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Old 06-04-2014, 03:47 PM   #31
lpwcomp
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Originally Posted by bootman_head_fi View Post
You do realize that is 20 years old? Maybe it is theoretically still in force, but in reality, any complaint to the FCC about rates will either be ignored or passed on to the cable company to "explain" why you are wrong. There might be an occasional exception where the cable co is the "only game in town", but these days that is a very rare situation.
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Old 06-04-2014, 03:57 PM   #32
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You do realize that is 20 years old? Maybe it is theoretically still in force, but in reality, any complaint to the FCC about rates will either be ignored or passed on to the cable company to "explain" why you are wrong. There might be an occasional exception where the cable co is the "only game in town", but these days that is a very rare situation.
I know and like most government regulations still in force unless I missed a recent change that I'm not aware of.
But I would like to see the regulation that you referenced since the OP can use that to go back to Comcast.
The reference I provide seems to indicate that what Comcast is doing is "allowed" if it is in his or her particular franchise agreement.
(which I have no way of knowing but the OP should be able to go to their local government to get a copy)
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Old 06-04-2014, 04:03 PM   #33
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I am in the same area as the OP. While I have two cards, the billing around here is typical- first box/card free, Outlet fee for extra outlet, credit for both cards.

OP- You say you have a modem, but do you have another comcast box of some sort on your account/in a closet? THAT would then require the outlet fee to get ondemand on a tivo.
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Old 06-04-2014, 04:09 PM   #34
lpwcomp
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Originally Posted by bootman_head_fi View Post
If you have a link to the regulations you are referencing, that would be great.
CableCARD: Know Your Rights

And here is that actual law that was in effect when that FAQ you linked to was written:

CABLE TELEVISION CONSUMER PROTECTION AND COMPETITION ACT OF 1992

one particularly relevant portion of that act:

Quote:
SEC. 3. REGULATION OF RATES. (a) AMENDMENT.-Section 623 of the Communications
Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 543) is amended to read as follows: bSEC. 623. REGULATION
OF RATES. '(a) COMPETrMON PREFERENCE; LOCAL AND FEDERAL RECGUA- TION.- '(1) IN
GENERAL--No Federal agency or State may regulate the rates for the provision of
cable service except to the extent provided under this section and section 612.
Any franchising authority may regulate the rates for the provision of cable
service, or any other communications service provided over a cable system to
cable subscribers, but only to the extent provided under this section. No
Federal agency, State, or fran- chising authority may regulate the rates for
cable service of a cable system that is owned or operated by a local government
or franchising authority within whose jurisdiction that cable system is located
and that is the only cable system located within such jurisdiction. "(2)
PREFERENCE FOR COMPETITION.-If the Commission finds that a cable system is subject to effective competition, the rates for the provision of cable service by such system shall not be subject to regulation by the Commission or by a State or franchising authority under this section.

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Old 06-04-2014, 04:17 PM   #35
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OP- You say you have a modem, but do you have another comcast box of some sort on your account/in a closet? THAT would then require the outlet fee to get ondemand on a tivo.
No, it isn't. What is possible I suppose is that by asking for access to OD, it was brought to their attention that they weren't charging him the ADO fee that they "should" have been.
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Old 06-04-2014, 04:35 PM   #36
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*sigh*. He explicitly stated that he has the "Triple Play everything and anything package". There is flat out no way that package does not include at least one box. These days, with Comcast encrypting everything, even a minimal package includes a box.

Maybe he can get a better deal if he is able to talk to retention but saying that the charge might be valid is just nonsense. Not to mention the fact that, just as with everything else involving Comcast, not every locale even has such a department.
I get the frustration, but I AM in the Chicago area and have dealt with Comcast doing Triple Plays that required an HD fee upgrade since the box that was included wasn't a DVR or HD. This was just to upgrade their own hardware. I'm not saying that they are right, but just because he is on the "everything and anything package" doesn't mean it is one of the current Triple Play packages that includes On Demand and HD(of which I see at least three versions available in his area). I'm merely saying to call into retentions (which they do have in our area) to make sure that they put him on a current package (in case he isn't on one) because they are typically the ones I've had luck with being flexible.
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Old 06-04-2014, 04:52 PM   #37
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I get the frustration, but I AM in the Chicago area and have dealt with Comcast doing Triple Plays that required an HD fee upgrade since the box that was included wasn't a DVR or HD. This was just to upgrade their own hardware. I'm not saying that they are right, but just because he is on the "everything and anything package" doesn't mean it is one of the current Triple Play packages that includes On Demand and HD(of which I see at least three versions available in his area). I'm merely saying to call into retentions (which they do have in our area) to make sure that they put him on a current package (in case he isn't on one) because they are typically the ones I've had luck with being flexible.
The HD fee only applies if you get one of their HD boxes. An SD box is included in the package and HD is not and never has been required for OD. The only Comcast provided equipment that can receive digital channels but has no access to OD is a DTA and it is not a DTA that is included in the package.

