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Orlando, FL
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[CATV] Question/rant about Tivo, Charter, and SA cablecard

I have to say, I am new to Charter, and they have to have the worst service I have ever dealt with. I guess them deciding to drop their Social Media support is their dedication to show how terrible they are. I am a former Mediacom customer up until last week, and I miss them thanks to Charter and their terrible customer service.

Here is the adventure I have had in trying to get my TiVo working with a third party cable card. First of all, when I wanted to use one with Mediacom, there was no problem. I was able to get it registered in their system with very little work. Then, I move to a Charter service area, outside of Birmingham, and the fun or nightmare begins. First, I call and get my first un-knowledgeable customer support person who attempts to register the Motorola M-Card on their system, and is unable to. She then tells me that the Motorola card I had couldn’t be registered on the account since this is “a Scientific Atlanta” area, she told me I will need to buy, or rent a Scientific Atlanta cable card from them. OK, I thought fine, I can get one from EBay like I did the Motorola one. I then call again, and get a support person who was obviously in India. He told me I didn’t have to give home any of the host ID info, he “could see it in the system” and told me he sent a signal to it. I believed him, and ended the call. After a while, I noticed that channels were missing that should be there. I then thought that I should call Charter again and see if they needed to send a re-hit to the card. I get a very rude service rep who asked me for the data ID. I couldn’t find it, and had to call back since she said she needed it to activate it. I bet the data ID number, and then call back. I then get Sarah, another kind of short support person shoe asked me for some kind of SAD, I think it was, ID. I told her I had no such ID. I told her all the IDs I had. She said that it was a Charter issued ID that she needed. I told her I bought this card, it is a third party card, and this had been explained to them on the three previous calls. She told me that they will not activate a third party owned card; it has to be one rented from them. I didn’t think that they could legally do that. SO now, I am stuck with a TiVo and no way to activate it without being shook down for more money.

Basically, I now know that there is a reason Charter is one of the most hated companies out there. They have to be worst than Comcast, or be as bad. They may get a bad rap, but Mediacom was fine when I had it, and really miss them. At least they still have Mediacom Chad and social media help, showing they care.
I do have a question, is what this last tech told me true? I thought part of the purpose of Cable Card technology wasn’t just to allow for a customer to own their own equipment, but also to have to rent nothing from them.
Overall, I am glad to be moving back to the Birmingham area, but Charter is showing themselves to be as terrible as everyone said they were. In this neighborhood I live in, I can tell why so many DirecTV (another crappy company) and Dish Network dishes around here. I will say, their internet seems to be really great, but their customer service is “Second to None,” read as “Next to Nothing.” Charter, you make someone miss Mediacom, which says a lot!
If this comes off as a rant, it is. I make no apologies for that, I want to rant on this company, and give my experience as to why I feel they deserve the bad marks they get for customer service.


Greenville, SC
I wonder if you are in a SDV area and that is why you don't get all the channels. Do you have a tuning adapter?


reply to caseywor
As far as I know, yes you have to rent the cable card from Charter. They're $2.00 a month for each card you have and you probably do need a tuning adapter as most Charter areas now use SDV.