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Old 08-13-2007, 03:44 PM   #3211
clemon79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kido
I called Comcast and told the CSR to go to http://www.comcast.com and do a search on "cablecards how much". The results show the following page:

http://www.comcast.com/customers/faq...s.ashx?ID=2651

which pretty much lays out what you should be paying. Now, whether the CSR will be able to actually change your account to reflect this policy is anyone's guess, but they will know after reading that page that the additional outlet is in error.
MOST interesting. Thank you very much. I knew $6.95 was too much, I expected it to be around $1.50 or so. I will absolutely be citing that when I call them tonight to activate these two CableCards.

In poking around, I found this:

http://www.comcast.com/customers/faq...s.ashx?ID=2540

Based on this, it seems to me I should be charged:
  • Nothing for my cable box (it's included in my digital cable fees)
  • Nothing for the first CableCard (first hit's free!)
  • No more than $1.91 for the second one.
I think they're trying to pop me for an extra outlet because the second box is hooked up in my bedroom, but they've never done this before (and that box has been there for a while) and it seems it's none of their business where I have these hooked up: the nutshell is that I get the box and CableCard included and the second one is $1.91 or less. So I'm just gonna tell them that I have the box in the living room for On Demand purposes and that it's all one outlet and they need to fix this.

Last edited by clemon79 : 08-13-2007 at 03:56 PM.
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Old 08-13-2007, 04:10 PM   #3212
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clemon79
MOST interesting. Thank you very much. I knew $6.95 was too much, I expected it to be around $1.50 or so. I will absolutely be citing that when I call them tonight to activate these two CableCards.

In poking around, I found this:

http://www.comcast.com/customers/faq...s.ashx?ID=2540

Based on this, it seems to me I should be charged:
  • Nothing for my cable box (it's included in my digital cable fees)
  • Nothing for the first CableCard (first hit's free!)
  • No more than $1.91 for the second one.
I think they're trying to pop me for an extra outlet because the second box is hooked up in my bedroom, but they've never done this before (and that box has been there for a while) and it seems it's none of their business where I have these hooked up: the nutshell is that I get the box and CableCard included and the second one is $1.91 or less. So I'm just gonna tell them that I have the box in the living room for On Demand purposes and that it's all one outlet and they need to fix this.
Well good luck. I've argued with numerous Comcast reps about this fee and all they do is conveniantly change their description of what it's actually for. At the end of the day they will tell you it's been dropped and then you will still see it show up on your bill.

And as for the "first box is free" they will tell you that it is for digital cable only. If you want an HD capable box that is an extra $7. Even with the FCC mandate that all broadcasts have to go HD/Digital by the end of the year 2008.
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Old 08-13-2007, 04:13 PM   #3213
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Originally Posted by jmpage2
And as for the "first box is free" they will tell you that it is for digital cable only. If you want an HD capable box that is an extra $7. Even with the FCC mandate that all broadcasts have to go HD/Digital by the end of the year 2008.
I believe it's 2009, and the mandate is that broadcasts go digital - which is unrelated to going HD.
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Old 08-13-2007, 04:18 PM   #3214
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also one says OVER THE AIR broadcasts have to go digital- cable can stay analog as long as they want (although the fcc is hoping they go all digital by then too...)

the actual date is just after the superbowl in 2009 (they dont want to piss off everyone trying to watch the superbowl on analog tv's
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Old 08-13-2007, 04:20 PM   #3215
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmpage2
Well good luck. I've argued with numerous Comcast reps about this fee and all they do is conveniantly change their description of what it's actually for. At the end of the day they will tell you it's been dropped and then you will still see it show up on your bill.
I have no problems with calling back repeatedly and moving as far up the food chain as possible.
Quote:
And as for the "first box is free" they will tell you that it is for digital cable only.
Which I have, so we're good.
Quote:
If you want an HD capable box that is an extra $7.
Which I don't. I'm fine with SD on this box, since for their purposes I'm only using it for On Demand, anyhow...the HD is gonna be on the Tivo with the CableCards. Nothing says I have to have an HD box just because I have an HDTV if I don't care about it not putting out an HD signal, right?
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Old 08-13-2007, 05:25 PM   #3216
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clemon79
I have no problems with calling back repeatedly and moving as far up the food chain as possible.
Once you have everything functioning, write a detailed letter to Comcast's corporate offices regarding your billing. Don't waste your time re-explaining yourself to CSR's by phone.
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Old 08-13-2007, 05:44 PM   #3217
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Originally Posted by dswallow
Once you have everything functioning, write a detailed letter to Comcast's corporate offices regarding your billing. Don't waste your time re-explaining yourself to CSR's by phone.
Well, I'll try talking to them first, since I have to call to get the CableCard turned on anyhow. If they don't snap to and recognize this is a screwup (and it IS a screwup...my friend with exactly the same setup is being charged the usual digital cable rate + $1.79 for the second card), then I'll look into a letter.

