Month: August 2013

More Charter Joy

8:30 AM: Just got off the phone with another tech, who asked if we were having problems. No, I just enjoy calling you guys up and not getting anywhere. 

So this tech asks what the problem is – I explain it, again. “So the cable card isn’t the problem?” No, everyone on Charter’s side has said the cable card is most likely the problem. “So I should probably go get a cable card?” Yeah, probably a good idea. Tech says he didn’t even read the report. Suggested he grab a tuning adapter while he’s there too.

11:30 AM: The technician just left, after having spent 2 hours here. I’m not sure he’s the same one I talked to on the phone. However, in short, the problem could have been solved with the person on the phone the first time if they had just updated the Host ID like I suggested. Supposedly the escalation team is going to be contacting me. I am unbelievably unhappy with them at this point. Oh, and our on-demand was turned off at some point, and to turn it back on would force us to move to the new pricing tiers. 

3:00 PM: Spoke with the escalation team. She took notes, offered a credit, which I accepted. Turns out the person who didn’t update the host ID is the same one who turned off On Demand for us. And they can’t turn it back on without putting us on the new pricing… but the new pricing is more channels for less money. Still not particularly happy we went through all this when it could have been resolved in about 10 minutes. Thinking I might need to write a letter to the Department of Telecommunications and Cable. We’ll let that stew for a bit though. 

Dammit Charter (again)

Previously on “Dammit, Charter“.

So this weekend was tax-free in Massachusetts. We’ve never been super happy with the TV in the living room, so we took advantage and upgraded the TV… which meant upgrading the TiVo too in order to get the full 1080P experience. 

Of course, this means I’ll need to make sacrifices to the demons of the cable cards. If you haven’t had the pleasure, the cable card is a painfully sensitive device which allows a receiver (such as a TiVo) to decode cable channels. They are super finicky and as far as I can tell, no one at Charter Communications understands them or can set them up. We’ve had problems in the past, and while a number of Charter reps have hinted that the cable card was liked the cause, they were able to fix it via the network and so, never replaced the card. Paired with the cable card is a tuning adapter, which basically provides a channel list to the TiVo and tells Charter what channel I want to watch. It seems to be just as delicate as the card. The requirement to have both is, I assume, something drawn up by a resident of one of Dante’s circles. 

Anyways. I’m moving the cable card from the old TiVo to the new, which means the host ID is going to change, which means a call to Charter. Historically, this has been a conversation with a very nice person which is completely incapable of supporting the technology Charter is using. I explain to the rep that I just bought a TiVo, moved the cable card, and am missing channels and get a screen that says to call them with the host ID and card ID. She sends a few initialization hits, which do nothing. We reboot. I suggest that perhaps she should verify the host ID because the one in their system won’t match the one on my screen. She can’t do that, so she calls in a supervisor. About 5 minutes on hold go by, she comes back and they send some more initialization hits and another reboot. Still nothing, so I get to schedule a visit for 1-3 the next day as it’s likely to be replacement time for the card or the adapter (or both).

I’m going to avoid the obvious jokes about cable companies and their concept of appointment windows. Suffice it to say, the stereotype exists for a reason and I saw no evidence to change it. 

The tech introduces himself, calls the dispatch. More hits, more reboots. Apparently having the tech call it in is different than what they did last night. He finally decides that it’s probably the card or the adapter. However… he doesn’t have one. I’m not sure why that would be, since that’s what the tech the night before said it probably was. 

So now I have another appointment on Wednesday morning. I fully expect this tech will bring the adapter and card but forget some other vital piece of equipment like pliers or something.