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July 11, 2008


So we got a TiVo -- apparently we are the last household on earth to do this -- and the instructions say we need a cable guy to come put a special cable-company card in the TiVo, so that it can -- pardon my technical jargon -- work.

So I called my cable company, whose name rhymes with Bomcast, and made an appointment for a cable guy to come Wednesday. They said he'd be here between 8 and 11 a.m.

So I stayed home from 8 to 11, and sure enough, the cable guy arrived around noon. He spent a couple of hours looking increasingly irritated, after which he told me he couldn’t get the card to work. He said a second cable guy would come Thursday between 8 and 11 a.m. He took the old cable box away with him, which meant that the TV no longer received anything.

So Thursday I stayed home from 8 to 11 a.m. waiting for the second cable guy, and of course nobody came. At 11 I called Bomcast and spoke to a woman who told me lots of things that I did not really understand about the internal scheduling procedures at Bomcast. When she was done I asked her if that meant that the second cable guy was or was not coming, and she allowed as how, what with one technical thing and another, he was not going to be able to make it that particular day.

So I said, OK, when WILL he be able to drop by? And she said Friday. So I said, do you have any idea WHEN Friday? And she said, between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. So I said, wow, that is quite a large span of time to be sitting around waiting for somebody who has already failed to show up. She allowed as how it was unfortunate, but for various technical Bomcast reasons there was nothing that could be done, and she certainly apologized for the inconvenience.

They always apologize for the inconvenience, but I do not believe they are sincere.

Anyway, as I write this, it's going on 2 p.m., and so far there is no sign of, or word from, the second cable guy. I'm not sure I believe there IS a second cable guy. Maybe Bomcast has just the one cable guy, covering the entire nation, and the second cable guy is a mythical creature, like the Easter Bunny or Vice President Cheney.

I have two points to make, here:

1. Bomcast needs to stop apologizing for the inconvenience, and start being less inconvenient.

2. TiVo had better be GREAT.

Update: As of 3 p.m., still no sign of the cable guy. Maybe he's sleeping. Or at a hearing.

(Thanks to diverdowndoc and Corey Smith)

URGENT BREAKING UPDATE: THE CABLE GUY CAME! A LIVE HUMAN! He was a nice man, and although he did not apologize for the inconvenience, HE GOT THE CABLE TO WORK.

Of course there is nothing to watch. But now we can record it!


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Was it Schlomcast?

Dave you have my full and complete sympathy.

You may also understand one reason that I do not have cable, satellite, or anything other than regular ol' broadcast TV and a DVD player. Makes life a lot easier.

You can't even watch cartoons . . . ?

I feel your pain, Dave.

Btw, the Bomcast cable guy MAY not make it to your neck of the woods. Last I heard the truck was in Hialeah.

Bombast doesn't want your Tivo to work. They want to sell you their DVR, which is like a Tivo, except when it isn't, and does anything your Tivo does, sometimes, if it wants to. I have one of each. I recommend neither.

It is amazing how highly technical cable and broadband systems are these days. They can build digital networks that can handle trillions of operations per second but they can't get ahold of a good copy of scheduling software. Odd.

They got trucks???

Who knew!!

You are not the last household...

I have to have broadband internet to work (I work at home). This means I have to also have Bomcast Premium cable or something like that.

This means I have a good internet connection (it has been very stable) and 57 channels of crap plus about 3 decent ones. And the bill seems to up every 6 months.

Coincidentally, this is also how Bime Barner, Berizon, and BT&T operate.

I could write a memoir of my personal hastles with Bomcast. I moved to a new house that was "cable ready"(?). After 14 visits spanning 2 months, we now have 2 of 6 TVs working, 1 of 6 phones, and intermittant internet. At one the visits, I asked the "technician" if he was actually trained in the installation of cable TV. He said that he was actually a phone guy, but was sent out to install cable since all of the cable guys were busy (or non-existent).

I will have to agree with funniegrrl that life with only a DVD (or no TV at all) hasn't been to bad.

Dave, if you want to take a shot back at them, go visit consumerist.com. Search for entries about Bomcast and look up the EECB(Executive Email Carpet Bomb). There's no excuse for bad service, but if we let them, they'll happily get away with it every time.

