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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. chiguy50

    chiguy50 Member

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    Nov 9, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    I concur that they have made a significant improvement in customer service, and I attribute it principally to the competition from AT&T's U-Verse. The corporate culture went from taking customers for granted to an emphasis on customer satisfaction. But their billing department is still a holy mess, even allowing for the typical greedy exploitation we expect from U.S. corporations these days.
     
  2. icunmypc

    icunmypc New Member

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    Nov 16, 2012
    Tacoma WA
    I am located in Washington State and switched from Click! to Comcast due to a Puyallup Fair promotion. I was quoted 109.99 a month for a year with a $7 monthly modem fee. I informed the salesman I currently had 6 cable cards and had him include that on the contract we both signed. A couple days later they showed up for the install and it took the better part of 4 hours to connect 4 tivo boxes and the comcast provided HD box and the high speed internet. At install I realized that I really only had 5 cable cards, 1 multicard for Premiere and 2 each for the Series 3 and the HD boxes. Later in the month the bill arrived and they had additional charges for $1.10 x 5 for the cable cards. I called and complained, but was told I would have to contact the salesman. I chose to eat the $5.50 a month seeing how Click used to charge me $1.50 per card. I paid my first bill and all was good until yesterday when I bought another Premiere box and went to Comcast to pick up the 6th cable card that I was promised. I was told by the counter person that my bill was incorrect and they should be charging me $8.75 per cable card for each Tivo and then $1.10 for the 2 tivos that required extra cards. After a bit of discussing this BS, I told him I would just disconnect Comcast and go back to Click! He informed me my 30 trial period was passed and I was committed to a 2 year plan I signed up for (year 2 @ $129.99 a month), but I could turn in the cable cards and enjoy my HD service in the one room that they set up their HD box. I am currently working with a manager whom had me bring in the original contract I signed at the fair in to him. (a gave him a copy of my original) I am waiting for him to figure out what they will do for me. I received all HBO/and movie channels plus 25 meg internet speed and the phone service with my deal, but the extra for the cable cards makes it more than my old service. PS They did tell me I would qualify for a $2 discount per Tivo since I wasn't using their HD boxes in the other rooms. BS
     
  3. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Active Member

    8,081
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    May 6, 2002
    John's...
    Are both of your non-Premiere TiVos model TCD648250? That's the only model that requires 2 cable cards.

    The other charges are for "Additional digital outlets" which vary from operating unit to operating unit, even within Comcast. Unless you really want their box for some reason, turn it in and one of your TiVos will count as your "included box" thus one less ADO charge plus you should still get the "Customer owned equipment credit" for that box.

    I wish you good luck trying to get Comcast to live up to what you believe they agreed to. Obviously, there was no "meeting of the minds" with your initial contract which is supposed to be required for a contract to be valid but getting that through the courts past Comcast's army of lawyers would probably require years and a lot of money.
     
  4. L David Matheny

    L David Matheny Active Member

    1,589
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    Jan 29, 2011
    SE Ohio
    It's surely deceptive and unfair for them to bill you at an agreeable (and agreed-upon) rate long enough to get past the 30-day buyer-remorse period, then raise the rate and claim that it's too late for you to cancel. Try to work that angle. Once again I thank God that I don’t have to deal with a cable company.
     
  5. MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

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    Jan 10, 2002
    NJ
    just reconfirming (as everyone should know by now) that the folks at this number are still the only ones with a clue.

    Somehow one of the 4 cards in one of my 3 tivo's crapped out and was giving me errors that certain channels were not authorized.

    called the regular number. After insisting i had to buy some new tier to get channels i've gottten for years the clueless person couldn't do anything but "send signals". When that didn't work insisted on a truck roll. She wouldn't escalate and insisted there was no group that knew everything about cablecards.

    Came back here- found the number. Called there and a nice woman (in romania or someplace in eastern europe...)- proceeded to unpair and repair the card. She asked for a single reboot inbetween there- even directing me to the proper tivo menu screen to do it. (probably unpair/repair is in their script- so understandable). When that didn't work she asked for some channel numbers that didn't work and then looked up the proper tier codes for them and found they were missing. Then she took a couple minutes on hold to re add the codes to the card and presto chango all was well.

    Why they can't just give the 800-comcast nuber people the ability to transfer you over if beyond me. At a minimum they should give you the 877 number so you dont have to boot a computer to search tivocommunity.
     
  6. MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

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    Jan 10, 2002
    NJ
    please don't complain too loud- all that will do is have them charge us all too much. (only half in jest- but wont be a big deal once the mini comes along and i can ditch my old S3)

    For some reason- it seems much of NJ gets PAID to have cablecards. We seem to get cablecards for $0 and then $2.50 credits.

    (I'm going to assume NJ gets a good deal because FIOS has a statewide franchise here).
     
  7. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    3,506
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    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    Some of us have already filed complaints, and they've gone nowhere. All I got was a phone call from exec relations and a letter to the FCC and myself claiming it's perfectly legit to charge outlet fees for cards and that they're going to get this fixed across areas, billing-wise.

