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Comcast M-Card Fee now more than an HD box!!!!

Discussion in 'TiVo Roamio DVRs' started by drugrep, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. Oct 22, 2013 #61 of 102
    Tanquen

    Tanquen Member

    104
    0
    Jun 1, 2002
    Napa, CA
    I’ll never say $163.50 a month is reasonable for commercial TV. Let alone quite. :p

    This is not quite right or it wasn’t. I’m in the North Bay and earlier this year I added a new Premier and it was a nightmare. Things may have changed but…

    You get one set top box included with your Comcast account. If you don’t want it or need it you can get the first cable card free as you are already paying for it.

    The second card is at $1.50 only if it is used in the same device. I was able to add two cards this way as they thought it was for one TiVo when I first set them up a few years back.

    More cards for more devices are at a higher rate. The FCC rules are not that hard to follow. They even suggest a price of around $4 or so but Comcast chooses to break them.

    They are required to list the price of a cable card. They do not. The only mention of this was the $1.50 for the second card IN THE SAME DEVICE. They did not show what they charge for just another cable card.

    They are not allowed to up sell or otherwise require you to buy anything else or charge for installation or activation. But Comcast forces you to pay for a cable box bundle including an outlet charge and they then give you a dollar or two back for providing your own equipment. This is again breaks the FCC rules. What are you giving me a $2.50 credit for if you are not forcing me to buy something other than the card?

    You can look them up and file a complaint on the FCC website. I got a call from some upset Comcast guy sometime later and he just kept telling me that they were not breaking any rules and when I read him the rules and he just would not admit to it. But they did cut my bill in half for six months.

    Also, I was able to remove the HD fee and did not lose any HD channels. The down side is that when I had an issue with two of the channels not coming in randomly they kept trying to tell me that I needed that on my account and that was why the two channels would randomly go out for hours at a time.
     
  2. Oct 23, 2013 #62 of 102
    prisk

    prisk New Member

    63
    0
    Nov 19, 2006
    Complaining works. Comcast in Chicago did something similar to me and despite 18 months of arguing with them they refused to do anything about it. So I filed a complaint with the Illinois Attorney General's office, included copies of my bill and printouts of Comcats's own website, and 2 weeks later I get a call from a very apologetic Comcast rep from their headquarters in Philadelphia. She fixed the bill and gave me a credit for 18 months of overbillings, plus a little extra as an apology.
     
  3. Oct 23, 2013 #63 of 102
    rhettf

    rhettf R3T1CAL

    176
    0
    Apr 5, 2012
    Oakland, CA

    $163 a month is not reasonable for the complete TV package at all. I meant the fact I pay nothing extra for my cable card or HD is reasonable compared to other markets.


    When I got additional cards they never asked what device it's for and only charged me $1.50 a month for each card.

    I save(d) $324 dollars a year by switching to TiVo.


    My TiVo Roamio Pro with its expanded storage (I had for my original premiere) allows me to feel like I am actually getting to take full advantage of my TV package. I can recorded close to 700 hours and can keep roughly 29-40 complete season of TV Shows.

    Last night I added a couple shows I would of never recorded before because of the 700 hours of storage and six tuners. Knife Fight, Brew Dogs, House Hunters - my girlfriend loves that show. Some basic shows I can put on when I don't want to focus on a storyline.
     
  4. Oct 23, 2013 #64 of 102
    bmgoodman

    bmgoodman Member

    971
    2
    Dec 20, 2000
    Northern...
    Yes, I was irked by the new $9.95/mo "HD Technology fee", but the one that really chapped me was when my previously free digital tuning adapter (for my old Series 2 Tivo) stopped being free, it went to $1.95/mo but then was COUNTED AS MY FREE "FIRST" DEVICE. That means that the first CableCard in my Series 3 went from being my free "first" device to being a $9.95/mo card (less $2.5/mo for being in a customer-owned device). Comcast insists the cheapest device is *always* the first "free" device.

    So dropping the digital tuning adapter would save me $7.45/mo. Dropping the DTA plus the Series 3 and its 2 CableCards would save me $14.90 would save me $22.35/mo. That's a lot of money for what was intended to be "cheap" devices to ensure I'm getting the channels I pay for.

    Clearly, consumers won the battle on "outlet fees" in the analog age because the cable monopolies realized they'd win the war as soon as they moved to digital! All the worst "features" have returned, completely legally.
     
  5. Oct 23, 2013 #65 of 102
    mattack

    mattack Active Member

    20,734
    4
    Apr 9, 2001
    sunnyvale
    I think you should file an FCC complaint, since the prices are supposed to be "reasonable".
     
