The quest for the cableCards

So. As you know from a previous post, I jumped in with both feet and bought a Tivo 3. Now, for the S3 you need to have 2 cableCard devices to make it work. If you look at some of the posts on the S3 and the cards (like here) you will see how much of an issue most people have had with a) getting the cards and b) getting them to work. Apparently it’s mostly Comcast’s fault since most cards are/were defective combined with the fact that they have to do some work on the head end to register them properly so they work and most Comcast reps are clueless as to how (since admittedly cableCards are quite new).

My story is interesting but actually somewhat positive. First off, I called the 800 number and they told me that I could go and pick up the cards and install them myself. I went down to the office on Delaware ave and the lady there behind the 3″ bulletproof glass told me that “the customer service folks give out incorrect info all the time” and sent me on my way with no cards. So began my journey to get an appointment to have them installed.

As an employee, there is only one person in the entire organization here in Philly that can handle my requests. That lady had retired the day before my first call to the 800 number. Subsequent calls to the 800 number were met with reps saying that they could not help me since I was an employee.. Some gave me a new special employee number to call. That number was disconnected. Others gave me the name of someone to call in the company. They, of course, did not exist.

After 2 days of trying to find someone to either send me my cards, or send a guy to put them in I decided to call my HR department. After a chain of calls (“not me, call this person”) I ended up with a lady who was subbing for the retired lady. This lady said “there are lots of employee requests, I’ll add you to the list and the person who deals with the requests will get back to you”. I waited a day, no call. Two days, no call. I called her and she said “the list is long.. Wait until after the holiday” (it was coming up on Tgiving). Friday after the holiday (a full 1.5 weeks after my quest began) I got no call. I called the lady back and begged her for the number of the person who handled the requests. She finally relented and I called the guy. He was out for the day.

Monday rolls around and I call the guy again. He picks up and says “oh.. Ok.. Let me see here”. He types into his computer for a long while and says “yup.. Got you all set.. Is tomorrow at 8am good for you?”. Finally someone competent.

Next morning I’m home from work and the cable guy actually shows up. 2 hours later he leaves. We’ve got one card working perfectly and the second is only getting 10 channels but I’m promised that if I wait a while they will all come in eventually. I’m skeptical.

Of course I wait 2 days and nothing changes. I call the guy I called on Monday and explain it to him. He types into his computer and says “ok..I reset the cards.. Let me know if that doesn’t work”. I get home from work that afternoon and they both are working perfectly.

So.. Other than dealing with my companies incredibly horrible customer service, the cards went pretty smoothly considering. The picture quality from the cards in the tivo is an order of magnitude better than the cable box they replaced. I’m quite pleased.

Today in less than an hour my Pioneer Elite 1140 HD shows up and we’ll see how that looks…

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