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Old 05-24-2012, 05:09 PM   #8431
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billbillw
All this talk of 'official rate sheets'. Where can one find this for refrence? Online? At the local comcast office or is it something they send you after subscribing?
Comcast used to send the rate sheet (actually a little booklet) periodically with my bill. Since all my bills are paperless now, they no longer do so. They list rate changes (as well as lineup changes) as notes at the end of my bill, but as far as I'm aware they don't actually send out rate booklets anymore. The values are different in different locations, so there's no universal one. They may be available at your local office.
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Old 05-24-2012, 06:31 PM   #8432
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I thought there was an FCC requirement that they had to send you the rates at least once a year. I still get one, usually in January, but I still have them send my monthly bill on paper.

You should be able to walk into an office and pick up a copy. If you can't, I would raise holy hell about it.
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Old 05-24-2012, 06:43 PM   #8433
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The rate sheet for my area was part of my February on-line bill as additional pages of it.
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Old 05-24-2012, 07:00 PM   #8434
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Hey -- I appear to have successfully downgraded my cable from "Digital Preferred" to Limited Basic and kept the cable cards.

The helpful Comcast Chat lady tried to tell me that the cable cards would not be required with limited basic but I used the words "customer owned equipment" and "FCC" and explained that the cards were required to tune digital channels on my device. She did some research and said OK. Then she said the digital transport adapter that I use on my S2 wouldn't work with limited basic and I gave an answer similar to "Huh? How does my analog TV work then?" and then she changed her mind on that again.
My update, got the first bill with the new package today.

Performance Internet: $48.95 - same as before

Xfinity TV:
Limited Basic $20.99
One Way Cablecard - $1.15 (for the upstairs TiVo HD)
Digital Adapter Service - $0.00 (for the Series 2 TiVo upstairs)
One Way Cablecard - $0.00 (for the downstairs Premiere TiVo)
Customer owned equipment - 2 * $2.50 discount (for the TiVos with CC)
Total XFinity TV: $17.14

I love the customer service people at Comcast/Xfinity!
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Old 05-25-2012, 06:15 AM   #8435
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Have them remove the HD fee (if they will). Despite what they said, I can nearly guarantee you won't lose HD channels, but if by some slim chance that happens, they can always put the fee back on.
I'm afraid they'll screw up the account even more! LOL
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Old 05-25-2012, 06:35 AM   #8436
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If you do not have any of their boxes, you should not have an HD Tech fee. Period. Whether you choose to accept that or not is your choice.

Some areas have tried to get away with charging this for Tivos, but they're wrong and I would escalate this to corporate if they don't remove it.
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Old 05-25-2012, 05:02 PM   #8437
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I live in Northwest Indiana, near Chicago. I initiated my Comcast service when I already had my Tivo, so the initial install incorporated the M-card and truck roll. I have just purchased an HDhomerun Prime, which will need another M-card. Is there a clear-cut best way to handle getting this with the least room for trouble? Just try to go to the local office (I have never had to go there since I was a small child, so I have no idea how the office is). Call someone...do something online? Thanks, in advance.
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Old 05-25-2012, 09:07 PM   #8438
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In theory, the process is simple:
  1. Go to your local office
  2. Request a card
  3. Go home with your shiny, gently used card
  4. Insert the card
  5. Call Comcast to activate
In practice, once you hit step 5, it's like buying lottery tickets - maybe you'll get lucky, maybe you won't. When I did mine, it involved four extra calls and an extra trip to the local office to swap out a non-functional card for a new card.

If I'd been less lucky, there might have been additional calls and/or card swaps. If I'd been more paranoid, I could've asked for extra cards up front and returned any extra once I was up and running. YMMV doesn't even begin to cover this experience.
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Old 05-25-2012, 09:11 PM   #8439
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I'm finally going to get rid of my Comcast DVR. Yay! Do I just drop it off at one of the Service Centers or do I have to call and "ask permission" while they try to talk me out of it?
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Old 05-27-2012, 08:41 AM   #8440
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I'm finally going to get rid of my Comcast DVR. Yay! Do I just drop it off at one of the Service Centers or do I have to call and "ask permission" while they try to talk me out of it?
You can return it to the service center. However, I would wait until your TiVo is up and running with the cable card -- just so that you don't go days without service in case the cable card doesn't work at first. Of course, I take it from your post that you haven't setup your Tivo.
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Old 05-28-2012, 05:17 AM   #8441
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Have them remove the HD fee (if they will). Despite what they said, I can nearly guarantee you won't lose HD channels, but if by some slim chance that happens, they can always put the fee back on.
I really want to remove the HD fee but, Comcast in my area charges $20 for upgrading or downgrading services. In addition, if they messed up my M-Cards (2), there is no telling what happens next!!!


