Comcast + Cablecard/Tivo = Nightmare?

Discussion in 'TiVo Premiere DVRs' started by sberkowitz, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. sberkowitz

    sberkowitz New Member

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    Aug 12, 2011
    Here's my Comcast experience. Went into the local office (Hollywood, FL - Broward) on 8/5 to pick up my first CableCard for my Tivo Premier. They had the self install kit, but the CSR didn't know how to properly add it to my acct... seems like I was the first to ask her for one. Brought it home and called to activate it - with no luck. The phone tech sent me to Tier 2 where their answer was to bring the card in and swap it.

    I bring the card back in on 8/10 and I'm told that it wasn't the CableCard on my account and they will not return it to me as the card I brought in was 'stolen' Comcast property... until I pull out the receipt showing they scanned that specific card out to me. Seems like the first CSR didn't register the card to my acct properly. So I finally leave with my second CableCard.

    I go home, call back and after a one hour hold speak to someone to pair this card to my Tivo. This time... success... sort of. I get the basic digital tier, but not the Preferred tier and HBO that I subscribe to. Back on the phone to Comcast and after 3 more hits and 2 more techs, I begin losing channels - just getting channels 2-25. They schedule a truck roll.

    I tweet ComcastCares and get a response from ComcastMichael, to his credit attempted to repair the card and seems the most knowlegable about CableCards from all the other CSRs I've interacted with, but alas, still no cable and I wait for the truck roll.

    The truck came out today, 8/12. The tech removes a few two-way splitters I have used and pulled a 2-way Motorola ampifier out of the attic (something recommened by Telemedia Cable and installed by them, as our network is a Moto network) and replaced it with another amp, and changes the ends of the cable wiring throughout.

    After calling a few times to the central office trying to active the second card, he swaps out the card. Turns out he's carrying (now my third card) only one extra card... a Moto S-card. I explain to him that it's not going to work in this box, he puts it in, and low and behold the "non-M-card" message comes up. He then calls 2-3 other techs in the area and leaves to meet up with one of the other techs to get a M-card. 30 min later, he returns with a M-Card with a 2-way sticker on it (intriguing).

    He activates now the fourth card. I get basic cable and the basic digital tier channels again. I explain to him I'm supposed to get the Digital Preferred channels and HBO and he replies that I'm won't get them unless I pay for them. I have him call the office to verify my package and then they try to pair my card yet again a few more times. Again, I lose all but channels 2-25, have an unpaired card, and he leaves telling me it's a problem with my Tivo and he will escalate the problem to his supervisor.

    The techs and CSRs here know nothing about the Conditional Access panel, and after explaining that I'm my Auth is FWK and the Val is ?... meaning that the card isn't paired... AND that I'm getting the gray pairing popup on every channel - the local people give me a blank stare.

    So I'm sitting here with my Tivo and CableCard 7 days later, with no service... I've escalated the issue to the Broward install supervisor... any suggestions on what to do next? Also has anyone in South Florida had good experience with a specific tech that I can request? ANY help would be appreciated!
     
  2. danjw1

    danjw1 Member

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    Sep 13, 2005
    You need to MAKE SURE THEY GET THE "Host ID" and "Data" into their system, these come from the "Pairing" screen on the Tivo. Once that happens, they need to "hit" the card. Keep them on the phone until you see it working. If that doesn't get you working, file a complaint here, don't forget to let them know you will be filing a complaint with the FCC. Then file a complaint with the FCC.
     
  3. sberkowitz

    sberkowitz New Member

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    Aug 12, 2011
    Wow, gotta say that the ComcastCares people are very responsive... just sent a few tweets back and forth with @ComcastMichael who informed me that:

    "the cable card and host were not paired in the system. the host was paired with a different card. possibly one of the older ones. i have removed the host from the old card but the system is giving me an error when im trying to add it to the new cable card... i apologize for all the trouble thus far. i will make sure our regional office works with our engineers to get this resolved once and for all"

    And to think the tech and dispatch were reading these numbers back and forth multiple times when they were here...

    This is the second or third issue I've had that has been resolved via Twitter that I couldn't get resolved by phone support. I'll keep everyone updated as to what happens... and kudos to Michael Cardone (@ComcastMichael) for living up to his twitter icon.
     
  4. JoeTaxpayer

    JoeTaxpayer Member

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    Dec 23, 2008
    There's one thread here trying to consolidate the CC experience.
    Mine there shows about 90 min from start to finish, but just one card.

    Could it be better? Sure, by 80 minutes or so. But this is still new to many comcast people. They need better training.
     
  5. SQUIDWARD360

    SQUIDWARD360 Member

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    May 28, 2010
    I have Comcast coming today for the same issue. No premium channels coming through. Although I have two Tivos with the same issue. So they can't blame the Tivo. I also have 2 Comcast boxes that receive the premium channels so they can't say I don't pay for them. I don't have a good feeling about this.
     
  6. danjw1

    danjw1 Member

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    Sep 13, 2005
    A lot of the truck rolls guys are contractors, not Comcast employees. You can specifically ask for a Comcast employee. I would say with them you have a slightly better chance of getting someone who has been trained.
     
  7. c_tripps_2k

    c_tripps_2k Member

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    Sep 12, 2005
    New??? Come on, I've had tivos with cable cards for 4 years!!! These threads with clueless incompetent technicians and clueless CSR's are years old. Why can't the cable companies get this right. No wonder they are consistently voted the worst and most hated companies in the country. If only they would dedicate some on the money they rape us for to training they would solve the majority of problems that are reported.
     