Dave, Bomcast is staffed entirely by ex-telemarketers. Lower your expectations accordingly.

Perhaps, if and when the guy actually does show up, the Blog could don a nurse's outfit (plus one of those carpal-tunnel doohickeys) and insert its own "special company card."

Good luck.

Unacceptable. Take your money back.


I has your Bomcast cable guy.

If you wants to sees him again bring 1,000 Krimpets (butterscotch) to the corner of Dadeland Boulevard and Southwest 72nd Place between 8am and 11am tomorrow.

Come alone.

Bring two AAA batteries.

Dave, I think you're gonna have to go straight to the head man...

I hope they don't send the fat guy. If he needs to get oj the roof for ANY reason, you will be rescheduled. Hopefully, you can call UPS and get somewhere with all this.

Dude, you just gotta let it go.

I know where the Bomcast guy is. When we bought our house last month, Bomcast trespessed in our house the day before we closed and installed cable without our permission. They also did the same on the houses on either side of us. No one in the entire neighborhood had installation scheduled for that entire week, so obviously it wasn't a got-the-wrong-house mistake.

Did I mention that they broke our main water line, sending a geiser of water into the air at least twelve feet?

The funniest part is that we weren't even going to get cable. We got DirectTV. We made Bomcast come back and remove it all. Even though we live in Central Florida, it is probably the same guy. So, he can't come to your house today, he's busy installing cable on houses that don't want cable.

...and it'll help if your kids have a pet rabbit...

I love, Love, LOVE my local Bombast cable guy and his inconvenient ways. (Although, technically, I think he is an independent contractor for Bomcast and not an actual employee) A few years ago, I opted to decrease my level of service to the $15 broadcast enhancement package. Why spend $70 per month watching the same Law & Order reruns, right.

The customer service rep fought with me about it . . . she was convinced I needed all that Law & Order I guess. She finally relented and said, "fine, there's a $10.00 service charge to change." I asked why. She said a technician had to come to my house. I agreed to the service charge. At the end of the month, my new bill reflected the decreased service AND the service charge to cut off the service outside. Funny thing is though, the actual cable service never changed. I assume the Bomcast guy just said he did the work, signed the paperwork and collected his pay. Sometimes the incompetence is rewarding . . . or maybe Karma has simply come around to bite Bomcast in the butt. Good luck Dave.

The second cable guy is not a myth. I have photographic proof.

I cannot vouch for the quality of the service you will receive, I but I hear you will git-r-done.

WAITAMINIT!!?? There is no Easter Bunny???

Siouxie, I hate to be the one to tell you this...

Dave, you could be these people.

Your second cable guy isn't there in Miami because he is still driving from Boston where he showed up UNANNOUNCED WITH NO APPOINTMENT on EASTER DAY to "check our internet connection" (for no apparent reason). I kid you not...

So the trick to getting a Bomcast person to appear is to (a) not have an appointment, (b) not have a problem and (c) be home with a house full of guests on a major holiday about to burn your turkey because you're too busy arguing with the Bomcast person who's obviously ticked about driving from Miami to Boston on Easter to fill an imaginary work order.

This has been your "Customer's Guide to Dealing with Bomcast" update.

Sorry about your luck there Dave. I think you should submit your story to the Consumerist. They do a great job of getting this type of stuff out in the public eye and they already hate "Bomcast".

Plus, they can help you with an EECB (Executive Email Carpet Bomb) that is sure to get you answers - fast.

Here's a link to email addresses for Comcast Executives:


TiVo is better than great. I've had DVRs for years (I helped test ReplayTV before TiVo came out; I've used the DishDVR), and TiVo's software is the best.

After living with TiVo so long, I've noticed that: 1) When I listen to the radio, sometimes I have the urge to rewind what was said (ala TiVo). 2) Watching TV without a TiVo get irritating since you can't fast forward through the boring parts (commercials, show open-intros, ENTIRE episodes of "So You Think You Can Dance").

I don't have a Bombast TiVo, so I don't know if it'll work, but TiVo has software downloads that you can put on your PC to transfer the programs to the PC, and later to take them from the PC back to your TiVo so you can watch them. That requires a network (either wired or wireless), but it's a very nice feature.

