Videotron Sucks!… (Updated) and other reasons why your cable may not be working.

If you have illico digital and it’s not working properly this week, guess what? You’re not alone.

It all started on Thursday when Videotron performed an upgrade on their digital cable system, that’s when the whole network went haywire for a number of cable subscribers, myself included.

Ever since then, the illico PVR cable box hasn’t been working properly. At first I only noticed a few minor technical glitches, like when I would try to change the channel it would take forever for it to respond. Later when I tried to watch certain shows that I thought I had recorded, I noticed that the PVR hadn’t actually recorded anything since Thursday. As a test, I then tired to record live TV. The system just froze for about a minute, as if my simple command were too complex an operation to perform.

I then tried to unplug the box for awhile and then re-plug it to see if perhaps the system just needed a reboot. Nothing changed. I tried this again a few more times this morning (Sunday) only to discover that the cable box was not working at all.

So I called Videotron’s customer service. The first thing that I noticed was a prerecorded message on their answering service which said that they had upgraded their system recently and that it may be normal for some customers to be having problems. At least then I knew that I wasn’t alone. The prerecorded message also stated that I should try reboot the system. Of course, I had done that already.

After a couple of minutes, a live person come on the phone to tell me, yeah we’ve upgraded the system and a lot of customers have been having problems ever since. She said this in such a casual manner that it was pretty obvious that she had already been asked this question a number of times and that she was starting to get bored with the whole thing. She then asked for my home address. With that additional information, she then added that, yes there are problems with the system in my neighbourhood. Lucky me!

She also said that they were going to do another upgrade to the system later this afternoon to correct some of the problems with the original upgrade. But she also said that while I should be able to watch live TV later in the day, it wouldn’t solve all of the problems. It wouldn’t be until the end of the week whereby the PVR would once again be capable of recording shows. In the meantime there’s nothing I can do but sit and wait.

Finally, I asked her if I would get reimbursed for the week during which illico is not working properly. There was a moment of hesitation. It was as though she was either surprised that I would ask this question or perhaps she was hoping I wouldn’t ask. In the end, she said that I should call back once everything is working again.

Just in case you’re wondering, it’s now the end of the day and nothing has changed. No live TV….I’m still waiting.

Update (March 21st):

The cable guy came by today… on a Sunday! I was not aware that they do that. That alone almost makes me want to take back everything I said about them sucking.

At any rate, here’s the update: Something’s wrong with the hard drive on my cable box and it needs to be repaired. I’m not sure how that happened and I remain somewhat suspicious as the string of problems still began when Videotron upgraded their system. But while most people were stuck with minor problems related to recording and pausing live TV, my box broke down completely for some reason. Is it a coincidence? Do I have bad luck? Or is Videotron still to blame? The saga continues.

For the record, as further proof that other people have had problems recording with their PVRs. A couple of people posted messages via the TV Montreal Media Fun Facebook page to let me know of similar experiences, including Peter Anthony Holder. Yes, that Peter Anthony Holder. This is what he wrote:

“…nothing seemed different, but I did notice I didn’t record a couple of shows. Until now I just assumed it was some absent mindedness on my part and I forgot to program something, but now you’ve got me wondering.”



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3 responses to “Videotron Sucks!… (Updated) and other reasons why your cable may not be working.

  1. Raj

    Just another reason why monopolies suck. My coworker was telling me how his Videotron Internet service is excellent. I pointed out that he got his account soon after the final days of the cable-cutting union tactics. A lot of people were pissed then. And I’m sure a lot are pissed now.

  2. ladyjaye

    You really should get a rebate on your next bill for this issue. It’s ridiculous than you’d pay for a service that doesn’t work properly, due to no fault of yours.

    It’s in times like this that I really don’t mind using rabbit ears to get my TV fix (and besides, Rad-Can, CBC, V and Télé-Québec come in really nicely in HD, as sharp as any cable or satellite service, in fact).

  3. Cable TV is great specially if you got those digital cable boxes that is coupled with TIVO ::

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