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Author Topic: The Great Cable Purge of 2014  (Read 1609 times)
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EngineNo9
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« Reply #40 on: April 18, 2014, 10:36:22 PM »

Quote from: hepcat on April 18, 2014, 08:06:36 PM

If you're getting the major channels (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CW) then the only thing that Huluplus would give you access to that you might not already have is a crap load of BBC shows.  They've also got some original programming, but nothing jumps out at me so far.

I've watched several Hulu Originals (just using the free version of Hulu, no Plus) and have enjoyed several of them.  Quick Draw was really good, as was The Wrong Mans.  And I got some guilty enjoyment from Pramface and Fresh Meat.  Just started on The Awesomes which seems decent.  Moone Boy was alright.  Deadbeat seems OK so far...probably another short-lived one for Tyler Labine.  

Other than that, even the free Hulu is great for catching shows on the major networks.  You generally have to wait a week, but that doesn't bother me.  
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« Reply #41 on: April 19, 2014, 01:41:42 PM »

I've been with Hulu Plus about a year and a half now and couldn't imagine not having it. They have most of the current TV shows (Arrow, The 100, The Following, Vampire Diaries, Believe, Late Night, WWE Monday Raw and Friday Night Smackdown, etc.) but also a huge back catalog of older TV shows such as Lost and The Tudors.

Granted all those older TV shows may be available to free users as well, being able to watch most of my favorite TV shows the next day versus having to wait a year for them to hit Netflix made me choose Hulu Plus over Netflix. (I was with Netflix until they lost the Starz contract.)

Hulu Plus has some movies also, but nothing in the terms that Netflix carries.  Hulu is good for TV, Netflix is good for movies.
Even if you have both of them it's still a hell of a lot cheaper than DirecTV. I bailed on DirecTV over 2 years ago and haven't looked back.
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« Reply #42 on: April 20, 2014, 11:47:07 AM »

For an OTA DVR, I'll be getting one of these http://www.channelmaster.com/Products_s/329.htm when I cut the cord when my DTV contract is up in August. The CM DVR+ doesn't have a sub which I really like...
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« Reply #43 on: April 21, 2014, 04:28:30 AM »

Quote from: Mystic95Z on April 20, 2014, 11:47:07 AM

For an OTA DVR, I'll be getting one of these http://www.channelmaster.com/Products_s/329.htm when I cut the cord when my DTV contract is up in August. The CM DVR+ doesn't have a sub which I really like...
hmmmm that looks good.  I wonder if they other services than VUDU... like hulu, amazon prime, netflix, or redbox?  Could I get chromechast and have that intergrated into that for DVRing?
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« Reply #44 on: April 21, 2014, 06:08:21 AM »

Quote from: corruptrelic on April 19, 2014, 01:41:42 PM

I've been with Hulu Plus about a year and a half now and couldn't imagine not having it. They have most of the current TV shows (Arrow, The 100, The Following, Vampire Diaries, Believe, Late Night, WWE Monday Raw and Friday Night Smackdown, etc.) but also a huge back catalog of older TV shows such as Lost and The Tudors.

Granted all those older TV shows may be available to free users as well, being able to watch most of my favorite TV shows the next day versus having to wait a year for them to hit Netflix made me choose Hulu Plus over Netflix. (I was with Netflix until they lost the Starz contract.)

Hulu Plus has some movies also, but nothing in the terms that Netflix carries.  Hulu is good for TV, Netflix is good for movies.
Even if you have both of them it's still a hell of a lot cheaper than DirecTV. I bailed on DirecTV over 2 years ago and haven't looked back.


That's the exact same situation we are looking at... Keep internet, already have netflix which we use way more than our cable, ditch cable, add hulu plus . It seems like a big step...oh, first world problems!
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« Reply #45 on: April 21, 2014, 11:10:34 AM »

Quote from: naednek on April 21, 2014, 04:28:30 AM

hmmmm that looks good.  I wonder if they other services than VUDU... like hulu, amazon prime, netflix, or redbox?  Could I get chromechast and have that intergrated into that for DVRing?

