1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

FCC's Online media complaint form against Comcast

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by buscuitboy, Jun 5, 2012.

  1. jadziedzic

    jadziedzic Member

    89
    0
    Apr 20, 2009
    Your rate sheet must differ from mine. Under the "Basic and Digital Ancillary Services" section (Boston region) it lists the following:

    Digital Additional Outlet Service Charge (per outlet)
    • With Standard Definition Digital Converter $9.95
    • With HD Digital Converter $9.95
    • With CableCARD $7.45 (footnote 14)

    Digital Adapter Additional Outlet Service Charge (per outlet)
    • (1st and 2nd additional outlet) $0.00
    • (3rd, 4th, 5th, etc. additional outlets) $1.99

    Footnote 14: Includes a customer-owned video equipment credit. An additional charge will apply for additional CableCARDs in the same device.

    Under the "Video Equipment" section it lists the following:
    • CableCARD (first card in device) $0.00
    • CableCARD (second card in device) $1.50
    • Customer-owned Video Equipment Credit $2.50

    That looks pretty darn accurate to me; it exactly matches what I see on my monthly bill. I am not being charged MORE for using my TiVo on a secondary outlet than I would be for using a Comcast-provided *comparable* device - and the DTA is definitely NOT comparable to either my TiVo or a Comcast-provided SD or HD digital converter.
     
  2. pdhenry

    pdhenry Safety Pin

    17,251
    91
    Feb 27, 2005
    PA
    So this is all about changing the rate sheet, then.

    You certainly are expending a lot of energy and emotion on this.
     
  3. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Active Member

    8,081
    2
    May 6, 2002
    John's...
    That's completely irrelevant to the question at hand. Even though I think it is sleazy and might argue with Comcast about it if I were in that position, I'm not questioning the ADO fee in general at this time. I will say one thing on the subject though - cable companies used to charge for each outlet, then they stopped, I thought due to the FCC or possibly congressional action. I found this on the FCC website, part of which says:

    hmm. Anyone want to reconsider their stance vis-à-vis the legitimacy of the ADO fee? ;)
     
  4. generaltso

    generaltso Member

    964
    0
    Nov 3, 2003
    Vermont
    Based on a document from 1994? No.

    If what you're saying is true, Comcast should not charge anything for any outlets with Cable Cards. But you'd still get a $2.50 credit per TiVo. If that's the case, I'll just install 25 outlets in my house, order 25 free cable cards, get a credit of $2.50 per card, and have free cable for life. Or maybe I'll install even more outlets so Comcast has to pay me every month. I'm starting to like your logic
     
  5. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Active Member

    8,081
    2
    May 6, 2002
    John's...
    Unless the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992 has been repealed or superseded (at least the relevant portion thereof), it is still in force.

    No, in my opinion, if they were not charging the ADO fee then the customer owned equipment credit would only apply to the primary outlet as that would be the only time you are not using equipment for which you are being charged. And even then, it would only apply if your package included an STB. An ADO is not a package. The relevant portion from the know your rights page reads:
    You would only be eligible for multiple discounts if your package included multiple STBs.

    Strangely enough, pdhenry reported that exact situation. He isn't being charged any ADO fees but is getting 2 "Customer Owned Equipment" credits. This is with limited basic which, AFAICT, includes 0 STBs.
     
  6. generaltso

    generaltso Member

    964
    0
    Nov 3, 2003
    Vermont
    Now this is just getting tedious. Good luck with your fight against Comcast.
     
  7. WhiskeyTango

    WhiskeyTango New Member

    5,777
    0
    Sep 20, 2006
    New Jersey
    lpwcomp, I think you are one of the better posters here but at this point, I'm not sure what your argument is. It started off about something to do with the linear channels but that has morphed into an argument about the lack of a clear pricing system. That has been addressed by generatso and jadziezic rendering that point moot. You, yourself, said the following a few months ago:

    That is the same regulation you are now saying Comcast is in violation of, 76.1205.

