Our DVR destructed a couple of days ago, so we had a tech come down with a replacement this morning. Everything was working fine while he was here. The menu loaded, the program guide loaded, the channels were working, and the On Demand intro ran just fine. A little bit after the cable guy left, I went back into the bedroom, and the screen was showing me a delightful “this channel should be available shortly” screen, which is absolutely a lie, every time. So now I get to deal with their customer service. Great.
I prefer to use their web chat service for support for several reasons. a) No thick accents to deal with, b) I can easily save a transcript, c) if I get transferred to a second person, they can see my full transcript, so I don’t have to repeat myself, d) I still have to wait on hold, but there’s no elevator music. I already went through this process once, and had a “hit” sent to my box, which did absolutely nothing. The analyst tells me that it could take 15 minutes to work. Which is BS, because I’ve gone through this 77 times. The box resets almost immediately — it’s the loading of the menu and guide that take time. I mention that my box was doing nothing, but get booted from chat anyway, and told to contact them again after those 15 minutes. So now I have to do it all over again. I’m number 34 in the support queue. Kill me.
I’ve had a lot of hits to this entry with search terms that seemed like others were having the same problem. I began to suspect what was wrong immediately, and 5 or 6 chats and phonecalls later, it was finally verified and fixed. The installer hadn’t added the serial number of the new box to my account, so the signal was blocked. No one at Comcast suggested this to me, I had to suggest it as a possibility to them instead, so you might want to ask about this, if your symptoms are similar. A few of the agents I spoke to were able to see that the serial number wasn’t registered, but pretended that they weren’t able to fix it from their end, or that they’d need to send a tech. Not true, they were just clueless. Call back until you get someone who knows what they’re doing (it might take you a while!)
Shorter description of the symptoms of this problem: Upon first connecting the box to your cable outlet, everything will seem to work perfectly. After the box communicates back and forth a bit with Comcast (I was able to get the menu loaded and On Demand running before I had a problem), all channels may begin showing a message reading “Not Authorized” and “For ordering information, press info”. If you unplug the box and plug it back in, all channels will probably show the “This channel should be available shortly” message, because Comcast will not allow a signal to be sent to an unauthorized cable box.
I hope this helps somebody! Good luck!