Dave, let us know what you think of it when Bombast finally shows up later this year.

that Easter Bunny fellow must have nine lives.

i still haven't figured out how to program the vcr.

TiVo is really great for watching crap on your own schedule as opposed to watching the same crap on the networks' schedule. it's still the same crap, just a more convenience means of consumption.

Comcast techs have mastered the Tivo? Way?


Maybe the Maytag™ repairman could fill in for the non-existent Bomcast guy?

Well, let's hope they don't see this blog until *after* they have fixed everything up properly. Watch you outdoor wires too!

the wife and I gave up cable last year. I miss the Discovery network, but I do not miss the 88 dollar cable bill. No Tivo either.

As soon as your daughter figures out the system, expect to have every episode of Hannah Montana recorded within a fortnight.


Tell Bomcast that you are going to change to FIOS. Their service levels really improve.

yep, i'll pass. when i get home i'm gonna kiss my rabbit ears and scratch behind my dail-up modem's ears.

This pisses me off. MY Bomcast cable guy, who was all of 12 years old, could not hook up my TiVo to my new HD TV and their HD receiver. So, I went to return it to get "their" DVR, and lo and behold, I already had one! Dumbass cable guy didn't even know he had installed it, a combo HD/DVR.

THERE'S A CARD THAT MAKES YOUR TIVO WORK?!? But, you still had to get their HD box, right? Right? If so, I'll bet it's a DVR, too.

Nope. The Bomcast card replaces the Bomcast box. All I have is the TiVo. And it appears to work.

That's why I dumped cable many years ago and switched to DISH...with DVR

If it works, for God's sake don't touch it! Even to change the channel. So I hope the Bombast guy left it on a decent channel and not on the Cricket Channel¹.

Now that I think of it, which would be worse, The Cricket Channel² or the Cricket Channel³?

¹The Cricket channel: All cricket all the time. Except when we stop for tea.

²The Cricket Channel: We've got more googlies in our boot than bangers in Blackheath.

³The Cricket Channel: Chirping away since 1984. And we still make more sense that Teletubbies.

When Bomcast sees my name on caller ID they just patch me right through to legal

And the cable companies and networks wonder why people put a different interpretation on copyright laws and use software that rhymes with MitBorrent to watch shows.

*sticks fork in my eye*

Please tell me you have an HD TiVo, Dave, since that's the only thread of sanity I am clinging to. My TiVo is old and not HD whereas my new TV is HD and so I wanted/needed the HD service and oh my holy hell, I want to kill Bomcast now. Again.

i have time warner. theyre nice. and they show up. at least they have the last 12 times ive had to call them to complain about something. face it, we're at their mercy, so we can watch live surgery on discovery health channel. not that i would. and you arent the last person on earth to get tivo. i still dont have it.

good luck and god bless. last time I had to deal with them it took 5 attempts, 30 days, and finally contacting comcastcares on twitter, where there is/are a person/people that "reach out to variety of people throughout the internet. Via Twitter, Blogs, Websites". Heard about it here

I have Bomcast TV and Fios Internet. I have never ever had any problems with the television but then again, my daughter only watches E! TV so that may be the only channel we get. I have to admit, when I do have Fios internet problems, I can call a real, live human being who is in this country (Texas) AND speaks English.

They have Anglophones in Texas? Who'da thunk it?

Dave, if you think Bomcast is bad, you should try Box. Just got off the phone with them after calling to complain about an all-day outage that their technicians are (supposedly) working on. The guy said there was nothing he could do and then asked if I was satisfied with their level of customer service.

If I had answered that honestly, he would have had to wash out his earpiece.

Man, I could tell you some stories about bad cable service! I'll post some between 7:00pm and 1:00am.

If everyone posting on this blog experiences sudden Bombast failure tomorrow, we will know why.

Thank goodness I have DISH. WHEW!


1. Sorry to hear that Bombcast is your cable provider...ouch!
2. You will now record almost EVERYTHING just to be able to whip through the commercials.

