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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. morac

    morac Cat God

    8,962
    23
    Mar 14, 2003
    NJ
    That might have been the case originally, but I'm pretty certain their billing system now does know the difference between a CableCARD and a cable box. The reason I say so is that about 3 years ago, my bill shot up by about $30 and my bill showed 4 cable box rentals. When I called to complain I was told the billing system, got screwed up and changed my 3 cableCARDs to cable boxes (I do rent one box). They corrected this. The same thing had happened when I first signed up for cableCARDs about 6 years ago. That was back when the box rental fee was about $10 instead of the $3 it is now though.
     
  2. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Active Member

    8,081
    2
    May 6, 2002
    John's...
    Since I got my latest CableCARD in June of this year, it has definitely not been fixed everywhere.

    When I go to the self-activation page, there are two "Digital Terminal Adapters" and 4 "Digital Set Top Boxes" listed. In reality, I have two DTAs (only one of which was ever activated and neither is currently in service), 1 SD set top box and 3 CableCARDS.

    The 1 one actual "Set Top Box" I have is further identified as "MOTO model MSCC9060". The three CableCARDs are identified as "DEFAULT model STB".
     
  3. Sylvia Caras

    Sylvia Caras New Member

    26
    0
    Jul 16, 2012
    The local office says $1.50/month is the "TiVo charge". There is no such listing on the July 2012 Services & Pricing information which says first card free, $1.50 for add'l card in same device. So I wrote to the link suggested in this thread and got a wonderful robo-response suggesting I phone retention. Which I will do when my current six months package deal expires.

    "I apologize for the many difficulties that you have experienced regarding you being charged $1.50 for your Tivo card and you will like to be credited each month of
    the $1.50, I can definitely understand your frustration, I would be frustrated too. You have reached the right person and I can assure you that I am more than dedicated with assiting you.

    " ... we here at Comcast have a Retention department where we can
    assist you with discounts and pricing. You can call us here at 1-800
    Comcast so that we can see if we are able to lower your price for the
    Tivo card."
     
  4. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    3,507
    19
    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    LOL, this thread is one long circle of frustration over Comcast billing now. I'm glad it's just that and not the fiasco that card activations used to be, but it's still sad.
     
  5. Finalrinse

    Finalrinse New Member

    126
    0
    Jan 12, 2005
    S.E. Michigan
    A call did it, no need for a truck roll in S.E. Michigan.
     
  6. danjw1

    danjw1 New Member

    293
    0
    Sep 13, 2005
    Last I knew that required them to "remove the CableCard from the inventory". Which took second tier support. But I haven't seen that in this thread for a while, so there maybe a work around now.
     
  7. billbillw

    billbillw Member

    161
    0
    Aug 15, 2005
    Atlanta
    Finally got my Series 3 OLED up and running with cable cards yesterday. Overall, pretty easy, but I finally had to deal with a legitimately bad card. Picked up two cards on Tuesday and installed them. One would pair, but the other wouldn't pair no matter what they tried. Went back the next day and swapped the bad card out. The new card activated/paired perfectly. So through 3 Tivo units, 1 out of 5 cards was bad. Overall, I think the folks in the Cable Card activation center seem to have this process all worked out now because it was really quite easy. I recommend getting the cards from the local office and doing self install. Just make sure to call the cable card activation line, not the general Comcast helpline.

    For reference, that number is 877-405-2298

    Now I just have to wait and see what my next bill has on it.
     
  8. Sep 5, 2012 #8588 of 9367
    Toddler

    Toddler New Member

    53
    0
    Dec 28, 2001
    Franklin, TN
    I am about to pull my hair out. Last week, one of my TiVos suddenly stopped tuning any channels at all. Comcast sent a hit to the box, said it responded, told me to wait 45 minutes and call back if needed. Needless to say, nothing changed. They end up scheduling an appointment for this Friday and said the CableCard must be bad. To try and speed things up, today I exchanged the CableCard, got home and called for activation, and I get the same thing. They say everything looks good on their end, but I get no channels.