    We all know that this is a lie, but the FCC doesn't care.
     
  8. MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

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    Jan 10, 2002
    NJ
    I dont think it's necessarily a lie at all.

    it IS perfectly legal to charge additional outlet fees- the government made it so. And comcast doesn't necessarily shy away from screwing their rental box customers with them too- they even started nailing people with DTA's for those (albeit at a discount).

    and I'm sure the "fix" to their billing will eventually be to nail everyone with those fees. They already apparently started auditing people's accounts to make sure everyone gets screwed- myself they took away some 'owned equipment credits' that they had been giving me by mistake. I loathe the day they start nailing me the additional outlet fees- I do hope the presence of FIOS in my market at least slows them down.

    Hopefully Tivo can get their whole home solution in place well before that and figure out some way to help out folks who already invested in multiple premiers move to the whole home (aka an upgrade discount).

    Myself- I feel like our congress critters let us down and allows pay tv (like everything else) to fall to the lowest common denominator. JMHO- everyone has one i suppose.
     
  9. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    3,506
    19
    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    The lie is that they're going to fix their awful billing systems to have card charges universally applied. Right now it is all over the map even within a single Comcast area, depending on which CSR you get, any escalation you do, etc. That is the big lie they tell to the FCC, that they're going to have a standard card charge as the FCC requires.
     
  10. chiguy50

    chiguy50 Member

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    Nov 9, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    You and I are in the same boat (and in the same Comcast service area, apparently). I've suggested before that we all write to TiVo CEO Tom Rogers (Tom Rogers, CEO/President, TiVo, 2160 Gold Street, P.O. Box 2160, Alviso, CA 95002). TiVo can team up with their industry partners to apply a helluva lot more pressure on the FCC than we lowly private citizens ever could. And they have a vested interest in opposing Comcast's billing procedures since they make TiVo's products less competitive (by design IMO).

    How about it? The more of us that let TiVo corporate governance know what we're dealing with, the more likely we'll get some action.
     
  11. morac

    morac Cat God

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    Mar 14, 2003
    NJ
    That's pretty much pointless since Tom Rogers couldn't do anything even if he wanted to. As long as Comcast is providing the user owned equipment credit, why would he care how much the outlet fee is since it's also applied to Comcast's own cable boxes. I also think you give TiVo more clout than it actually has. It's a tiny company compared to the cable behemoths, especially Comcast which owns Universal Pictures and several TV channels.
     
  12. chiguy50

    chiguy50 Member

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    Nov 9, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    1) The point of contention is the fees that Comcast is charging for CableCARDs. And the fact is that, no matter how they disguise it, Comcast is now charging $10 for each CC beyond the first device. That is far above the FCC-suggested $2 to $4. Comcast's intent is clearly to negate the long-term financial advantage of purchasing a TiVo with PLS vs. renting a DVR from Comcast.

    2) I disagree with your view that TiVo has no leverage. They, together with their fellow members of the video navigation device industry, were players in the vetting of the new FCC CableCARD rules. Their industry consortium most definitely has a voice that commands the attention of the FCC. At the very least, they can bring about a closer FCC review of Comcast's methods.

    3) Regardless of the merits of the above arguments, it's potentially more productive to bring this issue to the attention of TiVo than just sharing our dissatisfaction with each other. And like chicken soup for a cold--it couldn't hurt!
     
  13. morac

    morac Cat God

    8,953
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    Mar 14, 2003
    NJ
    Technically Comcast isn't charging $10 per card. They have no card fees (they say as much on their web site). They are charging an outlet fee, simply because they can, but as I stated they charge that fee for their own boxes as well. Yes it's a money grab, just like their HD and 3D fees, but it's not illegal.

    TiVo is the only industry company still manufacturing a CableCARD compatible device (with the exception of a PC card manufacture). All their "partners" abandoned cableCards years ago, so their is no consortium any more. It's just TiVo.
     
  14. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Active Member

    8,081
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    May 6, 2002
    John's...
    The thing is that while Comcast may say they are charging $0 for the CableCARD and $10 for the "Additional Digital Outlet", there are a number of problems with this claim. 1. The charge is added to your account the day you acquire the card, not when it is activated. 2. You have to explicitly request the "Customer owned Equipment Credit" whereas it should be automatic. 4. You can actually get an additional digital outlet using a DTA with a total additional monthly cost of $1.99. Yes, it is a limited subset of channels but there is no option to do that with a CableCARD device. 5. IMHO, the credit is way lower than it should be based on my reading of the FCC rules on how it is supposed to be calculated.

    Having said all that, I don't think complaining to the FCC will do any good. They obviously have more important things to worry about. After all, they have to find some way to shut down FOX News and talk radio.

    I've been thinking that it might be worthwhile to contact content providers. Most people have a limited budget for cable and Comcast is forcing them to choose between adding/maintaining multiple outlets and adding/maintaining pay channels.
     
