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HELLLLLP! Comcast refuses to fix my signal error! Should I file an FCC complaint?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I have a 32" analog Sony TV that I only use for three things:
  1. DVD movies
  2. PBS
  3. C-SPAN
For the uninitiated, C-SPAN actually consists of 3 different channels:
  1. C-SPAN (the U.S. House of Representatives)
  2. C-SPAN2 (the U.S. Senate)
  3. C-SPAN3 . . . "History" (but in any event, the least important of the 3)
Those of you who are "C-SPAN junkies" like I am will feel my pain when I tell you that for 3 days and now two separate phone calls I cannot get reception on either C-SPAN or C-SPAN2. The black screen displays a generic signal error "S0a00" and the ubiquitous ONE MOMENT PLEASE This channel will be available shortly message when I attempt to access either of these two C-SPAN channels.

In two separate phone calls Comcast has refused to send someone out to replace my cable box. They tell me "just be patient, I'm sure it will be okay."

Guys look, I'm basically a reader. I don't require anything fancy in either my TV hardware or my channel selections. Occasionally I will watch PBS for their mysteries, but I watch C-SPAN and C-SPAN2 every single day. It's on my entire business day while I work (I work out of my home), and it's always on in the kitchen while I'm cooking. These two channels are on probably 10 hours every day . . . or were, until a few days ago.

For Comcast to refuse to fix my signal problem is the equivalent of rendering 90% of the few channels I watch unavailable to me!

I know I'm not a huge money maker with them, but I pay the lease on my cable box every month, doesn't that give me some right to service? Should I file a formal FCC complaint?

post #2 of 23
friv, you may want to consider buying your own cablebox/HD-DVR such as MOXI, and getting a free "cablecard" from comcast.
It allows the customer-owned equipment to receive pay channels enabled by comcast.

(which comcast plan by the way? cspan is usually free, eh????)

I was going to advise you to seek therapeutic help re that CSPAN issue, but I must say that CSPAN-3 looks awesome, thank you for mentioning it. I've been considering getting a cablecard for my moxi HD-DVR but have found the $17.10/month basic service sufficient.)
post #3 of 23
If you subscribe, then you shouldn't have to pay your bill. Set aside your payment in escrow along with a letter stating your intent to pay when they resolve your issues.

Is it ONLY CSPAN2 and 3? Are they included in you subscription? (They do change)

If they can't provide programming to which is subscribed with a rented cable box, I would assume he/she would probably have the same problems with a cablecard.

To the OP:
have you unplugged the cable box from wall power for a few minutes. MAybe a "hard reset" will help.
post #4 of 23
I would maybe suggest trying to call them again and tell a little white lie that your whole picture is not working. Then explain to the tech when he gets there. Also don't mention anything to the call center rep about replacing a box. Just let the tech figure it out when be arrives.

You could also try asking your neighbors or friends in the area if their c-span is working right. It may be an area issue or a problem with the cspan feed.

I would find it hard to believe that if you tell them you have no service at all that they would refuse you a service visit. I'm not saying it's implausible just unlikely.

If that is really the case and they still wont roll a truck do as ratman suggested above and hold back your payments until it is fixed.
post #5 of 23
post #6 of 23
Disconnect all you comcast devices and call in that you have no signal. The box not transmitting back will make them think you do in fact have an outage.
post #7 of 23
You might want to try unplugging the box and it will then reset itself and reload all the channels and guide info, which MIGHT fix it after a short time.
One day my box was showing channel 0 and wouldn't respond to the remote or anything. Finally I went on their live chat because my net was still fine and eventually the rep realized the box had lost it's digital mind and he would have to do a "box hit" to get it back online. They send a new authorization signal that reboots and resets the box so it starts over and gets reauthorized. Since then it has worked OK again with the occasional guide loss or issues that fix themselves pretty quickly.
post #8 of 23
What city and what Cable company are you with?

What Cable TV package do you have?

What converter box are you using?
post #9 of 23
Originally Posted by kenglish View Post

What city and what Cable company are you with?

El Sobrante, Ca. and Comcast.

Info from Comcast site:

And more:
post #10 of 23
Meh. Take it to your local government. They are the franchiser of ComCast. Usually a gripe from the folks who allow you to do business in town is a bit more shaking up than a 'decree' from the FCC.
post #11 of 23
Have you tried unplugging and plugging the box back in yet?

What type of box do you have is it a DTA?
post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 
Guys, wow you are the greatest! I thought no one would respond for a week or something . . . 10 replies! I love you for that.

Yes, I'm in the Global Nightlife Capital of the World, El Sobrante, California heh he. So much to answer . . .

By all means take an extended gander from time to time at the 3 C-SPAN channels. This is our government! Even if you're bored to tears during the quorum calls, sometimes it's the stuff they run when the two houses are not in session that is the most provocative. And at times hilarious. Where else are you going to see arch-feminist Naomi Wolf going head-to-head with conservative Harvey Mansfield and his book Manhood. Priceless.

tveli . . . I don't want to purchase my own cable box because I'm uncomfortable going "independent" from Comcast. At the rate broadcast technology is changing, I'm more comfortable retaining my option to force them to replace equipment as their endless fiddling with signals alters the hardware designed to support it as this issue is a prime example of.

I am a Basic Cable subscriber with a slowww dial-up internet connection guys. No live streaming for this analog girl; I'm a reader. But take away my C-SPAN and . . . them's fightin' words. Again, it's the first two of the 3 C-SPAN channels I can't get. I get C-SPAN3 just fine. The latest development however is that now I've also lost one of my PBS stations! WFT???

I'm going to attempt the complete unplugging scenario that some of you have recommended. If it doesn't work, I'm going down there in person and demand a new cable box or file with the FCC.

post #13 of 23
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by RCbridge View Post

What type of box do you have is it a DTA?



Again, I lease it.
post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 
Ratman . . . could you be very specific with me about what I am unplugging:

The power from the box
The power from the TV
The coax from the box
The coax from the TV
Remove the batteries from the remote, wait, and then replace them
All of the above

I'll hold off attempting this until I hear back.
post #15 of 23
You can just try unplugging power from the box. Wait 30 sec and plug back in.

If that doesn't work try unplugging the box and the coax to the box. Wait 30 sec, plug the coax back into the box and then the power.

If that doesn't work, do as I suggested and call comcast and tell them you have no channels at all.
post #16 of 23
Originally Posted by frivolousme View Post

Ratman . . . could you be very specific with me about what I am unplugging:

The power from the box

Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

To the OP:
have you unplugged the cable box from wall power for a few minutes

To be as clear as possible... take the power plug out of the electrical outlet in the wall for the "DCT700".
post #17 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hi guys, okay it's done. Comcast came out Friday and replaced some cylindrical thingamajiggy outside in the green cable-whatever-you-call it and the channels are coming in fine now. Thanks Ratman for your help!

post #18 of 23
Glad it's resolved. BTW, how did you finally convince them to do a 'truck roll'?

They probably replaced (or removed) the "trap/filter" in the "pedestal".
post #19 of 23
Thread Starter 
skip it
post #20 of 23
I just would have pressed #1 and spoken to the rep to confirm the day/time of the appt.

I think I'm now sorry I asked. Anyway... it's working. Get back on your meds and enjoy CSPAN.
post #21 of 23
Thread Starter 
And I'm definitely sorry I answered. Wow.
post #22 of 23
post #23 of 23
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AVS › AVS Forum › Video Components › Cable, Digital Cable - Non-HDTV › HELLLLLP! Comcast refuses to fix my signal error! Should I file an FCC complaint?