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What will Comcast charge if I use a Mini?

Discussion in 'TiVo Mini' started by prisk, Sep 5, 2013.

  1. prisk

    prisk New Member

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    Nov 19, 2006
    I think in my area (Chicago) the first device is free (you get a box or CC free). Then they charge for each additional device. Where they got confused is that my first device was a TiVo S3, which has 2 cards. The first was free, the second $1.15. What they did instead was give the first box for free, then charge $9.95 for both CC's in the Tivo S3. It was a net of about $8, but on principle it sucked. They rearranged the fee structure to maximize profit When I called them on this they said, basically, that the 1st Cc free, 2nd at a discount, doesn't apply if you have other devices. Kind of like saying, "Buy a big mac, second free. Unless you get fries, then the fries are free and the Big Mac is full price." They made it up as they went along. Or it was an internal policy, but conflicted with their printed policy on their web site. Here is the link: http://customer.comcast.com/help-and-support/cable-tv/about-cablecards/ and the actual text:

    How much will I be charged to use a CableCARD?
    The first CableCARD in a retail device (e.g., TiVo devices or CableCARD-equipped televisions) is provided at no additional charge to Comcast customers. If a second CableCARD is needed for the same device (e.g., TiVo Series 3 boxes), there is a nominal fee for the additional card. Check your local market pricing for this information. Again, this only applies to a second CableCARD in the same device
     
  2. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    Apr 17, 2000
    Nevada
    Yeah, he's full of sh*t. They can tell that their system is setup right, and they can send hits to the card which "should" enable specific features/channels, but they get no response from the card. The only way they can tell anything about the card is to look at those special screens on your TiVo itself.
     
  3. timothy.downey

    timothy.downey New Member

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    Feb 25, 2009
    My $0.02, since I've recently done exactly this. I'm down to only having a single cablecard from Comcast as my only equipment from them. Yay! Doing so has made my bill drop substantially. I have a Tivo Premiere XL4 and a Mini.

    The trick for me to get the CC fees to go away was to return the CC (actually two S cards) from my old TivoHD when I got the Premiere. I returned the two S cards, an old Comcast settop box from a different tv, and got an M card in return. When they removed all the old equipment and added the M card, my CC charge went away.

    The explanation was that as long as I had any other Comcast set top boxes, they were somehow the primary outlet and then they would charge for the CC. I know this is contrary to even the info you find on the Comcast website.

    Either way, it worked out for me and between the set top box and the two S cards, I've dropped probably $20 a month off of my Comcast bill. Nice!

    Tim
     
  4. andrews777

    andrews777 New Member

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    Aug 22, 2007
    I got a similar response from Verizon when I was working through some pairing issues yesterday. (I hadn't plugged the coax into the outlet.) The CSR kept insisting that everything was good on his end, so clearly they lack some feedback mechanism which is probably common across cable companies.
     
  5. andrews777

    andrews777 New Member

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    Aug 22, 2007
    This brings up a point people with TivoHDs should consider: You can replace to S cards with a single M card in the TivoHD. I did that years ago (when I had an S card go bad) and that halfed the number of cards I needed.

    Not an issue if you have a Roamio since it only has a single slot, but worth knowing if you are keeping a TivoHD active.
     
  6. prisk

    prisk New Member

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    Nov 19, 2006
    When I spoke with TiVo today and went through my current configuration, the rep on the phone said to take the M-card out of my S4, put it in to the new Roamio, and then call Comcast to have them re-pair it to the new box. Sounds simple. Avoids a truck roll. Avoids Comcast touching my device. Anyone try this? Is Comcast even capable of handling this?
     
  7. prisk

    prisk New Member

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    Nov 19, 2006
    Exactly what I want to do. They charge me about $31 per months for the boxes ad CC's, minus $5 for my owned equipment. Think my payback period is about 2 years. Still, I'd rather pay double to TiVo than half to Comcast.
     
  8. CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

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    Feb 28, 2001
    North...
    Yes, I've done it several times in the past. Call Comcast's national cablecard number: 1-877-405-2298
     
  9. DaveDFW

    DaveDFW Member

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    Jan 25, 2005
    Richardson, TX
    I had the same sort of experience calling Time-Warner.