I don't think so atm, but it says they are working on others. I also did read somewhere they are working on something for it to enable whole home DVR functionality.
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« Reply #46 on: April 21, 2014, 01:56:30 PM »

I talked to my wife and we're going to try to cut the cord (mostly) in July when our current cable deal is up. The biggest heartache for us is going to be giving up the kid channels. While Netflix has TONS of kid content, it's still a bit of a pain vs just turning on Disney Jr. and letting it run.

We're going to try to go back to a basic cable package for $20/month. This will give us all the major channels (which is pretty much all we watch anyway), and we'll have Netflix and Hulu to fill in the gaps for anything else. Worst case scenario we cave and wind up going back up to a tier that gives us the kid's channels. Even then we'll still be saving a little money over the full blown package we have now.
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« Reply #47 on: April 21, 2014, 02:25:27 PM »

Quote from: YellowKing on April 21, 2014, 01:56:30 PM

I talked to my wife and we're going to try to cut the cord (mostly) in July when our current cable deal is up. The biggest heartache for us is going to be giving up the kid channels. While Netflix has TONS of kid content, it's still a bit of a pain vs just turning on Disney Jr. and letting it run.

We're going to try to go back to a basic cable package for $20/month. This will give us all the major channels (which is pretty much all we watch anyway), and we'll have Netflix and Hulu to fill in the gaps for anything else. Worst case scenario we cave and wind up going back up to a tier that gives us the kid's channels. Even then we'll still be saving a little money over the full blown package we have now.

If you have Amazon Prime they have all of the Nickelodeon programming.
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« Reply #48 on: April 21, 2014, 03:36:46 PM »

Quote from: Scraper on April 21, 2014, 02:25:27 PM

Quote from: YellowKing on April 21, 2014, 01:56:30 PM

I talked to my wife and we're going to try to cut the cord (mostly) in July when our current cable deal is up. The biggest heartache for us is going to be giving up the kid channels. While Netflix has TONS of kid content, it's still a bit of a pain vs just turning on Disney Jr. and letting it run.

We're going to try to go back to a basic cable package for $20/month. This will give us all the major channels (which is pretty much all we watch anyway), and we'll have Netflix and Hulu to fill in the gaps for anything else. Worst case scenario we cave and wind up going back up to a tier that gives us the kid's channels. Even then we'll still be saving a little money over the full blown package we have now.

If you have Amazon Prime they have all of the Nickelodeon programming.

And Netflix does automatically start the next episode now, I think after 10 or so there is a popup asking if you are still watching.
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« Reply #49 on: April 21, 2014, 03:46:29 PM »

Quote from: naednek on April 18, 2014, 10:12:07 PM

So this October my Directv contract expires.  I'm cutting the cord then... 

What I want to do is to use my spare PC as a media center/DVR.  The thing is, it may require some updates to the hardware (I think it's a Intel E3500 with 4 or 8 GB of ram, and a GEFORCE 6900? Video card) I'm thinking I'll need a new video card because it's only DVI.  I think ideally I want an HDMI type of card.

Couple of questions...

1: Do you think I should upgrade this a little?  Obviously I'll need a tuner card.
2: I have some SATA HD's but they're not fast.  Should I get a SSD card for it?
3: What OTA should I be looking into?  I have an attic, but don't really want to run cable down the wall, and we're planning on moving in the next year and I don't want to put much effort.  What OTA should I consider getting?  I don't have a budget yet, so I'm open to anything. 


What we're planning on watching


1: OTA TV shows (recorded to DVR and watched later, having kids and trying sit for 10 minutes, is nearly impossible at the moment.  We really need something that we can pause at any time)
2:Sports (mainly football, and baseball.  I don't watch baseball religiously, but football, mainly the niners are broadcasted OTA, but I know I won't be able to watch TNF or MNF)
3: Some cable shows. (TNT, FX, TLC(Wife)  I'm assuming hulu might carry some or some other video service. 
4: We have Amazon Prime, and might consider Redbox or Netflix for streaming movies.  Hulu will more than likely be used as well.
5: I have ahem movies on my hard drive that we could use as well.

So, is going with a media center the best route, or should I be looking at Chromecast/Roku instead?  Our obvious goal is lower the bills.  Tivo probably won't do that.  I'm ok with buying the hardware upgrades up front because it's a one time charge.  Hulu is cheap a month, and Prime is technically free.  So I'm assuming our monthly TV/Movie bills would be under $20 a month.

