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Old 06-01-2012, 10:30 PM   #8491
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But isn't the additional fee rule in regards to a cable card user vs. a Comcast box user? You don't see it that way, but I read it to mean that Comcast can't charge you more than they charge someone who uses a Comcast set-top box.

E.g., "No service fee shall be imposed on a subscriber for support of a subscriber-provided device that is not assessed on subscriber use of an operator-provided device."
You're ignoring the fact that you can access some of the digital channels using a free (up to 2) or inexpensive ($1.99/mo) DTA. Comcast's position becomes even less tenable if they begin encrypting everything and eliminate all of their clear QAM channels so that you will need a CableCARD to get anything or rendering your TiVo practically useless by adding a DTA.

Comcast is engaging in a pattern of deceptive and fraudulent behavior. Do you really think that CSRs come up with the obviously false statements they utter ("Digital cable migration was mandated by the Government", "The charge is for the CableCARD") on their own?

The fact is that Comcast is attempting to leverage their digital migration to re-instate the long defunct charge per outlet.
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Old 06-01-2012, 11:47 PM   #8492
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Yeah, the DTA is an outlier. If you say "I want to get the same channels with my TiVo that you would give me with a DTA, so don't charge me any more than you charge a DTA user" you might have difficulty.
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Do you really think that CSRs come up with the obviously false statements they utter ("Digital cable migration was mandated by the Government", "The charge is for the CableCARD") on their own?
Occam's razor would suggest that poorly trained reps are as likely or more likely than a vast conspiracy.

My second cable card has always reduced the total price of my subscription so if Comcast is training their reps to be evil it hasn't sunken in to all of them. Maybe that's why I'm more willing to believe ineptitude is the root cause.

When I look at this I see poor CSR training (as well as a total reliance on the CSR to get the billing right, which they can't do if they're not trained) rather than a conspiracy:


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Old 06-02-2012, 01:47 AM   #8493
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Occam's razor would suggest that poorly trained reps are as likely or more likely than a vast conspiracy.
I don't think a corporate decision to maximize profits in an ethically questionable way in any way implies there is a conspiracy involved.

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Originally Posted by pdhenry View Post
When I look at this I see poor CSR training (as well as a total reliance on the CSR to get the billing right, which they can't do if they're not trained) rather than a conspiracy:

Yes, if I had a bill that looked like that, I probably wouldn't complain either. I wouldn't defend Comcast as much as you have, but I wouldn't complain.
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Old 06-02-2012, 02:39 AM   #8494
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... How does that gibe with the following from the FCC website
Thank you for forcing me to look this up

http://public.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/gibe.html
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Old 06-02-2012, 08:06 AM   #8495
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Thank you for forcing me to look this up

http://public.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/gibe.html
Thank you for the correction. I should have looked it up myself.

Edit: Corrected in orginal post
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Old 06-02-2012, 08:57 AM   #8496
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Yeah, the DTA is an outlier. If you say "I want to get the same channels with my TiVo that you would give me with a DTA, so don't charge me any more than you charge a DTA user" you might have difficulty.
You keep taking one piece of the structure and spinning it to Comcast's benefit. Taken as a whole, they are in violation of the relevant FCC regulations.

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Occam's razor would suggest that poorly trained reps are as likely or more likely than a vast conspiracy.
Who said anything about a "vast conspiracy"? I've never worn a pink dress in my entire life. I don't think poor training alone can explain multiple CSRs using the same false statements. Maybe the CEO was overheard by some overeager subordinate to remark: "Will no one rid me of these meddlesome customers?"

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My second cable card has always reduced the total price of my subscription so if Comcast is training their reps to be evil it hasn't sunken in to all of them. Maybe that's why I'm more willing to believe ineptitude is the root cause.

When I look at this I see poor CSR training (as well as a total reliance on the CSR to get the billing right, which they can't do if they're not trained) rather than a conspiracy:

Comcast is responsible for properly training their employees and for the actions of those employees. It may not be a conspiracy, vast or otherwise. At the very least, we have a case of "willful ignorance".

Overall, you sound like a lawyer, vying for a gig defending Comcast against a possible class action suit.
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Old 06-02-2012, 09:03 AM   #8497
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Pshaw.

and no doubt you'd like to be the named party in that suit.

When you say "Comcast is engaging in a pattern of deceptive and fraudulent behavior. Do you really think that CSRs come up with the obviously false statements they utter" what do you mean, if not that the CSRs' supervision is colluding to feed the CSRs erroneous data and/or encouraging them to lie? Isn't that a conspiracy?
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Old 06-02-2012, 09:11 AM   #8498
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So what programming tier provides exactly the channels that the DTA provides? It looks like Digital Starter minus a bunch of HD channels. How do you go about requesting that, exactly? Does Comcast differentiate HD-inclusive vs. SD-only subtiers? I've only had HD with a TiVo...
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Old 06-02-2012, 09:42 AM   #8499
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Pshaw.
Wasn't intended as a complimant.

