Comcast Cable CARDS

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by BellevueTivoFan, Sep 12, 2006.

  1. Oknarf

    Oknarf New Member

    Oct 30, 2003
    Hampton, NH


    Per my conversation with Comcast yesterday, here in NE the first is free and any subsequent card is $2.75.

    At least the pricing seems to be consistent in the areas they cover. :eek:
  2. jfh3

    jfh3 Active Member

    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
  3. cmaasfamily

    cmaasfamily New Member

    Jan 26, 2006
    Stopped by the Comcast office in my area - north Atlanta metro.

    No self-install allowed. (I knew that from two prior installs, but gave it a shot.)

    Never heard of a multi-stream card. (No surprise there.)

    Said I would have to pay additional outlet fee for each card. (Not true but I'll take that argument up when the bill comes.)

    Here was the particularly bad news: first available truck roll for a cable card install: Oct. 12! I just had one installed two weeks ago and the wait was three weeks, now its over four!

    I think its a ploy to discourge use. Not gonna work with me.

    Whatta think - call the 800 number, call the local number, revisit when someone else is on duty?
  4. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    You just had bad luck and got a clueless CSR.

    If you can, I would take a trip to the local office. When you call on the phone, you may get someone who has only had that job for a week, and and they can refuse to talk to a supervisor (or lie about doing so). The representatives at the office desk tend to be more knowledgable, because they've been working there longer. If you have a question or issue, or you think something said isn't correct (as in this case), you can ask to speak to the office manager. They can't easily refuse your request to talk to a supervisor when you are right there standing by them.

    Comcast's Policy on CableCards
    1st TV = standard set-top box OR CableCards for this TV = no charge
    2nd TV = $0.00-$2.50/mo CableCard fee + $0.00-$5.00/mo TV outlet fee
    3rd TV = $0.00-$2.50/mo CableCard fee + $0.00-$5.00/mo TV outlet fee

    Remember to state that you want a CableCard(s) instead of the cable box. Or if you already have a cable box, tell them you want to exchange it for a CableCard. They can charge you an outlet fee for the CableCard if you a set-top box, but not if you don't.

    The first TV is free as part of a digital cable subscription -- this is Comcast corporate policy. Every office manager should know this if they want to keep their job.

    Comcast won't receive multistream cards before late October.
  5. doctord

    doctord Member

    Dec 17, 2004


    I need 1 more post before I can post the link to the coupon.
  6. doctord

    doctord Member

    Dec 17, 2004
  7. boblip11

    boblip11 New Member

    Oct 6, 2005
    Also ask them to look at this page on the Comcast web site on the Cable Card FAQ page:

    You might have an outlet charge...but there should be no charge for the card itself.
  8. mathwhiz

    mathwhiz Member

    May 28, 2000
    Okemos, MI, USA
    Here's how my chat with Comcast went - I don't know if it's true - but it's another story. I did this from their website - not sure yet when/if I'll bite the Series 3 bullet, but wanted this information to help me make my decision.

