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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by amjustice, Sep 14, 2006.

  1. drcos

    drcos HD where available

    Jul 20, 2001
    Venice FL
    Your 13.90 went away? Good luck. Supposedly when they take that 13.90 off (for each Tivo, mind you, I have two), you will lose your digital tier as soon as the cards need to be re-hit (power out or reboot).
    You will still get your 'premium' channels and your HD, but your non-premium digital channels will go away.

    I have to go through this again with them this week, and am here in Venice waiting for FIOS (they're right up the street).
  2. diceman719

    diceman719 New Member

    May 19, 2006
    I'm also in S. Florida and was told the same thing.

    But the tech showed up yesterday with *2* M-Cards, thinking I had a Series 3. Since he only had to use 1, they took the second one off the bill.
    (He told me the CSRs have no clue what kind of cable cards the Techs carry...)

    So, I'm paying $6.95 for the one card - but only because I kept the TSB for the bedroom and my S2DT.

    Be warned: they also increase your fees based on "switching" from Adelphia to Comcast. No choice in the matter - and that's what the $13.95 really is...

    All told, I'm paying about $20/month more than last month - but have HD now!

    BTW, the card worked fine yesterday, but quit today. I had to call twice before I got a CSR who really knew her stuff. She had everything up and running in about 15 minutes.
    (The first one dorked it so bad she unauthorized the card completely! She set up an appointment to have a Tech come out and straighten her mess out; but the 2nd one fixed it all remotely.)

    Good luck!
  3. Professor MOXy

    Professor MOXy New Member

    Dec 13, 2002
    In a...
    My adventures in Comcastland

    I guess as a long time TiVo owner I should have switched sooner (One Series 2 with lifetime service (replacement power supply), one Series 2 with multi discount)

    I finally purchased a TiVo HD after being fed up with the Motorola Series III DVR. The Moto DVR exhibited all of the faults of that particular DVR that have been reported elsewhere, but it became worse when my local Insight cable provider was purchased by Comcast (central Indiana). After the switch, the DVR would record anything that was set up in the series recording even if it had been recorded previously or had been manually canceled. I got tired of deleting programs that I had already recorded and watched. I was apprehensive about making the service call because of the recent change of cable providers.

    After the purchase, I installed the system to my cable, antenna and broadband and followed the guided setup to make sure everything would be up to date for the installer. I tried to reach Comcast all day on 19 Mar with no success. I just got to listen to their commercials all day. I was finally on hold that afternoon for 1 hour and 5 minutes when I was dropped. I called back and the phone system was so overloaded that I couldn’t even get on hold. I then used the online chat to get an appointment set up. The online chat choked and I was disconnected for 10 minutes. The link was finally recovered and I explained what I wanted to do. The chat room person was having “computer system” problems and it took several more minutes for my appointment to be finalized. I got a morning appointment on Good Friday, which worked out well as I had that day off.

    The appointment was set for the timeframe of 9:00 am to 12:00. At 11:30 the installer called and said that he was running well behind because of a statewide computer system outage. He arrived at 12:30 pm and brought 4 S-cards with him. He said there had never any M-cards available in my area. He brought four cards because he had seen several cases where the cards were found to be faulty on installation. He wanted to bring more but his supervisor wouldn’t allocate any more. My installer said that he was given most of the TIVO HD installs in the area since he had done so many. The cards were inserted and he called to authorize them. But the computer systems in the state were still down in the “\whole” state. He made another call 30 minutes later and was on hold for 25 minutes. The system was back up and he gave the techs the card numbers but the system went down while he has on the phone. He waited another hour until he had to go to the next appointment.

    He took my cell number and left. I had to leave also. I got a call from him at 4 pm and he said the techs called him and said my cards had paired up correctly and I should be up properly. I went home and ran through the guided setup again. To my surprise, everything is now working correctly. Finally a DVR with decent software.

