Comcast and thier Cabecard charges File a FCC Complaint

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by ED R, Feb 24, 2018.

  1. ED R

    ED R New Member

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    Feb 24, 2018

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    Anyone who has a Tivo and has Comcast service knows that they charge $9.95 for the cable card each month which is the same charge for their full Xfinity X1 cable box per month.

    A number of years ago I moved and for 5 years had AT&T's service for tv, and you couldn't use TIVO with their system at all. But recently I moved to a new place and for the past year I've had the Xfinity H1 service. paying about $50 per month equipment rental. I decided I wanted to go back to the TIVO system so I ordered the new Tivo Bolt VOX system with 4 additional mini bolt boxes to replace the Comcast systems.

    It took me over 3 weeks to get the cablecard to pair up and went through 7 cards and 5 visits by their cable people to make it work. I was also on the phone with Comcast support for probably 80 to 100 hours.

    Finally I got fed up with what was happening and I went online and filed a complaint with the FCC as to what was happening. I truly believe that Comcast is doing everything they can to keep our Tivo's from working with their system. They quit buying new cable cards and are recycling all their old ones even if they don't pair up with tivo type systems. This is all to frustrate us so we will give up and go back to their equipment. I did finally get my tivo to pair with their card. But they again make it very hard to get to anyone at Comcast that understands how to truly pair up the cable card.

    I did how ever after filing a complaint have a Comcast FCC compliant officer call me and email me checking to see if my card had paired and also to explain that the $9.95 was the normal charge. When in fact when the cards first came out they only charged $2 to $4 dollars per month for the cards not the $9.95 which is the same as their best X1 boxes cost per month again I believe to try and get us to go back to their equipment.

    I believe if all of us would send a complaint into the FCC on the cost of the cable cards that the FCC would be forced to look into those costs.

    You can go here to file a complaint it's very easy to do and it forces Comcast to respond directly to you. It also shows the FCC staff that they are gouging the consumers. Here is the place to file a complaint. FCC Complaints
     
  2. sharpfork

    sharpfork New Member

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    When they tried to charge me when I added the card to my account/ picked it up I said "no, first one is free" they looked it up and took the charge off.

    Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
     
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  3. Phil T

    Phil T Well-Known Member

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    I am not being charged but they tried to talk me into using their x1 box for a year free when I signed up. I wonder when the year is up they will start charging me for the cablecard?
     
  4. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    Without citing references, I don't believe the current Comcast charges are accurately represented.

    Comcast doesn't charge anything for the first CableCARD in a device, but do still charge a few bucks if the customer's device requires a second CableCARD (i.e. older boxes lacking M-Card support).

    Comcast offers a $2.50/month per device credit where the customer is supplying their own CableCARD-equipped device in place of a Comcast-supplied digital service box (i.e. boxes capable of on-demand, not the puny DTA type devices).

    Most Comcast packages include the cost for hardware at the primary TV outlet, but, in this digital age, a customer will be charged for any additional locations where they want service: either the nominal fee for a puny DTA-like box incapable of on-demand or $9.95/month for a full digital additional outlet.

    What this means, as examples...
    • A customer with a single TiVo Roamio Pro 6-tuner DVR and 5 Minis would receive a $2.50/month credit relative to the regular Comcast bill. (Single digital outlet with customer-supplied device using a single CableCARD, and Comcast has no knowledge re: Minis.)
    • A customer with just 2 TiVo Multi-CARD DVRs would be paying $4.95 more per month relative to regular Comcast billing for a single outlet package, owing to the second digital outlet ($9.95) and the customer-owned equipment credit for each outlet/location (2 x $2.50).
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2018
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  5. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    I'm surprised you aren't paying more, already, if you have the X1 DVR in addition to TiVo gear. The X1 DVR would normally consume the "free"/included slot for the service package, meaning any CableCARD-equipped TiVo would then be flagged as an "additional outlet" ($9.95/mo) with an associated "customer-owned equipment credit" ($2.50/mo). That is, a "free" X1 DVR would normally end up adding $7.45 to the monthly bill, assuming it supplanted a MultiCARD-capable TiVo DVR as the primary outlet with the TiVo remaining active.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2018
  6. Phil T

    Phil T Well-Known Member

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    I tried the X1 but took it back so I am Tivo only.
     