    I had to call Time-Warner CableCard hotline a second time because I replaced the hard drive after the first pairing call. Just making small talk with the CSR, I told him I was calling again for the same device because had I replaced the hard drive. He sounded surprised, and said something like "The Roamio is brand new and the drive failed?"

    Somehow he knew the device was a Roamio, because I never said anything more specific than I had "a Tivo."
     
  10. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

    37,529
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    Apr 17, 2000
    Nevada
    Did this with Charter the other day. Took like 5-6 minutes for her to get a supervisor to unpair the card (apparently grunts can't do that) but the she was able to complete the pairing to the new Roamio without issue.
     
  11. Big Boy Laroux

    Big Boy Laroux New Member

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    Oct 10, 2006
    How did you get the HD Tech fee dropped? I was told that fee is for ANYONE receiving hd channels, not just if you have an hd comcast box.
     
  12. geekmedic

    geekmedic TiVo Fanatic TCF Club

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    Apr 4, 2003
    Atlanta, GA USA
    Dunno. When I called the lady dropped both. Have a feeling it'll return when they do their audits. I haven't seen my bill yet to confirm it's been dropped.
     
  13. prisk

    prisk New Member

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    Nov 19, 2006
    In my case, I had 3 CC's in tow TiVo's (2 in an S3 an 1 in an S4), plus two standard def boxes (the small Motorola ones), one on the S2 and one on a TV with no TiVo. It appears as though the CC's get HD regardless of the HD fee or not, and since I had no HD boxes in the house I didn't need the fee. Had it this way for 2.5 years. And at one point they did charge me the HD fee (along with the fancy HD box), then I returned it and got a regular box, and the fee went away.

    I believe (could be wrong but I think not), that Comcast only charges the HD fee if you rent HD equipment from them (an HD box or DVR). Don't think it applies to CC's, but postings on forums indicate that Comcast will charge whatever they can if they think they can get away with it.
     
  14. MScottC

    MScottC Member

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    Sep 11, 2004
    One of the major issues with discussing Comcast here is that every local office has different billing practices. It's not as bad as it used to be, but there are definitely differences in billing rates and practices.
     
  15. jmpage2

    jmpage2 New Member

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    Jan 20, 2004
    I have talked to Comcast extensively about this and they insist that if you have any equipment that gets HD that they have to charge you the HD charge, including with a cablecard.

    I have never been able to get the HD fee removed.

    //edit

    OK, make a liar out of me Comcast. I just checked a more recent bill which has me down to one cable-card. There is zero charged for the cable-card and I appear to actually be getting a $2.50 per month "customer owned equipment" rebate back on my bill.
     
  16. prisk

    prisk New Member

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    Nov 19, 2006
    That is consistent with billing practices in my area, Chicago. Having said that, they don't always know or understand their own practices very well, or have exceptions to the published policies that are not themselves published. I have 2 TiVos that use CC's, and I get a $5.00 credit each month for "customer-owned equipment." Of course, they charge me $31 for their own crappy equipment, but that's life in the big city. Waiting till TiVo announces a Christmas sale before I call them to order my new Roamio Plus and 3 Mini's. Agent on the phone said they will usually cut a deal if ordering that much stuff.
     
  17. jmpage2

    jmpage2 New Member

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    Jan 20, 2004
    Well, you will be very happy I think. The Roamios+Minis pretty awesome combo.
     
  18. howardlee2

    howardlee2 New Member

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    Sep 13, 2013
    PRISK,

    i couldn't help but chuckle at your comments re;"scamcast"! i also have a series 3 tivo with 3 other boxes and they are insistent on charging me $9.95 for each cable card in the series 3! i tried to walk both the CSR and her supervisor through the mislogic of what they do to no avail. in the past i have gone through the Northbrook village cable dpt. and eventually received a credit on my account but they never fixed the billing issue. i liked your idea of going through the il att. gen office. did you just fill out a form and mail it in or call them? and what was the process like?

    thanks, HL
     
  19. howardlee2

    howardlee2 New Member

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    Sep 13, 2013
    i am looking at getting roamio/mini solution but want to 'settle up' with scamcast first!
     
  20. jmpage2

    jmpage2 New Member

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    Jan 20, 2004
    I think it's actually easier the other way. You drop down to one multistream cablecard, which if you don't have any other Comcast gear is the only device, and should be provided to you at no charge. All the other shenanigans just sort of evaporate.
     

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