Every package from at least Digital Starter on up includes a full SD box with access to PPV and OD.
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Old 06-04-2014, 05:36 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by lpwcomp View Post
CableCARD: Know Your Rights

And here is that actual law that was in effect when that FAQ you linked to was written:

CABLE TELEVISION CONSUMER PROTECTION AND COMPETITION ACT OF 1992

one particularly relevant portion of that act:
Not sure if the Op can use the bold part of that too effectively with his particular issue.

But thanks for the cablecard link.
I'll look through it to see if there is anything that can help the OP fight his case in there.
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Old 06-04-2014, 05:45 PM   #39
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Not sure if the Op can use the bold part of that too effectively with his particular issue.
That was just to point out that the FCC does not regulate cable TV rates where there is "effective competition" which is most everywhere since they consider satellite to be such.
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Old 06-04-2014, 07:05 PM   #40
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That was just to point out that the FCC does not regulate cable TV rates where there is "effective competition" which is most everywhere since they consider satellite to be such.
So we are back to Comcast can charge what they want?

Anyway, it seems that this could just be a case of an account not being properly setup to accept the correct rate codes.
Pretty common problem actually.
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Old 06-04-2014, 07:41 PM   #41
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Based on a previous post, I sent some messages and tweeted about the issues I'm having, and I received an email back (originally from a tweet to @comcastcares) from Executive Customer Relations today. So it's happening! Just took a different road to get here. I'll post when it's resolved with hopefully some help for anyone else who is going through this problem.
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Old 06-04-2014, 08:16 PM   #42
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So we are back to Comcast can charge what they want? (
The rates are unregulated. What they can charge for is still regulated to some extent. In particular, they cannot charge you more to use your own equipment in lieu of theirs and must in fact give you a credit for doing so. There is a formula they are supposed to use to determine the amount of the credit.

They are also supposed to be clear about what the charges will be but we all know that is not true and the FCC just accepts the cable cos word for it that they are.
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Old 06-05-2014, 08:45 AM   #43
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If the package that he has does not include a "free" box, then the $9.95 charge might be valid. I'd highly suggest just calling and talking to retentions. They can set you up with great deals (even if you aren't a new customer) by just being nice and playing the game.
Nope, not even in this case would a $9.95 charge for OD be justified. By dint of renting the CableCARD device for use in his own equipment, the customer obtains direct access to Comcast's OD service on the TiVo. No monthly charge applies to this service regardless of whether his subscription includes a digital STB.

Quote:
Originally Posted by khomel View Post
Based on a previous post, I sent some messages and tweeted about the issues I'm having, and I received an email back (originally from a tweet to @comcastcares) from Executive Customer Relations today. So it's happening! Just took a different road to get here. I'll post when it's resolved with hopefully some help for anyone else who is going through this problem.
That is the best avenue to pursue if you are having an unresolved issue with regular CS reps. Please do let us know how you fare.
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Old 06-05-2014, 09:47 AM   #44
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I just got off the phone with the service rep. He explained to me that my premier triple play package has a DVR as the primary device, and because of that they aren't able to add the billing code for the cable card without the additional charge. So, he said he would put together a package that would allow the cable card as the primary device so that there would be no charge for the service while keeping the channels, internet tier, and phone intact.

A while back I did talk to a rep who understood why this was happening and tried to change my account so the cable card was the primary device, but he was unsuccessful.

More to come...
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Old 06-05-2014, 09:50 AM   #45
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I just got off the phone with the service rep. He explained to me that my premier triple play package has a DVR as the primary device, and because of that they aren't able to add the billing code for the cable card without the additional charge. So, he said he would put together a package that would allow the cable card as the primary device so that there would be no charge for the service while keeping the channels, internet tier, and phone intact.

A while back I did talk to a rep who understood why this was happening and tried to change my account so the cable card was the primary device, but he was unsuccessful.

More to come...
Exactly what I ran into. Once I wanted to remove the DVR, by their billing system it wasn't really the Triple Play bundle. That's when retention got involved and they finally figured out how to do it.

The other benefit of retention is they gave me a great 24 month lock in rate.

-Kevin
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Old 06-05-2014, 11:25 AM   #46
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Final update:

I just got off the phone with the CSR. He said that in order to make this happen, he needed to lower my package down to a triple play plus (or something like that...lower tier than the triple play premier) so that he could have the cable card be the main device on the account.

The first thing he asked me is about the channels I watch. I gave him a list, and he asked if I was ok with losing the sports channels. I don't care about them, so they are now removed, but I have all of the other channels. I'm sure this will be custom for whoever has this issue in the future. So that got me to the lower tier.

Once that was in place, he added back in a couple more premium channels (HBO and Starz come with this tier, he added back in Showtime and Cinemax for $2 for 24 months).