The thing with a letter is that I really don't want to wait for them to drag their heels responding to it (if they even bother...I'm pretty sure it would just wind up in the trash), I want this fixed and fixed NOW. And it WILL be fixed.

I do appreciate the suggestion, though.
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Old 08-13-2007, 06:59 PM   #3218
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clemon79
I think they're trying to pop me for an extra outlet because the second box is hooked up in my bedroom, but they've never done this before (and that box has been there for a while) and it seems it's none of their business where I have these hooked up: the nutshell is that I get the box and CableCard included and the second one is $1.91 or less. So I'm just gonna tell them that I have the box in the living room for On Demand purposes and that it's all one outlet and they need to fix this.
Don't bother lying about what room the box is in. I don't think they'll care. It's an "outlet" fee, not a "television" fee. If you have two digital outlets on the same television (two boxes, a TiVo and a box, a TiVo and a cablecard in the TV), that's two outlets to them. I think, roughly defined, an outlet is a self-contained piece of machinery that can receive a digital cable signal. It's not "a room" or "a television."

I have three outlets and they only charge me for one extra, though. I'm not sure why that is. Maybe because the third is a DVR and the additional outlet is wrapped up in the DVR fee. But I think it's probably just an oversight by them.
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Old 08-13-2007, 06:59 PM   #3219
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clemon79
Well, I'll try talking to them first, since I have to call to get the CableCard turned on anyhow. If they don't snap to and recognize this is a screwup (and it IS a screwup...my friend with exactly the same setup is being charged the usual digital cable rate + $1.79 for the second card), then I'll look into a letter.

The thing with a letter is that I really don't want to wait for them to drag their heels responding to it (if they even bother...I'm pretty sure it would just wind up in the trash), I want this fixed and fixed NOW. And it WILL be fixed.

I do appreciate the suggestion, though.
Go the ol' Supervisor route. It works 99% of the time if you have a forceful personality.

Immediately ask to talk to a Supervisor when a CSR answers the phone -- and then get the Supervisor's name. If they can't help you, get the name of the Supervisor's boss. If this doesn't work, then you have actual names to put into a letter -- should you even have to go that far. It'll help in stating your case.
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Old 08-13-2007, 07:18 PM   #3220
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Originally Posted by aindik
Don't bother lying about what room the box is in. I don't think they'll care. It's an "outlet" fee, not a "television" fee.
Then they're contradicting themselves, because the FAQ I linked to...here, lemme link it again for convenience:

http://www.comcast.com/customers/faq...s.ashx?ID=2540

...states in that last question (before the truncated one) that they will be happy to provide me with a digital cable box at no charge so I can use the On Demand stuff I am paying for. (And, again, I can cite someone I know with exactly the same setup who is only being charged $1.79 for the additional card.)

They really don't have a single leg to stand on here.
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Old 08-13-2007, 07:28 PM   #3221
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clemon79
Then they're contradicting themselves, because the FAQ I linked to...here, lemme link it again for convenience:

http://www.comcast.com/customers/faq...s.ashx?ID=2540

...states in that last question (before the truncated one) that they will be happy to provide me with a digital cable box at no charge so I can use the On Demand stuff I am paying for. (And, again, I can cite someone I know with exactly the same setup who is only being charged $1.79 for the additional card.)

They really don't have a single leg to stand on here.
The cable box is at no charge for your primary outlet. That doesn't say that they won't charge you for your second outlet (i.e., the cablecard).
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Old 08-13-2007, 07:33 PM   #3222
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Originally Posted by aindik
The cable box is at no charge for your primary outlet. That doesn't say that they won't charge you for your second outlet (i.e., the cablecard).
When that's listed in a FAQ about CableCards? Sorry, I just don't interpret it that way. The point is that they are giving you the box to make up for the fact that the CableCard doesn't give you all of the services that it should.