    I’ll wait a few days before I turn in my old DVR. Hope they haven't messed up the billing. I already had a price increse with the latest aquisition.
  4. molson3530

    molson3530 New Member

    Mar 24, 2008
    Here is an overview of my experience with Comcast (Edit: Central PA)

    Last Monday: technician comes out. He brought with him 2 M cards. The first one was dead. The second one seemed to work, but they could not figure out the billing. 2 hours of the install was the tech waiting on hold with the call center. They thought the second M card was dead. They said that I could swap the card out at the payment center because I had already had the install.

    Tuesday: They do not give out Cablecards under any circumstances at the payment center. Reps were extremely rude. Formal complaint filed against the payment center. Set up another tech visit.

    Friday: Tech arrives and swaps out the card for a new M-card. He pairs it and checks a few channels, says it is working and bolts. Re run guided setup and nothing. Schedule another visit.

    Saturday: Tech arrives 15 minutes early (that has to be a first for Comcast). Swaps out the card for a new M-card. They are on the phone for about 2 hours with no avail. The tech then tries his last 2 cable cards: 2 s-cards. Success, finally. Well almost. I now get everything except Comedy Central. I did not notice this until the tech left. Called Comcast and they said that the cable cards were fine, but a tech still had to come out. This is clearly a billing issue, confirmed by TiVo, but for some reason I have to take time out of my schedule and wait to meet someone while they fix something on their end of the system.

    In conclusion: 3 tech visits, 4 technicians, 6 Cable Cards, ~12 hours, and it still isn't completely working.

    Another edit:
    After speaking to TiVo, the CSR said that they have never encountered a problem like this before with only one standard channel missing (Comedy Central). This does not bode well for the technician visit that I had to schedule for 3/30.
    Hopefully my bill will be right when I get it. They said that they would not charge me for 2 Cable Cards since they were unable to get one of their M-Cards on the system. At least I thought to get something in writing. (fingers crossed)
  5. slim1erc

    slim1erc New Member

    Aug 25, 2004
    New Bedford, MA
    I have a Comcast DVR in my bedroom and a new TiVo HD in my living room. I get my first bill and it seems I am getting hit with TWO additional outlet fees at $5.00 each! I went to my local service center, and they said each card is a separate outlet. I tried explained in clear and polite terms that their website states the first card is free and the second card is covered in the additional outlet fee, but she would not budge. She admitted that it didn't make sense but that there was nothing she could do about it. Just for fun, I decided to chat with Comcast online. Here is the log:

    user Eric_ has entered room

    ERic(Tue Mar 25 15:17:50 EDT 2008)>Getting billed for 2 additional outlets when I only have one.

    analyst Amy has entered room

    Amy(Tue Mar 25 15:17:53 EDT 2008)>Hello Eric_, Thank you for contacting Comcast Live Chat Support. My name is Amy. Please give me one moment to review your information.
    Amy(Tue Mar 25 15:18:31 EDT 2008)>Good afternoon

    Eric_(Tue Mar 25 15:18:33 EDT 2008)>Good afternoon!

    Amy(Tue Mar 25 15:19:01 EDT 2008)>I'd be happy to help you with that.

    Amy(Tue Mar 25 15:19:01 EDT 2008)>To assure that your account is protected, before I can assist you, I must ask you to provide me the last 4 digits of the account holder's social security number.

    Eric_(Tue Mar 25 15:19:02 EDT 2008)>####

    Amy(Tue Mar 25 15:19:32 EDT 2008)>Thank you

    Amy(Tue Mar 25 15:19:49 EDT 2008)>I am showing that you have one cable box as well as 2 cable cards.

    Eric_(Tue Mar 25 15:22:05 EDT 2008)>That is correct. However, the 2 cable cards are on the same outlet in a dual tuner TiVo Series 3 - your website clearly says that if you have a multi-card device on the same outlet(ie Tivo Series 3) you will be charged only for the second tuner

    Eric_(Tue Mar 25 15:22:22 EDT 2008)>edit: second card

    Amy(Tue Mar 25 15:23:49 EDT 2008)>This is correct if you have no other equipment and the digital starter package. You do have the DVR so this would not apply in your case.
    Amy(Tue Mar 25 15:24:15 EDT 2008)>I am reviewing the account to ensure the billing is accurate.

