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Old 02-22-2013, 03:30 PM   #1
BermudaLamb
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Comcast MCard Cost

I know that this is a big question for a bunch of us. So let share some pain... I have two TiVos (Premiere and Premiere XL4), and one Cable box. I get charged 9.95 / month for HD Technology Fee, 9.95 / month for Digital Access and Cable card, this covers my cable box and the Premiere, then I get charged another $9.95 for the Cable Card for the new Premiere XL4.

From the way the sales person explained it, yes I called them up, the first charge brings HD to the house and authorizes it all outlets. That's a joke since they don't really support the wiring in the house anymore, and the first thing the tech always does is check the outlet with a bandwidth meter.

The second 9.95 covers digital access and a cable card. Has anyone else noticed that the Comcast HD cable box has an mCard shoved in it? I think the digital access is the cable box, because they told me it would be 9.95 to get a second HD box.

I know the third $9.95 covers the new mCard for the Premiere XL4, since I just added that one. So there is my mCard story.

BTW, I'm in the Chicago Northwest Suburbs market place. Sure wish I could buy my own mCard, like I can buy my own modem.
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:08 PM   #2
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I have a local cable co. and they charge $7.99 for HD and $2.99 for cable cards beyond the first one. The Motorola DVR we have in the bedroom right now has a M-card in it, just behind a screwed on shield.
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:13 PM   #3
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Is there a question here? Comcast billing policies are well known and discussed.
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:56 PM   #4
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Here the cable card is free and hd is $9.99. Extra cards cost after the first not sure how much.
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Old 02-23-2013, 12:45 AM   #5
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Here the cable card is free and hd is $9.99. Extra cards cost after the first not sure how much.
My triple plan has one HD cable box, I also have 4 CC at a cost of 1.15/card/month, about a year ago Comcast dropped the price from $1.50. I have no AO charge.

Franchise Related Cost 01/25 - 02/24 0.64
(Cost Associated With Local Access
Programming, Facilities, Equipment Or Other
Related License Requirements)
Digital Adapter Service 01/25 - 02/24 0.00
Additional Outlet
Digital Adapter Service 01/25 - 02/24 0.00
Additional Outlet
2nd Cablecard 01/25 - 02/24 4.60
Same Outlet.
Qty 4 @ $1.15 each
Total Additional XFINITY TV Services $5.24

I return the two Digital Adapters that Comcast will star charging for in March.
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Old 02-23-2013, 08:33 AM   #6
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Is there a question here? Comcast billing policies are well known and discussed.
Yep, subject to the phases of the moon, whether your life insurance is paid up, what your favorite color is, etc.

In other words, YMMV even within the same billing area. There is no telling what anyone will be billed for cards in a Comcast system.
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:39 PM   #7
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I just bought 2 Tivo Premiers and Comcast in San Francisco charges $1.25 for each cable card.
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Old 02-28-2013, 10:10 AM   #8
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The two fees of $9.95 a month is an outlet fee. They charge you that for each outlet that feeds a TV. It doesnt matter if it is the output from one of their boxes or from a Tivo. They should be charging you for one of the two cable cards that you have.
They should also be giving you a credit of about $2.95 a month for not needing one of their boxes or one of their remotes since you are using a self provided Tivo. Since you have two Tivo's you should get that credit twice.
However, it seems that each Comcast rep charges every one differently. So you need to ask for the Customer Loyality Progam Rep. They have access to deals that the regular rep doesnt have and can make deals. I was able to get Showtime for free for a year by dealing with them a few years ago.
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Old 02-28-2013, 12:28 PM   #9
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Comcast several years ago decided that they would declare the Cable Cards as digital outlets. The cost skyrocketed from 1.50/each to 9.95. This is blood money for not using there boxes by charging the same amount as the box.
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Old 02-28-2013, 01:33 PM   #10
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Comcast several years ago decided that they would declare the Cable Cards as digital outlets. The cost skyrocketed from 1.50/each to 9.95. This is blood money for not using there boxes by charging the same amount as the box.
I own a Series 3 Tivo HD and a new Series 4 Premier 4. I've been paying $1.10 for the cablecard for the HD for a while, and when I went to Comcast in San Jose at the beginning of Feb. for the cablecard for the Premier, they wanted to charge me an additional $9.95/month. I was told that Comcast was raising the outlet rate to $9.95 on all new outlets. I asked when was this told to customers, and was informed that it wasn't, but it was an internal Comcast memo. I asked to talk to a supervisor, and was given his telephone number and that he would call me the next day.