    From 76.1205 (B) (1):

    Additionally, from 76.923(h):
     
  8. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Active Member

    8,081
    2
    May 6, 2002
    John's...
    I never understood why you naysayers got involved in this particular thread in the first place. There are at least two other threads where this discussion was ongoing and I thought this particular thread was for people who wanted to talk about specific complaints to the FCC.
     
  9. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Active Member

    8,081
    2
    May 6, 2002
    John's...
    It hasn't morphed. It's all part and parcel of the same argument. The only thing that I recently added was the bits based on the FCC's "FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS REGARDING CABLE TELEVISION REGULATIONS"

    I respectfully disagree.

    That was before I did additional research. I freely admit that I was wrong.

    a. The outlets were put in when the condo was built and there is only one line going into the unit, all of the splits being internal and therefore Comcast takes no responsibility for their maintenance absent an additional "inside wiring maintenance" fee

    and

    b. they pay content providers per subscriber, not per outlet.

    Conclusion: there are no costs associated with the additional outlets for them to recover, therefore any A/O fee, D or otherwise, is invalid.

    While the above applies only to me and anyone else in a similar situation, unless Comcast can show an ongoing cost associated with the use or maintenance of additional outlets, any permanent A/O fee is invalid. And yes, I include in that the $7.45/mo you pay in excess of their quoted equipment rental fee when using one of their own boxes. I also consider the $10/mo "HD Technology" fee (which I have never been assessed, having none of their HD boxes) to be invalid. Some people have reportedly been assessed the HD Technology fee even if all they have are TiVos. Do you consider that valid?

    Since the ADO fee is only assessed if you have one of their STBs or a CableCARD device and they change nothing either externally or internally, how can Comcast claim that the fee is a recovery of ongoing costs associated with the maintenance or use of the outlet?
     
  10. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    3,507
    19
    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    This is exactly why they are not in compliance.
     
  11. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    3,507
    19
    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    This is what they need to change all the rate sheets to for compliance. Ours does not have this info for cards.

    The A/O fee is just a money grab if you don't have their box, but in some areas there is a way around it - you can get Comcast to charge $1.50 for a second card even if it's not in the same box, with no A/O fee. In my area they won't do this (I think) for more than one extra card though, the third or more card(s) get the fee.
     
  12. buscuitboy

    buscuitboy New Member

    736
    0
    Aug 8, 2005
    Atlanta area
    This is what I have basically done to avoid these nonsense "digital outlet" fees. I have two M-Cards, but they are in two totally different Premiere units hooked up to 2 HDTVs. Therefore, will be getting charged just a $1.50 since I told them they are both in a Series 3 TiVo (& they took my word for it).

    In order to do this, I had to also turn in my Atlanta Scientific SD digital box. So currently I don't have access to Comcast OnDemand services. However, I never used it anyway so I figured no big loss (for now).

    Plus, I am waiting for Comcast OnDemand access for TiVo Premiere to come to my area (Atlanta). Hopefully in the next few months so will possibly get it back anyway. Either that, or I am looking to get an Xbox 360 and can then get Comcast OnDemand access this way as well.
     
  13. pdhenry

    pdhenry Safety Pin

    17,251
    91
    Feb 27, 2005
    PA
    I had the CC installed in my first TiVo in the family room (I don't think they keep track but the family room is probably the typical primary outlet location). When I got my second TiVo I moved the first one upstairs and had the CC installed on the new TiVo in the family room. Maybe this helped me avoid the A/O fee?

    Not that I expect them to be consistent but I sometimes wonder how Comcast would treat 2 TiVos connected to one TV. Same outlet? Additional outlet?
     
  14. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Active Member

    8,081
    2
    May 6, 2002
    John's...
    Absent a physical inspection of your premises, Comcast has no way of knowing to what wall outlet a device is connected. Every device that they know about on an account, either because it needs CableCARD(s) or is one of their boxes, is treated as a separate outlet. The only reason they know you have a TiVo at all is because you need a CableCARD. This explains the real reason behind Comcast's desire to encrypt everything. They claim it is to prevent cable theft when in reality it is an effort to start charging the bogus ADO fee to subscribers who have multiple digital devices connected that are only accessing the clear QAM channels, such as digital TVs and non-CableCARDed TiVos. I guess they consider "theft" to be anything that reduces their potential revenue.

