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trekguy

join:2006-03-04
Moraga, CA

[DVR] HD DVR Fails & Customer Service Fails

[DVR] HD DVR Comedy of Errors

My Motorola HD DVR is failing, it shuts off as many as 6 times per hour and then a green screen and 0 on the box display. A call to CC for a hit gets it going for an hour or three.

I was offered the options of exchange at a service center or having a replacement shipped. I was told that the DCX3501 was the best box to get, but that I would have to call the service center to find out what boxes they had. If the box was shipped I would get Hobson's choice.

It was not at the moment feasible to drive to the SC so I asked them to ship one and the tech said "doing it as we speak". No mention of any charges.

----------(to denote several further calls------------

I learn that no order was placed and this CSR said there would be a shipping charge and setup fee. I was also told that if I called during normal working hours and the service center staff was not busy that my call would go to them.

This morning, the first work day for the local center I called and of course found out that they have no available number.
Customers cannot call any service center, all centers have the same 800 number.

I was connected to "loyalty" and a pleasant person told me that yes, unless I had a "protection plan" my only choices were a trip to the center or a self install kit by mail and she could not waive the charge. What about those without cars or homebound? Very sad but they could pay the $15 or $50 or $60 (the price of a truck roll seems to vary minute to minute).

Rant on--I rent the gd box from Comcast and they charge me when it breaks? The protection plan? Here is the word on that from the comcast site--

The plan only covers inside wiring associated with the Comcast services and twisted pair telephone service provided by other local exchange (telephone) companies.

Steam venting from my head, I muttered what some consider a phase with forbidden religious connotations, others a fervent prayer or a just a common expression, and I was chided with "language" and a suspicion that I should not sleep well at night.

For this "loyalty" rep the bottom line was this. If the company owned DVR breaks, the customer can shag it over to Service Center and take what is offered, or pay and take what is offered, or pay more and take what is offered. Disabled or elderly folks you are on your own.

For those who read the subject and associate comedy with humor try this. Two of the CSRs "guaranteed " that they had fixed my DVR forever. The last to do this told me that she was going to send "the most powerful signal" and that the signal was so powerful that the DVR would need several minutes to "absorb" it. Her signal was "more powerful" than those sent by other techs.

Can the support staff work actual magic? Do they just say things about power because all customers are ignorant? Did the rep actually believe that she has power?

Rant over and I guess I will head for a location that I would otherwise never visit.

rody_44
Premium
join:2004-02-20
Quakertown, PA
Reviews:
·Comcast
There is different hits that can be sent, As a general rule comcast doesnt send the the full hit just the refresher hit. Your problem probably isnt the box and probably is signal related. The last time i had a problem they continued to send the refresher hit with no luck. My wife works for a outsourcing company for comcast. The next day she went in and sent the more powerful hit and the problems went away. The more powerful hit renders the box useless for around a half hour or so and risks damaging the box.

rody_44
Premium
join:2004-02-20
Quakertown, PA
Reviews:
·Comcast

2 edits
reply to trekguy
As far as if its leased it should also be expected that they deliver it free i will leave you with this little tidbit. I rented a concrete cutoff saw last week from my local tool rental store. It wouldnt start and they wouldnt deliver me another. My only choice was to bring it back for another. If you have the protection plan why not just let a tech deliver another. Where the plan only covers inside wiring i have never heard of anyone getting charged for a box swap with the protection plan? where the box swap might be the easiest thing to try first it does not mean its the most likely thing wrong.

trekguy

join:2006-03-04
Moraga, CA
reply to rody_44
Thank you. I didn't know about the range of hits. However at least one other csr did the full reset although she did not call it that.

If it was a signal problem none of the seven people with whom I spoke talked about that. All of them identified it as a box issue and none of them offered any other possibilites.

Is there a useful way to check the video signal. I know about the modem signal.

trekguy

join:2006-03-04
Moraga, CA
reply to rody_44
I spent some time searching forums and it appears as if this is widespread-- Comcast wants to charge for anything other than a service center exchange. I cannot find anything in the residential service agreement that speaks to this. I think CC decided to save some money and just implement this self return/self install process, even though nothing in the agreement provides for any charge to maintain company owned equipment.

The analogy with a rental saw does not work. Comcast forces you to rent their equipment, and nowhere do they disclaim responsibility for maintaining it. If they don't want to maintain it they should up front offer a refund if their box breaks.

The Protection Plan issue is a dodge. They are saying in effect, pay us in advance for any problem with your wire, and (hidden warranty) we will not charge you if our equipment fails. Come on now is that fair dealing or honest?

If they want to say those who pay more get better service then they should say it right up front and in bold type--

If a Comcast owned device installed on your property fails, and such failure is not the result of an action by the customer, Comcast may at its option charge you for repair or replacement. Customers may elect to pay an additional monthly charge to avoid being charged when Comcast owned equipment fails.

Until Comcast gets the idea of playing fair the lesson I take from this is not to be honest about equipment failures--let em roll a truck and discover that it is the box. Of course that will only work if it is the box.

rody_44
Premium
join:2004-02-20
Quakertown, PA
Reviews:
·Comcast

2 edits
They cover there bases. Also wanted to point out that they have a different idea of what local support is. They have local but what they consider local is usually by county and local support is almost always not your local service center. After hours and when busy the calls get routed on a national basis and could be anywhere from half way around the country to the phillipines. Probably less than 2 percent of local service centers have the luck of actually also housing what is local support.

mariod

join:2009-06-16
reply to trekguy
said by trekguy:

I spent some time searching forums and it appears as if this is widespread-- Comcast wants to charge for anything other than a service center exchange.

Why shouldn't they?

If they have to send someone to your house to swap the box for you, they have to pay that guy.

If they have to ship it to you, and have the box shipped back they have to pay fedex or the usps.

If you go to the service center and swap, that doesn't cost money.

I see no problem with this policy.