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and no doubt you'd like to be the named party in that suit.
GHOD NO. The only winners in a class action suit of this nature are the lawyers - on both sides.
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Old 06-02-2012, 11:52 AM   #8500
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Exclamation

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Originally Posted by lpwcomp View Post
Comcast's position becomes even less tenable if they begin encrypting everything and eliminate all of their clear QAM channels so that you will need a CableCARD to get anything or rendering your TiVo practically useless by adding a DTA.
Well, ask & you shall receive cause it looks like Comcast is gonna start encrypting EVERYTHING. I JUST got a letter from Xfinity/Comcast informing me that as of June 26th, 2012, Comcast equipment will be needed for ALL TVs no matter what package you subscribe to. Even local basic (ch2-30) will require either a cable card, DTA or digital box.

Due to Comcast's shenanigans for billing cable cards, I was thinking of using a 3rd Series3 TiVo I have (w/ lifetime) with no cable cards at all. Was gonna stick it in the basement & just use it to record the straight basic local/HD cable channels. Then MRV material to one of my two Premieres on the main level of my house over my home network. Therefore, the way I see it, I'm gonna HAVE to at least get 1 cable card for my TiVo S3 to make it functional AT ALL.

Comcast is making it harder and harder for me to want to stay with them. I might have to SERIOUSLY start thinking about going to a straight antenna for my TiVos along with Netflix. This latest move is really pissing me off & making me get to the boiling point.
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Old 06-02-2012, 03:39 PM   #8501
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Well, ask & you shall receive cause it looks like Comcast is gonna start encrypting EVERYTHING. I JUST got a letter from Xfinity/Comcast informing me that as of June 26th, 2012, Comcast equipment will be needed for ALL TVs no matter what package you subscribe to. Even local basic (ch2-30) will require either a cable card, DTA or digital box.
As I stated, I think this puts Comcast in a an even less tenable position. It forces you to install a CableCARD to access anything but they charge you an additional fee to actually use it. Even if it were an acceptable solution, their system does not have the capability to authorize different devices on the same account for different levels of service.

Let me try to summarize the relevant FCC requirements and Comcast's compliance.

FCC requirement:
Quote:
Accurate information on the rental cost of a CableCARD from your provider. Your operator must list the cost of a CableCARD rental on its website or billing inserts and on its annual rate notice, and must provide you with this information when you call. FCC Rule 76.1205(b)(5), 76.1602(b). Typically operators charge $2-4 per month to rent a CableCARD.
Comcast:
Quote:
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 free to Comcast customers. If a second CableCARD is needed for the same device (i.e., TiVo Series 3 boxes), the cost is $1.50 per month for the additional card. Again, this ONLY applies to a second CableCARD in the same device.
Comcast sort of in compliance. Although it is enforced haphazardly and I have been told on multiple occasions that the a/o fee is for the CableCARD.

FCC requirement:
Quote:
Receive all “linear” channels (channels other than “on-demand”) in your subscription package. This includes premium channels and specialty channels. For some channels delivered using a technique called “switched digital video,” you may need a second device called a “tuning adapter.” This device is typically provided at no additional charge to CableCARD customers. FCC Rule 76.1205(b)(4). CableCARD-ready devices currently cannot receive your cable operator’s Video on Demand services.
Comcast in compliance only for the first device and only if it is the primary device on the account. Otherwise, you are assessed an additional fee if you wish to access all of the channels to which you are entitled. This charge may not apply if you have the "limited digital basic" package. Overall, Comcast not in compliance.
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Old 06-02-2012, 03:51 PM   #8502
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Comcast is making it harder and harder for me to want to stay with them. I might have to SERIOUSLY start thinking about going to a straight antenna for my TiVos along with Netflix. This latest move is really pissing me off & making me get to the boiling point.
Me too, although my, um, complaining (see sigline) has gotten limited time discounts such that I am currently not actually paying the a/o fees. I will revisit this option if they don't extend either one or if they try to charge me for the CableCARD I need for the new Premiere. The first one expires next March. Anyone have any recommendations for a good, reasonably priced indoor antenna?
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Old 06-02-2012, 04:19 PM   #8503
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Well, ask & you shall receive cause it looks like Comcast is gonna start encrypting EVERYTHING. I JUST got a letter from Xfinity/Comcast informing me that as of June 26th, 2012, Comcast equipment will be needed for ALL TVs no matter what package you subscribe to. Even local basic (ch2-30) will require either a cable card, DTA or digital box.
If you feel like it, you might call them up and ask for 2 "Dao Ccard - Adjustment" and see what they say. That's how it appears on my bill. Comcast, like most service companies, counts on people not knowing their rights and getting frustrated by the run-around they usually get.
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Old 06-03-2012, 04:07 PM   #8504
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Does Comcast charge an AO fee for a second digital box on an account?
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Old 06-03-2012, 05:44 PM   #8505
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Does Comcast charge an AO fee for a second digital box on an account?
You mean one of their own boxes? If so, yes.
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Old 06-04-2012, 07:33 AM   #8506
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You mean one of their own boxes? If so, yes.
Does the AO fee on their box include the box rental or is there another fee for that?