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Old 05-28-2012, 08:24 AM   #8442
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IME changes to tier or service went through easily - much less an issue than installing the card in the first place,
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Old 05-28-2012, 04:24 PM   #8443
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You can return it to the service center. However, I would wait until your TiVo is up and running with the cable card -- just so that you don't go days without service in case the cable card doesn't work at first. Of course, I take it from your post that you haven't setup your Tivo.
We already have three TiVo's working here. The ONLY reason we had a Comcast box was because Comcast LIED and told us that we HAD to have one of their Boxes in order for our TiVo's to get PPV's. All lies apparently...

I use the thing about once a month for a PPV. Now that they have the "On Demand" I can get whatever I want from there... I'm still pissed we've been paying for this Comcast DVR for 6 years when we didn't need to be... That's gotta be in the thousand dollar range by now...
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Old 05-28-2012, 05:52 PM   #8444
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I'm still pissed we've been paying for this Comcast DVR for 6 years when we didn't need to be... That's gotta be in the thousand dollar range by now...
Isn't On-Demand/PPV to TiVos a new feature, rolling out initially in the bay area? It's not as if it wasn't true 6 years ago when they told you that. Unless they insisted you needed a Comcast DVR to get Comcast PPV - a regular Comcast box has worked for that.
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Old 05-28-2012, 06:21 PM   #8445
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Isn't On-Demand/PPV to TiVos a new feature, rolling out initially in the bay area? It's not as if it wasn't true 6 years ago when they told you that. Unless they insisted you needed a Comcast DVR to get Comcast PPV - a regular Comcast box has worked for that.
They told us in order to view a PPV on our TiVo we HAD to have a Comcast DVR to "open the gateway" or some other BS. You had to call in but you could record PPV's to your TiVo and view them. That has been proven to be false and in fact, was never true. So basically we had it for no real reason since I never used the thing. You can imagine I'm a little peeved. Not "complain about it to Comcast" peeved, but peeved enough to complain about it here.
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Last edited by bareyb : 05-28-2012 at 06:45 PM.
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Old 05-28-2012, 06:43 PM   #8446
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Were you ever able to order a PPV on your TiVo, when you had the Comcast DVR (lets say other than within the apst 6 months).

It has recently been proven false because they've just made it possible. It's a new thing.
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Old 05-29-2012, 01:38 PM   #8447
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Seattle Area Update

I had been paying nothing for two CableCards in my S3 for the last 5 years.
There was an $8 Digital Additional Outlet fee and 2 credits of $2.50 for Customer Owned Equipment. I was ok with that. I had unsuccessfully tried to argue the DAO fee a year or so ago with no luck. They wouldn't budge. That was before I familiarized myself with some of the FCC rulings. They come in handy when arguing with this corporation.
I recently added a second S3 and low and behold all my fees had changed. I was charged $1.10 per CableCard for a total of $4.40 plus TWO $8 DAO fees but SHOCK - my credits remained the same only 2 @ $2.50. Adding the 2nd TiVo increased my bill to an unreasonable Dollar amount. I had reached my limit and was finally ready to spend the time discussing this with as many people at Comcast as it would take. There was simply no way I was going to pay them $122.40 per year JUST to add my 2nd TiVo. I already pay through the nose for programming.
I called and was eventually transferred 3 levels up arguing about the customer owned equipment credits and the DAO fees, constantly citing the FCC rulings. After about 30 minutes on hold, the billing "specialist" I spoke with "admitted" they had made errors in my billing and agreed to remove the $8 fee (and credit me for 12 months of it), adjust the CableCard fees to charge for only the first card in each device (at $1.10), and confirm the customer owned equipment credits.
I just got my current statement and they did remove the DAO fee but sure enough - they added it back as a line item after removing it.
I just got off the phone with them and had it removed and was promised it wouldn't show up again next month.
So - to summarize, for 2 TiVo Series 3 with 2 CableCards each, Im paying $2.20 - $1.10 per TiVo.
The DAO fees are gone, as are the customer owned equipment credits.
Yes the Customer Owned Equipment credits are gone. I can easily live with this as I think those credits were to offset a bit of those ridiculously nefarious $8 fees.
Its absolutely crazy how many differences in pricing there are around the country and even within the same regions. Good luck to you if you have hours to spend on the phone arguing this billing practice. It worked for me hopefully it will for you too.
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Old 05-29-2012, 03:48 PM   #8448
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The frakkers wanted to set me up with the $8.95/mo. fee to get my second cable card. The genius behind the desk said she didn't have another code to put in her computer, and that if the charge was improper, it wouldn't be in her computer. Next step? Very frustrated that I didn't even get the card in hand before the trouble started.
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Old 05-29-2012, 08:54 PM   #8449
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncfoster
The frakkers wanted to set me up with the $8.95/mo. fee to get my second cable card. The genius behind the desk said she didn't have another code to put in her computer, and that if the charge was improper, it wouldn't be in her computer. Next step? Very frustrated that I didn't even get the card in hand before the trouble started.
It sounds like they tried to add the cable card as a cable box. That has happened to me once, when suddenly I started getting billed for 4 cable boxes. Try phone support, billing department.
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Old 05-29-2012, 09:06 PM   #8450
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I think the 8.95 fee (for the second and subsequent TiVos) (less the customer-owned equipment discount) is legitimate per the various Comcast tariffs.