Anyone have a good site for home built DVR?  I saw someone link to one, but I can't find it.

So back to my question from the last page.  Didn't get any responses and would like to have some input for those have gone away from subscription TV
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« Reply #50 on: April 21, 2014, 04:27:25 PM »

Quote from: naednek on April 21, 2014, 03:46:29 PM

Quote from: naednek on April 18, 2014, 10:12:07 PM

So this October my Directv contract expires.  I'm cutting the cord then... 

What I want to do is to use my spare PC as a media center/DVR.  The thing is, it may require some updates to the hardware (I think it's a Intel E3500 with 4 or 8 GB of ram, and a GEFORCE 6900? Video card) I'm thinking I'll need a new video card because it's only DVI.  I think ideally I want an HDMI type of card.

Couple of questions...

1: Do you think I should upgrade this a little?  Obviously I'll need a tuner card.
2: I have some SATA HD's but they're not fast.  Should I get a SSD card for it?
3: What OTA should I be looking into?  I have an attic, but don't really want to run cable down the wall, and we're planning on moving in the next year and I don't want to put much effort.  What OTA should I consider getting?  I don't have a budget yet, so I'm open to anything. 


What we're planning on watching


1: OTA TV shows (recorded to DVR and watched later, having kids and trying sit for 10 minutes, is nearly impossible at the moment.  We really need something that we can pause at any time)
2:Sports (mainly football, and baseball.  I don't watch baseball religiously, but football, mainly the niners are broadcasted OTA, but I know I won't be able to watch TNF or MNF)
3: Some cable shows. (TNT, FX, TLC(Wife)  I'm assuming hulu might carry some or some other video service. 
4: We have Amazon Prime, and might consider Redbox or Netflix for streaming movies.  Hulu will more than likely be used as well.
5: I have ahem movies on my hard drive that we could use as well.

So, is going with a media center the best route, or should I be looking at Chromecast/Roku instead?  Our obvious goal is lower the bills.  Tivo probably won't do that.  I'm ok with buying the hardware upgrades up front because it's a one time charge.  Hulu is cheap a month, and Prime is technically free.  So I'm assuming our monthly TV/Movie bills would be under $20 a month.

Anyone have a good site for home built DVR?  I saw someone link to one, but I can't find it.

So back to my question from the last page.  Didn't get any responses and would like to have some input for those have gone away from subscription TV

Bad thing IS WMC isn't being supported anymore so you'd need to research other offerings. That said I'll be using roku's on the TV's for streaming and then the CM DVR+ to DVR the OTA channels. We currently sub to Netflix, Hulu+ & Amazon Prime.
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« Reply #51 on: April 21, 2014, 04:47:18 PM »

Hmmmm...I thought I had answered at least a few of your questions.  

The Roku 3 is 100 bucks.  Plex is about 5 bucks for the client on your Roku.  That will handle all your streaming content from your computer flawlessly.  I installed the Plex server software on my gaming rig and I hardly even know it's there, it's so resource friendly.  If you have another system that you never use though, just put Plex on that.

OTA I can't help you with as I'm currently not doing it.  I imagine I could just pick up a tv tuner card for my PC and use Windows Media Center for the DVR capabilities, but the payoff is so minimal for me right now I just don't see any need.  Between Netflix, Huluplus, the various network plug ins for Roku (History, A&E, etc.) and amazon prime, I can get everything I need.
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« Reply #52 on: April 21, 2014, 05:18:23 PM »

Since I work for Directv I probably shouldn't be helping you guys cut the cord lol.  But...  as far as OTA is concerned, it's really all about your physical location (including things like trees, etc) and the antenna you use.  This is a great website to get you started:

http://www.antennaweb.org/

Signal strength is generally not an issue, but depending on what's around you where you live, you could get crazy interference.  Or if you're lucky, even a super cheap indoor antenna will work fine. 
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« Reply #53 on: April 21, 2014, 05:30:22 PM »

Quote from: rittchard on April 21, 2014, 05:18:23 PM

Since I work for Directv I probably shouldn't be helping you guys cut the cord lol.  But...  as far as OTA is concerned, it's really all about your physical location (including things like trees, etc) and the antenna you use.  This is a great website to get you started:

http://www.antennaweb.org/

Signal strength is generally not an issue, but depending on what's around you where you live, you could get crazy interference.  Or if you're lucky, even a super cheap indoor antenna will work fine. 


