they couldn't get it working. It was about 20 minutes on the phone. 1st tivo technician checked cable card menus & confirmed it was a pairing problem. They actually will do a 3 way call w/cable co. tech. support department.

    They had my cable card reset & correctly paired in about 20 minutes once we got past the torture of listening to hold music at RCN. ;) For what it's worth and only applicable for a tivo (premiere) unit you own.
     
  14. SuddenlinkAshley

    SuddenlinkAshley New Member

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    Aug 1, 2011

    Hi -- my name is Ashley, and I'm with Suddenlink. I'm sorry to hear that you've been experiencing some trouble with your cable TV. I'd be happy to work with management in your area to resolve. Please feel free to contact me directly: ashley-AT-suddenlink-DOT-com. Thanks!
     
  15. lillevig

    lillevig Cold in East Iowa

    1,778
    1
    Dec 6, 2010
    Marion, Iowa
    Forgive me, Ashley, but you don't have a history in this Forum and this sounds suspiciously like a phishing expedition. If you are who you say you are then send me an e-mail through this Forum (click on my user name for options) so that I can verify your e-mail address.
     
  16. nrc

    nrc Cracker Soul

    2,485
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    Nov 17, 1999
    Living in a...
    They're legally required to make your TiVo work on their network if it's functioning properly. It's the intent of these regulations to make it as easy to own your own device as it is to lease a cable company box. If that's not happening then the FCC needs to know so that it can be corrected in their next round of regulations.
     
  17. lillevig

    lillevig Cold in East Iowa

    1,778
    1
    Dec 6, 2010
    Marion, Iowa
    I lost count of how many times I dialed Suddenlink Tech Support but I know that I talked to at least 10 different reps (probably more). The summary is that I ended up trying three CableCards (the third card looked exactly like the others but had "Tivo" marked on the plastic carrier) and what seemed to work was to have the phone tech unpair the card, then re-pair the card, wait a while (30 minutes?) and then restart the Tivo. Or maybe it was because I threatened to file a complaint with the FCC....

    I will send an accounting of my travails to the Suddenlink management and possibly copy the FCC just because I finally reached my "no more Mr. Nice Guy" limit.
     
  18. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

    10,722
    0
    May 1, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    Do it. Like I said before, it shouldn't have been that difficult to get your Tivo working with cable cards. The FCC needs to hear stories like this.

    What do you think Suddenlink is going to submit to the FCC? The truth?
    No. They are going to say that everything is fine and there are no major customer complaints.
     

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