  7. morac

    morac Cat God TCF Club

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    I’m not charged anything for cableCards with Comcast. In fact I’m getting a $2.50 credit per card. I am charged an $9.99 outlet fee (minus the credit) for a second device, but Comcast charges that for their own devices as well.

    If anything should result in a complaint to the FCC, it’s the obnoxious $15 a month local broadcast and sports fees.
     
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  8. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    Agree with that, especially for the supposedly price-locked plans.

    As an aside, the OP may want to try having the "HD Technology Fee" removed from their account, if present, if they only have TiVo boxes.
     
  9. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    I don't argue with Comcast charging those fees, as they cover costs imposed by local broadcasters and regional sports nets, but the government absolutely should forbid Comcast and others from advertising programming prices that do not include those fees. Not including government-imposed fees (e.g. universal access fee) and taxes is OK but not fees that Comcast chooses to charge and break out separately when they cannot be avoided as part of the programming package.
     
  10. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

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    If you look at your rate chart, that $9.95 charge has nothing to do with CableCards and should be listed as Digital Additional Outlet Service and normally it includes an STB, which is why you should be receiving a $2.50 discount for Customer Owned Equipment (basically the monthly value they've assigned for the STB and the $7.95 is for the digital "service" for that outlet.

    Very surprised at that as my CableCard experience with Comcast has not been bad either the original installs in our 2 S3's 10-11 years ago and the recent (2015) CableCard move from one of the S3's to our Roamio Pro.

    Scott
     
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  11. PSU_Sudzi

    PSU_Sudzi Well-Known Member

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    I am charged $0 for my CableCard and receive a credit of $2.50 for using my own equipment by Comcast.
     
  12. jcthorne

    jcthorne Well-Known Member

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    I told Comcast to take a flying leap over 10 years ago. I see its just gotten worse. 10 yrs of no Comcast has paid for a LOT of home theater equipment, servers and content....and still money ahead.
     
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  13. jadziedzic

    jadziedzic Member

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    A few years back I *did* file an FCC complaint regarding Comcast charging me essentially $9 to use an additional CableCARD-equipped device, based on the FCC ruling that says the rental cost of the CableCARD should be a few dollars. A rep from Comcast did contact me within a few weeks, and explained their rationale that they were charging for "digital services" supplied to the additional outlet, and were not actually charging for the CableCARD. When I inquired as to what "digital services" I was receiving - other than a TV signal - the rep tried dancing around with on demand, but I replied on demand was not available to my CableCARD-equipped TV (yes, owned 2 of those at the time). I seem to recall some nonsense about a portion of the additional outlet fee going to the premium channel provider since I was being allowed to watch the premium channel on multiple sets concurrently. It was obvious I wasn't getting anywhere so I thanked the rep for contacting me and terminated the call.

    Regardless of how we might feel, Comcast believes their charge for an "additional digital outlet" is valid and justified. Given the apparent close ties the current FCC chairman has with the cable/communications industry I don't see the FCC doing anything about this end-run around the regulations. Thank goodness we in the TiVo universe have the option of using a Mini to avoid the additional outlet fee.
     
  14. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

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    Have you turned in your Comcast equipment yet? As mentioned above, once you have no Comcast equipment then the TiVo/CableCard would be your primary device and there would be no additional digital outlet charge and you would get the $2.50 customer owned equipment discount (that's how we are charged).

    Scott
     
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  15. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Well-Known Member

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    John's...
    The "Additional Digital Outlet Fee" is pure profit. Cable companies used to charge for every outlet, Then this was eliminated by the FCC. With the move to digital, they were able to replace this with an even better "solution" as now they can charge for every connection.

    I don't believe for a second that "Comcast believes their charge for an "additional digital outlet" is valid and justified", just that they can get away with. Same with the "HD Technology Fee".
     
