I bought a HD TiVo and wanted to hook it up for use with my cable company,
Cablevision of Loudoun
To do so, I need a "CableCard", which enables the TiVo to receive encrypted programming.
I went to the cable company's web site, which informed me that I would have to schedule
a tech to come install it for me.
I called to do so, and fought with the automated attendant*, finally reaching a person
who informed me that I could just go by the office and pick one up, saving a $25 trip
charge and scheduling nonsense.
I went by the office, where I was told that a tech had to come install it, but there's
no trip charge. They had a hard time getting it onto my account correctly,
the computer kept trying to charge me 4x the monthly amount.
I got an appointment for the next morning, which was okay, since I'm working the
When I got home, one of my cable boxes had been turned off.
In order to test it out, I had the TiVo try to get the correct channel line-up.
But without the CableCard, it only would offer the analogue lineup, which was
wrong. In the midst of retrying this, the tech showed up.
We had to wait for it to finish its procedure before he could get the numbers
and call the cable company to activate it.
It turns out they can't activate it, because their system has six number slots
for equipment. And a HD box and a CableCard can only be in one slot.
So I told the tech to take away the HD box, as the CableCard would provide
essentially the same functionality.
Then the TiVo tried to get the channel lineup from the card, which took a long time.
The tech finally decided that he'd made the call, the TiVo saw the card, so everything
must be okay.
It wasn't. The TiVo finally gave up and couldn't get the channel list.
So I went back through the manual process, and finally got the right one.
But I can only get channels 3-79. The rest are all blank.
So I called the cable company again*, and was routed to a busy signal.
Lather, rinse, repeat × 2.
So I called a fourth time, and pressed the "I wanna give you money" button,
and abused the person who answered into trying to fix my disabled box.
He said he updated it and all would be fine, but no dice. He wouldn't even
try to fix the CableCard. But he made an appointment for a tech to come out
on Sunday. We shall see.
* Side rant on automated attendants. If I key in my phone number, I'm annoyed
when I have to key it in again, and then say it to whoever answers. Worse,
some attendants won't LET me key in information. I have to SAY it. Since they're
only available during business hours, I have to call from at work. Since I work at
the customer's site, I have no privacy. And these automated attendants get more
and more creative about the stuff they want you to say out loud in a crowded room.
I imagine some nut like baronmind works for them, coming up with
progressively more bizarre things you have to say out loud to get anything.
Reading a credit card number is bad enough. Saying things like
"YES ...... YES ...... CUSTOMER SERVICE ....... CUSTOMER SERVICE!
..... FIVE SEVEN BAKER THREE ALPHA OMEGA ZERO ZERO ....... YES ...... NO .......
CABLE ....... NEW SERVICE ...... YES ........ SEVEN FOUR ZERO DESTRUCT ZERO .....
PAPA INDIA MLENDY GRACKLE BORGWARD ONE ...." tends to garner some interesting
stares. What's next?
"To access customer service, say `I'm a big nancy boy.'; for billing, sing `I'm a little teapot';
for new service, say `I like alligator clips on my NIPPLES'; to speak to an attendant, say
`Pauly Shore is my GOD, I must stalk him with Crisco'"?