  6. Oct 24, 2013 #66 of 102
    slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    3,506
    19
    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    Been there, done that, didn't get any changes from Comcast (did get a nice call and followup letter to me and the FCC afterwards though). They insist that charging A/O fees for cards instead of a nominal rental fee (as the FCC card orders require) is perfectly OK, and the FCC doesn't care.
     
  7. Oct 24, 2013 #67 of 102
    Tanquen

    Tanquen Member

    104
    0
    Jun 1, 2002
    Napa, CA
    If enough people file with the FCC they will care but not enough people do so Comca$t do what it likes.

    It’s not right or fare for ComCa$t to charge what it does for the service it provides but there is not enough competition to make them. It’s cheaper for them to give the one in 100+ folks that call in a price break than to do right by all its customers.

    Charging A/O fees is illegal, end of story. They have been in trouble for this before and they just call it something else. They did this same thing with physical cable to the house. They wanted money for each TV in the house. This was illegal and they were forced to comply. Then they moved it out the poll or their box and run multiple cables to the house and again try to charge a fee to turn them on and so on. This again is illegal but they get away with it. Same in the digital realm, charging for a nonexistent digital port for each TV is illegal but they get away with it.

    That is why the FCC is involved and that was the deal. They can encrypt their signal but they cannot charge you decrypt it on each device you own.
     
  8. Oct 24, 2013 #68 of 102
    CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

    3,646
    1
    Feb 28, 2001
    North...
    Do you have a regulation citation for this? I've been through the relevant FCC regulations a couple of times years ago, and I could never find language that forbid this. There is (or was) language that required a small reasonable fee for cablecards - I think the OP has a good case for fee reduction in his case - but I never found anything that directly addressed A/O fees, other than the general not charging more for outside equipment than their own, which they don't violate in general.
     
  9. Oct 24, 2013 #69 of 102
    Tanquen

    Tanquen Member

    104
    0
    Jun 1, 2002
    Napa, CA
    "Use your own set-top box without extra charge. FCC Rule 76.1205(b)(5)(C). Your cable operator may charge you to lease a CableCARD or tuning adapter, but may not charge you an additional service fee for using your own digital-cable-ready television or set-top box."
     
  10. Oct 24, 2013 #70 of 102
    jadziedzic

    jadziedzic Member

    89
    0
    Apr 20, 2009
    Yep, I filed an FCC complaint a while back, and had a Comcast rep contact me to tell me I was paying an additional fee for "digital services" at the outlet which was perfectly legal in their interpretation. I asked how that applied to my CableCARD-equipped TV, since the only "service" I was getting were TV channels, and that resulted in a bit of dead air on the other end. Repeating the "use your own set-top box without extra charge" bit didn't make a difference to the Comcast rep.

    Maybe it's time to contact the local Congress-critter? Not that any of them actually work for us ...
     
  11. Oct 24, 2013 #71 of 102
    CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

    3,646
    1
    Feb 28, 2001
    North...
    Thanks, but I don't see that text in the actual regulations. The closest I see is

    As long as they charge the A/O fee for their own devices, either directly or indirectly, they can charge it for TiVo.
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/47/76.1205
    or
    http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2011-title47-vol4/pdf/CFR-2011-title47-vol4-sec76-1205.pdf

    There's a proposed update for 1205, but that doesn't change any of the text here.
     
  12. Oct 24, 2013 #72 of 102
    c3

    c3 TiVoholic

    3,067
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    Sep 8, 2000
    Silicon...
    Compared to what you would pay for a STB, you are NOT paying additional fee for a CableCard. You actually get a $2.50 credit instead.
     
  13. Oct 24, 2013 #73 of 102
    Tanquen

    Tanquen Member

    104
    0
    Jun 1, 2002
    Napa, CA
    Don't know what to tell you. I's from the FCC site and it gives the rule number. ??? They are not to be charging a fee.
     
  14. Oct 24, 2013 #74 of 102
    Tanquen

    Tanquen Member

    104
    0
    Jun 1, 2002
    Napa, CA
    So the cable box is only worth $2.50? Anyway, it says they can’t do that. It says they have to list the price to rent the card but they don’t. It says they can’t charge you for extra stuff but they do. You want to tell yourself that they are good people following the rules ok, but they are not.
     
  15. Oct 24, 2013 #75 of 102
    CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

    3,646
    1
    Feb 28, 2001
    North...
    Where on the FCC site is it? It's not where you said it is - I gave you those regulations. I've read the interim explanations/instructions for 1205 and it's not there either. How do you know it's on the FCC site?

