Comcast Unfair Business Practices Re Serial Port Change - Please Complain

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by cjayr, Nov 13, 2007.

  1. fredct

    fredct Member

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    Nov 15, 2004
    NJ

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    Whether the cable box displays its banner sounds like it has to be a cable box settings. Perhaps its set not to display it when changed via the serial port? I have a hard time seeing TiVo having an effect on that.
     
  2. nessus

    nessus New Member

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    Mar 24, 2003
    I just got a call from Comcast claiming that they have fixed the firmware issue on our Motorola cable box and now the serial port should work again with the TiVo.

    |>oug
     
  3. boochi3

    boochi3 New Member

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    Nov 16, 2007
    I live in MA and I contacted the head of the New England Comcast Tivo Division a couple of days ago. I got bounced around to a few people and in the end I sent my name, address and telephone number via email and it ended up with:

    Jeff_Vandeberghe@cable.comcast.com
    Jeff Vandeberghe
    Director of Product Deployment
    Comcast - Northern Central Division
    603-695-1546

    I can now change the channel on my Tivo!!!!!!!
     
  4. snakeimay

    snakeimay New Member

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    Mar 15, 2005
    THANK YOU THANK YOU

    That did it. I left a vm for Jeff last night and it was fixed this morning along with a vm from him telling me I should be all set.

    For all the evil that exists in that company, this guy is making a difference. I'm guessing they have a solution but may be testing more or getting ready for a wider roll-out.
     
  5. notesGoddess

    notesGoddess New Member

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    Nov 21, 2007

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    He did it for two out of my 3 boxes... the third is not connected to TiVo, so I can let that one go for now.

    He did mention a couple of things:
    He's not surprised that many or most of the CSRs do not know what a serial port it.
    Not everyone at Comcast has access to the servers necessary to apply this fix.
    The "fix" involved disconnecting the boxes from their servers, selecting the services and PORTS to enable, and restarting the boxes.
    He's working on an escalation process as he will be out of the office for a couple of days, but he's peddling as fast as he can to catch up with the calls and eMails resulting from this posting.
    He reiterated that Comcast did not intentionally do this.
    He told me that if it were to happen again, keep his info handy.

    You ROCK, Jeff!
     
  6. roxfinch

    roxfinch Geek Wannabe

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    Mar 7, 2002
    Beverly, MA
    Thanks to all who have been posting about their serial port working again. We'll be plugging the cable box back in today and seeing if we get the update. If we haven't gotten it by end of day we'll put a call in to see when we can expect it.

    I have to admit, I'm very pleased at how this has all turned out. I know a lot of people have plenty of gripes about Comcast, but I've been a customer for both cable and internet for several years now and have always had good service (even if it sometimes took a little prodding :)). I was really disappointed at how they handled the whole thing, but figured what was done was done. I'm so glad to see a company respond to customer pressure! Who knew consumers still had any power these days?!?!
     
  7. jakerock

    jakerock Hey ho howdy!

    4,644
    947
    Dec 9, 2002
    Lee, NH
    Two of us from work emailed him and he got back to us very quickly indicating that we should be all set. Can't test it until tonight, but am optimistic seeing how things have been going for other people.
     
  8. EuroTrash60

    EuroTrash60 New Member

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    Jan 22, 2007
    Across the Pond
    I got 2 voice mails from the Comcast corporate office, they had a tech out here on Weds AM, the guy was very good, has a TivO himself. TiVO has not diabled the serial port in the PA area. He swapped out the motorola 2500 box, Slingmedia send me a new SlingBox.. I have hooked the TiVO directly to the TV and the problem remains. I did the camera test on the TiVO, and can see no IR emitter signal coming from the front of the box. I think this is a TiVO problem.

    Next step is to call TiVO service and see if they can figure out what the heck is wrong here. Hope to get this covered under warranty, unit is less than a year old.