  16. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    And fat chance it will be worth your time, including the time you spend listening to the Comcast [any cable co] rep smoothing your feathers and doing nothing substantial.
    Now THAT is the only action that isn't a waste of your time.
    That's an illogical swipe. These "end-runs" existed during the previous FCC chairman's tenure. Why weren't they fixed then?
    Really, what difference does it make what Comcast "believes"?
     
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  17. unclehonkey

    unclehonkey Well-Known Member

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    same here when I had Comcast. They even goofed up and I got "extra" credits. It didnt show up on the 1st two bills so when I called they did a one time adjustment of 27.50 for 11 months then it started showing up as a 2.50 credit.

    Conversely Mediacom where I am now charges me 1.99 a month. Its due to the fact to get the promo I HAVE to have their HD DTA on the account (even though it is no longer hooked up) so this is a "second" outlet. Nice thing is they have their local stations (lifeline) in QAM so I dont really need the box for the other TV.
     
  18. ED R

    ED R New Member

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    Feb 24, 2018
    Thank you for all your updates on your experience with Comcast and the cable card charges. As I remembered it better when I had Tivo a number years ago I thought there was not this kind of charge. I have responded back to Comcast and will to the FCC with some of your information.

    Here is what this Comcast person had to say to me regarding what I had sent to the FCC:

    I am contacting you to let you know that we have received your FCC case noted above and my contact information is below. Are you still having issues with activating a cable card or cards. If so, please provide the information below, as well as the exact symptoms you are experiencing, i.e. error messages. Regarding our pricing structure, all full service additional video outlets are $9.95, regardless of who owns the device, and this has been in place for several years. Comcast fully supports customer owned equipment as long as it is acquired legally and compatible with our systems. I apologize for the multiple contacts and service calls that have been made in an attempt to resolve this issue.

    -Cable card serial number -Host ID -Data ID this is what is required to assist with the activating of the card.

    Thank you,
    Artus Jackson, Customer Contact Specialist
    Comcast Regulatory Compliance Team

    As you can see he spells it out what that there charges are to be..

    Clearly there is something that is not right with either their training of even their regulatory staff or their sales reps regarding the cost of a cable card. If I'm a good example of what they can get away with then how many millions are they making from all of us that are having to face this charge.. I hope I can get some answers from them as I will continue to pursue it until I get the right answer and see if there is a FCC ruling that says they have to not charge us for the first card and that we are given a $2.50 credit per month.
     
  19. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    This statement from Artus Jackson is accurate:

    "Regarding our pricing structure, all full service additional video outlets are $9.95, regardless of who owns the device..."

    ... noting that he said "additional outlets" and opted to not mention the customer-owned equipment credit.

    How many TiVo DVRs are you trying to get working, and do you have ANY Comcast set-top boxes still active or on your account? If you have any Comcast boxes in your setup, then your TiVo DVR will be tagged as an additional outlet, and trigger the $9.95/month "additional outlet" fee.


    p.s. Though, in retrospect, I see that my earlier comment where I said... "Most Comcast packages include the cost for hardware at the primary TV outlet" ... should have said "service and hardware at the primary outlet." The $9.95 "additional outlet" fee covers both service and hardware, with the $2.50 customer-owned equipment credit accounting for what Comcast views as the hardware portion of the fee.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2018
  20. ED R

    ED R New Member

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    Feb 24, 2018
    I have only the one TIVO Bolt Vox DVR and 4 mini's and I told them that. I understand there would be an additional charge if you had more then one card. I've tried to make it clear to them that was the case. I will be interested to see his response to the email I just sent him attaching a copy of the blog responses I got showing exactly what people are saying. If he responds that it's for each card even if you only have the one card I will again contact the FCC and ask them to clarify what the actual regulation is that allows them to do that and if it was a change when did it go into effect. Clearly what he said about "additional outlets" I understood what he was saying but I had made it clear I only had the one card and no other of their equipment on my property..
     

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