    Eric_(Tue Mar 25 15:25:29 EDT 2008)>I should only be charged for one additional outlet, the cable box is the first outlet and the Tivo is the second outlet
    Amy(Tue Mar 25 15:26:58 EDT 2008)>you have two cards in the second outlet. If you did not have a cable box at all the first card would be free and the second would would be chargeable.

    Amy(Tue Mar 25 15:28:02 EDT 2008)>I do see that you have been over charged for the second cable card as this should be $1.50 a month and not $5 per month
    Eric_(Tue Mar 25 15:30:34 EDT 2008)>Your FAQ says nothing about the first one being free only if I don't have a cable box: http://www.comcast.com/customers/faq/FaqDetails.ashx?Id=2651

    Amy(Tue Mar 25 15:31:47 EDT 2008)>Eric this issue is that this is not your primary outlet, the primary outlet is your dvr.

    Amy(Tue Mar 25 15:32:06 EDT 2008)>The cable cards are your second and third outlets.

    Eric_(Tue Mar 25 15:34:58 EDT 2008)>But the cable cards are on the same outlet. Please see the second paragraph of the link I sent you: "If additional CableCARDs are needed for other devices that are installed on additional outlets, you will not be charged for the first CableCARD installed on this outlet as the cost is included in the additional outlet fee"

    Amy(Tue Mar 25 15:38:37 EDT 2008)>Aditional outlet fees are normally 6.95 per month, you are only being charged $5.00 therefor the fee for the addiotion outlet is being waived and only the equipment fee is being paid.

    Amy(Tue Mar 25 15:39:06 EDT 2008)>The correct billing for you is 12.95 for the DVR $5 for the first Cable card and $1.50 for the second

    Amy(Tue Mar 25 15:39:23 EDT 2008)>I have corrected and backdated the billing for the second card.

    Eric_(Tue Mar 25 15:42:37 EDT 2008)>You should also correct your website FAQ because it clearly states things differently. But your solution works for me. Thank-you.
    Amy(Tue Mar 25 15:43:43 EDT 2008)>You're welcome

    Amy(Tue Mar 25 15:43:43 EDT 2008)>Thank you for making Comcast part of your day. If you need assistance in the future, please do not hesitate to contact us through Live Chat or E-mail (available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week). Simply visit www.comcast.net and select Help.

    Amy(Tue Mar 25 15:43:45 EDT 2008)>Analyst has closed chat and left the room
    analyst Amy has left room

    So I guess I'm now "getting away" with only paying $6.50 where I should be getting charged $6.95 - what a bargain!!:rolleyes:
  6. rbenotti

    rbenotti New Member

    Oct 22, 2003
    Interesting. I just initiated a chat session with the same person (inquiring about CableCards).

    I got the $6.50 answer as well for two S-Cards. One M-Card would be $5/month. This would be because I would keep the Motorola DVR. I drop the box, the 1st card is free.

    It is strange to say the least. Paying for a box doesn't qualify I guess. Odd
  7. dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

    Dec 3, 2000
    It's not really clear from your conversation what you currently have on your bill, but you should be paying for:

    (1) Digital Package, whichever you've chosen, which includes the first outlet

    (1) DVR/HD-DVR fee (for the DVR you have on your first outlet)

    (1) HD Equipment fee (if it's broken out separately from the DVR/HD-DVR fee) -- it's got nothing to do with CableCARDs, only HD receivers/DVRs.

    (1) Additional outlet fee (for the one TiVo receiver)

    (1) Second CableCARD fee (~$1.50, that's also going into the same TiVo)

    If you're being billed more than that for these services then you're being incorrectly billed. I always suggest just not bothering with phone or online support. Put it all down very clearly in a letter and mail it to the Comcast corporate office in Philadelphia. It's just simpler. There, they have people who know what they're doing and it's just not worth your/our time training their field employees. :)
  8. drcos

    drcos HD where available

    Jul 20, 2001
    Venice FL
    So then for two S3's I should be billed for one additional outlet, and two additional cards, but I continue to be billed
    Add'l Digital Equip fee of $13.90 (times two)
    HD fee of $6.95
    and 'one' Add'l Cable Card at $1.50.