    So, hat's off to Comcast, they were really on top of this problem. -ET
     
  9. roxfinch

    roxfinch Geek Wannabe

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    Mar 7, 2002
    Beverly, MA
    Just a heads up that apparently you need to contact Jeff (who ROCKS) to get the fix. We didn't know if it was something like firmware that needed to be pushed to our box and/or if it would come automatically. We plugged our cable box back in and connected the serial port and waited two days to see if it would happen on its own. When it didn't we sent Jeff a quick email today (Sunday) and figured we'd hear from him sometime next week. Imagine our surprise when at 10pm tonight, just ten hours after sending the email, we received an email from Jeff apologizing for the problem and telling us we should be all set. We just tested it and we are indeed all set!

    So, just for the record, if your serial port isn't yet working again, it looks like you do actually have to contact Comcast to get them to do it.

    When we sent him back an email thanking him and letting him know that the serial port was indeed working again, we were sure to point out that it was his actions that have kept us as a Comcast customer. I hope someone in their organization recognizes his attention to customer service.
     
  10. EuroTrash60

    EuroTrash60 New Member

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    Jan 22, 2007
    Across the Pond
    It's finally working again, I sat and cried because I managed to fix it all by myself. I live overseas right now, and SlingBox/TiVO is my one real connection with home. I consider it a lifesaver. I had 4 days left to fix all of this, and Sunday I got it to work again.

    I have to say Comcast has been super responsive to our problems. :up::up:
     
  11. RojCowles

    RojCowles New Member

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    Sep 2, 2003
    Marblehead, MA
    Just as an FYI, we were hit with the same issue with our ST Series 2 boxes. Within a couple of days of contacting Comcast they had a guy out who replaced our old DCT2244 Set Top Boxes with DCT2524 (??) boxes and the serial port has been working just fine ever since.

    If Rob and Zoe from the Comcast office are lurking over here, big thank you for your time and help !

    --
    Roj
     
  12. surge

    surge New Member

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    Jun 17, 2002
    Atlanta
    I have a Series 1 and before I call Comcast, I'd like to confirm something:

    Those of you having this issue.. Are you seeing the following in the System Information?

    Cable Box Software: cable box not responding

    thanks.
     
  13. dmdeane

    dmdeane sedentary adventurer

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    Apr 17, 2000
    North...
    This worked for me as well. I sent an email to Jeff yesterday afternoon around 1pm and he had replied and fixed the problem around 10pm. Jeff may or may not get to your email right away, but he will get to it and fix it without any problems or runarounds, so this is the perfect solution for those of you in the New England area who haven't gotten a solution yet. Kudos to Jeff. He's probably preventing a lot of us from leaving Comcast over this serial port thing. You don't realize how nice it is to have that serial port until it's gone. I never did get my IR blaster to work with my Motorola DCT2524. Once Jeff or someone else at Comcast has fixed the problem, you will have to go back into your TiVo settings to set up serial cable channel switching again (or anyway I did) before it will start working, but once that is done you're all set.

    From the TiVo help forums I gather what Jeff did was a "Factory Default Reset"; since I have a DCT2500-series box, I don't think it is true what people are saying; ie, these boxes also have been getting the serial port disabled. I think what happens is if you get a new box, it hasn't been plugged in so it never got the upgrade which disables the serial port, so the serial port works. But it could get disabled in future, unless Comcast has disabled this automatic Motorola patch update (which they should have by now, but who knows). Comcast say they are working on a fix to the Motorola patch but who knows when that will roll out. Calling or IM'ing or emailing and asking for a "Factory Default Reset" seems to be a much easier thing to do than getting the actual cable box replaced.
     
  14. gamndbndr

    gamndbndr Member

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    Jul 3, 2007
    Marietta, GA
    Is there an HQ email or contact at Comcast who will resolve this? It appears that Jeff is working in the northeast but I doubt he wants to support the entire country.