    Richard > I'm looking for information on charges for CableCards today. And what functionality they provide with different levels of service. i.e. I currently have Basic Cable - and wanted to know if I can receive the HDTV local channels with just a cablecard with my basic service
    Rebecca.16283 > You would only get a few channels but classic cable is lower and would have more HD channels.
    Richard > Ok - I did not understand what you said - I would get a few HD channels with my basic service - but if I paid the extra for Digital Classic - I would receive more HD channels?
    Rebecca.16283 > It is 50.98 a month.
    Rebecca.16283 > Yes they all will be HD.
    Rebecca.16283 > With the Digital cable.
    Rebecca.16283 > Hd is 5.00 a month.
    Richard > But will I receive the local channels in HD with just a CableCard and my basic service. The 50.98 a month is a lot more than I am paying now. And how much is it to have a cablecard?
    Rebecca.16283 > Yes.
    Rebecca.16283 > Some of them.
    Richard > And all the channels in digital won't be HD, only the few that you provide in HD are HD.
    Rebecca.16283 > Free for the cable card.
    Rebecca.16283 > They all will be HD in Digital.
    Richard > So - just to clarify - I can add on a CableCard for free (as in no extra monthly cost) to my current Basic (not extended or enhanced) service.
    Rebecca.16283 > Yes.
    Richard > What all will be in HD with Digital? All the channels?
    Rebecca.16283 > All the channels.
    Richard > Can I pick up the CableCard at my local office?
    Rebecca.16283 > Yes.
    Richard > I'm sorry - you are mistaken, only the channels that broadcast in HD would be HD, and that's only a few of the digital lineup channels, most are just SD channels broadcast in digital.
    Rebecca.16283 > Yes.
    Richard > My system requires 2 cablecards since it had dual tuners - on one set - are both cards free?
    Rebecca.16283 > So do you already have HD?
    Rebecca.16283 > Yes.
    Richard > I currently only have basic cable (not digital anything, not extended, not enhanced) and I do not receive any HD channels with it - since I don't have the TV to view them. I'm looking at getting a new TV that has dual tuners, and would like to stay with the basic level of service, but adding 2 cablecards for my dual tuners, so that I can easily receive the HD local channels.
    Rebecca.16283 > Alright so you will just need the cards then. You can get them at your local office or I can have a tech bring them out for you.
    Richard > So just to confirm - I can add 2 CableCards to my current level of Basic service for free with no monthly charges, and that will enable me to receive the local HD channels (CBS, NBC, PBS, etc.). And I can pick up these CableCards at my local office.
    Rebecca.16283 > Yes.
    Richard > At this time I do not need the cards yet - I'm still making plans to buy my new TV, and just wanted to gather some information beforing deciding on my purchase.
    Rebecca.16283 > Alright no problem.
    Rebecca.16283 > Is there anything else I could assist you with today?
    Richard > Can this information be noted in my account - so that if I have any problems when I go to pick up the CableCards - they can reference this chat?
    Rebecca.16283 > Yes.
    Richard > I would appreciate that.
    Rebecca.16283 > No problem.
    Rebecca.16283 > Is there anything else I could assist you with today?
    Richard > Do you need my account number or anything?
    Rebecca.16283 > Nope, I have it alreayd.
    Rebecca.16283 > already* sorry about that.
    Richard > Ok - thanks! That is all the information I needed today - thank you very much.
    Rebecca.16283 > Your very welcome.
  9. SeanTivo

    SeanTivo New Member

    Sep 13, 2006
    I just finished an online chat with a rep who told me the same thing. (Im in Boston)

    I'm curious myself to see how this works. We get 2 cards but have 1 cable coming out of the wall. What gets hooked up to what?
  10. doctord

    doctord Member

    Dec 17, 2004
    That sounds like a software lock.
    I guess I'm confused then why they called me last night then. Maybe they need my information so that the upgrade to the card doesn't make me lose service.

    So what you are saying is that I can't just move the card from my TV to the S3 when it shows up. That's unfortunate. I guess when I have them install the second card, I will get my existing card transferred.

    I'm going by the Comcast office today to order the second card. I'll ask them what is going on. Who knows if they know.
  11. Amnesia

    Amnesia The Question

    Jan 30, 2005
    Boston, MA
    The cable from the wall gets plugged into the TiVo.

    The 2 cards also get plugged into the TiVo.

    So the Boston-area rep said that we can pick up our CableCards from the local office?
  12. wdave

    wdave New Member

    Jul 16, 2000
    Stevenson, MD
    Where can I get this in writing? Do you have a link? Based on my phone conversation with my local office, I'm expecting a battle about the monthly fee when my first bill arrives.
  13. sunman

    sunman New Member

    Sep 12, 2006
    I went to my local Comcast office for cable cards in Detroit, Mi and they said someone has to come out and install them. What's so hard in plugging in a card? Also, they are charging 6.95 each per month!!!!
  14. mahk

    mahk New Member

    Mar 1, 2005
    Also in the Boston area and would love to know if it's possible to pick up CCs at the local office ... Thanks SeanTivo!
  15. lemketron

    lemketron Senior Bit Twiddler

    Jun 24, 2002
    Sunnyvale, CA
    Well, I have bad news (for those who ordered before seeing the coupon) and good news (for the same folks):

    I ordered from CC last night without the coupon. I called just now to ask if there's anything I can do to get the coupon credited back to me after-the-fact. The answer was (of course) no. However, they confirmed that there's nothing to stop me from ordering another TiVo S3 WITH the coupon and then returning the (opened and used) box one that should arrive tomorrow. Despite presenting this, and the fact that they'll be left with an open-box unit, they agreed that this is the only thing I can do to take advantage of the coupon after-the-fact.