    When I check signal strength, it is zero. But the cable is connected, as evidenced by their ability to pair and hit the CableCard. I see the card receiving messages. But the TiVo can't find any signal.

    Is this a TiVo issue? Could the tuner die while all other functionality is preserved?
     
  9. Sep 5, 2012 #8589 of 9367
    unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,390
    2
    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC

    A power supply problem can cause all sorts of strange symptoms and S2s and S3s are at risk for "capacitor plague".
     
  10. Sep 5, 2012 #8590 of 9367
    Toddler

    Toddler New Member

    53
    0
    Dec 28, 2001
    Franklin, TN
    For the first time in my life, it was actually an issue with the wiring--the connector on the run from the wiring closet is wonky (shoddy install work I've been putting off having redone). Glad I did the work to track it down before Comcast got here or I'd be paying them for a service call.
     
  11. Sep 7, 2012 #8591 of 9367
    DavidTigerFan

    DavidTigerFan No, not Detroit. TCF Club

    11,952
    48
    Aug 18, 2001
    Charleston, SC
    I still can't believe that I pay $135 a month to get basic, "plus", HD, and a discounted HBO at $10 a month. I only have 3 tvs in the house too.
     
  12. Sep 8, 2012 #8592 of 9367
    unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,390
    2
    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    If they are your only choice for cable in your neighborhood, I find it very believeable.

    It's called milking a monopoly for all you can get.
     
  13. billbillw

    billbillw Member

    161
    0
    Aug 15, 2005
    Atlanta
    Well, I must really be lucky. I added my S3 OLED last month (my 3rd box on the account) and I just saw my bill for the month. Still no AO fees or HD Tech fees. Just 4x $1.50 in fees for the cards and a credit of 3x $2.50 for the owned equipment. I guess I could complain because I'm paying $4.50 more than I should since 3 of the cards should be free, but I can live with that vs the chance of having AO fees.
     
  14. chiguy50

    chiguy50 Member

    464
    4
    Nov 9, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    I agree that you have lucked out (so far) in the Comcast billing roulette. Congratulations! But be aware that your charges could change at any time. If I remember your set-up correctly (Premiere + S3HD + S3-OLED), you should eventually see two AO (or "Digital Service") charges of $9.95 each, one $1.50 charge for the second CC in the OLED, minus three Customer-Owned Equipment credits of $2.50 each, for a total of $13.90 p.m. at current rates (plus fees and taxes).

    BTW, only the first card in the first device is supposed to be free, so in principal you should be billed for three cards, not one as you stated.

    I took my complaint (see my post #8579 above) to Comcast's Customer Operations office here in Atlanta, but their rep claims that they have justified the imposition of the "additional outlet" digital service fee with the FCC in response to a customer complaint (possibly slowbiscuit's). Although the line item on my bill reads "Digital Service," I was told that the fee code on the account actually reads "digital service with CableCARD" and this fee is in lieu of a specific CableCARD charge. In other words, there is no charge for the cards, but only for the use of any cards on additional outlets beyond the principal outlet. And, in fact, my bill no longer makes any mention of CableCARDs.

    I urged the rep to inform his marketing and billing departments of this fee structure and to ensure that the rate card accurately reflects the charges for CableCARDs in additional devices. Currently there is no mention on the published rate cards (including the newest one effective Oct 1, 2012) or on the Comcast website. And the billing dept. CSR's are completely at sea on the issue.

    If it's any consolation, even if you wind up paying $13.90 for the four CC's, that's still only about $3.50 per card, or within the FCC's stated guidelines. Of course, if you had four or more TiVo DVR's, the per unit rate would no longer be as reasonable. And I'm still galled that (1) the billing is duplicitous and (2) the actual charges are not published and usually not even reliably quoted by the billing dept. CSR's.