  8. danjw1

    danjw1 Member

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    Sep 13, 2005
    I agree this has been a long existing issue. The problem is that not many people actually use CableCards. I also think, that Comcast uses a lot of contractors for their truck rolls, who are usually totally untrained on CableCards. This is all the more reason that EVERYONE should file an FCC complaint when they run into these issues. It is the only way we will get Comcast or other cable companies to do the right thing.
     
  9. JoeTaxpayer

    JoeTaxpayer Member

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    Dec 23, 2008
    My bad. It's not new, it's selective. I think a few enough portion of their customers use cards and so not all the CSRs are properly trained.
    They should train enough truckroll techs to get it right the first time, and have the Card hotline trained just as well. Skip that. The self install should be on line. I'll type the numbers in right the first time.
     
  10. robr

    robr Member

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    Jan 29, 2002
    went thru three self install cable cards myself.
    card #1 was not an M card
    card #2 worked great for 3 days, then lost all the high channels. tech support borked it so badly, the tivo wouldn't function at all with the card inserted, so they told me to go swap it out
    card #3 never worked and the techs couldnt figure it out

    so they rolled a truck and he was here today. the csr i spoke with to activate the 3rd card had entered the wrong number. i even had him repeat it back to me as he was entering it and somehow it was still messed up.

    5 hours later, so far so good.
     
  11. tomhorsley

    tomhorsley Well-Known Member

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    Jul 22, 2010
    So what the world really needs now is a standard format web site where you can go to register your M card rather than talking to dopes on a phone, then teach the tivo to access the web site and plug the numbers in itself, directly from the dadgum card. No more typos (other than the bugs tivo would put in the software, of course :).
     
  12. JoeTaxpayer

    JoeTaxpayer Member

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    Dec 23, 2008
    Just when I was saying "let users put the numbers into website," this is perfect. The TiVo knows its location and cable provider. This should be the way it's done. Great idea.
     
  13. SQUIDWARD360

    SQUIDWARD360 Member

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    May 28, 2010
    A Comcast employee showed up and he was completely clueless. Basically the process was calling his technical support and the employee reading back numbers to her. The card ID number was incorrect on technical supports side. So my premium channels are now working but when I asked about ESPN3D the women in technical support said "oh he can't have that". Which doesn't make sense. I can only hope this fixes the issue of never receiving PPV also.
     
  14. danjw1

    danjw1 Member

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    Sep 13, 2005
    I said "slightly" better. :)

    I just did a web search and came up with a post from another forum that claimed to be able to view 3d video with Comcast and a Premiere. I know that the Premiere is supposed to have a HDMI 1.3, HDMI 1.3a and above supports 3D. So, Tivo may or may not be able to do 3d. Also, you would need a High Speed HDMI cable to get this and a 3D capable TV. Some claim they have gotten this to work in this thread. So you may want to just call back and casually ask them to add ESPN 3D to your account and not mention Tivo. Have you been able to view any 3D with your system? If you don't have any other sources that provide 3D, it may be the cable or TV isn't capable.
     
  15. SQUIDWARD360

    SQUIDWARD360 Member

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    May 28, 2010
    Comcast 3D works fine. It's just ESPN. A buddy has a tivo and got it to work. I have contacted Comcast about 4 times and it was a waste of time.
     
  16. jfh3

    jfh3 Active Member

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    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    When you call Comcast to activate the 3D code, DON'T mention Tivo.

    (Tivo Premiere handles 3D fine, if connected with the proper HDMI cable to a 3D capable set)
     
  17. jfh3

    jfh3 Active Member

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    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    And for those doing self-installs - if you aren't getting premium channels you subscribe to, the card aren't paired AND VALIDATED properly. Look at the CableCARD FAQ in the Series 3 forum - almost everything there applies to a Premiere.
     
  18. sberkowitz

    sberkowitz New Member

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    Aug 12, 2011
    Finally resolved. Tech came out this morning who actually knew some things about CableCards.... swapped the one in my box with a brand new one.... new from the shipping carton from Motorola... and paired it, and viola! I have all my channels.

    Kinda a scary experience at first as the box was giving a 161-1 error with the new CableCard, but with all my channels working. After about a half hour, the error went away and the correct programming tables appeared.

    The tech (a corp. Comcast tech, just like the original one) said whoever was reprogramming them at the distribution center wasn't doing it right - and I was not his first call today with this issue. He also determined the box was installed incorrectly the time the first tech came out - that it was set up as a CableCard with switched box - not CableCard without box. Thankfully this ended the comedy of errors with this CableCard experience.

    At the end, I also got a week's credit on my account, and the $8.50 fee the first tech added to my account to "add an outlet" - never knew an outlet can magically appear without me knowing - has been removed. An all in all successful day.

    Lesson learned with Comcast - complain to the right people and it all gets resolved rather quickly!
     
  19. JimboG

    JimboG New Member

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    May 27, 2007
    San Diego, CA
    So did Comcast pay you for the two days of work you missed due to their incompetence?:rolleyes:
     
  20. ducker

    ducker New Member

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    Feb 21, 2006
    MA
    Exactly... and this is why I can't frickin' stand Comcast. So many totally clueless people. The thought of people having to go to twitter to get a proper resolution is insane.

    I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of the recent cable card errors are due to tech errors - specifically typos/ read errors of the numbers on the cards.
     

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