I guess the point I am making is that if Comcast charges an AO fee for their box, then a fee for a TiVo, less credit for own equipment, does not seem unreasonable.
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Old 06-04-2012, 12:17 PM   #8507
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Yea, I guess the bottom line I figured out is that if I want to have a 3rd cable card for a TiVo, its essentially gonna cost me about $7.45/month ($9.95-$2.50 equipment credit) with Comcast plus $12.95 with TiVo. In the end, about $20/month for a TiVo with Comcast.

I have one monthly Premiere, but also two other HD TiVos with PLS so those will obviously be cheaper in the long run. While ultimately not as less as I would have hoped ($1.50 for ALL cable cards), I suppose my monthly Premiere unit at about $20/month is still better than having to pay the $15-20/month for the crappy Comcast DVR boxes.

I still feel TiVo boxes are a much better & superior product compared to the Comcast DVRs. MRV, easy online scheduling, better overall user interface and additional services right on the box itself (Pandora, Amazon, Netflix, etc.). Maybe this is also the reason for all the Comcast cable card shennanigans and they are desparately trying to level the playing field for those with TiVo boxes. In hopes that maybe some will then just get fed up and go with a Comcast DVR. Ultimately giving them your money instead of to TiVo.

I had briefly conisdered looking into the Moxi DVR system since you could essentially have a 3 room system running off ONE M-card. Also, storage was easily upgradeable (I think to 6TB). I thought this was a great concept and approach, but the price point was still a little too steep for me. I wish it would of become more popular so maybe the price would have come down a bit. Of course, they have more or less gone under with that product so I guess its not an option any longer.

I'm hoping maybe this upcoming TiVo IP based box will be a similar solution to what Moxi was attempting to do and we'll see.

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Old 06-04-2012, 12:23 PM   #8508
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Does the AO fee on their box include the box rental or is there another fee for that?

I guess the point I am making is that if Comcast charges an AO fee for their box, then a fee for a TiVo, less credit for own equipment, does not seem unreasonable.
Yes, it includes the rental. It is an unreasonable fee because it's pure profit for Comcast. What they're saying is that it costs $2.50 to rent a box or card and $7.45 for the money grab, but they don't break it out this way in the rate sheet as the FCC requires. Nobody else does this except them, and if you don't like it you usually don't have another choice with Tivo.

The ultimate answer is a whole-home solution so you only need one card, and as soon as a good one gets there (i.e., not WMC) I'll probably switch.
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Old 06-04-2012, 12:57 PM   #8509
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Does the AO fee on their box include the box rental or is there another fee for that?

I guess the point I am making is that if Comcast charges an AO fee for their box, then a fee for a TiVo, less credit for own equipment, does not seem unreasonable.
Situation:

You can get some of the digital channels using a free or $1.99/mo DTA.

AND

Their posted rate for the first CableCARD in every device is $0.

AND

The FCC mandates that cable company enable the reception by a CableCARD'ed device all of the linear channels in your package.

Therefore, the fee is not only unreasonable but a violation of FCC regulations governing customer owned CableCARD devices.

Comcast is trying to game the system. They are saying that they are not going to charge for a CableCARD, but if you actually want to use it you have to pay us $7.45/mo. Actually, even if you never install it and just leave it sitting in a drawer or on a shelf, they'll probably still at least attempt to charge you the fee.
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Old 06-05-2012, 07:24 AM   #8510
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My latest bill had a new price sheet with it. Two interesting things I noticed:

Quote:
IMPORTANT INFO: Effective July 1, 2012, 3D Technology Fee will be available at no monthly service charge for customers who would like to receive 3D programming. A subscription to the HD Technology Fee is required. Prices are subject to change.
Apparently there used to be a separate 3D tech fee, but now 3D channels will be available if the HD tech fee is paid. I don't get 3D channels so I wouldn't know.