  15. chiguy50

    chiguy50 Member

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    Nov 9, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    IF ONLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That would make it worth paying $10 for every CableCARD.:D

    BTW, if you listen to Faux Noise and talk radio, then you should be in favor of shutting down the FCC altogether, right? Caveat emptor to the max.
     
  16. Dec 2, 2012 #8636 of 9367
    MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

    7,308
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    Jan 10, 2002
    NJ

    well as predicted- you guys who have been paying additional outlet fees won. You got your way. On behalf of the folks who were paying less I'd like to say "Thank You so much" for all your complaints. Only a little sarcastic- mostly joking- I'm sure they would have figured out how to standardize to their benefit eventually anyway.

    Now we all are getting them. They have "standardized" on screwing everyone equally.

    I returned 2 cards for my old "extra" S3 (and I'll be cancelling that sub for Tivo so they're out ~$7 too). So In the end I think I'll just wind up paying 11.75 more a month to cable. But still that's $141 a year in the interest of making the FCC happy and us all paying the same.

    Sometimes the intention of regulations goes horribly wrong in the implementation.

    To me, it's a much bigger issue that they started charging for DTA's even if it's a discount over the regular "additional outlet fee"- they masterfully manipulated the FCC to get back to the point we were ~20 or so years ago where you had to pay for every tv connected. It was one thing when only "premium" sort of things like TiVo's were effected but now they have managed to screw even the old lady who wants a second tv in her kitchen just to watch CNN. Now she has to pay extra for the second tv on basic cable. That's a mess and the FCC is responsible.
     
  17. Dec 2, 2012 #8637 of 9367
    morac

    morac Cat God

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    Mar 14, 2003
    NJ
    You might be able to contest that letter. I got one of those a few years ago and managed to get the charges reversed. That was then though, things might be different now.


    I didn't get one of those letters, but when I just checked my latest bill, I noticed that Comcast removed 2 of my 4 customer owned device credits on Oct 8, so now I'm only getting a $5 credit instead of $10 (I.e. $5 more a month). They also back charged me $7 for the difference.

    I'm not sure why they did this as the number of devices on my account is the same. My bill says I have 3 cableCards, which hasn't changed. I actually have 4, but 2 are in my S3, so maybe they are counting that as one. I'd call and complain, but I don't want to get socked with outlet fees. I'll probably call in March when my current promo ends and my bill will shoot up $60 a month anyway.

    Edit:

    On their web site I see a $5 credit added on November 14 so I really have no idea what they are doing.
     
  18. Dec 2, 2012 #8638 of 9367
    sbourgeo

    sbourgeo Hepcat Daddio

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    Nov 10, 2000
    New England
    Has anyone been able to pick up a cable card at a local Comcast office for an elderly relative who lives at a different address? I got my parents a refurb Premier for Christmas and I don't want to spoil the surprise and also don't want to burden them with any additional install costs or the hassle of going to the Comcast office. Basically, I'd like to pick up the cablecard on my own and bring it over their house to pair it even though their account is in their name at their address.

    I figured I'd try CSR roulette some time this week and see if someone with a clue could answer my question. :eek:
     
  19. Dec 2, 2012 #8639 of 9367
    pdhenry

    pdhenry Safety Pin

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    Feb 27, 2005
    PA
    Not everyone, at least not yet... :)
     
  20. Dec 3, 2012 #8640 of 9367
    chiguy50

    chiguy50 Member

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    Nov 9, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    I can only speak for myself, but I doubt anyone here has been begging Comcast to jack up their fees on everyone else just so we can feel better about our own plight. Quite the opposite, I've been urging them to rethink their policy regarding the $10 monthly CC charge not just based on the FCC guidelines but also in terms of long-term corporate benefits, such as customer retention. (Of course, I'm also hoping to get a pony for Christmas.)

    I think you give Comcast far too much credit here;); their patchwork billing procedures are so convoluted there is bound to be a smattering of customers who will still be billed at lesser CC charges for a long time to come!

    I support your basic point, but I believe your emphasis is misdirected. The new CC rules, as I understand them, were intended to facilitate the marketability of devices such as TiVo in competition with the MSO's. The standardized fee structure--which is really only a guideline, not a strict mandate--is probably the most consumer-friendly aspect of the rules. But it's not surprising that Comcast's phalanx of lawyers found a way around the guidelines.

    The problem with the FCC is not so much in the new rules (which represent a compromise between competing corporate interests) but rather in weak enforcement and, even more broadly, underemphasis on consumer protection. But that's just a subset of our current system of government, which is more responsive to deep-pocketed special interests than to the general populace.

    Besides venting here like the rest of us, you can fight back by (1) cancelling your service and telling Comcast why you are leaving them for a competitor, or (2) writing to your Congressman, or (3) asking TiVo to counterattack at the FCC, or (4) organizing your own "special interest group" to lobby Washington, or (and here's a really radical proposal) (5) stop voting corporate toadies into office!!
     

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