    Not really wanting to go through the painful phone call again without resolution when it appears that people who know how to do it can fix the problem fairly quickly.
     
  15. dmdeane

    dmdeane sedentary adventurer

    2,372
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    Apr 17, 2000
    North...
    If no one has posted any contacts here, try the help forums on the TiVo website.

    Or you could try the phone or IM help route; if you explain the Factory Default Reset solution you should be able to find someone who knows how to take care of this; others have had success with that route.
     
  16. lorenbc

    lorenbc New Member

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    Nov 26, 2004
    Cape Cod
    Thanks for the info; Jeff fixed it for me within an hour of my sending an email.

    Kudos to boochi3, dmdeane, and, of course, Jeff Vandeberghe of Comcast!

    Loren
     
  17. mc2wheels

    mc2wheels New Member

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    3
    May 24, 2004
    Medway
    Before reading this post, I tried calling comcast support. I had found a blog about what happened in atlanta, but hadn't seen the posts in this forum. I wasn't sure that they had done the same thing here in MA.

    Anyway, I told the customer service rep that I thought they disabled my serial port. The CSR told me that my box was faulty, that I shouldn't believe everything I read on the internet, and that Comcast would never do anything like this. I have no way of knowing whether he really did not know about the problem or was just trying to diffuse the situation with a lie. I ranted at him, and had the directTV number out when I saw this post.

    Thank you for posting the contacts that you found. I just sent mail to Jeff. I hope my box is fixed soon.

    I dumped Comcast for internet a couple of years ago when they were having DNS issue. After weeks with intermittent internet outages, I finally figured out they were having a DNS issue. I called and asked them to refund me for the month for all of the aggrevation. They offered to refund me for only the days that I had called to complain that my service was down -- which I had only done 3 times. I told them that I had been having the problem all month and that I had to diagnose and fix the issue myself (by switching to a public DNS server). They told me to go ahead and switch. So a month later when I had DSL setup, I called back to cancel. The guy on the other end of the phone this time admitted to me that there had been a denial of service attack on their equipment. I asked why they hadn't just been honest about it, and he said, "I really wish they had been." And he also said that they should have credited me for the month to keep me, but it was too late.

    Bottom line: If FIOS was in my neighborhood, I would have already switched. As it is, I just don't want a dish on my house. I just can't believe that they messed with my TiVo.
     
  18. WayneCarter

    WayneCarter Active Member

    1,290
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    Mar 16, 2003
    Sorry to dredge this up again, but we also lost serial control of our Motorola cablebox last November as well. We seldom use the cablebox so I just switched to IR control and never got around to griping it to Comcast.

    Yesterday, I tried switching back to serial control -- it works again!! Apparently, ComCast has implemented the fix across the board, at least in our area. So it might be worthwhile to try serial control again if you are using IR because of this problem.
     
  19. silicide

    silicide New Member

    1
    0
    Oct 20, 2009
    My serial port stopped working in Nov 2007. I created a workaround by plugging the cable directly into Tivo, and bypassing the cable box altogether.

    With the roll out of the all digital signal by Comcast, I needed to find a fix quickly. Fortunately, Jeff is still working in the MA market, and was able to update my Motorola SDT2244 and get the serial port working again.

    'Jeff_Vandeberghe@cable.comcast.com'
    Jeff Vandeberghe
    Director of Product Deployment
    Comcast - Northern Central Division
    603-695-1546

    I'm very happy to say that Tivo's back up and running with a fully operational serial port!
     
  20. ah30k

    ah30k Well-Known Member

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    Jan 8, 2006
    Which law states that IR support has to be enabled on STBs? If you are going to challenge someones statement that they are doing nothing illegal then you should really have something better that a silly statement about the free market.

    Anyway, calls from angry customers are really the best way to solve this problem and it seems to be working in several markets.

    The setting to enable the serial port is a setting within the headend that gets propagated out to all of the STBs within that headend's control.
     

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