Comcast Cable Boxes: Are They Notoriously Bad?

Categories: Spaced City

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Nothing to see here, move along
The mother of a friend of ours recently had to get her Comcast cable box replaced. It led to an interesting conversation, he said.

My mom has been having big problems with Comcast and, apparently, repair guys have admitted that their DVR boxes have a design flaw and, as a result, they stop working constantly. One guy told her he carries around dozens of boxes with him because of how many complaints they've had. People are having to replace them every few weeks.

So we asked Houstonians on our Twitter page if they'd had problems, and it was clear -- many had. (Of course, people who didn't have problems wouldn't be likely to answer.)

We heard:

-- all the time... Comcast is awful

-- if u find 1 that wrks great, treat it w/respect! they hardly ever work. I've had to replace so many of them.

-- I had to replace mine a few weeks ago and the line at comcast was out the door. Even considered switching

-- yes! And digital box as well just replaced one and the new one didn't work, won't power up.

So, what's the deal, Comcast?

Company spokesman Ray Purser says "generally speaking the Comcast DVR boxes are more reliable now than ever before."

Then again, he added : "Comcast recently introduced a new initiative to test each DVR box before they are distributed."

Which, you know, sort of indicates there was need to address.

Purser said he checked with various Comcast departments, and "there has not been a rush of customer calls concerning our DVR boxes. This does not appear to be a widespread issue."

So you are suffering on your own, people. He adds:

Additionally, I did want to address a comment from your friend's email. Comcast serves more than 700,000 customers, most with two or more digital boxes in their homes, so you can imagine our service technicians receive and complete many repairs and installations, including DVR repairs and installations, throughout the day.

I wanted to share one of Comcast's general rules of thumb -- all service technicians should have multiple boxes and modems available in their vans in an effort to provide timely and seamless service repairs to our customers. I would expect many of our service technicians carry dozens of many items, including the DVR box.

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17 comments
annkotz
annkotz

I don't think Ray Purser knows what he is talking about!  I had the Comcast people here today and they went through 3 boxes and I still don't have service.  When I was at the store picking them up folks were lined up the door and most people were on their 3rd and 4th boxes!  So I think Comcast has a real problem with their DVRs.  If they can't get my issue resolved tomorrow when they come back out with ANOTHER set of boxes I am switching.  This is ridiculous.

steve2
steve2

They force you to use cable boxes to watch cable now. No more cable through wires. The cable boxes give off radiation. They have lead, mercury, and cadmium in them. Why this isn't a bigger story is beyond me.  The cable boxes also drain electricity. They use electricity like a fridge or AC. So, they'll raise your electric bills. They even use electricity when they're off. You have to unplug it to really turn it off.  Comcast should give people the option of cable through wires like the old days.  

Brad
Brad

WHY ARE THE BOXES SO DAMN BIG? So embarrassing they can get make a smaller more reliable product. Comcast is the only option in roselle,satelite tv sux, so no other options.PLEASE GET WITH THE TIMES AND CREATE A SMALLER WIRELESS BOX. I have never wanted to steal cable before now, just wish there was away, until then I will continue to pay $525 triple play bill each month, yes thats the price for 5 hd tvs!

mymoonlog
mymoonlog

la libertee est sacree...l opignon aussi...TV pour tous

Jeff
Jeff

It used to be that Comcast was impossible to contact and get a decent answer via phone, but they would actually respond quite well via Twitter. Now, that apparently has gone by the wayside as well. I guess when you are one of only a couple options, you can do whatever the fuck you want and not give a shit.

HoustonVoter
HoustonVoter

I've never had a problem with either of my HD DVRs.  They're both SA 8300HDs.  Guess I'm one of the lucky few?  Used to have problems at my old condo, but it wasn't Comcast's fault.  It was the wiring in the building that dated back 20+ years.  Got a signal booster box from radio shack and problems went away.  Now live in a recently built apartment complex very close to my old condo and I haven't had to use the signal booster.