Yeah I got a ~$10 indoor one from Amazon to try first. I need to give it a try but I've been tied up for the last month working on my sum bitch bastard car  mad mad Head meets wall Head meets wall
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« Reply #54 on: April 21, 2014, 06:25:30 PM »

Interesting article on Aereo and the court case going on this week
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« Reply #55 on: April 22, 2014, 02:18:27 AM »

found this guide http://assassinhtpcblog.com/hardwareguide/

I've priced mine around $800
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« Reply #56 on: April 22, 2014, 12:27:31 PM »

I'd get one of these http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Synology/DS214play/ before I spent that much on a HTPC, then just stream content to all TV's with the Plex app on Roku's.
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« Reply #57 on: April 23, 2014, 02:52:27 PM »

If you are looking for an OTA antenna, check out GoMohu.com.  I had very good luck with it pulling in stations nearly 40 miles away.  Sadly, I was still missing one (the CBS station was 70 miles away) so had to stick with cable.  Now that I'm back in civilization, I can't wait for the kids to age a bit more so I can try again.
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« Reply #58 on: April 23, 2014, 06:37:12 PM »

Quote from: stessier on April 23, 2014, 02:52:27 PM

If you are looking for an OTA antenna, check out GoMohu.com.  I had very good luck with it pulling in stations nearly 40 miles away.  Sadly, I was still missing one (the CBS station was 70 miles away) so had to stick with cable.  Now that I'm back in civilization, I can't wait for the kids to age a bit more so I can try again.

that looks cool.

Here is what I sent them via email, and maybe you can answer this...

I'm highly considering ditching subscription TV (directv) and building my own HTPC that lets me watch TV over the air, stream shows using the web, and watch movies off of my hard drives.

The HTPC will also have a built in DVR.  What I want for my DVR is to have multiple tuners so I can record more than one  over the air show at a time. 

Would this work with Leaf 50? 

Thank you,
Ken
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« Reply #59 on: April 24, 2014, 07:04:56 AM »

Quote from: naednek on April 23, 2014, 06:37:12 PM

The HTPC will also have a built in DVR.  What I want for my DVR is to have multiple tuners so I can record more than one  over the air show at a time.  

Would this work with Leaf 50?  


does your HTPC have an ATSC tuner card in it? if so, yes. as would any UHF antenna with a coax connector (and save $30+)
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« Reply #60 on: April 29, 2014, 02:52:37 AM »

Well Time Warner helped me make up my mind. Went in the local store to see about cutting some services - lower internet, get rid of one DVR, and possibly cut back on our cable plan. The lady obviously didn't want to help us spend less money, and gave me attitude. When she asked me what internet plan I wanted, I told her "whatever the default or standard is." Her response, "Sir there is no such thing as DEFAULT internet." Fucking bitch. She continued to give us attitude with smart ass comments.

So then when we explained how we wanted to cut back on our cable, she basically fed us a line of bullshit about how there was no way to cut our cable back without giving up our cable boxes and DVR (patently untrue). I was so disgusted by her lies and demeanor I told her to forget it and we walked out.

Going to call tomorrow and cut everything. At least the people on the phone will typically try to keep you as a subscriber and at least offer a promotional deal or something. Every time I've dealt with the people in the store I've been given the runaround, attitude, and a lot of blatant lies.
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« Reply #61 on: April 29, 2014, 11:41:20 AM »

One of us, one of us....

Welcome to the club of people tired of the cable company's crap!
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« Reply #62 on: April 29, 2014, 12:56:33 PM »

I cut the 'cable chains' years ago. Congratz, Hep! Cable TV is an over-inflated, money-grubbin' claptrap. I stream everything these days and pay for the occasional Netflix month sub when I want to catch up on stuff.
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« Reply #63 on: April 30, 2014, 10:59:48 AM »

I'm in the same boat....somewhat.....


I tried to cut Comcast cable altogether, but they offered to increase my Internet speed to the next tier, and the reduced my bill by $55 per month. I lost the premium channels, but we still get FX, Food Network, Lifetime, AE, etc.