Dig: If I just get one card, and stick it in my Tivo, they don't blink, I get charged nothing extra, it's all good. The first one is FREE, that's well established. The second one is going into the very same Tivo, connected to the very same outlet. It is NOT an additional outlet, because it isn't even a different device.

I see what you're trying to say, but I don't buy your argument.

(Especially since, again, I know someone who is being charged correctly.)
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Old 08-13-2007, 08:07 PM   #3223
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aindik
The cable box is at no charge for your primary outlet. That doesn't say that they won't charge you for your second outlet (i.e., the cablecard).
No, that's really a special case for Comcast... they want you to have access to VOD and PPV items and will give at no extra charge at all a digital box capable of receiving them to CableCARD customers.

However if it offers HD or DVR capabilities, they may charge you those supplemental fees.
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Old 08-13-2007, 08:13 PM   #3224
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Originally Posted by dswallow
No, that's really a special case for Comcast... they want you to have access to VOD and PPV items and will give at no extra charge at all a digital box capable of receiving them to CableCARD customers.

However if it offers HD or DVR capabilities, they may charge you those supplemental fees.
Seriously? So, if all you have is a TiVoHD and a non-HD box, there should be no additional outlet fee? Or do I have to lie and tell them that the box is in the living room right on top of the TiVo to get that deal?

If that's the case, then switching to a TiVoHD reduces my cable bill by $11.95 + $8.90 - $1.50 = $19.35 a month. That more than pays for itself over a 36 month period.
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Old 08-13-2007, 08:29 PM   #3225
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Originally Posted by mhargr03
Well here's a good one...called Comcast, got through to a tech support person in the Woodridge, IL call center. After a total of about 45 min on hold (she checked in once in a while to tell me she was still looking it up and asking other people in the office) the rep came back and said: "I'm sorry, but we will have CableCARDS in about 1-2 years. The technology is not available yet but it is something we hope to offer in the future." Nice. I guess I'll just go pick one up at a location several on the board have already gotten them from...
I am in Antioch, IL. and had the new Motorola M-card multistream installed by Comcast yesterday. First card was bad, second worked like a charm
Tivo HD only needs one M-card to get the dual tuners goin.
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Old 08-13-2007, 08:35 PM   #3226
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Originally Posted by AGBulls
I can't even stress how absolutely IDENTICAL your story is to mine. In fact, it's kind of freaky. However, I'm still stuck! I now get very basic channels and HD locals, no digital programming at all.

Both cards in my Tivo appear to be properly paired. However, when you say to "Call back until you get someone who can do a "Init, Hit, Refresh" do you mean to have them reinitialize the card?

What does Init stand for? I just need some clarification before I call them again.
Call and tell them you want a complete rest of your acct, the standard test doesn't do it. I had only local stuff, and when they did a full reset it was all good.
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Old 08-13-2007, 08:41 PM   #3227
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Originally Posted by RavenFan
This is so true. I do software for a living, and I always to try to act like I know just enough to ask the right leading questions when dealing with IT people. They seem to respond so much better when I sound helpless.

On the other hand, I really am a village idiot when it comes to things like car repairs. I don't need to act.



I have noticed the pixelization problem on mine as well, but it is so minor that I can deal with it. It does not happen often on mine.
Not sure it's just a tivo thing though...I see pixelation on my Tivo HD, Series 2 and was seeing it on the Comcast Motorola HD box also. Minimal but it's there.
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Old 08-13-2007, 08:43 PM   #3228
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Originally Posted by AGBulls
I can't even stress how absolutely IDENTICAL your story is to mine. In fact, it's kind of freaky. However, I'm still stuck! I now get very basic channels and HD locals, no digital programming at all.

Both cards in my Tivo appear to be properly paired. However, when you say to "Call back until you get someone who can do a "Init, Hit, Refresh" do you mean to have them reinitialize the card?

