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Additional outlet fees on Comcast under new FCC Cablecard rules

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by slowbiscuit, Jan 7, 2012.

  1. L David Matheny

    L David Matheny Active Member

    1,589
    2
    Jan 29, 2011
    SE Ohio
    I think the HD Technology Fee is just an extra charge for being able to view high definition. Why charge extra for that? Because they can. It's like the phone company still charging extra for touch-tone dialing even though anything that doesn't use that nowadays is an antique.
     
  2. morac

    morac Cat God

    8,954
    22
    Mar 14, 2003
    NJ
    According to my rate sheet the HD Technology Fee provides HD service to all boxes on your account.

    The HD Technology Fee evolved out of the additional fee for a HD cable box instead of a SD cable box on your first outlet. It used to be that Comcast would provide you one SD cable box as part of your service. If you wanted an HD box you had to pay extra. That additional HD fee also applied to additional outlets.

    At some point Comcast decided to change that fee to a "HD Technology Fee" and apply it to all outlets. That way they could say you are only paying once for HD, but at the same time they raised the fee for additional outlets to cover the lost HD per outlet fee.

    So basically it was a shell game. Comcast could say they weren't charging a per box HD fee while still collecting the same amount of money.

    If you have no HD boxes from Comcast, you shouldn't be paying the fee as it really is a HD box rental fee. Back when I had the HD Triple Play from Comcast, they waived the HD Technology Fee since that package included an HD cable box.
     
  3. irandsert

    irandsert New Member

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    Mar 22, 2004
    That was my next question. I have one Premier, and one CC HD box. I am paying two HD Technology fees. Under my package, HD Preferred XF, shouldn't I not have to pay for two HD fees?
     
  4. morac

    morac Cat God

    8,954
    22
    Mar 14, 2003
    NJ
    I think that's up to Comcast. Comcast wants everyone on their Triple Play package so they tend to be more accommodating on fees if you sign up for that (plus they give you "rewards", now called Xfinity Insider).

    If your plan is a triple play package, then I would say you probably shouldn't have to pay for the HD Tech Fee, but that's really up to Comcast and what your terms were when you signed up.
     
  5. irandsert

    irandsert New Member

    29
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    Mar 22, 2004
    I contacted CC (through twitter actually) and they opened up a ticket for me. A regional account rep called me the next day to get this straight.

    My assumption was correct, my HD Preferred package includes one HD Technology fee. Since I have only two boxes, (one TIVO premier and one CC box) and was being charged two fees, the account rep took off the fee and credited me back the fees I overpaid.

    A win win all the way around. :)
     
  6. MikeAndrews

    MikeAndrews Registered abuser

    14,222
    1
    Jan 17, 2002
    Northern...
    [​IMG]
    Again, this is for 3 HD TiVos.

    The rep insisted that this billing is correct. It's not like I pay the same as a customer who was renting 5 HD cable boxes for 5 HD TVs would - they give the $2.50 credit!
    (The late fee is due to my bank changing the online bill pay to a new, improved, brain-dead system that doesn't pay the bills.)

    Almost $400 a year to use my own equipment.

    I insisted they cancel CANCEL CAN CELL CANCEL. Good riddance.

    Maybe they can make it up in volume.
     

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  7. GBL

    GBL covert opiniative

    1,740
    2
    Apr 20, 2000
    Twin Cities, MN
    Not that this would help you, it's probably a regional thing and it took me three months to arrive at this, but this is the way I am being billed for 3 Series 3 boxes with 6 single-stream Cable Cards:

    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

  8. MikeAndrews

    MikeAndrews Registered abuser

    14,222
    1
    Jan 17, 2002
    Northern...
    Two TiVos are S3 OLED with 2 cards each, one is a S4 Premiere with one card. 5 CableCARDs altogether in 3 DVRs.

    Amazing. It shows I'm not dreaming about being ripped off. A $30 a month difference when you subtract my HBO and you have one more card.

    What a way to run a business into the ground.
     
  9. Phantom Gremlin

    Phantom Gremlin New Member

    1,555
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    Jun 20, 2002
    Tualatin,...
    We've had discussions of Comcast's bizarre billing practices here for years. It's one big reason why I switched to FiOS. Comcast's rate structure was much too complicated.

    Unfortunately, lately, Frontier FiOS (Verizon dumped us) is starting to pull the same crap as Comcast. They have recently announced some sort of "$10 monthly HD equipment fee". WTF is that? Do TiVo owners need to pay?

    Nah. About 99% of the people don't give any of this much thought. Plus in many areas cable is a monopoly, which means they have monopoly pricing power.

    Comcast currently has a market cap of about $70B dollars, an enterprise value of $110B dollars. They had $12B of free cash flow last year. Wall Street thinks they're doing quite well.
     
  10. MikeAndrews

    MikeAndrews Registered abuser

    14,222
    1
    Jan 17, 2002
    Northern...
    Comcast, like DirecTV, just can't wait to get rid all of those enthusiastic TiVo groupies, who have multiple boxes and happily pay for the highest packages and have the highest monthlies\ and tell all their friends what the hot setup is and refer oodles more subscribers.

    They can do so much better with Ma and Pa and their basic cable service connecting the SD set top box to the TV and enjoying the BIG SCREEN.
     
  11. jtreid

    jtreid New Member

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    Jan 12, 2006
    Reading, PA
    Been there. Done it.

