Writing from the nation's capital, this blog explores technology, telecommunications, national security, policy, and their impact on people, with an occasional rant.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

I want to like COMCAST, but they don't want me to...

I really want to like COMCAST for the effort they've made improving services, but they seem determined to keep me from being happy.  Not too long ago, COMCAST started a cool service called myDVR.  It lets you access your DVR from the Internet (like Tivo has had for a while).  They even have an iPhone app, which I quickly downloaded.  Initially the app didn't allow me to access the function.  After reading online I found that when "myDVR" service becomes available in your area the function will show up in the app.  At some point it did and I thought I was set. But I could never get it to work.  Instead I got this message. 

I tried to log in via my COMCAST account.  Still nothing.  In desperation I called COMCAST.  A 30 min investment of time got me to someone who confirmed the service is available in my area but that my Cisco DVR is not compatible with myDVR. The very nice rep told me to take the box in to the COMCAST office to swap it out for a compatible model (Motorola, I believe). 

After driving 15 min to wait for 15 min to change out the box, I had to explain to the rep what "myDVR" service was and what I wanted to do.  It took a while to communicate to the rep my wishes--she kept referring to my recorded TV content because the button on the remote is labeled "My DVR".  Ultimately, I learned from the rep that my office will only supply the crappy Cisco RNG200 in my area.  She suggested I contact the Manassas office who might be able to provide further explanation.   I took a replacement box since the hard drive was likely going bad anyway, and in the hopes of trying a different box might help.

When I called the COMCAST number provided, I wound up in the Silver Spring office (not even in the 703 area code...). I went through this My DVR problem again: "Ok, so you cannot record TV programs?"  I asked why COMCAST was telling me about myDVR service online and apparently provisioning the service in a place where they won't give you compatible equipment.  I learned that the Cisco box is not highly regarded, and a better Motorola box is available everywhere else but here. My rep favored that model. But I got no useful answer to my question (though this rep was very patent and friendly). 

Bottom line:  I am out nearly 120 minutes to learn that COMCAST will not provide equipment to make use of services they advertise and apparently have provisioned in my area.  What is up with that? 

1 comment:

ComcastCares1 said...

Hi JD - I can reach out to my contacts to see what can be done regarding this. Will you send us the phone number on your Comcast account and link to this page?

We will keep you posted. Sorry for the trouble.

Mark Casem
Comcast Corp.
National Customer Operations