Finally, he added in the tivo code, which he says is in the system as "TivoPremier".

After he switched everything around I tested it out while still on the phone with him and everything was working beautifully. No waiting 45 minutes, no nothing. Just works.

If you are having this issue and need to get in touch with the executive service team, here is the email addresses to use:

comcastcares_support@comcast.com

That will get you in touch with someone, and they will get back to you within a day or so. At least, they did for me.

After all of the frustration it turned out to be so simple...the Comcast staff just doesn't know yet that cable cards can access ondemand. Well, they know, but most of them don't remember because it's fairly uncommon.

To boot, my bill is now cheaper than it was. So that's a bonus.
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Old 06-05-2014, 11:29 AM   #47
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Final update:

I just got off the phone with the CSR. He said that in order to make this happen, he needed to lower my package down to a triple play plus (or something like that...lower tier than the triple play premier) so that he could have the cable card be the main device on the account.

The first thing he asked me is about the channels I watch. I gave him a list, and he asked if I was ok with losing the sports channels. I don't care about them, so they are now removed, but I have all of the other channels. I'm sure this will be custom for whoever has this issue in the future. So that got me to the lower tier.

Once that was in place, he added back in a couple more premium channels (HBO and Starz come with this tier, he added back in Showtime and Cinemax for $2 for 24 months).

Finally, he added in the tivo code, which he says is in the system as "TivoPremier".

After he switched everything around I tested it out while still on the phone with him and everything was working beautifully. No waiting 45 minutes, no nothing. Just works.

If you are having this issue and need to get in touch with the executive service team, here is the email addresses to use:

comcastcares_support@comcast.com

That will get you in touch with someone, and they will get back to you within a day or so. At least, they did for me.

After all of the frustration it turned out to be so simple...the Comcast staff just doesn't know yet that cable cards can access ondemand. Well, they know, but most of them don't remember because it's fairly uncommon.

To boot, my bill is now cheaper than it was. So that's a bonus.
Glad you got it resolved. For anyone who would be concerned about losing the sports package....I can confirm that Comcast was able to keep me in Triple Play Premier, and remove the DVR from the account. I didn't want to lost the sports package and the initial rep I talked to said it wasn't possible, but retentions was able to do it (and I also got locked into the $159 rate for 2 years).

-KEvin
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Old 06-05-2014, 12:42 PM   #48
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Glad you got it resolved. For anyone who would be concerned about losing the sports package....I can confirm that Comcast was able to keep me in Triple Play Premier, and remove the DVR from the account. I didn't want to lost the sports package and the initial rep I talked to said it wasn't possible, but retentions was able to do it (and I also got locked into the $159 rate for 2 years).

-KEvin
Interesting. This is good to know as well. I'm sure if I said no he would have come up with another way, but honestly I only watch about 2 dozen channels out of the 8 billion they have (maybe a dozen on a semi-regular basis), so losing channels was not a huge deal for me.

At least they figured it out! Thanks to all of you guys for the advice and support.
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Old 06-06-2014, 01:20 AM   #49
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The HD fee only applies if you get one of their HD boxes.
I went for years without the HD Technology Fee on my account, then it got added when I had one of their HD boxes for a while only to use for On Demand. Then I dumped the box once On Demand came to TiVo, but I still have this stupid HD Tech fee. I have seen so many reports of people being told by a CSR "this code authorizes HD, so if I remove it, you'll lose your HD channels."

Is there some magic dance I can do to make this fee disappear? Should I tweet at the Comcast Cares people? I really do not want to go through CSR telephone hell for this, or worse, stand in line for an hour at my local office.
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Old 06-06-2014, 07:42 AM   #50
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I went for years without the HD Technology Fee on my account, then it got added when I had one of their HD boxes for a while only to use for On Demand. Then I dumped the box once On Demand came to TiVo, but I still have this stupid HD Tech fee. I have seen so many reports of people being told by a CSR "this code authorizes HD, so if I remove it, you'll lose your HD channels."
It's a lie. They have no way to remove just the HD channels.

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Is there some magic dance I can do to make this fee disappear? Should I tweet at the Comcast Cares people? I really do not want to go through CSR telephone hell for this, or worse, stand in line for an hour at my local office.
Tell them to remove the code and credit your account for the charges you incurred after you returned their box. If they refuse, file a complaint with the FCC. FCC regulations require that a CableCARD equipped device "Receive all “linear” channels ... in your subscription package".
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Old 06-06-2014, 08:24 AM   #51
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Is there some magic dance I can do to make this fee disappear? Should I tweet at the Comcast Cares people? I really do not want to go through CSR telephone hell for this, or worse, stand in line for an hour at my local office.
Send that tweet and they will get you to someone who can help. Or just send an email to comcastcares_support@comcast.com. It's the only thing that worked for me, and it was painless once I was on the phone with the executive CSR. It took about a day or two for the call, but it's worth it.
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