    I intend to write a letter to TiVo's CEO to alert him to the way Comcast is trying to circumvent the FCC rules in order to dissuade or penalize their customers who prefer not to rent Comcast's navigation devices. If the FCC won't respond to the concerns of individual customers, perhaps they will be more attentive to a complaint from the retail CableCARD device industry.

    Billbillw, I would be curious to know what your zip code is and to learn whether other customers in your zip code are being charged the same as you.
     
  15. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Active Member

    8,081
    2
    May 6, 2002
    John's...
    Go read it again. You should only be billed for the second card in the same device.
     
  16. chiguy50

    chiguy50 Member

    464
    4
    Nov 9, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    See, you're making my point for me regarding the duplicitous and (probably intentionally) opaque rate scheme. The published rate card only addresses the situation where more than one CableCARD is being used in a single device, in which case the first card is free and the second card in the same device is billed at $1.50. It does not list the charge for additional card(s) on the same account but in additional devices.

    The assumption (and the billing practice at least on my account up until June of this year) was that, since no other billing structure is stated, additional cards in additional devices would be billed at the same rate as the additional card in the original device, i.e., $1.50. By not specifying the applicable CableCARD rates for customers with more than one device on their account, Comcast is, in my opinion, in clear violation of the FCC rules with their $9.95 charge per card.
     
  17. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Active Member

    8,081
    2
    May 6, 2002
    John's...
    This is from the Comcast website (emphasis theirs):
    The problem is that their billing system is so screwed up that what an individual user ends up getting charged varies not only from locale to locale but from CSR to CSR and is probably influenced by the phase of the moon.

    IMHO, they are in gross violation of at least the intent of the FCC regulations since they are far from transparent and totally inconsistent in their CableCARD charges. The last time I got a CableCARD, they added an ADO charge to my bill the day I picked it up, in spite of the fact that I waited more than a month to actually install and activate it. In addition, you have to explicitly request the "customer owned equipment credit" whereas it should be automatic. Getting the FCC to actually do something about it is another matter entirely. They don't care.
     
  18. chiguy50

    chiguy50 Member

    464
    4
    Nov 9, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    Again, I must emphatically agree with you:), except for your statement that the FCC does not care. They cared enough to push through last year's new CableCARD rules, which as I understand it took considerable negotiation with all the parties concerned, including the TelCo's. But they are not a consumer agency in any real sense of the word, which is why I want to press TiVo and their industry consortium to bring a case.
     
  19. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    3,507
    19
    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    lpwcomp summarizes the problem in a nutshell - we all know that Comcast is, at the least, violating the spirit of the FCC card billing rules. But the FCC doesn't care - interestingly enough, I called the FCC about it using the phone number they posted on some Cablecard notice from last year, and the guy at the office I talked to had no idea what they were supposed to do when a citizen called, even though I used the number they gave.

    He called back the next day and wanted more information but had nothing specific to say about Comcast or card billing in general, just to file a complaint and they'd take a look at it IF they got enough of them to care. So I did, and I asked others here to do so, and it went nowhere - I never heard from them at all, just Comcast's letter to me and them with the lame excuse about how A/O's were fully justified under the new rules.

    Bottom line it is as chiguy said, the consumers don't mean squat as usual - only BigCo's and their money/influence.
     
  20. chiguy50

    chiguy50 Member

    464
    4
    Nov 9, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    Yeah, well, that's the nature of our corporate plutocracy; but until there's a seismic shift in our political power structure, Realpolitik dictates that we work within the system if we want positive results.

    That's why I hope others will follow my lead in writing about the Comcast fees to TiVo, a corporation which, together with their brethren in the video navigation device industry, has a vested interest in preventing the TelCo's from imposing onerous fees on CableCARD users. They had a seat at the table when the FCC was drafting the current rules and their bottom line stands to be negatively impacted by Comcast's circumventing of those rules. Here's the address:

    Tom Rogers
    CEO/President, TiVo
    2160 Gold Street
    P.O. Box 2160
    Alviso, CA USA 95002
     

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