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O @comcastcares, hear my plea

As of this evening the TV Guide channel is not displaying the scrolling list of program information — just the mindless “American Idol Rewind” and other programming at the top of the screen. You can usually see an empty space at the bottom where the program listing would fall.

When we called the customer support 800 number, the representative was completely clueless and apparently unable to understand our description of the problem. First she told us to unplug our cable-ready TV set from the cable and plug it back in (we’re still analog here and have no cable box). Predictably that had no effect. After my wife and I tried to explain the problem again, she finally decided that the problem was with the network — that is, the TV Guide Network had chosen to stop sending us program listings. She suggested we contacted the network to complain about the change.

As a result, we have no source of program listings from Comcast. The “Channel Lineup” page on comcast.com has had the message “We are currently working to provide channel lineup information for your area” for at least a year. (Our town straddles multiple counties and has its own cable franchise. Last summer Comcast decided to move everyone in town to the same system, which means that we’re now on the “other” system.)

The CSR dutifully ended the call with “Thank you for choosing Comcast”, which is a joke since our original system (Adelphia) was bought out by Comcast. Oddly we had no problems with Adelphia, but the major impact of Comcast (beside shifting our system) was to repeatedly raise our rates while moving channels from the analog tier to the digital tier.

I personally watch very little television and would ditch cable for over-the-air (and over-the-Internet), but my wife enjoys having the TV on while working in the kitchen, and the kids watch Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, etc. Frankly, Verizon can’t bring FIOS to our town fast enough for me. (Sadly there’s no evidence that they’re even considering this, although they’re hooking up an adjacent county.)

[The six loyal readers of my blog probably couldn’t care less about this issue; this post is really just to have something to point Frank Elias (@comcastcares on twitter) toward.]

Edit: In the interest of full disclosure, I got two responses on Twitter the same evening; apparently it was a known issue (involving the digital transition?) and cleared up in a few days.

One Comment

  1. Kamil Nieścioruk
    Kamil Nieścioruk July 29, 2009

    Dear Russell,
    I cannot find your email here. Could you please contant me on the address given. It is a matter of old times, Amiga and MicroProse. I hope to hear from you soon. Thanks in advance.
    Greetings,
    Kamil

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