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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. tulipox

    tulipox New Member

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    Aug 8, 2005
    Can you buy your own cable card instead of paying whatever fee Comcast chooses to charge you? Looks like they can be purchased for $15 on Ebay.
     
  2. drhankz

    drhankz New Member

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    Jan 14, 2008
    Salem NH
    NO BECAUSE you they need to Authorize it and that will cost you :)
     
  3. Aug 3, 2012 #8563 of 9367
    danjw1

    danjw1 New Member

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    Sep 13, 2005
    I have been told that the "HD Technology Fee" is for their HD settop box. So you shouldn't be paying that. You should get a credit for using your own equipment. You do have to pay a fee for each additional CableCard after the first. I suggest the chat rather then calling them, they seem to know what they are doing. You can check what your Customer Owned Equipment credit should be here.
     
  4. Aug 3, 2012 #8564 of 9367
    lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Active Member

    8,075
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    May 6, 2002
    John's...
    At least according to their website, the only time you should have to pay a fee explicitly for additional CableCARDs is if it is the second card in the same device. They will charge you an "additional digital outlet fee" for each fully capable digital STB past the first one, which includes a TiVo.

    Be prepared to fight them on this. Most of their CSRs, both chat and call center, are clueless. And their system treats CableCARDs as STBs.
     
  5. Aug 3, 2012 #8565 of 9367
    morac

    morac Cat God

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    Mar 14, 2003
    NJ
    Fixed that for you. There are a number of people, myself included who pay no additional outlet fees with multiple cards.
     
  6. Aug 3, 2012 #8566 of 9367
    rob_gendreau

    rob_gendreau Member

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    Jun 20, 2002
    Oakland
    I wish I had talked to the person who talked to you.

    In several conversations with comcast, I have been repeatedly told that the HD Tech fee is for the service, not the equipment. I have not been successful in getting that changed, since I've never been able to find anything in writing saying otherwise. They do seem to goof up billing, and I wouldn't be surprised if those that aren't paying it should be...

    I am having trouble even getting the $2.50 credit. They referred me to their "local" office, even though their calculator online for my zip says I get it. And they charge me $1.10 for the second card in different machine, free for the first one. The language I see on the web site is open to different interpretations, and it really sounds like the people I contact I just skimming the web site themselves.

    Aren't these guys required to have a written statement of fees and charges? I don't have a contract, so it can all be oral, but what a lame way to run a business.
     
  7. Aug 3, 2012 #8567 of 9367
    morac

    morac Cat God

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    Mar 14, 2003
    NJ
    I'll also mention that for awhile Comcast was waiving the HD Tech fee if you had their triple play package. I don't know if that's the case anymore since I no longer have their phone service.
     
  8. Aug 4, 2012 #8568 of 9367
    danjw1

    danjw1 New Member

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    Sep 13, 2005
    I do not pay a HD Technology fee and I have never had triple play. Just TV and Internet.
     
  9. Aug 4, 2012 #8569 of 9367
    CraigK

    CraigK (unspecified)

    1,255
    7
    Jun 9, 2006
    North of...
    I only have TV (w/two Tivo CableCARDS) and don't pay an HD Technology fee.

    Comcast billing is like a box of chocolates.
     
  10. Aug 4, 2012 #8570 of 9367
    a68oliver

    a68oliver Member

    431
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    Jul 15, 2000
    Crawfordsvil...
    Yes they are. I get one in the mail at least once a year with my bill. If you can't find one, go into their office and ask for one.
     
  11. Aug 4, 2012 #8571 of 9367
    pdhenry

    pdhenry Safety Pin

    17,219
    83
    Feb 27, 2005
    PA
    The HD Technology fee is there on the printed tariff, just as you'd expect. No hint of what it's for or who is supposed to be charged the fee, though.
     
  12. Aug 6, 2012 #8572 of 9367
    danjw1

    danjw1 New Member

    293
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    Sep 13, 2005
    If you think you have fees you shouldn't be paying send a note from the link at the bottom of this page. It has been the most effective way to deal with issues that I have found.
     
  13. Aug 6, 2012 #8573 of 9367
    slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    3,501
    18
    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    Been there, done that, got nowhere with Exec Relations on the bogus A/O fees for cards, even when I could show that only some areas get hit with those. You'll likely find the same for the equally bogus HD Tech fee in those areas where it's charged.

    Bottom line is their card billing is wildly inconsistent and they really don't care, nor does the FCC.
     
  14. billbillw

    billbillw Member

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    Aug 15, 2005
    Atlanta
    Been through 2 billing cycles now and I think I made out on the lucky side. They automatically added $2.50 equipment credit for each of my two Tivos, and there is no AO or HD fees. However, they are charging me $1.50 for each of my cable cards which should be free. At this point, I am not going to complain. We will see what happens when I add my 3rd Tivo soon. It is an S3 OLED, so it will need two more cards. I'm hoping that doesn't trigger the AO fees.
     
