TWC vs TIVO: An adventure in frustration (1 Viewer)

jayn_j

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Sep 29, 2003
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I recently reached my frustration limit with how TWC has brain damaged its DVRs, so I ordered a TIVO premiere back in late September. I have been trying ever since to get it installed and I am now back where I started with no TIVO and their DVR.

I called TWC aned asked for an installation. They gave me a date a week out. On that day, the installer called and said they didn't have cable cards and he would reschedule for the following week. I waited all evening and no show.

I called TWC the next day and asked for an appointment. The person told me that the problem was not the cablecard, but rather that the TIVO box needed a tuning adapter in order to receive the switched video channels that they were no starting to use. OK. However, the tuning adapter had not been released yet and it would be two weeks. I set up an appointment for two weeks out.

Three days later the tuning adapter and a cablecard arrived in the mail. Great, I thought, and proceeded to do the hardware install myself. I then called TWC hoping to get the card authorized. Turns out that their tier 3 people had not been trained yet on the tuning adapter and they couldn't make it work. They promised that they would send out someone with experience with this in 10 days.

The appointment day (last Friday) arrived and the installer showed up, took one look and said "What is all this stuff?" He had never even heard of a tuning adapter. To be fair, he dug in and we spent 4 hours trying to get the system functioning. Multiple resets of the TIVO and tuning adapter finally got the two to recognize each other. Multiple hits from the front office finally got us exactly 3 HD channels, and all of the analog and most of the SD stuff.

The installer finally gave up and set up another appointment for the next day with a level 3 tech who is supposed to know this stuff. Guy shows up and says "What's this stuff?" Go through the whole thing again, but this time we get a level 3 tech on the phone who knows his stuff, and we manage to get all but 6 channels working. At this point, I am convinced that this is a weak signal issue, as we had been seeing a fair amount of macroblocking on the old system. I ask for a signal check, but it turns out that the guy is a plain installer and doesn't have an analyzer. We set up a third appointment for Sunday.

Last night the troubleshooter shows up and says (you guessed it) "What is this stuff?" I explain that I believe it is all working, and that the missing channels are a signal strength issue. He isn't buying any of it and spends the next ten minutes saying that TWC isn't ready to support this stuff, and that it shouldn't have been released. He rips it out of the wall and proceeds to install another HD-DVR. Lo and behold the missing channels appear, but with serious macroblocking. At this point, he finally pulls out his analyzer and notes that the signals on these channels is running -30 dB. Tells me I need an amplifier and installs one. Channels are now only -6 dB. I ask to have the tuning adapter and cablecard re-installed and he smiles and tells me that he doesn't have another cablecard and that I will need to schedule another appointment.

That's where I stand right now. Now that I am done ranting, I will post something on actual performance in a different thread.
 

raoul5788

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Not too surprising, really. Have you asked for some sort of compensation for your trouble?
 

jayn_j

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Fast update. I called last night and they will send someone out tomorrow to reinstall the tuning adapter and cablecard. They cancelled charges on the last install, but it looks like the new one will be at a full service call price. No joy and no inconvenience discount. Given the history, unlikely to get much satisfaction tomorrow either.

To add insult to injury, the (SA) HD-DVR they put in Sunday night died a horrible death right after I finished calling. Looks like a HD failure after 24 hours (2 hours viewing). No service now till tomorrow.

I still have 18 months of contract, but I am this close to dropping back to lifeline service/internet and going back to DISH.
 

Islandguy43

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Oct 24, 2006
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Grand Island, NY
Fast update. They cancelled charges on the last install, but it looks like the new one will be at a full service call price. No joy and no inconvenience discount. Given the history, unlikely to get much satisfaction tomorrow either.



I still have 18 months of contract, but I am this close to dropping back to lifeline service/internet and going back to DISH.

Since when did TWC start charging for service calls and/or requiring a signed service contract?
 

jayn_j

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Since when did TWC start charging for service calls and/or requiring a signed service contract?

Just got an automated call stating that the installer expects to collect $44 to do the work. I'll be calling back now. :rant:

Just called. They wouldn't waive, but did reduce price of service call to $10. They claim it is not a service call, but a change in service level.

The commitment came because they offered a small monthly discount in exchange for a 2 year commitment. I now regret accepting it, and it was something like $5/mo on a $140/mo bill.
 
Last edited:

GigEm

SatelliteGuys Family
Nov 14, 2010
39
2
Texas
Fast update. I called last night and they will send someone out tomorrow to reinstall the tuning adapter and cablecard. They cancelled charges on the last install, but it looks like the new one will be at a full service call price. No joy and no inconvenience discount. Given the history, unlikely to get much satisfaction tomorrow either.

To add insult to injury, the (SA) HD-DVR they put in Sunday night died a horrible death right after I finished calling. Looks like a HD failure after 24 hours (2 hours viewing). No service now till tomorrow.

I still have 18 months of contract, but I am this close to dropping back to lifeline service/internet and going back to DISH.

I got an ad from Direct TV stating that they will pay my cancellation fee for switching to them. I don't have a contract and I don't like Direct Tv. But if you like them, you might call and ask if you can have that offer.
 

jayn_j

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Press On Regardless
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Sheboygan, WI
I called back and complained about the poor service. Couldn't get the service charge completely removed, but she cut it to $6. I can live with that.

The installer came back last night. Same guy as the first install, but this time he had done his homework. Between his knowlege of TWC and the material I had collected, we had it up and running in 1/2 hour. Most of that time was waiting for TIVO reboots that seem to take forever. Now that it is all working, it is very clean and smooth. Picture is noticable improved over the TWC DVR, which surprised me. Details of that will be in the other thread.
 

Islandguy43

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Oct 24, 2006
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Grand Island, NY
Glad to see they got it working for you. What are they charging you per month for the cable card and tuning adapter? I have seen ads for tivo for a free box but a two year committment at $19.95 per month.
 

Islandguy43

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 24, 2006
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Grand Island, NY
I got an ad from Direct TV stating that they will pay my cancellation fee for switching to them. I don't have a contract and I don't like Direct Tv. But if you like them, you might call and ask if you can have that offer.

I would be interested in seeing that ad. Directv sends me ads weekly in my email and about every two weeks by snail mail, but have never seen one like that.
 

jayn_j

Thread Starter
Press On Regardless
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Sep 29, 2003
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Sheboygan, WI
Glad to see they got it working for you. What are they charging you per month for the cable card and tuning adapter? I have seen ads for tivo for a free box but a two year committment at $19.95 per month.

They had been charging me $16/mo for a second HD-DVR. I bought the TIVO refurb from woot for $130 and have the service for $12.95 with no commitment. TWC is charging me $3/mo for the cablecard and nothing for the tuning adapter. Turns out to be a wash pricewise (except the initial cost) but I'm a happier camper.

Now, the other DVR will be an issue. TWC only charges $6/mo for the first one, so even with multi TIVO discount it would cost more monthly to change it. I will probably let it be.
 

mike123abc

Too many cables
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Sep 25, 2003
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The 19.95 rate is if you want to lease a TiVo. If you buy a TiVo the montly rate is lower. They also have 1yr/3yr/lifetime rates that are less than the montly rate.
 

GigEm

SatelliteGuys Family
Nov 14, 2010
39
2
Texas
I would be interested in seeing that ad. Directv sends me ads weekly in my email and about every two weeks by snail mail, but have never seen one like that.
I get one about every week. I'll scan the next one i get and upload it. I am a former customer, so that may be why.
 

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