We'll see what happens in one year....

my biggest concern is that Comcast will stop the bleeding by significantly raising Internet prices, especially for heavy users. one HD movie on Netflix can run over 5GB. In a week we hit about 60GB just from Streaming movies and TV shows. I think that day is fast approaching. Too many people are dumping cable and phone service.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2014, 11:04:34 AM by Dante Rising » Logged
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« Reply #64 on: April 30, 2014, 03:40:01 PM »

Surprised you didn't take the pleasure of telling the rep in person that they had lost a customer, YK.  I had that pleasure of seeing the look of confusion when I asked if Comcast could drop my bill by $130/month and not raise it back up a year later. 
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« Reply #65 on: April 30, 2014, 04:14:58 PM »

Quote from: YellowKing on April 29, 2014, 02:52:37 AM

Going to call tomorrow and cut everything. At least the people on the phone will typically try to keep you as a subscriber and at least offer a promotional deal or something. Every time I've dealt with the people in the store I've been given the runaround, attitude, and a lot of blatant lies.

It's amazing how much better people usually act when they know every customer interaction they have might be recorded.

The people in the stores are likely driven by commission, and can't be bothered to give a damn about anything that doesn't add something to their incentives.  People in the call center usually aren't given the shot at such a high level of incentives. 

When I was working at Cingular, the general customer service reps could expect $2.xx for selling a feature that stuck on the account for 60 days.  Meanwhile, we had managers transfer to jobs at the corporate stores because they could get higher checks slinging phones in person than they could being a manager.
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« Reply #66 on: May 05, 2014, 03:04:17 PM »

My Time Warner saga continues!

So I went back to the store this weekend because I had to turn in one DVR box and my cable modem (the higher end broadband uses a different modem than the standard).

Go in there and tell the guy what we're doing. He did not seem happy we were cutting our service back. However, he was at least helpful. He gave us an itemized breakdown of our new monthly charges and even though I still felt it was too much money, I agreed to it since we were still saving about $70/month and it was not too far out of line of the current promotional offers for new subscribers.

So I get home, we cook out, and about 8:00pm I go to record our shows for the evening. What's this? Oh, apparently our DVR no longer works. It won't record. All my recorded shows are gone. So I go check the new secondary box upstairs. It says, "This box is not authorized for service."

I get on the phone with them. After explaining that we scaled back our service and this is what was happening, I had to go through the obligatory "reboot your box" routine (which I had already done before calling). Boxes come back up, same issue. The guys says he's going to send a reset command to both boxes. 10-15 minutes later when they finally boot, same issue. So the guy tells me that they can't fix it from their side and they'll need to send a technician out. Would that be acceptable?

"ABSOLUTELY NOT."

The guy seemed stunned. I then told him flat out. "The service was broken remotely. It should be able to be fixed remotely. I should not have to take off work so a guy can come out to my house to fix something that is clearly the result of something done from the Time Warner side to my account." He transfers me to another technician.

This technician then, despite my pleas that I had already done this, makes me go through the whole reboot/reset of the boxes thing AGAIN. Again it doesn't work. He then tries something on his end and the second non-DVR box starts working. He resets the primary DVR again. Still doesn't work. So he's like, "Can you please remove the coaxial cable and make sure the wire is not bent." I'm like, "Listen, my box worked fine before I went in and had my service changed. It does not work now that I've had my service changed. I have a hard time believing the coaxial cable magically and coincidentally got bent on the same day I got my service changed." He goes back and types and fiddles around, then resets it one more time and lo and behold it starts working properly.

I seriously feel like they're pissed when you cut your service so they just screw with you as some sort of petty revenge. If they had lost any of my pre-recorded shows or had to send a tech out, I would have just cut the cord completely and told them to go fuck themselves. As it was they at least got everything working properly, but it took me an hour and a half on the phone missing getting my kids to bed for them to do so. For my money they are the worst company in America.
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« Reply #67 on: May 05, 2014, 03:53:09 PM »

Quote from: YellowKing on May 05, 2014, 03:04:17 PM

So he's like, "Can you please remove the coaxial cable and make sure the wire is not bent." I'm like, "Listen, my box worked fine before I went in and had my service changed. It does not work now that I've had my service changed. I have a hard time believing the coaxial cable magically and coincidentally got bent on the same day I got my service changed." He goes back and types and fiddles around, then resets it one more time and lo and behold it starts working properly.