Over the next hour, the customer service rep who was helping me changed the price to $1.10 for the new cablecard and called my home to confirm. The reason was that I only subscribe to Basic Cable. If I had a Digital Cable subscription, then it would have been $9.95 because as you said, it's a "digital outlet".

So, if you can live without the Digital Cable channels added and want to save some money, change your subscription to Basic Cable.
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Old 02-28-2013, 03:11 PM   #11
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I think some people are confusing the cost of the cable card and the cost of the output signal from a Tivo. Any device that outputs a signal that is sent to a TV is charged the $9.25. That includes even their own box. On your bill there should be a credit for not using their box and their remote. On my bill it shows the outlet fee as:

Additional Xfinity TV services:
Digital Additional Outlet Service........$9.25

The credit is listed as:
Additional Xfinity TV Services:
Cable card Digital Equiment Credit....-$2.95
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Old 02-28-2013, 04:39 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by SNJpage1 View Post
I think some people are confusing the cost of the cable card and the cost of the output signal from a Tivo. Any device that outputs a signal that is sent to a TV is charged the $9.25. That includes even their own box. On your bill there should be a credit for not using their box and their remote. On my bill it shows the outlet fee as:

Additional Xfinity TV services:
Digital Additional Outlet Service........$9.25

The credit is listed as:
Additional Xfinity TV Services:
Cable card Digital Equiment Credit....-$2.95
It has been said over and over Comcast does not charge in the same way in the same area never mind in difference areas or states, you will never get the same answer about Comcast charges, in my case Comcast never charged me the A/O charge now they took the line A/O off the bill.
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Old 02-28-2013, 04:41 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by SNJpage1 View Post
I think some people are confusing the cost of the cable card and the cost of the output signal from a Tivo. Any device that outputs a signal that is sent to a TV is charged the $9.25. That includes even their own box. On your bill there should be a credit for not using their box and their remote. On my bill it shows the outlet fee as:

Additional Xfinity TV services:
Digital Additional Outlet Service........$9.25

The credit is listed as:
Additional Xfinity TV Services:
Cable card Digital Equiment Credit....-$2.95
Believe it or not, this charge varies according to Comcast areas. In our area, we are paying $9.95 with only a $2.50 credit. That is in addition to a HD Technology fee that started about 10 months ago.

The sad thing is that Comcast was charging a flat $2.50 per card up until about 8 months ago and that's what they still should be charging. Charging the equivalent of a full price box cost for just a card is just gouging pure and simple.
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Old 02-28-2013, 05:04 PM   #14
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Charging the equivalent of a full price box cost for just a card is just gouging pure and simple.
Exactly and this is why I want the mini so bad. I get one cable card for free or $1 or something but if I want a 2nd or 3rd it is much more and I refuse to pay it.
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Old 02-28-2013, 06:13 PM   #15
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grey ghost, are you sure the $9.95 was for the cable card or was it the outlet fee that gets added for every device that sends a signal to a TV? If it was for the cable card then every one in your area should be demanding a refund.
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Old 02-28-2013, 10:50 PM   #16
grey ghost
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grey ghost, are you sure the $9.95 was for the cable card or was it the outlet fee that gets added for every device that sends a signal to a TV? If it was for the cable card then every one in your area should be demanding a refund.
Why should you have to pay for every outlet that sends a signal to the TV?? Do you have to pay for every outlet that you plug your house telephone into? No.

Without the Tivo and the cable card, that outlet is still getting the same signal and there is no cost attached. I'm paying for the Tivo out of my own pocket and I'm paying Comcast for the cable card too. There is no further cost to Comcast in accessing that outlet and certainly no reason to charge the same as their cost for a digital box. On top of that, many areas of the country are now paying a separate "Advanced Technology Fee" to get digital access to your home.

The Comcast bill says:

"Digital Access Fee: Includes One Cable Card and Digital Access" - $9.95
"Customer Owned Equipment" $-2.50
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Old 03-01-2013, 06:14 AM   #17
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Arguing about whether they should or should not charge for outlets is pointless. FCC complaints have been filed about them skirting the intent of the card rental rules, Comcast has responded that they are appropriate, it's entirely YMMV as to whether you will get hit by these or some other random card charge ($1.10, $1.50, free, etc.). Possibly minus some random credit, usually $2.50 or $2.95.