    I decided this really isn't a great thing to do for them despite their refusal to just give me the credit. However, here's (the good news) what I plan to do and it sounds like they agreed it should work too...

    Hopefully the TiVo will become available for in-store pickup during my 14-day return period on the first unit. If so, I then order a new one with the coupon for in-store pickup. I then take my existing unit to the store and ask to do an in-store return. I'll then tell them that I would actually love to take that open-box unit from them for my in-store pickup, thus saving them having to turn a closed-box stock item into an open-box return. Everyone wins, though it costs me a trip to the store and would've been much easier if they'd just give me the darn credit over the phone. :cool:

    I'll explain everything when I arrive, and hopefully it will just be a bunch of paperwork that results in a credit for my original purchase and a charge for the new one. I'll probably even give them back most of the coupon's value in the form of an extended warranty purchase. ;)
  16. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    I'm beting this is a CableCard + outlet fee. Probably $1.95 for the CableCard and $5 for the extra outlet.

    Comcast has told the FCC it is charging customers less than $2.00 for a CableCard.
  17. landrvr1

    landrvr1 New Member

    Sep 12, 2006
    Whoa whoa whoa whoa WHOA.

    Comcast here in Elgin Illinois told me that I had to buy the cards at about $23 each!?!? I'm not seeing any posts in which that is the case.

    However, Comcast in my area has no monthly fee for the cards - which is more than I can say for quite a few folks here.

    How in the hell can there be such a wide variety of prices and policies. It's clear that each local Comcast much be an independent profit center or something.....

  18. lemketron

    lemketron Senior Bit Twiddler

    Jun 24, 2002
    Sunnyvale, CA
    No idea, but my experience in the Sunnyvale Comcast office this morning (which, ironically, or sadly, is right in TiVo Corporate's own home town) was the same. They told me the firts card was free but they would charge me for a second outlet for the second card. I explained about the TiVo S3, and they tried to tell me why the Comcast box was better (PPV, on-demand, etc.).

    I asked if they gave out Cable Cards in the office and they said that they had to be installed ("truck roll") as I had expected.

    Since they weren't giving out cards, I just left, went home, called 1-800-COMCAST, said the magic "May I speak with someone in the Cable Card department?" phrase, and got through to someone who (after checking with a supervisor) confirmed that I can have both cards for free. Installation is (as has been quoted) $15.99 for the truck roll (aka "delivery" charge), and I have to add Digital Cable service ($9.95) to my analog expanded basic.

    Some people have said they can get just basic analog plus digital cable, and I suppose that's fine if you can live without HGTV and Comedy Central, but not us. However, don't let them sell you "HD" service. From what I can tell, that just gets you a HD box, and you don't need (or want) that if you're gonna get CableCards for your S3, and you don't want to pay for it either.

    So that's the story for Sunnyvale, sad but true and reasonably consistent with what other folks have said. Bottom line is that you should NOT be charged $6.95 for the second cable card, nor for the first (assuming you do NOT have or are not planning to keep a Comcast STB or DVR).

    TiVo really needs to figure out how to get Comcast (local office) people trained on this stuff, but I suppose that could be a losing battle when they want to charge you for as much as they can, and sway you to their own STB or DVR if possible. Failing that, they should add a "how to get what you need from your cable company without overpaying for it" reference card in the S3 box.
  19. SeanTivo

    SeanTivo New Member

    Sep 13, 2006
    Oh, got it.

    I was told that a tech had to come out and do the install. A $30 charge. The rep wasn't familiar with the Tivo and he said that if they couldn't get it to work, I wouldn't be charged the $30.

    I wonder if the $2.75 for the second card assumes a second outlet charge. When I get it installed and see a bill I'll call and see if I can get the second card fee waived. I pay for cable in 2 houses and they've been pretty good to me in the past.
  20. msu2k

    msu2k New Member

    Jan 4, 2001
    Holt, MI
    My Comcast in mid-Michigan told me there was no fee for the cards whatsoever each month and they're free to get. Sounds like all Comcast regions are run a bit differently.

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