Quote:
Digital Additional Outlet Service (includes converter and remote) (per outlet) ...... $9.25
- with HD (requires HD Technology Fee) .... $9.25
- with DVR service (requires HD Technology Fee) .... $16.25
- with AnyRoom DVR Service (Requires AnyRoom DVR Service on primary outlet) ..... $9.25
So if you believe this bill, the HD tech fee is required to get HD on all outlets. The HD tech fee supposedly doesn't apply to TiVo, but it sounds like that's changing.
The other interesting thing is the AnyRoom DVR Digital Outlet Service per outlet fee. I'm curious if Comcast will charge a Digital Additional Outlet fee for TiVo's soon to be released IP box since that's basically the same thing as Comcast's AnyRoom DVR. Based on what's reported here, I'm actually surprised people with TiVo's aren't getting hit with the DVR Digital Additional Outlet Service fee since the TiVo is a DVR.
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Old 06-05-2012, 11:47 AM   #8511
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That doesn't apply to Cablecards, it's a cost for their DVR. You can use a card without a DVR.
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Old 06-05-2012, 05:53 PM   #8512
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That doesn't apply to Cablecards, it's a cost for their DVR. You can use a card without a DVR.
I know that, but since they claim the digital outlet fee (in addition to the HD tech fee) is to get programming in HD, I'm surprised they haven't tried charging a DVR fee for using a TiVo.
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Old 06-10-2012, 01:41 AM   #8513
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Sorry to be such a noob in the current conversation but I just purchased an XL & went to my local COMCAST service center.

They promptly denied me a cable card because they said my limited basic package is not allowed to have anything but the SD DTA.

From the FCC statement about cablecard & linear channel I would think I am being lied to no?
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:47 AM   #8514
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You're being lied to, yes.
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:56 AM   #8515
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The new rate card for my Comcast franchise says "requires digital adapter, digital converter or CableCARD" as a footnote to the Limited Basic rate. So limited basic and a CableCard aren't incompatible. They might try to argue that limited basic doesn't include a set-top box, and therefore you would need to pay a fee for the first CC. As I read the FCC rule they only have to give you a discount when your tier includes a set-top box.

When I downgraded to Limited Basic I told them up front that I wanted to keep my CCs and DTA, mentioned that the FCC permitted me to use my own equipment and that the CC was necessary for me to do that. It tool a bit of insistence on my part but eventually I got what I wanted. It was no problem for them to configure the CableCards to receive only the Limited Basic channels.
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Old 06-10-2012, 11:13 AM   #8516
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Sorry to be such a noob in the current conversation but I just purchased an XL & went to my local COMCAST service center.

They promptly denied me a cable card because they said my limited basic package is not allowed to have anything but the SD DTA.

From the FCC statement about cablecard & linear channel I would think I am being lied to no?
I got a cable card for my TiVo HD from Comcast last month for use with limited basic. I went in to the local office with the digital transition letter they sent me and they gave me one with no questions asked.
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Old 06-10-2012, 11:14 AM   #8517
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Worse comes to worse if the service center people are being pig-headed sign up for basic cable, get your cable card and immediately downgrade to limited. Pro-rated charge should only be a few cents. If they try to charge a downgrade fee, tell them the service center wouldn't give you cards otherwise.
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Old 06-10-2012, 11:40 AM   #8518
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Worse comes to worse if the service center people are being pig-headed sign up for basic cable, get your cable card and immediately downgrade to limited. Pro-rated charge should only be a few cents. If they try to charge a downgrade fee, tell them the service center wouldn't give you cards otherwise.
I very strong disagree with that plan. Comcast's accounting is so screwed up, you might never get it straightened out.

Call Comcast and demand to speak to a supervisor. Send e-mail to We_Can_Help@comcast.com. File a complaint with the FCC.

Don't under any circumstances attempt to "game the system" with Comcast. They usually win. Sometimes not but it is not worth the risk.

This whole sitituation with Comcast and CableCARDs would be amusing if it weren't so annoying. During the FCC hearings on self-install, they were in favor of it. They simply asked for a 3-4 month delay for procedure development and training. Boy, they sure took advantage of the delay and the 10 months since actual implementation to create a smooth process and well trained staff.
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Old 06-10-2012, 11:55 AM   #8519
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slowbiscuit + pdhenry + sbourgeo + Morac + lpwcomp: thank you for the confirm & game plan!

Is there a specific notice from the Comcast or FC website I can bring as a reference?
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Old 06-10-2012, 12:47 PM   #8520
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slowbiscuit + pdhenry + sbourgeo + Morac + lpwcomp: thank you for the confirm & game plan!

Is there a specific notice from the Comcast or FC website I can bring as a reference?
http://customer.comcast.com/help-and...out-cablecards

http://www.fcc.gov/guides/cablecard-know-your-rights
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