    Now I have no Comcast equipment at all except the cards.

    I need to send this off to Philly, yes? But to anyone's attention? I had called the lady you mentioned long ago, and she was 'looking into it' but that was last year.
  9. dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

    Dec 3, 2000
    The only differences from what I said above is that you'd pay another ~$1.50 additional CableCARD fee if you had two Series 3's instead of one Comcast DVR and one TiVo receiver, and there'd be no HD equipment charge or DVR service charges.

    You shouldn't be paying the HD Equipment fee at all with no HD equipment from Comcast -- and a CableCARD is NOT "HD Equipment" in terms of that fee... that fee is also NOT HD programming related; it's HD equipment, which you have none of from Comcast.


    - Your digital package includes the first outlet
    - $1.50 for the second CableCARD on the first receiver
    - Additional outlet charge for the second TiVo receiver
    - $1.50 for the second CableCARD on the second receiver

    I simply mailed my letter detailing my issues to the President/CEO by name and sent it first class mail like any other letter to the Comcast Philadelphia corporate headquarters address.
  10. slim1erc

    slim1erc New Member

    Aug 25, 2004
    New Bedford, MA
    dswallow, after chatting with Amy I will be paying exactly what you say I should be. In my mind I shouldn't be paying that extra $1.50 since one of those cards should be covered in the Digital Package fee I am paying for my primary outlet, and the other in the additional outlet fee. After your explanation at least I understand I am paying that because the two cards are on the second outlet and neither one is on the primary outlet. Like rbenotti said, I guess paying for the cable box doesn't count.

    On another note, I have the new TiVO HD which can take a single M-card. Back when I scheduled my card install, I told them my TiVo could take 1 M-card or 2 S-cards. The rep told me "I think we have both" and that she would note that on the ticket for the technician. When the tech arrived, he said he never heard of M-cards so he put in 2 S-cards. Does anyone know if cable companies are required to provide customers with M-cards if they request one? This would save me the extra $1.50 every month.
  11. ajayabb

    ajayabb Member

    Jan 11, 2007
    Moorestown NJ
    Unable to get Cable cards for my 2nd Tivo HD for past 4 weeks from Garden State Comcast in Cherry Hill NJ. Three truck rolls canceled by Comcast due to unavailability of cards. Any suggestions ? My wife requested a return call from upper level management, but I wont hold my breath. If Fios was available in my area, I would have switched by now. I just wonder if there isnt some stonewalling on behalf of Comcast for these cable cards. 3 weeks should have been plenty of time to order and obtain cards.
  12. mamalenf

    mamalenf New Member

    Mar 27, 2008
    We signed up with Comcast digital last year and ordered two cablecards for my TiVO HD DVR. At that time I was told the first card was free and for my area the second card was $1.50. In February of this year they apparently changed their pricing in that the charge for the second card was now $6.95 - the second card is free but we have to pay for an additional outlet fee.

    Does anyone know what is going on here? I've talked to Comcast billing and sales and what I'm being told is different from their FAQ (please note that the FAQ below uses the word "use" with regard to the CableCARD).

    "How much will I be charged to use a CableCARD?

    "There is no charge for the first CableCARD that you use as it is already included in the primary outlet fee. If you have a multi-card device on the same outlet (i.e. TiVo Series 3 or two Digital Cable Tuners connected to the same personal computer), you will be charged an additional regulated fee of up to $1.91 for the second CableCARD."
  13. kwbdc

    kwbdc New Member

    Mar 9, 2008
    It's really weird to read all the different experiences around the country with Comcast but here in Washington it seems they have their stuff together because they had no issues handing me a M-Card at the office, in and out under 5 minutes and the activation with the rep on the phone took about the same time. It's too bad that they can't have that consistent service throughout the country. :(
  14. qz3fwd

    qz3fwd Member

    Jul 6, 2007
    Yeah-file a formal complaint with the FCC and they will be knocking down your door and somehow cough up tons of cablecards for you to use.

