a (rories) wrote in bad_service,
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rories
bad_service

Cable Frustrating Service

This is more frustrating than bad, but I've just about had it up to here with my cable company.

On Sunday night, the HD DVR box that I had started making this awful whirring noise when plugged in to a power source. I unplugged it, plugged it back in, everything, and it still made the noise. It sounded like a motor or a fan was running constantly. So on Monday morning I called them and they said I could bring it in and swap it out with a new one. Yay! I drive out there and get a new box and fight with all the cords to get it hooked back up and let it load. I turn it on and have no picture.

At this point I don't have time to mess with it and I figure it's still booting up so I go to work because at that point I was already like three hours late. I come home and start messing with the box again and turn it on and yay picture! Yay sound! For about 30 seconds. I could watch thirty seconds of ABC News and then everything would disappear. But! I could still get the Guide to come up and my DVR Recordings and everything.

So I leave it because it's too late to call and I watch something else. I call them Tuesday morning bright and early before class. They schedule an appointment for me between 4 and 6 pm to have a tech come out. I told them it would for sure have to be after five because I have class until 4:50 so I won't be home. They make a note of this. At 4:30 I get a call in the middle of class from a local number and I come home to find a "Sorry we missed you!" note on my doorknob.

I immediately call the company and am told that even though they can make a note to come at a specific time, that doesn't mean that they can't come earlier or later. As long as they are in their time frame. I understand that these techs have other appointments to keep and that late in the day they just want to go home, but why even give me the option of leaving a note that says after 5 if they weren't going to follow it. If I had known there was a chance I would have missed them, I would have made the appointment for Wednesday.

So I call them and they say it's possible to get a tech out around six o'clock but it's not a guarantee. The guy gets here at 5:55 and is polite and nice and knowledgeable if a bit chatty and sleepy. He messes around with the box and says the tuner is broken but he has another DVR that he can try. It doesn't work.

The rundown so far:

DVR #1 - whirring noise
DVR #2 - busted tuner
DVR #3 - busted HDMI port

He calls his tech buddy who is working nearby and has five boxes in his truck.

DVR #4 - doesn't turn on at all
DVR #5 - busted HDMI port
DVR #6 - doesn't turn on at all

Finally he gets one installed that works and he turns it on and it stays on for more than 30 seconds. I say thank you, see them out, and go to record Tuesday night shows.

But wait, it gets better. As soon as I set one show to record and another one ends, the whole box shuts off and power cycles through the channels again. I think it's just a fluke and that it's still booting up because it's only been about thirty minutes. Until it does it again when the rest of the shows stop taping. I resolve to keep an eye on it over the holidays and call them Monday if it continues.

Well sure enough, I woke up this afternoon to see it cycle through channels like nobodies business. And it keeps getting stuck at a certain channel and then powering off and coming back on. It did it at least four times while I was watching it. I call the company again (at this point I think I'm their favorite) and the lady on the other end tries a few things and it keeps turning off and on and right now it's actually counting down from 8400 which I'm told is a download (though it did this earlier too, so we'll see).

I have an appointment on Friday to have tech out again if this doesn't work (and I don't have high hopes to be honest) and I'm just glad that the family I have coming in for the holidays doesn't mind watching blurays instead of television. And that I can watch NBC shows online.

I think what I'm most frustrated with is not with the techs (though one was Not So Nice on the phone the other night), but with the fact that this household has seen SEVEN DVR boxes in the past three days and I'm still out a DVR. I don't understand why either they can't test these boxes before they go out or stop using so many used boxes. Some of these boxes I'm sure have seen 3 or 4 households and who knows what has happened to them.


tl;dr because I now realize how long that got: DVR box busts, I go through six more, the one that works still doesn't actually work.
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