M-card blues

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by ashipkowski, Oct 15, 2016.

  1. ashipkowski

    ashipkowski Member

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    Oct 7, 2008

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    (Posting here as it's not BOLT-specific, if there is a better spot or existing thread please point me to it.)

    Having obtained a shiny new BOLT as part of my Series 1 compensation with relative ease, I've been trying to get Comcast to give me an M-card as a Limited Basic customer in an area where terrestrial TV signals are not all that great (might be doable with an attic-mount antenna, is my understanding).

    So far, this is what has happened:

    1. Called Comcast, get told that's doable, and that it will cost me $15 to get a package sent though the service is free (for a first outlet, yadda). Check that I can pick up the self-install kit (because I'm already into doing boat-anchor recordings on the S1), say I'll do that for speed, and thank them for their time.

    2. Show up at my local Comcast Office. They won't give it to me because I'm a limited basic customer.

    3. After some sort of issue with Comcast's phone system hanging up after the initial spiel, do an online chat and get told that yes, it's doable and should be just fine. I ask to have it shipped to me, and get told I must pick it up and there are notes in my account so that should go smoothly.

    4. Being suspicious, try to raise ComcastCares on Twitter, to no reply.

    5. Go to the office, wound up with the same person as last time, unfortunately. I get told the notes say I need Digital Starter despite this not being mentioned to me, so I again leave cardless.

    6. Try to get ComcastCares's attention on Twitter again... no reply. (It feels like one must have a prerequisite level of anger to get a reply, perhaps.)

    So, anyone out there have any advice on obtaining said M-card? Is it unlikely that I can get one? Some of the documents on Comcast's site, like https://customer.xfinity.com/help-and-support/cable-tv/about-cablecards/ as well as various forum posts make it sound as though I should be able to get one with Limited Basic.
     
  2. UCLABB

    UCLABB Well-Known Member

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    Riverside, CA
    Did you demand to see someone else at the office? Tell the person to talk to a supervisor, threaten an FCC complaint? If that doesn't work, go ahead and get the Digital Starter, get the card, then change back to Limited Basic over the phone or online.
     
  3. HarperVision

    HarperVision TiVo's Italian Cuz!

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    May 14, 2007
    Paradise...
    Yes, they MUST give you one, especially now because ALL of their channels are now encrypted and digital, so without a cablecard or box there would be NO WAY that you could watch the channels you're paying for! Tell them you have to have a cablecard to map the channels to their appropriate places in the guide so your TiVo operates correctly. I've told them this many times when I had basic and that was before analogs were deleted and we still had lots of clear QAM.

    How can they be so ignorant of their own cable system and their job, it's beyond my comprehension! :mad:

    Walk into the office and immediately ask for a supervisor and tell them these FACTS and if they don't agree tell them you'll be filing a complaint with the FCC. Maybe bring some printouts of the FCC rules too.

    Tell the idiots to plug the cable in their office directly to their TV and do a channel scan and SHOW YOU what channels come through without a box or card!!! That should prove your point to their dense ignorant skulls.
     
  4. ashipkowski

    ashipkowski Member

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    Oct 7, 2008
    So, I went back in, about ten minutes before your reply, HarperVision. Wouldn't you know it, the same clerk was there, and one that was nearby the first time I went in, so I didn't expect much. I received the same denial, and asked for a supervisor -- no supervisor.

    The other clerk, though, was not occupied with a customer this time. She said "this doesn't make sense, I thought CableCARD was an FCC mandate" and grabbed a rate card.

    Long story short, they, working together, checked whatever internal documentation systems they had, and while they said that all levels of service should be able to get CableCARDs, they didn't say how, and the system wouldn't approve the change. Eventually, she found some "IP VOD package" that kept appearing whenever she tried to give me a CableCARD and deleted it.

    Now to pair it. ;)
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2016
  5. tarheelblue32

    tarheelblue32 Well-Known Member

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    Raleigh, NC

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    Yeah HarperVision is right. The FCC regs require them to give you one. Glad you managed to get one out of them. Another trick to getting one in this situation is to just sign up for whatever channel package they say you have to have to get the card and then once you get the card home and paired just call up and downgrade your service to the basic channels you wanted in the first place. Once you have the card, they won't come to your house to confiscate it from you.
     
  6. yatman60

    yatman60 New Member

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    Oct 18, 2016
    Try eBay
     
  7. tarheelblue32

    tarheelblue32 Well-Known Member

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    Jan 12, 2014
    Raleigh, NC
    That only works if the channels are clear QAM and all you need the CableCard for is the channel mapping. If the channels are encrypted, a CableCard off ebay is useless.
     
  8. ashipkowski

    ashipkowski Member

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    Oct 7, 2008
    Indeed, my locals are all encrypted at this point, much to my annoyance.
     

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