    The only way I could get the billing straight and still receive my premium channels (TBSHD, DHD...No HBO...) was additional outlet fees per card. I fought for months and lost. I have a S3 OLED and it only has one card. If you look at my bill, it says I have about 7 cable cards, but I have one S3 OLD (one card), one HD (one card) and one Premiere (one card). The bottom line on my bill is tolerable to me so I don't do anything. Every time I called to get it changed, I lost something: premium channels and even broadband.

    Basically, they can't get their billing system to give the cards what is needed.
     
  12. tmesser

    tmesser New Member

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    Apr 12, 2003
    Naperville, IL
    This is basically where I am. It took so long to get everything working initially, and whenever I change something, I have to go through hell to fix it. I just don't want to touch it anymore.
     
  13. MikeAndrews

    MikeAndrews Registered abuser

    14,222
    1
    Jan 17, 2002
    Northern...
    Which is why I never called back. The 1st Comcast rep I complained to "You're charging me as if I had 5 Comcats cable boxes." THAT'S RIGHT!!!!! Liek I was stealing something by not having the Comcrap STBs with 3/4 of the screens covered by ads. So I never called back to try to fit it.

    Comcast has some business model. Make it so odious for customers to call they stay away. That's not good for promoting upsells.
     
  14. jedware

    jedware Member

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    0
    Jan 6, 2004
    I have 3 Premiers and I am getting charged for 3 cable cards @1.50 and only one customer own equipment rebate of $2.50.

    I have no outet fees and I only have internet & TV with their digital preferred package.

    I would call them but what happens if someone says I should have outlet fees and raises my bill?

    Is anyone paying no cable card fees and no outlet fees and only getting TV and Internet?
     
  15. morac

    morac Cat God

    8,954
    22
    Mar 14, 2003
    NJ
    Currently I pay no CC or outlet fees and still get the CC credit. I don't know if that's how it should be working, but I'm not going to complain about it.
     
  16. a68oliver

    a68oliver Member

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    Jul 15, 2000
    Crawfordsvil...
    Are you paying Outlet Fees and CableCard fees? Are you saying you are paying 7 outlet fees and 7 cablecard fees for only 3 Tivos and 3 cards? The way I read the online cablecard FAQ and local rate sheet, if you have no Comcast boxes, you should be paying 2 additional digital outlet fees and no cablecard fees. You should also recieve $2.50 customer owned equipment credit times 3.

    My local system couldn't get the computer to bill me according to their published rate sheet. So they have given me a $20/month credit now for 2 years. This is way more than what I am being overcharged.

    If you are not paying outlet fees, you probably are better off saying nothing. If you ARE paying outlet fees and cablecard fees, then a message to we_can_help@comcast.com might prove benificial. That is what I did.

    They can also usally help with the missing channels problem, although I don't have any personal experience with that. If they can't get the computer to bill you per the rate sheet, then ask for a promtional credit to compensate you for their inability to bill you correctly.
     
  17. myosh_tino

    myosh_tino New Member

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    Dec 7, 2004
    Cupertino, CA
    Seeing how I just went through resolving the Additional Outlet and HD Technology fees I'd thought I would include how Comcast handles things where I live in Cupertino, CA. I have...

    * TiVo Series 3 w/2 S-cards
    * TiVo HD w/1 M-card
    * TiVo Premier w/1 M-card

    ...a total of 3 TiVos with 4 cable cards

    I get charged $4.40 for the cable cards ($1.10 x 4 cards), there are no additional outlet or HD technology fees and I get a $2.50 customer-owned-equipment credit.

    A couple of months ago, I had a tech come out to replace the cards in my Series3 because they stopped working but during this call, I got Additional Outlet and HD Technology fees added to my account. I went to my local service center (Sunnyvale, CA) to question the new fees and they were promptly removed from my bill. The explanation I got was the Additional Outlet and HD Technology fees only apply when using Comcast-supplied equipment. These fees are waived if a customer uses their own equipment like a TiVo.

    Note: I realize that I should only be paying for 3 cable cards but due to quirks in the billing system, it was either pay for 4 cards ($1.10 more) or deal with the Additional Outlet and HD Technology fees ($18 total), otherwise my Series3 wouldn't work properly. I'm perfectly fine with paying the extra $1.10 for the 4th cable card.
     
  18. jjberger2134

    jjberger2134 Member

    1,598
    0
    Nov 19, 2002
    I have had horrible experiences with Comcast Customer and Tech support. All basic canned responses. Plain vanilla service. About a year and a half ago, I came across their Twitter feed. I have had excellent experience contacting Comcast via Twitter. If you are on Twitter, I highly suggest you contact Bill Gerth @comcastcares or @comcastbill or Will Osborne @comcastwill. Both have helped me in the past with billing issues, and/or service issues. There are other Comcast employees on Twitter, but I have only dealt with Bill and Will. I believe, based on my experience, these guys are much more highly trained, and are willing to help people out. I would start with Will. He is very fast to respond if he is working.

    https://twitter.com/#!/ComcastWill
     
  19. zalusky

    zalusky Active Member TCF Club

    5,051
    10
    Apr 5, 2002
    Cupertino, CA
    So who did you talk to. Guy, lady, white, black. I am getting hit with a weird mix as well. I need to print bill off and bring it in. I just want to start with something that worked. What time and day did you go in.
     
  20. myosh_tino

    myosh_tino New Member

    58
    0
    Dec 7, 2004
    Cupertino, CA
    Sorry but I don't remember offhand but if you go to the Sunnyvale service center on El Camino between Wolfe and Remington, I found the people working there to be quite friendly. I did go first thing in the morning and was one of the first people through the door.

    Good luck!
     

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