Thank you for allowing me to assist you, my name is Joe and I will be happy to assist you with your concern today.
Actually no, you can swap these clusters out and even not have them installed and the truck will still run, you can install wrong one and it will still work in terms of all gauges and most lights, but there is cluster programming, but programming it does not effect it.
BCM - body control module does in deed require programming to the vehicle.
I suggest disconnecting the battery and reconnect which will sometimes wake up the cluster, try reusing your old bcm for now to test as it should not have been effected and still has the programming. If however the tech is saying that your computer also will not accept programming I would need more info such as it will not communicate or communicates fine just cannot program which may indicate a bad ecm - computer..... this all depends on what "computer" is being referred to.
And yes, these clusters are a very common problem, I have had tons repaired or replaced that I have worked on, even my own 2004 escalade right now has the same problem where I need to repair the cluster.
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