The FCC requires uniform rental rates for cable cards whether the card is in a TiVo or in a set-top box, and this is Comcast's implementation of that requirement. The cable card rental fee = second box rental fee minus COE discount. The $1.10 fee is intended to be for the second card in a device that accepts more than one card.
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Old 05-29-2012, 09:11 PM   #8451
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I think the 8.95 fee (for the second and subsequent TiVos) (less the customer-owned equipment discount) is legitimate per the various Comcast tariffs.

The FCC requires uniform rental rates for cable cards whether the card is in a TiVo or in a set-top box, and this is Comcast's implementation of that requirement. The cable card rental fee = second box rental fee minus COE discount. The $1.10 fee is intended to be for the second card in a device that accepts more than one card.
What about this language from the FCC site?

Quote:
Use your own set-top box without extra charge. FCC Rule 76.1205(b)(5)(C). 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.

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Old 05-29-2012, 09:25 PM   #8452
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What about this language from the FCC site?
No inconsistency there. The fee you pay is for the cable card, not for the TiVo.
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Old 05-29-2012, 09:36 PM   #8453
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To me, the inconsistency is that if they call it a digital outlet fee or the like (when adding the second cable card, there was a "+" sign that could be expanded to show the individual charges), then they are charging you for a line-item that means nothing, and that they are not entitled to charge you for. That, combined with what I understand to be a "reasonableness" requirement for the charge...and the FCC's own suggestion that the charge is usually between between $2-4 dollars (some hint as to what is "reasonable"). Maybe I'm off-base, but I think the various rules on that page make it clear that you aren't to be extorted like that. If I turn out to be wrong, I'll probably have to resort to using my fancy new toy only for ClearQAM, which mostly defeats the point.
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Old 05-29-2012, 09:44 PM   #8454
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You're not being extorted - you're paying less than someone who has a Comcast-provided box (per FCC regulation the box fee is comprised of a card fee + a cardless box fee, and you pay the card fee while a set-top box renter pays both fees).

If the market couldn't support it no one would get a set-top box.

Quote:
Cable operators must price CableCARD rental fees uniformly across a cable system whether the CableCARD is used in a leased set-top box or a retail device. Cable operators must prominently list the CableCARD fee as a line item both on their websites (in a manner that is readily accessible to the public) and on their annual rate cards. At a subscriber’s request, they also must provide such information orally or in writing. See 47 C.F.R. 76.1205(b)(5), 76.1602(b).


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Old 05-29-2012, 10:12 PM   #8455
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You're not being extorted - you're paying less than someone who has a Comcast-provided box (per FCC regulation the box fee is comprised of a card fee + a cardless box fee, and you pay the card fee while a set-top box renter pays both fees)

If the market couldn't support it no one would get a set-top box.
You are flat out wrong. The Comcast published fees for CableCARDs, at least here (Atlanta area), is as follows:

Quote:
CableCARD (first card in device) $0.00
CableCARD (second card in same device) $1.10
I don't think Comcast STBs use CableCARDs.