What does Init stand for? I just need some clarification before I call them again.
According to the Comcast CSR that I chatted with for about an hour last weekend:

He said that he has the ability to send four types of hits which he described as:

Validation - Pairs the host and card (with data number)
Initialization - resets the channel mapping (frequency to channel number)
Hit - sends the authorization codes for channels that you can receive
Cold Init - reloads the cc firmware and initializes (although I think that it actually just resets and restarts the firmware).
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Old 08-13-2007, 08:47 PM   #3229
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Can anyone who has written a letter about removing the additional outlet charge tell me whom they have addressed it to? i am ready to go that route. I have talked to more than one CSR on the phone, sent two e-mails and done a live chat, with no success. LIke many people on this forum, I have been told that it's the same charge for a second CableCARD as for a second outlet or that the second CableCARD counts as a second outlet even if it's installed in the same device. Sending them the FAQ that talks about multi-card devices on the SAME outlet has not helped.
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Old 08-13-2007, 08:52 PM   #3230
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Can anyone who has written a letter about removing the additional outlet charge tell me whom they have addressed it to? i am ready to go that route. I have talked to more than one CSR on the phone, sent two e-mails and done a live chat, with no success. LIke many people on this forum, I have been told that it's the same charge for a second CableCARD as for a second outlet or that the second CableCARD counts as a second outlet even if it's installed in the same device. Sending them the FAQ that talks about multi-card devices on the SAME outlet has not helped.
That is what I was told also, first card is free, second card is same as an additional outlet fee.
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Old 08-13-2007, 09:16 PM   #3231
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This FAQ answer--which I think is based on an FCC regulation--says that the CableCARD fee won't be more than $1.91:
http://www.comcast.com/Customers/FAQ...s.ashx?Id=2651
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Old 08-13-2007, 09:30 PM   #3232
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcddc
Can anyone who has written a letter about removing the additional outlet charge tell me whom they have addressed it to? i am ready to go that route. I have talked to more than one CSR on the phone, sent two e-mails and done a live chat, with no success. LIke many people on this forum, I have been told that it's the same charge for a second CableCARD as for a second outlet or that the second CableCARD counts as a second outlet even if it's installed in the same device. Sending them the FAQ that talks about multi-card devices on the SAME outlet has not helped.
Just address it to the Office of the President at Comcast's headquarters in Philadelphia, PA. From there it'll get to someone who knows what they're doing.
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Old 08-13-2007, 10:33 PM   #3233
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clemon79
"The cable box is at no charge for your primary outlet. That doesn't say that they won't charge you for your second outlet (i.e., the cablecard)."

When that's listed in a FAQ about CableCards? Sorry, I just don't interpret it that way.
Comcast interpreted it that way for me, the box was free, but I got an additional outlet fee. The box went back.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dswallow
No, that's really a special case for Comcast... they want you to have access to VOD and PPV items and will give at no extra charge at all a digital box capable of receiving them to CableCARD customers.
Again, their version of free differs from mine. So I can't get VOD or PPV, its their loss.
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Old 08-13-2007, 10:34 PM   #3234
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Originally Posted by robtech
That is what I was told also, first card is free, second card is same as an additional outlet fee.
That is incorrect.

Make sure you have the "S3 Tivo package" on your account and the second card will be $1.50, not $6.95 or whatever the digital outlet fee is.

Even better, get an MCard and have no additional fee.
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Old 08-14-2007, 02:55 AM   #3235
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So here's the result from tonight's action:

The first person I called, when told that I had two new cards I wanted to try, said "You have an appointment here for a service call. Why don't you just wait until then?" When I said "No, because I would rather not have to miss a day of work to take care of that call, I would like to try these," she put me on hold a while, came back, and said "We would REALLY rather you let the person come out tomorrow and do it." I then informed her that I had no problem hanging up and calling back until I got someone who would help me, and was she going to do it or not, and that seemed to change her attitude. Reluctantly. It was obvious she had no idea what to do about this. I probably should have hung up and called back anyhow.

Anyhow: I got put on hold for another 10 minutes while she and about three other people tried to figure out how to clear the old cards from my record to try the new ones. Eventually, she did, and then we started installing them. Of course, she wanted to try the second slot before we confirmed the first one was working. The card in Slot 2 eventually worked. The one in Slot 1 did not. She tried and tried and tried, and finally confessed she was out of ideas.