    And note that strictly speaking, your statement may allow A/O charges. It might mean they can't charge an additional service charge above what they do on their own equipment, but they can charge the same service charge as they do on their own equipment. What it really means all depends on the surrounding context of your statement; we need to see that context.
     
  16. Oct 25, 2013 #76 of 102
    slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    3,506
    19
    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    This was another beef I had in the complaint - Comcast does not break down the rental price of a card on their price sheets as required by the orders. The best you get is the '$1.50 fee for extra card in same device' line which was used for the old Tivo S3s (and which doesn't apply to additional Tivos in your house), but that's it.
     
  17. Oct 25, 2013 #77 of 102
    Tanquen

    Tanquen Member

    104
    0
    Jun 1, 2002
    Napa, CA
    Dude, are you just messing with me, work for Comcast? I put quote marks around it. I’m not just making stuff up. Not where I said it is? It’s a copy and paste from the FCC site. I said it was on the FCC site. I went to the site and searched for, I think… wait for it… “cable cards”.

    Federal Communications Commission
    The FCC
    Home / Guides / CableCARD: Know Your Rights

    “And note that strictly speaking, your statement may allow A/O charges.” No, I disagree. “without extra charge” and “may not charge you an additional service fee”

    This is not an extra remote or DRV or a set top tuner box. Its access to the content you already paid for.

    They wanted to encrypt their signal and that is fine but the deal was they had to offer a way for people to buy a second or third TV and watch what they had paid for without more fees. They agreed knowing most would want a DVR or would not want to buy a new TV.

    I don’t really care at this point, these kind of companies just do whatever they think the market will bear and if they charge $1200 a year for commercial filled TV and people pay it what can you say? Then on top of it they have to nickel and dime with intentionally confusing BS. This is theft. There should be a simple flat rate for a few tiers or groups of channels and that is it but that is not how they make money.

    The FCC had to tell them to provide cards when asked and not charge a bunch of money for instilling or activating and not forever delay and so on and so on. They don’t want people to use their own equipment. They’ve done what they can to discourage it.

    The port charge is just to discourage people from using their own equipment and a revenue stream for Comcast.

    And note: You do realize that the cable companies have already started lobbing the FCC to remove the requirement that they support CableCARDs as they say no one uses them and it's an undue burden for them? Even though they can use the same tech in the CableCARDs as their DVRs and set top boxes.

    Anyone with free time should go to: http://www.fcc.gov/complaints
     
  18. Oct 25, 2013 #78 of 102
    CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

    3,646
    1
    Feb 28, 2001
    North...
    Gratuitous insults will get you nowhere (although I'm normally accused of being a TiVo employee; somewhat refreshing to work in a new place!).

    For you spectators, here's the link to his text, which I was now able to find:
    http://www.fcc.gov/guides/cablecard-know-your-rights

    Unfortunately, there's no extra text there to remove the ambiguity. Yes, it could mean what you say it means, but it also supports the alternative interpretation that I said before: they are not charging you for using your own equipment, they are charging you for an additional outlet. They would be charging you for that additional outlet even if you used their equipment. There is no extra charge for using your own equipment.

    However, the regulations, which I gave you two links to, are not ambiguous at all. They clearly support the latter interpretation with no support for your interpretation. And it's the regulations that matter.

    Also note that you claim there was a deal not to charge for second or third TVs, presumably even if you used cable company equipment. There is absolutely no text here (or anywhere else on the site, AFAIK) that would keep them from charging an additional outlet fee if their own equipment was used.

    I'm not happy with the situation, but the regulations are what they are, and there is nothing in the regulations that I've seen that suggests additional outlet fees can't be charged if TiVos are used, as long as they are charged if their own equipment is used.

    Useless complaints to the FCC to the contrary will just distract from the real complaints we have about the additional changes the cable companies want to impose on us, as you have touched on.
     
  19. Oct 25, 2013 #79 of 102
    c3

    c3 TiVoholic

    3,067
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    Sep 8, 2000
    Silicon...
    I think it's fair to charge money for additional outlets, using CableCard or their STB. Why should a household with 1 TV pay the same amount as a household with 10 TVs?
     
  20. Oct 25, 2013 #80 of 102
    lessd

    lessd Active Member

    7,695
    5
    Jan 23, 2005
    CT
    Because with 10 TVs they would pay more if they needed cable cards, the cable Co. should only charge extra for what they provide, and cost them money, say an amp or other equipment. In the analog days it would not cost the cable co anything for you to have basic cable on one outlet or 10 outlets, if you had only one outlet and 10 people in your family watched a movie in the one room should cable co charge more money?, it may be legal and possible now to charge more per outlet, but not very moral. This will be a bummer for TiVo also so TiVo should try to do something about this charge issue.
     

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