  15. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    3,501
    18
    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    Yep, you won the card lotto here in the ATL. Well, at least until you add the S3 then I guarantee you will have AO's.
     
  16. Finalrinse

    Finalrinse New Member

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    Jan 12, 2005
    S.E. Michigan
    I live in Brownstown Michigan using Comcast from Taylor. I have two TiVo's with an M-card in each one. I just ordered a new Premier 4 and I will have it this Wednesday. I plan on disabling one of my TiVo's and transferring the cable card to my new Premier. Does anyone know if I can just call to pair/activate the card in my new TiVo or do they have to do a truck roll in my Taylor Michigan area?
     
  17. chiguy50

    chiguy50 Member

    460
    4
    Nov 9, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    It's Comcast, so YMMVW (your mileage may vary wildly).

    In principle, you should be able to transfer the CC to your new box and receive all your authorized non-subscription channels without re-pairing the card. However, the card must be paired to the specific box in order to receive subscription channels as well as VOD services. Again, in principle, you should be able to get the card re-paired with a simple telephone call to Comcast, but it's been a crapshoot for many of us.

    Also, be aware that Comcast's CC fees have been all over the map, even within a given service area. I had two S3HD's that I swapped out for two Premieres earlier this year. When I had trouble getting one of my CC's re-paired (the other one was re-paired correctly), it took a truck roll and central office intervention to get the issue untangled. In the process, they changed my billing structure and now, instead of paying $1.50 for two CC's, I'm being billed $9.95 for "digital service." I'm working on getting this deceptive (and probably illegal) billing corrected, but know that you may be subjected to similar tactics if you are not already being soaked. (FCC cablecard rules state specifically "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. ")
     
  18. morac

    morac Cat God

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    Mar 14, 2003
    NJ
    It's been stated before, but Comcast does have some wiggle room with this law because of the wording. It says they may not charge an additional service fee for using your equipment, which technically they aren't doing. The fee applies to "everyone" (*), including users of rented equipment, so technically it's not an additional fee applied to users for using their own equipment. Without clarification from the FCC on this, I feel Comcast can continue to interpret the law that way.

    (*) - I put everyone in quotes since Comcast applies their twisted logic to some people and not others. The do apply that logic to all users of rented boxes/DVRs though, which is the underlying argument.
     
  19. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Active Member

    8,075
    2
    May 6, 2002
    John's...
    Yes, the phrasing of the regulation does give them some "wiggle room", but I still think they are in violation in a number of ways, amongst which are:

    • At least here in the ATL, they added the ADO charge to my account the day I picked up the CableCARD even though I waited for at least a month to install and activate it.
    • It is nowhere near obvious that you will incur this charge for using a CableCARD, thus not making it clear what the true monthly cost is.
    • IMHO, they are deliberately understating their equipment costs, thus reducing the amount of the "user owned equipment credit".
    • They do not automatically give even the reduced credit. You must explicitly request it.

    One of the problems here is that their accounting system does not distinguish between one of their boxes and a CableCARD. Since it does distinguish between a full cable box and a DTA, there is no logical explanation for this except as deliberate obfuscation.
     
  20. chiguy50

    chiguy50 Member

    460
    4
    Nov 9, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    I agree with you to the degree that laws and regulations can be interpreted and applied in a number of different ways, but the wording and intent of the FCC rules (which, not incidentally, were vetted with the Telco's prior to publishing) are crystal clear: In order to promote the development of CableCARD-enabled equipment, Comcast is prohibited from imposing fees designed to inhibit or discourage or otherwise penalize its customers who wish to use their own third-party navigation device in lieu of Comcast's proprietary equipment. By billing me as if I were renting a Comcast digital converter box when I have elected not to do so, that is precisely what they are doing. And the duplicity is evident in the billing methodology. They removed the line items for the two CC's from my bill (as if I did not have this Comcast equipment in my possession) and substituted the line item "Digital Service" @ $9.95 per month. Clearly, this is an attempt to circumvent the rules and, as you put it, claim that they are not imposing an "additional" fee since there is no fee being assessed for the CC.

    I think it is beyond dispute that billing customers who are using TiVo in lieu of a Comcast STB as if they were renting Comcast equipment is a violation of the FCC rules; after all, if one has to pay the same fee to Comcast for their DVR or STB whether or not it is being used, how does the average customer justify purchasing his own equipment? Whether the craven FCC will react against the well-heeled interests of the Telco's is an entirely different question, and not one I would like to wager money on. But I am a pretty tenacious and reasonably well-informed consumer and intend to pursue the case until an equitable solution is reached.
     

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