I've had Tivo for a couple of years and it is addictive. Sadly, my Tivo box died last week, and directv sent me a new DVR - their brand. So, I installed it and everything went well until...I had audio but no video. So, now they're sending me a replacement for my replacement DVR. I hope I can fight through my Tivo withdrawals for a few more days.

TIVO WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE! I honestly don't know when most of the TV I watch really comes on.

And the best part is...

No more interruptions ruining your TV viewing experience.


P.S. Stay away from SameGame. My high score is 2700+

Oh no! Ya'll know what this means, right?? We will NEVER see the Blog again...EVER. It's a curse, I tell ya.

He's probably TiVo'ing commercials at this moment. We need to stage an intervention.

Dear Idiot Consumers who we have by the short hairs because if you try to switch companies, you will never have TV again - we'll see to it Mr. Dave Barry and all of his Blog Fans,

We here at Bom, COMcast, want you to know that we take your concerns and ball them up tight and ask that you shove them high up your witty little a$$es very seriously.

Our Nearly High School graduates highly trained technicians are working feverishly pleasuring themselves as they stare at your wives thru your windows while you think they're working at "the box" outside to correct these issues. NOT

We don't realize that your time is valuable, you stuck-up, fancy author types and the sicophants who worship you so we would like to send you all a coupon for a FREE wedgie upgrade to an atomic wedgie our SILVER PLATINUM package. I got a package for you right here

Thank you for remaining loyal Comcast lemmings customers!

Do you think they bought that sh!t?

*SNORK* Damn you, Abu!

Comcast Customer Service - that was excellent...and if you did that sober, I'm even more impressed. Bravo.

Television has really gotten so bad that I dont know WHY I cant stop watching it!

Comcast, your rant would have been way more effective if you'd spelled sycophant correctly.

I have Box and I've been such a PITA, and gone through so many levels of imcompetent tech support, that they finally hooked me up with their SWAT team. ISIANMTU. Yes, Box has a SWAT team. I have their individual cell phone numbers, I don't go through the main menu or number, and they come out whenever it's convenient for me.
It's great, but it took about 8 months of bad tech support to get to this.

I once waited from 8 am to 7 pm after Hurricane Wilma, after going 5 weeks without Internet service, only to have the guy NEVER SHOW UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, get in line, JR.

It appears that Seattle and Denver, according to my sister and me (respectively), are the only places where Comcast does not suck sump water reasonably well. Our mom in Fresno has nothing but invective to say about them. (Yes, we are terrible children for leaving her there, but we tried and she won't leave.)

I suspect that the better the older, established cable systems that Comcast gobbled up acquired in the 90s were, the better they now do in that town. If that makes sense.

Maybe a Santeria shrine would help.

Siouxie could help with that. Annie told me.

this was not funny. i wanted to laugh, it didn't happen. this is a sad event we all have lived though.

I thought it was funny. Because it didn't happen to me. Isn't that the basis of all funny?

May I just say, with all due respect - SUCKER!

Jeez, pete, you lookin for a little machete to the down low action? Cus you don't wanna be dissin Dave here. (Y'all catchin my ghetto (un)-like style? I'm kinda scared my own self.)

Hah!, all you Dish or DirectTV suggesters. See, they lose all signal everytime there's a heavy rain. Check a weather map for FL, sometime, especially in the summer.

Rabbit ears, wireless aircard internet, streaming video/HuLu keep me free from 'appointments'; to paraphrase, "You take the appointments, you just don't seem to keep the appointments".

HELP! I'm stuck in my apartment on a stormy day with audio and no video because I thought I would be smart and kind to myself on my bday and bought a DVD player (my first!) with surround sound. "I can hook this up myself," I said. HA! I am a first-class idiot of the first rate. I have so many cables and plastic bags on my floor that Al Gore would fall dead upon seeing it. I'm circumventing Bomcast and going back to Vest Vuy to hire the Meek Squad to get me out of this jam... for $200 no less! And you have to GO TO THE STORE to hire the Meek Squad because they want to boost your energy/gasoline consumption to help the economy, which is really not in a recession because Phil Graham said so. (And Jesse Jackson noted that he was talking down to the white folk with that statement.)

I could fill my OWN blog with Bomcast horror stories (fradulently ordered porn!), but someone has probably beaten me to it.