So I said "Okay, well, this card in Slot 2 works, but I can't keep it there, let's get it paired up over in Slot 1 and then I at least have partial functionality tonight." In talking I found out that this poor girl had stayed an hour past her quitting time to help me, so I said "Look, I can call back in and do that with someone else if you want to go home, I know how that is." She said she would try to find someone to transfer me to so she could get them up to speed on what was going on.

That someone ended up being her supervisor (whose name I took down) and she went back to the "can't you wait until tomorrow?" well, and I said "Look. Would you not agree that getting me partial functionality tonight and having the guy come out tomorrow to finish the job is better than leaving me with NOTHING and having the guy come out tomorrow anyhow?" She says "Of course!" I say "Great! Then we're on the same page. Let's get to work." Silence on the other end of the phone while logic sinks in, and she tells me someone would call me back. I press for an ETA, she says 15 minutes. Okay, it's 8:00P and I need to fix something quick for dinner anyhow.

Closer to 8:20 and I'm just about to call back, and "Andreas" calls me. And Andreas ROCKS. He understands exactly what I want to do, gets the card that works working in the right slot, and tried like HELL to get the other card working. It turns out that Andreas was in charge of training a good bit of the call floor on how to handle Tivo / CableCard setups. Alas, he can't do it. I'm satisfied that he at least tried, that was all I wanted, so I was resigned to having the dude come out tomorrow.

We then move to the billing issue. I explain that they're trying to charge me for an additional outlet, they shouldn't be, and I would like that charge taken off. Andreas resists a little, and then I show him the FAQs that explain exactly what we've discussed here...that the CableCard / cable box combo is supposed to be included in the main fee, and the extra card should be $1.79. He looks them over, and agrees. He makes the changes to my account, and I review with him what I'm expecting to be charged for, and we're all on the same page. (We'll see if it's actually taken care of when the bill comes. Since Andreas had a clue, I suspect it will be.)

Run through Guided Setup, reboot the box, let it grab channels, and the first card works; I'm getting all of the channels I should be getting, including the HD cable channels. Spiffy.

So that's where I am as of Monday night. The tech is supposed to come between 10:00a and noon tomorrow, and all he needs to do is get a card in Slot 2 that will work, having already confirmed that this is a Tivo that IS capable of initializing and activating a card in that slot.

I'll report back...
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Old 08-14-2007, 04:52 AM   #3236
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This FAQ answer--which I think is based on an FCC regulation--says that the CableCARD fee won't be more than $1.91:
http://www.comcast.com/Customers/FAQ...s.ashx?Id=2651
Don't forget the last line in that FAQ:

Quote:
Disclaimer: Regulated Prices quoted above may not apply in all markets. Please call 1-800-COMCAST to learn more about Regulated Prices for your area

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Old 08-14-2007, 05:13 AM   #3237
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That's true. Maybe what I should cite instead is the line on the pricing sheet the local area mailed me stating "CableCard (dual CableCards for non-Comcast HD PVRs requiring 2 cards) $1.50"
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Old 08-14-2007, 05:27 AM   #3238
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They're counting outlets based on which physical outlets have digital service at the end of them. If you've always had analog service, and then switch to digital (either voluntarily or involuntarily) then you've gained and additional outlet.
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Old 08-14-2007, 05:48 AM   #3239
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The outlet fee usually refers to Digital Outlets. At one time they used to list it on the bill as Digital A/O (Digital Additional Outlet). In my experience they have always considered two cablecards in one device as two outlets. The first outlet was included in the digital package fee, but they charged for the "additional outlet". After a lot of arguing I got them to drop the charge for the additional outlet (second cablecard in S3), based on the fact I was paying a package price for their triple-play and was not using their DVR (which was included in the package).

All of the pricing that they show on their website for cablecards, is just that - pricing for the cablecards. They still have the option to charge for the additional digital outlet.
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Old 08-14-2007, 06:12 AM   #3240
jcddc
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 23
Well, the FAQ refers to a multi-card device connected to the SAME outlet [emphasis added].

But you're right that it's possible they are charging the correct amount, and are simply not being completely clear (at least not to me) about their pricing schedule.

I may wait instead until the promised software update to the Series 3 enabling multistream card support and then switching to a single card.
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