Cox Sucks, Volume 2397

January 29, 2012

image of the tweet

I start with this tweet from my feed for two reasons. First, it's spot-on. Second, it relates to the story that unfolds herein. Although, come to think of it, if you've read the title of this post, and the tweet, you can pretty much fill in the rest of it all by yourself.

Some time this winter, I noticed that a good number of our cable channels weren't coming in on the upstairs TV. I didn't know this at the time, but Mrs. theskinnyonbenny had called Cox about two channels not coming in on the other TVs downstairs. For that, it turned out that they sent a technician out to troubleshoot, just to come back and tell us that for boxes with tuning adapters, those channels weren't online yet.

But while he was in the house, I had him come up and look at the upstairs TV. He called the mother ship, tried pairing an re-pairing the cable cards, claimed that those were defective, and that he had no spares, and that he would have to schedule another trip. I had mentioned that the missing channels seemed to be the ones that we didn't get when we didn't have a connected tuning adapter, but he made no note of my comment.

Cox time spent at our house: 1 hour.

The next business day, another technician came out. I kid you not, the man replaced cable cards 3 different times. He spent hours on end talking to the people at the mother ship. And eventually, he told me, "None of us can figure out what's wrong. Someone else will have to come out, but I think Bill Gates himself might have to come troubleshoot this one."

Bill Gates, cable television master technician.

I didn't spend all of that time with him, so I'm guessing he did some troubleshooting on the tuning adapter, since I mentioned it to him twice. In fact, now I recall that he distinctly told me that it wasn't the problem.

He was at our house for five hours, so,

Total Cox time at our house: 6 hours.

That night, two other donkeys came by. They spent most of their time tracing wiring through the house and out to the pole (which doesn't make sense, since the other TVs were getting the channels). They did take away the old tuning adapter and left a new one in its place, but after two hours, they threw in the towel as well.

We'll call this one two people, at two and a half hours, so,

Total Cox time at our house: 11 hours.

These last two had told me to call TIVO and make sure that it had the most up to date software. I went to an information screen, noted the version, and checked to confirm in one minute that my software was current. Then, I called Cox to set up the next batch of people to come out.

The woman who answered at least believed me about the tuning adapter. She had me go to the TIVO setup screen for the tuning adapter. I was surprised to see the screen say, in big, bold words across the top, "Tuning Adapter is Not Connected."

I was thinking hardware problem at that point. But as the Cox woman held on the phone, I slid the cabinet out, looked in the back, and saw the end of the tuning adapter that plugs into the box dangling loose. Yes, my friends, they spent 11 hours troubleshooting what I told them in the first place, and then didn't bother connecting the new adapter at all.

Here is the DVR end of the tuning adapter cable.

When I relayed this to the woman on the phone, she had the only reaction that I could accept. "I'm so sorry and embarrassed about this." And she really did seem to be sorry and embarrassed. It's hard to be mad when that's the case.

She promised to let the manager of these clowns know what the problem was. I doubt that he'll care that they spent 11 man-hours troubleshooting nothing, but if he did, I would like to have heard the conversation.