My theory is that our service-driven economy has tanked. No one cares, or even shives a git anymore. I will appear at Vest Vuy's Meek Squad counter looking like a drowned rat, and an even BIGGER idiot for running out in this storm, at 10 a.m. today. Pray for me... And pour me a scotch!

El - Bomcast probably isn't smart enough to spell sycophant. At least, that's what I believe.

I just wanna cut Bomcast's nuts...

Good luck, Eilbeback. Hope Youlbeback soon!

oh and R.I.P. Tony Snow...

Oh, I am so glad I never got cable, Tivo, or a DVR and in late February next year the little black and white TV that's hidden away on the top shelf in the garage won't work anymore either! Woo-hoo!!!

*eyeroll* @ Scott!

You. Are. Weird.

When the cable guy finally showed up at my parents house he was so drunk they were afraid to let him climb on the roof to do the installation. That was many years ago, they are dead now and they never got cable TV

Unfortunately Bombcast only responds when the regulating board is mentioned, I forget their name.
Public something commission, and I actually had to contact them and file a complaint, now they always come on the same day I call!
I hope TiVo is better than the Bombcast digital recorder, they have to come replace that like every six months, and you lose all your recordings of course!!!!.....and on top of that, they just replace it with the one they removed at the last house they were at!!!!!!....hoping it works at your house for another six months!!!!
The "Bombcast technician", and I use the term sarcastically, not even loosely, tells me there are "NO' new digital recording boxes, they are all refurbished. Well, how did the first set get to the customers???????????
Bombcast sucks, I am thinking of just watching movies these days but, I have to have my Deco Drive fix, (sarcasm also)

I think you made the right move getting the Tivo. By the way, the CableCard(s) they installed in your unit to allow it to record are sometimes available at the Bomcast store. That way, you can pick it up on your terms, insert it yourself, and call Bomcast technical support to enable it remotely (which just requires reading a number off to them from the Tivo). I did this in mine and it was totally painless. Your mileage may vary. :-) Enjoy your Tivo!

When I had Bombast come out, the first person was supposed to take a couple of hours. No, it was at least 4, and she had to call in a second Bombast person to help her.

Siouxie @ 9:04 a.m.: Amen. God rest his soul.

El @ 10:24 p.m.: Cell phone numbers and convenient service from Box?? How in heaven's name did you get cell phone numbers and convenient service from Box?? Don't tell me it was just being a PITA; I've tried it and it doesn't faze them a bit. Fess up, now. What did you have to bribe them with?

I'm waiting to see how eilbeback does with the Leek Squad. I can't imagine they'll be any more efficient than Bombast, just more expensive.

Comcast here in michigan sucks badly.....the video you put up those ppl live down the street from me.to get anywhere with comcast u must yell and scream at them

Guin, the Leek Meek Squad (a chick!!! GIRL POWER!) is coming this morning between 8 and 12, which means tomorrow sometime, maybe... I will be sure to alert the media when I have both sound and picture... And it was only $100, those lyin' sacks of #()%^#). Any time you call an 800 or 888 #, they'll lie to you.

Sick of paying for crappy cable channels we never watched, we cancelled Bomcast, right before the latest rate hike. We watched the local channels the most anyway. We just learned yesterday that beginning this Thursday, Bomcast customers in our town will no longer receive two of the local channels, at least not through Bomcast. Turns out Bomcast was going to be adding extra charges to their subscribers for the local stations they could get free otherwise, and the stations put their foot (feet? Do stations HAVE feet?) down and are cutting their ties with Bomcast. Ha ha - we'd already fired Bomcast anyway. I hope they lose customers. We don't miss the crappy cable channels, and get great reception with an indoor antenna. I'd rather sit here wearing tin foil on my head to get TV reception than deal with Bomcast.

Hi there! I am sorry to hear about your issues with Comcast but I wanted to tell you about DISH Network who is my TV provider. I have TV everywhere which allows me to watch TV on my iPhone or laptop wherever I am, unlike Comcast which plans on giving that ability to watch TV on an iPad to their customers within their homes by the end of 2011! As a DISH employee I can even tell you that DISH offers also HD Free for Life as a qualified customer. You should check out DishNetwork.com for more info.

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