For the first problem, I had something similar. In my case Cox just didn't send the right signal. They sent a guy out, but all he did was what I had _tried_ to do which was get them to send all the hits they can to activate the card. It finally activated - thankfully they didn't charge for the truck, it was their problem.
For the second, again with Cox they set everything to copy-protected I think. Maybe your provider does as well.