Comcast and DVR rip off. Why is this legal?

ellie45September 30, 2011

I posted a previous message about buying a flat screen television because of possible DVR incompatibility w/my old set.

Some of you scolded me and you were right. I signed up for DVR 9 days ago and they have replaced the 3rd box today and the record featre doesn't work but for the first few minutes and it records less than half a show. I have had 4 days of using it.

Read online several pages of reviews that the boxes have known problems and Comcast takes them back from the customer and "refurbishes" it. Everyone is furious of course. No one is rich enough to take them to court I suspect. They almost ruined my computer too.

Today the tech came and replaced it again and it lasted less than 12 hours. Comcast is still selling the service even though they know the customers are buying a service that has no known patch. There appears to be no recourse except to stop the service and go back to my VCR which comcast has limited its use. and Oh, btw my pip is no longer able to work with the DVR box. Why would they do that to the techs, customer service and least of all to them, the customers? They are all we have right now.

Who runs a bigger scam than Comcast?

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I would imagine that Comcast takes in quite a few working units as well. Since they're not selling you the box, they can get away with using "refurbished" boxes.

If you're patience has expired, then your only recourse is to cancel the service. You could file a compliant with the FCC and/or whatever department in your state government that has jurisdiction over the cable industry. You might also consider by-passing the telephone support folks and going right to the executive offices. There's a VP in charge of these things. Calmly and clearly explain your dissatisfaction, saying that you'd very much would like to be a Comcast customer but multiple hardware failures and the subsequent inconvenience you've experienced is making it difficult for you to continue being a customer. Remember you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2011 at 6:20AM
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Mike, I agree with your analysis of my situation.

It is hard to fathom that a company can get away with charging me though for products that don't work.

What is a better form of taping programs?

Unfortunately, Comcast is the only company we have in my area. I am quite sure they are unaffected by the calls as many have complained. Their reputation is very bad as they don't show up or call, hang up, subcontract out their work to people who are not trained and never make it right the first time. When they outsource to other countries I have had the best service. Imagine.

I work for a nationwide company that is known for excellent customer service and I am in charge of training/customer service. Employees are proud to work here. We fix/solve the problem even if we have to send the customer somewhere else. Different business model and I am proud to be a part of it too. We all stand a little taller than the rest and represent the best of American businesses.

I am never rude to the techs and the online support staff at Comcast. If anything is positive about this inferior product is that I have seen a lot of senior citizens/under employed minorities come to my home to replace the boxes and know this gives them work. Thanks for your advice.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2011 at 12:59PM
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What about DISH or Direct TV?

    Bookmark   October 3, 2011 at 1:10PM
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Sushipup, I live in a tall condo next to a large, long park and the Potomac river. We get high winds and hurricains that knock out the service people tell me who have it.

I use comcast for my computer too (no choice) and the best time to get a good tech is at night after midnight. 2nd job folks, laid off good, well trained employees from somewhere else and again the people from other countries do their homework and hang in there with me.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 11:23PM
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While I understand your frustration, at this point, I don't think the box itself is the problem, but is either a firmware issue (the "operating system" used inside the box that can be occasionally upgraded in the box via the cable connection), or a problem in the EPG (electronic program guide) that is continually downloaded to the box, which provides all the program information that you see and other system information you don't see.

Somehow, you need to get around all the lower level customer support people they have in place who simply read from a script, block you from more knowledgeable people, and really have no idea what they are talking about.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2011 at 7:57PM
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"Why is this legal?"

You keep sending them money.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2011 at 1:51PM
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Yosemitebill - You are so right. Getting to the right people is luck. Online-sites against Comcast have the addresses of the big guys at Comcast but nothing comes of it. I finally found someone who read my documentation on her screen and let loose. She said she would stay with me and get me out of this mess and credited back all the days I had had it. She sent me a brand new DVR. I caught her on the night shift. The best time to call. She shipped it over night. The refurbished ones have known problems and there is a patch coming out in Nov. (maybe). Until then they keep on giving cutomers unworkable DVRs of other customers.

Brickeyee(former playground bully?) I can't use my VCR since they upgraded to digital. It locks onto the show you are taping and one cannot watch another show. We have only Comcast and a dish service which is not useable for people who have gusty weather as I do because I live right on the water.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 12:05AM
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Brickeyee(former playground bully?) I can't use my VCR since they upgraded to digital. It locks onto the show you are taping and one cannot watch another show. We have only Comcast and a dish service which is not useable for people who have gusty weather as I do because I live right on the water.

Why would you keep paying for something that does not work?

If you have lousy equipment from a vendor but continue paying them, whose fault is that?

They are getting paid.

Dish antennas can be anchored against wind, you just need an installer who knows what they are doing.

Rain is a larger issue for DSB systems.

Cheap VCR, and probably not connected correctly.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 10:23AM
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A properly installed, and with some time spent aligning, a satellite dish will have few problems with wind and rain.
The downside, with Directv and possibly Dish, is that the receivers are leased and require a 2 year commitment.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2011 at 8:29AM
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"few problems with wind and rain. "

That depends on how heavy the rain is.

It is a weakness in all satellite communication links.

When the rain gets heavy enough with larger drops it can knock the link off the air completely.

It is more of a problem with higher frequency links since the wavelength decreases making them more vulnerable to smaller raindrops.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2011 at 1:03PM
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Ellie45 - Glad to hear here you're finally getting some traction here!

An unfortunate byproduct of technology in consumer electronics now is that while product can be released, and upgraded and improved in the future, products are often now released with less than perfect firmware, with the intention of future upgrades to fix them... and then sometimes it just doesn't happen. With STBs (set top boxes) firmware changes are done all the time without you ever knowing for both both cable and satellite.

While dish installations can be done to make the best of a problem installation, they are usually done by subcontractors making a fixed-rate to do an installation and then get out of there. Rain fade has always been a problem but usually when it's that bad, I'm checking weather on the internet and not watching TV! However, if neighbors have already had those issues, then there is no reason to even go that route, and like you said, you already have to use Comcast for your internet service provider.

Please let us know how things turn out!

    Bookmark   October 22, 2011 at 8:50PM
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yosemitebill, things turned out very well. Thanks for asking. I almost lost my mind but good people are still out there. I even wrote a book called "Changing My Life Through the Kindness of Strangers a couple of years ago.These forums prove that point so well I think.

Like I said after all the days off from work and the comcast people who hung up when they didn't know the answer there is a rose named Crystal who not only got the engineers working on it from her end instead of another tech home visit and then sent me a new DVR. AND, as I think I said, credited me all the way back to when I got the DVRs and gave me all the HBO and several other channels I did not have. She made her employer look very good.

Now I must reward her with praise as I have done with other comcast superstars and there are a few. I always ask where they are located and have been successful in getting to one supervisor who was shocked, truly, by my phone call.

Yes, dish installation has proven to not work. Love where I live and the people who pioneered through this subject before.

Thanks for your kindness, Bill, and followup. I learned some things from you that I will pass on.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 12:44AM
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