This is starting to get ridiculous, so I'm making a public record of what I'm going through to get a CableCard from Comcast. See also the thread here.

The amount of effort I've expended (in vain) to get a CableCard for my TiVo is ridiculous. I've gone for years with just over-the-air TV because I hated dealing with Comcast so much, but I finally caved and figured I'd give them a shot. If I didn't love the TiVo, I'd have given up already.

I called the 800 number last Monday to see what it would take to get a CableCard. The guy told me all I had to do was pick it up at my local office. Drove across town, and of course the people at the office said that they couldn't give it to me, and an installer had to put it in. Set up an appointment for that Friday, the only time available: from 6am to 9am.

I take off from work, get up at 5:30 to wait for the cable guy. He calls while I'm away from the phone (for a second!) at 8:55 or so. Leaves an incomprehensible message saying something like, "I'm sorry I missed your call, please call 1-800-Comcast and reschedule." That, of course, makes no sense. I use the caller ID to call him back within two or three minutes, and he seems annoyed. Tells me the warehouse is all out of CableCards and there's nothing he can do.

So I call the 800 number later that morning and talk to a rep. She apologizes and puts me on hold. Picks up again and says she just got off the phone with the warehouse, and they do indeed have CableCards! Says the guy must just have not looked hard enough. No appointments left that day, so she makes me an appointment for Monday evening. I contact Comcast to verify the appointment on Sunday, and they say it's all ready to go.

Monday comes, and again I adjust my work schedule so I can wait for the cable guy. Surprise, surprise, he calls to tell me there are no CableCards. I ask him how this is possible, since the previous rep had called to verify, and he says that installers can just waltz in and grab one. No priority system, so it's just luck of the draw, and he doesn't know of any way to deal with it other than to keep making appointments.

There's no way I'm going to keep doing this. To make things worse, the 800 number won't let me through anymore, and the people who work on the live chat are clearly trained seals who click responses from a (really bad) script. Just look at this transcript. "I understand how inconvenience this has caused you"? Seriously?

I can't wait until FiOS is available in my area.

changed June 24, 2008