Asta 2

Wherein I Bitch about Comcast and Other Things

To begin with, I got a call this afternoon notifying me my TV is in. YAY! I call to schedule delivery, mention Monday, since I have the day off, and am told they don't deliver on Mondays. Huh? What business doesn't deliver on Mondays? They are going to see if they can work something out. My sales guy could tell from my tone, I'm sure, I was not happy about this. Of course, this is after I asked if they could take the old TV and was told, yes, they could...for $55. WTF? The reason for that is that they have to dispose of it. Sure, I pay you $55 so one of your delivery guys can take it home with him or give it to a buddy. No thanks. I'm sure I can get someone at work to take it off my hands or call Goodwill to pick it up. I don't want money for it, I just want it gone.

Then I call Comcast to arrange for a digital converter box for the HD channels. I call and after nearly fifteen minutes on hold opted to try their email service. The good news is, I got a reply a half hour later. The bad news is it's a generic message that makes no sense! I have to share this with you. My thoughts are in bold.

Thank you for taking the time to email us. It is only through communications such as yours that we can be responsive to your needs.

You would need Comcast's DVR service in order to have a box with an HDMI port. We offer the DVR service without requiring you to purchase additional equipment, or sign a long-term contract. There is an $11.95 per month rate for the DVR service. But I already have a DVR, I don't need theirs.

With the DVR service you will be able to record your favorite program digitally, without a VCR. You will be able to pause and rewind live TV. Another exciting feature is the ability to record High-Definition programming, as well as Dolby Digital 5.1 sound format. The DVR service cannot record On Demand programming; however you can record a Pay-Per View program you purchased on the regular Pay-Per View channels. With my DVR you can record off of On Demand. Ha!

When you change to the DVR service you will use a Digital Cable box, which will replace your current Cable box. The DVR service transmits on our service via the cable line, therefore you do not need to use a phone line. The cost of the Comcast DVR service is $9.95 per month, in addition to your current Cable bill. Wait. I have a digital cable box. I stated that in my email. And how did the price suddenly change to $9.95???

If you currently subscribe to our HDTV service you will not be required to have two cable boxes. OK, didn't I state I was emailing them because I needed to add the HD TV service? Just like our Digital Cable subscribers, should you decide to add the DVR service, we will come to your house and replace your current Cable box. We are providing our HDTV customer with an all-in-one DVR/High-Definition Box.

You will be able to set parental control options to prevent playback of recorded programming, based on the channel recorded, program rating, or time of day.

With Comcast DVR you will have an 120-gigabyte hard drive, offering approximately 60 hours of recording time. The variance is based on whether the recorded programs are transmitted in analog or digital format; digital programs use less space on the hard drive. Recording programs in HD format requires more memory, reducing the number of hours of programming that can be stored to about 15 hours.

You will be able to record one channel while viewing another program of your choice. Wow! I can do that now! You will also have the option to setup recordings based on program title. This way you can tell your DVR to automatically record you favorite program no matter what time, or what channel that show is on. Um, I know from people who have the service this feature is spotty. Another exciting feature is the fact that the DVR tuner supports picture in picture.

You can swap your current digital box for a DVR at the nearest payment center. Since it is likely there will be several payment centers in your area, it will be easier for you to determine which one is closer to either your residence or your place of employment, by following this link:

Once you access that site you will need to enter your address and ZIP Code, and then click "Thanks! On you go." If the system cannot determine your payment center location by your address you may be asked for more information to clarify your location. Select the area you live in to find information applicable to you.

If you have any more questions about the DVR service, please reply to this email. I haven't done this because I'm sure the follow up will make no sense. I'll try talking to a person tomorrow. Though, I may respond throwing in that it's a ripoff to have to get a DVR to obtain HD and that I'll start looking at the satellite services. Hee.

Thank you for choosing Comcast.

Comcast Customer Care Specialist

And they logged my IP address. Yes, I use AT&T for my internet you blood sucking leeches.

Last night I opted to pay attention to Chuck, not surf the net, and my feelings didn't much change. However, I figured out what the problem is. I feel the characters are fairly well developed, I enjoy the various relationships, and the comedy works for me. It's the spy stuff that is falling flat. Every time they were in spy mode I found myself looking at the clock. It drags the show down. Not to mention, in order to make the story work they dumb down both the good guys and the bad guys. Seriously, after Sarah, Casey, and the Chinese spy were caught, none of their captors thought to check for someone helping them on the outside, in the black van across the street. Sigh.