The "Additional Digital Outlet Fee" may or may not be a violation of FCC regulations. What it most certainly is not is a CableCARD fee.
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Old 05-29-2012, 10:43 PM   #8456
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If the market couldn't support it no one would get a set-top box.
This is a complete non-sequitor in a conversation such as this. Cablecards are clearly NOT a market-based response to anything, and they specifically exist as a result of regulations where there was a perceived market failure and/or monopoly conditions exist. The fact that people are not aware of their rights and/or don't know that there are superior options to the crappy boxes that cable companies provide speaks much more to the failures of third-party options to market themselves effectively and the fact that there are almost certainly not enough resources for the FCC to educate people.

[edit]Also, keep in mind that with the exception of Tivos in some areas, the boxes people are putting cablecards into don't provide access to the full range of the cable company's offerings, specifically OnDemand. For some people, that is reason enough to get the cable company's box, as foolish as I think that assessment is in most cases.[/edit]

The whole point of cablecards is that there was a decision made that consumers shouldn't have to put up with the way that the cable companies operate, or pay the prices that they charge for junky boxes. Also straight from the FCC site:

Quote:
Benefits of Retail CableCARD Devices

Many consumers prefer the convenience (and cost savings) of being able to receive their cable programming without having to lease a set-top box from their cable operator.
As someone who has been on the satellite side of things for most of my adult life, I confess that I am not the world's foremost expert on cablecards (or I wouldn't be here asking questions), so I allow for the possibility that I am missing something, but your points are not compelling.

Last edited by ncfoster : 05-29-2012 at 10:50 PM.
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Old 05-29-2012, 10:44 PM   #8457
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I just added a second Tivo. I was not charged an HD fee or an outlet fee, and got the $2.50 credit on the first one. Will be interesting to see what I am charged now, since a tech had to come out to "pair" the card. It was actually paired fine, but only worked one day, then reverted to clearQAM because they entered it in their system as a cablebox and not a cablecard.
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:07 PM   #8458
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Originally Posted by lpwcomp
first/second card in device
That's the rate for the first outlet - Comcast's programming tiers include the rental for the first set-top box for those tiers that require a box. If you want that programming on a second outlet you pay the additional outlet fee for an additional set-top box.

FCC requires Comcast to give you a price break if you have a TiVo rather than a cable co set-top box. This demonstrates that if you have a set-top box you're paying for it in the programming tier.

Quote:
I don't think Comcast STBs use CableCARDs.
The point is that the card rental must be consistently priced whether it's in their box or your TiVo.

FCC Rule 76.1205:
Quote:
(5) Separately disclose to consumers in a conspicuous manner with written information provided to customers in accordance with 76.1602, with written or oral information at consumer request, and on Web sites or billing inserts; ...
(ii) If such provider includes equipment in the price of a bundled offer of one or more services, the fees reasonably allocable to:
(A) The rental of single and additional CableCARDs; and
(B) The rental of operator-supplied navigation devices.

...
( 1 ) CableCARD rental fees shall be priced uniformly throughout a cable system by such provider without regard to the intended use in operator-supplied or consumer-owned equipment.
The point of the customer-owned equipment discount is that it should be allocable to the rental cost of the box. The difference between the additional box rental and the discount is the rental fee for a card in an additional outlet.

Last edited by pdhenry : 05-29-2012 at 11:17 PM.
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:12 PM   #8459
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This is a complete non-sequitor in a conversation such as this. Cablecards are clearly NOT a market-based response to anything, and they specifically exist as a result of regulations where there was a perceived market failure and/or monopoly conditions exist.
My entire point is that TiVo owners are not being singled out. If you want one set-top box from Comcast it comes bundled with your programming tier. If you want a second set-top box you pay $8.95 or whatever the additional outlet fee is.

If you have one TiVo you (should) pay the tier price less the Customer Owned Equipment discount. If you have a second TiVo you (should) additonally pay the additional outlet fee less an additional COE discount.

You don't have to like it but there's logic in how it works, when it works.

Comcast regularly undercharges some subscribers according to their published tariff (example: Charging the $1.10 second cable card fee rather than additional outlet fee for a second TiVo, and then discounting the second outlet by $2.50, making 2 cable cards cheaper than one) but it doesn't follow that subscribers are getting ripped off when they're charged according to the tariff.
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:26 PM   #8460
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The actual FCC rule text is here:
http://www.hallikainen.com/FccRules/2012/76/1205/
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