    Ya know, I'm not generally in favor of class action suits of this type because it's usually only the attorneys (on both sides) who profit, but in this case I have to say that I think that the discovery process would be very...interesting.:cool:
     
  15. MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

    7,308
    0
    Jan 10, 2002
    NJ
    additional outlet fees are not at all a violation in fact the rules were specifically made to allow it.

    basically cable noticed that Directv and Dish charged "mirroring fees" or whatever they call them now a days and complained that they could not.

    pay the right campaign contributions and presto chango additional outlet fees for DIGITAL content are legal.
     
  16. MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

    7,308
    0
    Jan 10, 2002
    NJ

    first up the credit is for each piece of equipment not jsut the primary (in fact their system is so confused they give me a credit for EACH cabelcard even though 2 are in one S3 and i only pay a dollar each)

    second- take a minute and think. Then stop reading FAQ's and spend some times in the actual regulations like some of us have earlier when this all started with the S3 years ago- and read the actual law and regulations so you understand the FACTS. After all that if you still think you are so much smarter then the hundreds of other people that have looked into it, the people that work at the FCC, comcast's lawyers, the various PUC's, and congressional aids that have looked at it- then by all means try to get an audience with the pope or the president or whomever you think is going to make everyone else see your point of view .
     
  17. MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

    7,308
    0
    Jan 10, 2002
    NJ
    if anything you are probably right that they should be more clear- and so perhaps your complaints will result in Comcast spending whatever it costs to make their billing system more clear by separating out the charges in a more consistent manner. (hopefully it's not too much becasue i'd rather not have my rates go up because some people can't understand the billing even when 10 people in a thread try to explain it to them)

    But the fact is they are not charging anything that is not legally allowed.


    nor do they have anythign to do with the additonal outlet that their boxes are connected to and charge for. Nor does satellite maintain the wiring for their mirrored boxes. In fact many times the consumer provides the original wiring. yet the FCC has decided that digital mirroring fees are permissible. go figure- politicians taking care of us. :rolleyes:

    I don't KNOW but i suspect the premise is that with digital devices that get "authorized" HBO et al can ask comcast "hey exactly how many tv's are subscribed to HBO?" And therefore HBO can charge by tv and not just account. So sat and cable argue their programming costs can go up for addtional tv's.
     
  18. MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

    7,308
    0
    Jan 10, 2002
    NJ


    it's actually the telecommunications act of 1996 that changed it.

    the same thing that invented the whole concept of cablecards in teh first place.

    start your reading of the actual law and regulations that implement the law here:
    http://transition.fcc.gov/telecom.html

    then come back and see what you think.

    they can charge additional outlet fees on DIGITAL outlets


    if you read the law prior to that then there was zero provision for cablecards.
     
  19. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Active Member

    8,081
    2
    May 6, 2002
    John's...
    According to whom? Show me where the rules summarized in the part of the FCC FAQ I quoted in post #43 have been repealed or superseded. Either that or show me something detailing Comcast's monthly costs to support the additional outlets. Show me where the rules regarding the requirement to provide clear and explicit information to customers regarding the monthly fee to rent a CableCARD and what channels are available have been modified since no reasonable interpretation can draw a distinction between rental and use.
     
  20. MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

    7,308
    0
    Jan 10, 2002
    NJ
    stop with the stupid FAQ and read the actual law and enabling regulations and then tell me what the facts are. I gave you the pointer.

    personally I dont currently have the time to search it out and post you the link, but i can tell you that several times since the S3 came out and this issue came up that i personally have read the law and enabling regulations and come to the conclusion. (maybe if i have time later i will do YOUR homework for you and get the link again).

    But assuming you were quoting from regs you already wrote it in your post # 49 above:

    "an operator may recover additional programming costs"

    do you really think that it illegal but all of a sudden ALL the cable providers got together after 1996 and decided to blow off the law and then for the past 15 years the FCC has ignored it and allowed them all to get away with it?
     

Share This Page