  15. ajayabb

    ajayabb Member

    Jan 11, 2007
    Moorestown NJ
    Done.:up: And now I wait.......
  16. Gregor

    Gregor save the princess save the world

    Feb 18, 2002
    Dealing with Comcast locally in PA is incredibly frustrating. Even on their home turf, it's excruciatingly painful.

    FIOS is soon in my future.
  17. JohnnyO

    JohnnyO Crimper

    Nov 3, 2002
    My Story So Far (summary - Positive!)

    Comcast in the St. Paul, Minnesota area (previously AT&T Broadband, and before that MediaOne).

    Two TiVo HD DVRs (from Woot!) set up a week or so ago on basic cable and OTA antenna. Working fine. I called Comcast Saturday, and set up a Cablecard installation appointment for today for my two TiVo HDs.

    Installer shows up on time with a multi-stream card. Unfortunately, he only had one, but within 30 minutes, all was golden on the first TiVo.

    I'll have to set up another appointment for the second unit, but today went very well. All subscribed channels look very good.
  18. kaczmar2

    kaczmar2 New Member

    Nov 8, 2004
    CableCARD install for my TiVo HD in Royal Oak, MI (Comcast - South Oakland

    I just had an M-Card installed in my TiVo HD in Royal Oak, MI. Comcast South Oakland does not offer self installs. 18 months ago I had to pay $14.99 for them to come out and install an S-Card in my Sony TV.)

    So I scheduled another appointment for them to come out, remove the current cable card for the TV, and install two SCards for the TiVo. I repeatadly asked pver the phone if they had MCards, but they said no. First card is free to use, but they told me it would be $1.95 for the second sCard.

    However, when the tech showed up at my house, I asked him if they had any MCards, and he said, "Right here!". Very knowledgeable guy - knew his way around the TiVo. I had run guided setup the night before and forced the latest software update, which he said was very helpful.

    I did take about 45-60 minutes for the CableCARD to activate correctly. He has to call into the dispatch office a few times, and the person on the other end did not seem to know what they were doing - luckily he knew exactly what to tell he to giude her through what she needed to do to set up the card. The tech was thorough enough to check multiple SD, HD and broadcast HD channels just to make sure that everything was coming in.

    So far two days with the new TiVo and loving it!
  19. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    Jan 31, 2002
    My recent experience with Comcast was a big difference from the one I had in 2006. I got a TiVoHD to get the HD channels from Comcast that FIOS doesn't offer, like Sci-FI HD. ANyway I got two cable cards from them since they didn't have any multistream cards. The installer said he had done the installs before. He inserted one card after another, got the proper person on the phone at the head end within a few minutes and within 20 minutes had both cards setup properly receiving all the channels I'm supposed to. A big difference from back in 2006. Now if they could just get the billing straight. I was first told the two cable cards would be $7.95, then today I was told the first card is free and the second one is $4.95. I'm hoping they end up being like Kaczmar2 said and it drops to $1.95. Anyway I got the digital Premium plus HBO for 6 months for $30 a month. So hopefully that will be enough time for FIOS to add those channels.
  20. kaczmar2

    kaczmar2 New Member

    Nov 8, 2004
    Hi aaronwt-

    Per Comcast's website:

    There is no charge for the first CableCARD that you use as it is already included in the primary outlet fee. If you have a multi-card device on the same outlet (i.e. TiVo Series 3 or two Digital Cable Tuners connected to the same personal computer), you will be charged an additional regulated fee of up to $1.91 for the second CableCARD.


    Note that they did charge me a one-time fee of $19.99 to install the card (up from $14.99 18 or so months earlier.)

    Good luck with the billing.

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