Y'all can discuss this until the cows come home but there's absolutely no rhyme or reason to how Comcast charges for cards in ANY area for ANYONE. Even within the same area, it's possible that people get charged differently - that's happening in the ATL right now as well as other areas.

If you don't like what you get charged, escalate to corporate (I did, and now I pay nothing for two cards but had an outlet for the 2nd one before. I also get credits for both cards. I don't know why.) The local reps are usually useless.

Last edited by slowbiscuit : 03-01-2013 at 06:22 AM.
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Old 03-01-2013, 12:47 PM   #18
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grey ghost, Comcast charges the outlet fee because they are trying to say each output places a strain on their system. I am not saying I agree with that but just explaining why they do it. Now as far as the remark about the telephone jack. At one time the phone companies did charge you for each phone in the house. Back then you could only get phones from the phone company and had to pay a rental fee for each one. That changed after they broke up the phone companies.
As others have mentioned there is no way to figure out how Comcast charges for services. However, I have found that by getting one of their packages I was able to wheel and deal on a few things. My new package starts March 16th 2013. They said they are not going to charge me the outlet fee for my TivoHD as part of the package. I will have to wait and see what happens. They also did away with the install charge for having them come out and set up my any room DVR using one of their DVR's and a special box that is used for that service.
There is an email address that you can write to with a problem you might be having with Comcast. I will try to find it in my paper work and post it on here. I had a problem where three channels kept disappearing on my TivoHD but were OK with their DVR sitting next to it. They were out five times trying to figure out what was wrong. They said it was a Tivo problem. I ended up emailing the people and explained that there is no way I can prove that it isnt a Comcast problem with out paying $150 to replace the Tivo. Since we could still watch the channels on their DVR I gave up trying to fix the problem. The person who replied to my email , having worked with me trying to fix the problem said that she would arrange for me to get a $50 a month discount for 12 months because of the problems I was having and that they could not actually prove if it was their problem or Tivo's.
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Old 03-01-2013, 12:59 PM   #19
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The email address that puts you in contact with a person at the corporate level is:

we_can_help@comcast.com

They are also there on the weekends. I sent the email on a Sunday morning asking for help and they called me around 4 PM that same day.
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Old 03-01-2013, 05:12 PM   #20
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The email address that puts you in contact with a person at the corporate level is:

we_can_help@comcast.com

They are also there on the weekends. I sent the email on a Sunday morning asking for help and they called me around 4 PM that same day.
SNJ, you were the one who was questioning that $9.95 was the charge for 1 cable card. I simply provided you with the fact that the only way to get a cable card was to play $9.95 however it is justified. The charges for cable cards within Comcast are all over the map with no pattern or reasoning. As I have said, they were a pretty uniform $2.50 until 8-10 months ago when they started adding a digital access charge on top of the card charges plus the additional tech fee.

I thank you for providing Comcast help address, but I was aware of it from searching the Comcast site looking at cable card charges. I personally think the FCC is the one who needs to address this, not Comcast.

Last edited by grey ghost : 03-01-2013 at 05:29 PM.
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:33 PM   #21
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grey ghost, Comcast charges the outlet fee because they are trying to say each output places a strain on their system. I am not saying I agree with that but just explaining why they do it. Now as far as the remark about the telephone jack. At one time the phone companies did charge you for each phone in the house. Back then you could only get phones from the phone company and had to pay a rental fee for each one. That changed after they broke up the phone companies.
I don't think it was after they broke up the phone companies. I can't find it at the moment, but I thought it was a 1960s Supreme Court decision about letting someone sell equipment that hooked to the phone lines that lead to people being able to own their own phones.

The breakup was in 1983 (according to Wikipedia).
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:22 AM   #22
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mattack, they both were about the same time but I do believe you are right that it was more of the being able to sell phones by any one. The break up took affect Jan of1984. I cant find the date customers were allowed to own their own phones. I started in 1970 and it was after that. Both things were a night mare. I am retired from the phone company and lived thru both. We actually had to provide space free of charge to any one who wanted to create their own phone company in the central offices. It was like the government telling a Ford dealer that he had to provide an office and a desk in their building so that some one else who wanted to sell Fords didnt have to rent their own building. The government also said the phone companies had to sell a phone line at a discount to the new company so that they could re sell the line for less than what the phone company charged a customer.
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