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2004/06/08 Tivo does suck this time
π 2004-06-08 23:35 by Merlin in Public

Current Music: Faithless - No Root - In the end
Current Mood: annoyed, don't screw with my South Park recording...

The letter I just sent to Tivo:


Being an engineer, I am a demanding customer, and I have been reasonably happy with your products and services (which means you've been doing a good job).

However, a bit more than a week ago, comcast changed their channel lineup out of the blue so that pretty much none of my extended channels match anymore. I live in sunnyvale, CA (94085), about 10mn from your headquarters, so I'd be surprised if none of your employees experienced the same thing and already reported it (and I found out way later that you were indeed aware of it)

I called support, which seemed intent on sending me to Sony when it was clearly a software/service issue, and I ended up arguing with the CSR because he wanted to send me to Sony when I told him that selecting change channel lineup was crashing the tivo software (which otherwise never crashes for me).
Never mind the fact that I had to explain to him what a crash and a reboot was (i.e. "describe what happened", "well, I select the menu option, I get the basic drawing, no letters or options, the tivo freezes, and after about 10 seconds, the watchdog kicks in and the kernel reboots", which is what I explained on my third attempt of conveying the fact that the software crashed on that menu option, but he kept asking for more details, saying he didn't understand reboot or crash).
I got more and more aggravated when he was telling me that I had to contact Sony and RMA my unit when it was clearly a software bug (and said Sony also did Tivo software support, is that really true?)

Of course, this wasn't the problem at hand, I was just being nice and playing along with his script. The problem is that after about 10 days, you're still feeding me the wrong channel data, and worst of all, there is no supported way for me to override the bad data (well, if I cared to spend the time, I could probably use Tivoweb, browse the MFS filesystem, find the relevant resource(s) and fix them, but seriously, I shouldn't have to do that)
I've been getting country music instead of the daily show for more than one week, and now I've just missed the Latest Episode of South Park because of your inaptitude to fix a simple channel name to channel number mapping. I am very pissed!

Your CSR explained that you go through some arbitration company to request a channel lineup update and that comcast has to send it back to them and then them to you. Why so much unnecessary red tape? Anyone can just spend 10mn, map the channels and adjust the lineup for almost if not all of them without any help from comcast whatsoever. I personally couldn't care less whether it's an official change or not, or whether comcast plays well with others or not (they don't), I just want the lineup to be up to date.
Do you know that my Replay TV updated its channel lineup quicker than I realized that it had changed (in other words, if it weren't for you, I wouldn't even know that comcast remapped all its channels).
Seriously, where do the service fees go? I have an original Tivo, so I haven't gotten a new feature in more than a year (nor am I really expecting any, even if I'd appreciate them), TV guides can get gotten off several services in a trivial fashion, so the least you could do is to make sure that my channel lineup is up to date, and doesn't stay broken more than 10 days after it changed.
At this point, you're just tempting me to setup MythTV or Freevo.

I trust that you will get this fixed, but the fact that it still hasn't, and that I have to send you this letter is not acceptable
Turns out the SP episode from last night was actually a repeat, I just had no recollection of having seen it.
I ended up watching it from my SP collection on hard drive this morning :)
posted by MM : 09 June, 2004 10:00

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