As someone who spent a year in Cable/Internet technical support in a previous lifetime I feel the need to step in here.

Yes, the coaxial cable can magically and coincidentally get damaged the same day you got your service changed. It happens more times than you think. I've had calls where people complain that their service stopped working immediately after changing their service remotely and it was only after 20 minutes of hard questioning did we find out that they neglected to mention that they moved the box to a new TV and ultimately didn't tighten the coaxial cable enough to get a signal. I've had people refuse to troubleshoot any connection and the problem was they neglected to plug in a key cable even though they INISTED it was done properly.

I was always very adamant that customer check their connections before I do ANYTHING else for them.

"Is your cable box connected properly?"
"Yes"
"Can you actually see that it's connected properly?"
"No"
"Please go and check the connections and make sure everything is tightly connected."

You won't believe how many support calls are solved right there and then. Sometimes rephrasing the question "Is the cable bent?" is enough to have them actually get hands on with the connection.

Bottom line, yes it's insulting to you being a tech-guy but you forget there are millions of people that have no clue. It's hard to tell on the phone right away who's got a clue and who doesn't.
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« Reply #68 on: May 05, 2014, 06:14:49 PM »

Just a quick update:

I'm about two months into my life as a cord cutter and I still feel it was a great decision.  I wake up every morning with a smile on my face, I've lost weight, my hair seems thicker and I noticed recently that I don't actually perspire any more.

...wait...what is this?  Unbelievable.  I just found a thousand dollar bill lying on the floor of the break room at work.

Thank you, cord cutting!

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Caine
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« Reply #69 on: May 05, 2014, 07:49:04 PM »

been there, done that, wrote the book's intro chapter.  typical comcast support call the last time we had them and after a monthly reset of the router due to it losing it's WAN lease: 
support:  can you try hooking your pc directly to the modem? 

yes, but that didn't help the last 3 times, it didn't help this time.  I need a hard reset from your side to refresh the modem's WAN address 

have you tried turning it off and on again?

yes, I've hard reset both modem and router and checked the IP from the pc.  tracerts die at the modem.

ok, I'm going to try resetting the modem from our side.  is it working now? 

Yes, thank you for doing the exact same thing you did the last 3 times I called. any chance I can get this fixed without having to call you or not have it happen in the first place? 

no, please call us again if this happens.  thank you and blah blah blah

I'm in tech support so I get the basic steps to check.  it just kills me when they get on the line and won't break from the script even after I tell them that I've already checked all that.
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JayDee
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« Reply #70 on: May 06, 2014, 02:26:21 PM »

Quote from: Caine on May 05, 2014, 07:49:04 PM



I'm in tech support so I get the basic steps to check.  it just kills me when they get on the line and won't break from the script even after I tell them that I've already checked all that.

Because if their tech support centre is anything like the one I worked in you get random calls evaluated and your score is based on making sure certain items are checked off the list. Modem straight to PC, checking connections, resets, etc are all part of the troubleshooting checklist. If you miss a step and it ends up being a connection issue after all and that is one of the calls you're evaluated on? Hurts your review which hurts your promotion chances which hurts your hourly rate increase, etc.
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farley2k
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« Reply #71 on: May 06, 2014, 03:02:16 PM »

Quote from: JayDee on May 06, 2014, 02:26:21 PM

Quote from: Caine on May 05, 2014, 07:49:04 PM



I'm in tech support so I get the basic steps to check.  it just kills me when they get on the line and won't break from the script even after I tell them that I've already checked all that.

Because if their tech support centre is anything like the one I worked in you get random calls evaluated and your score is based on making sure certain items are checked off the list. Modem straight to PC, checking connections, resets, etc are all part of the troubleshooting checklist. If you miss a step and it ends up being a connection issue after all and that is one of the calls you're evaluated on? Hurts your review which hurts your promotion chances which hurts your hourly rate increase, etc.

+1

It isn't because they don't trust the customer, or because the rep is stupid.  It is because their job is evaluated on following a script not on "good judgement."

Why would I, as a rep, risk a raise, promotion, or possibly my job just so you can get your cable up faster?  There is *zero* advantage to me doing that. 
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