I have nothing to really say about Heroes. I wasn't even paying much attention and, yet, I was still able to follow the story. I enjoyed the absence of some characters, Nathan rocked, and the show is making me never want to visit Ireland.

Just a quick reminder that Spike TV's Scream 2007 airs at 10 est tonight. Jamie and Tricia looking very pretty will have me up until Midnight if necessary. :)
  • Current Mood: cranky cranky
Wow, Comcast really knows how to put a lot of words together and still not be helpful. It sounds like, I think, they only have HD+DVR boxes, no HD-only boxes? If so, that's dumb (what about everyone with TiVo??) and no way should they be allowed to charge people for DVR if they don't need a DVR!
That they seem to be forcing you to take a service you neither want nor need would seem to be, I don't know, illegal to me. >:(
One of the reasons I have Direct TV now. That email was so confusing; I think it's primarily a marketing tool to push their DVR. I'm sure you can get a digital box for just the HD reception. We only have the HD service; we were offered the DVR but declined, and they didn't push it. I haven't heard good things about Direct TV's DVR's from some digital experts on the radio anyway, so I don't feel its loss right now. In case you ever do want to explore Direct TV, I will say I've never had a problem getting in touch with them by phone 24/7, and they are always helpful and constructive. I had to replace a receiver a couple of weeks ago and they mailed it FEDEX and I connected it with no problem, I just had to call them to register the new receiver and delete the old one. And they recently upgraded their satellites and have increased their HD channels.
I have a digital box now and I'm going to see what I pick up with that. Comcast using as a selling point that I can record HD programming on their DVR isn't much of a selling point unless you have an HD recorder to make copies of the recorded programing which I don't. (They are still rather pricey.) With only 15 hours of HD recording space you couldn't even save an entire season of a show.
I know what you mean; I don't see paying that much money for an HD recorder right now. I imagine they'll start coming down in price within the next year. I just record shows to watch them at a later time, not to save, so it's not an issue for me at this time.
Sounds to me like their HD box IS a DVR, so you have no choice. My guess is the discrepency with the costs is that the DVR plus HD = $11.95, but regular DVR service = $9.95

All I know is Comcast sucks balls. I'm a DirecTV gal.
You're probably right about the pricing. I just don't know how they can force you to subscribe to a service you don't want or need.
Yeah, I think this is the key sentence:

We are providing our HDTV customer with an all-in-one DVR/High-Definition Box.

They are conveniently making sure you also have to use their DVR service. On the plus side, most all-in-one receiver/DVR devices let you record two shows at the same time; I know that's the case with my DirecTiVO. (BTW, I'm another relatively happy DirecTV customer.)
Yes, I could record two shows at once, but the nice thing about having the separate DVR is I don't have to watch the programs as I record them, I can just burn them to a disc.

I will start looking at DirectTV and Dish Network, but I might have some issues with them living in an apartment. :/
Can I bitch about Comcast too? I have am supposed to have their basic cable: I'm supposed to only get the local stations that, but for poor reception (because receivers in modern TVs are crap - the presumption being that TV receivers don't need to be any good because nobody uses them anyhow), s/b accessible without cable. However, I actually get their "Expanded" Basic, so I can watch all the non-premium cable stations, but can't complain to Comcast if a problem comes up. Well, Comcast has been steadily pruning channels away from their Expanded Basic service and moving them over to Digital only. Last week they snatched away my favorite weekend TV station: C-Span2 BookTV. It's all book related programming, mostly non-fiction authors: interviews, readings, Q&As, panel discussion, etc...some fascinating stuff. Admittedly, I rarely have the patience to actually read the books, but I love the in-depth talks and discussions. And it was really nice to be able to turn on the TV at any random moment during a weekend and chances were, land on something good. Now all I get is printed message announcing that the station's been moved and how I can order Digital cable service. I can't even afford to pay for Expanded Basic service, but I'm considering loosing my land-line phone service and trading up. I want my Book TV, damnit. It'll still cost me more than I'm paying now though, and it irks me to have to do it.

If not for Bravo and SciFi, I could ditch my digital. I'm so anxious for the government to mandate an a la carte service.