Mirsakhiya
Mirsakhiya

It is so difficult to adjust each time they give me new box. I am sinor and they never answer the phone and waiting is costly. Service performed is never to my satisfaction and they have no discounts to retires.This is so thoughtless!!!

bibulb
bibulb

 We don't have TV service through them (yeah, I'm one of those "I don't *watch* TV" jerks), but I've had pretty good luck with them for internet service through Earthlink. SURPRISINGLY good service for several years through them, and they've upgraded our service throughout the years so we've got pretty damn good throughput for basic tier service.

(Which would also lead me to believe that the TV boxes ARE bad - 'cause I've got a pretty good cable signal for data here in Montrose.)

Tunnel Mole
Tunnel Mole

We had a business contract with Comcast, and they breached it THREE times without any apparent contrition. We were OUTA there!! (They admitted they needed to expand the equivalent of their "transmission" lines.)

Believe it or not, U-verse delivers! It's tough getting connected; it messed up our security system for a bit, but all is well now. 

H_e_x
H_e_x

I can't even remember the number of times I've been watching a big game, whether it be during the World Cup or the playoffs in whatever sport, and have had the service cut out. Or when trying to watch an "hd" channel, only to say I don't have access. I do but I have to switch over and back to make it work. And the so called he is in such poor quality that its a disgrace to even call it hd. Their internet isn't much better, but I get decent speeds for the most part. Buddy of mine has AT&T and his connection is significantly slower than mine, even though we live close to each other.All in all, the monopolies we allow television providers is awful. Crappy service at a too high price.

Geezy
Geezy

I've tried several different internet providers, and I've had the most success with Comcast- that's not saying much at all. For some reason my internet never fails to go out for about 5 minutes at least 3 times a day. Comcast can't do shit about it either. 

The worst is trying to watch a boxing match on their shitty PPV channels. On numerous occasions I've experienced everything from the PPV channel pausing for several minutes thus missing at least 1 round, to the PPV channel just completely going black. With enough bitching Comcast credited my account back. And yes their HD channels do suck ass. I changed to Direct TV and have not had an issue with their cable or HD channels at all, and have never experienced the "channel not authorized" like I would with Comcast. 

The icing on the cake with them however despite their high ass prices is the fact that their customer service is absolute shit. I had their internet, cable and security system bundle package which I received at a 12 month guaranteed rate. For 2 months straight they fucked up and billed me for each one separately, which of course jacked my bill up. 

Fuck Comcast. They are the absolute worst when it comes to cable providers. 

CableSucks
CableSucks

 I canceled cable tv over a year ago and I don't miss the sensationalist news or the ridiculous American Idol/Jersey Shore like programming.  Netflix/downloading torrents is much cheaper and I watch what I want, when I want without sticking to some programming schedules.

scooterbabe
scooterbabe

Actually, we were recently told by one technician that they have been having lots of problems with their DVR boxes & that many of the techs have been complaining to their supervisors. He actually told us that changing the box would not do any good. When confronted about what we were told by the one technician, the response was 'He probably just did not want to change the box.'Give me a break, Comcast.

Omahoffman
Omahoffman

katy,  ag ree wth you. Comcast Ah La Infnity..don't give  a rat's tail as long as they get your money. Internet service s....ks 

Heather
Heather

 When I moved to Houston last summer, I asked someone what cable company I should go with, and people practically screamed, "DON'T GET COMCAST!" Sure, we don't have the Hallmark channel with U-Verse, but we haven't had any television or internet issues in nearly a year. 

Katy
Katy

I used to have constant problems with Comcast.  They “couldn’t get the signal to us” strong enough to allow us to have the premium channels, and what we did get was generally pixelated, frozen, or in black and white. They blamed our cable line, they blamed our location (Montrose IS out in the boonies), blah blah… It was only after several years of this that I struck upon a solution: It’s called AT&T U-Verse and it fixes the problems right up… 

H_e_x
H_e_x

Ugh, my friend has AT&T, and its horrible. I hate comcast, but the internet he gets through AT&T is so freaking slow.

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