Tag: complaints

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. 


Forgot that Twitter doesn’t let you do anything with the content you create for them. Guess I’m going to have to start publishing one liners to app.net and then push it out from there to where I do want it. Which means that nothing original will be going through twitter. It’s too bad, I really do like Twitter but if they’re going to insist on making their service a dead-end for working with the content I provide them, then there’s really no reason to make them a primary feed. 

I’d do the same with Facebook except there’s too many people on there and they’re not going anywhere. It’s one thing to ignore an audience when there’s just a lot of empty seats. It’s another entirely when that’s your primary readership. So I stick it out with Facebook not because I want to but because otherwise no one would read any of it. 

Dammit, Charter.

I was all kinds of excited to see that HBO Go was being pushed out to Apple TV. Finally, no more monkeying around with Airplay Mirroring from my iPhone. Download the update, open the channel, get the code, figure out the password for authenticating to HBO Go through Charter. Doesn’t work.

Reread the articles. Charter isn’t allowing their customers to use HBO Go on the Apple TV. (And no matter what they say, that’s what it comes down to – someone at Charter chose not to do it.) I’ve had my problems with Charter. Their cable card support is craptacular at best, they barely have any techs who know how to support it and they eliminated their Twitter support which was the only consistent way to get anything done. They teased us with the rollout of TiVo and then cancelled it saying they were working on something better – which as tar as I can tell is a total lie as they don’t talk about it at all anymore. And now they aren’t letting us get HBO Go on Apple TV because they “didn’t get the rights”? 

How did every other cable company that offers HBO Go manage to figure it out except you guys? I’d say I’m shocked but honestly, this is the level of incompetence I’ve come to expect from these idiots. 

Old Folks: Yes, everyone is out to get you.

A few days ago, a manhole explosion in Boston cut power to the Registry of Motor Vehicles, which caused their main server to go down, which in turn caused them to close all their branch offices for the day.

The Worcester Telegram & Gazette ran this story. The highlight for me was this line:

David Brodeur of Southbridge said the closing was another example of how “the elderly are always getting the short end of the stick.”

Right. The Registry must have known that old folks always come out Mondays, so they called up their friends at NStar, asked them to knock out the server for the day, just for the sake of screwing over old people.