Comcast Reviews in Huntsville AL Area

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by MichaelAinNB, Jan 2, 2021.

  1. Jan 2, 2021 #1 of 29
    MichaelAinNB

    MichaelAinNB Member

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    Hi-

    Within the next 3-4 weeks, I will be moving into a home in Owens Cross Roads, AL ("Huntsville"). I'll be signing up for Cable and Internet. For those in that area who currently use Comcast and TiVo, are you happy with the service? Should I expect to be made to jump through hoops to get CableCards for my three TiVo devices (here in southern CA, Spectrum has been a nightmare to deal with). Is the service dependable (minimal outages, speeds at or close to those promised, etc...). I already know how their customer service is, so I'm not holding my breath in that category.

    I'm only about 15 minutes into getting acquainted with Comcast and it is already not going well. It took a good 5 minutes on Chat on their home page to get someone to give me a phone number to call. I did that and I have been on hold for 10 minutes now listening to elevator music and an occasional recording telling me how important my call is.

    Anyway, any feedback offered with what I can anticipate is appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Mike
     
  2. Jan 2, 2021 #2 of 29
    chiguy50

    chiguy50 Well-Known Member

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    I am in Atlanta, GA; I'll let someone from the Huntsville area address the specific conditions in that locality.

    However, the services and pricing will be the same there as here since we are both in the same Big South Region and are both governed by the Simple & Easy (S&E) plan.

    I have had various HSI speed tiers from Comcast for the past five years--everything from the basic Performance (25Mbps at that time) to Gigabit--and am now on Extreme Pro (600Mbps). My service has been rock solid all of that time (with the very occasional temporary outage due to weather events or an extraordinary equipment failure), and Comcast actually overprovisions by 20% so that I get a reliable 720Mbps now. CATV service to my TiVo via CableCARD has been just as dependable and the signal quality has mostly been acceptable within QAM tolerances (compression notwithstanding, my HD reception is not bad). I have very high standards and watch most of my content in UHD/HDR, including UHD Blu-ray when available, but I do not expect to get the same results on my TiVo, so it is what it is.

    Telephone support from Comcast at the moment is hit-or-miss due to the pandemic and the year-end holiday period combined, but it is usually pretty responsive. However, I would recommend that you use the web site to explore various service plans and pricing; then if you have any remaining questions save them for next week when the CSR staffing should be somewhat better than you are currently experiencing. But in general, Comcast's customer support is much better than you may have been led to believe. I have deep experience as both a demanding residential customer of long standing and a bulk-services negotiator for my HOA, and I have been very impressed with their commitment to improving customer satisfaction over the past decade.
     
  3. Jan 2, 2021 #3 of 29
    NorthAlabama

    NorthAlabama tabasco rules

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    sweet home, al
    huntsville has been a comcast market for many decades, and, as @chiguy50 explained, the service is solid and dependable (channel listings, other than locals, match atlanta). outages happen, but are very rare, and quickly resolved. if you lease equipment, take whatever the installers give you, then request drop-shipped replacements later on for the best results - newest, latest, and greatest are rarely installed locally, but are easily obtained with a phone call. they occasionally use contractors for installations, but they are always comcast branded and top notch.

    online offers and pricing are accurate, and you should be able to pick up cable cards from the "experience" store next to apple at bridge street town centre if needed - again, having them shipped by mail would be even better after installation, i've had a few issues with local "refurbished" equipment in the past, though it seems to be better lately.

    on and off, i've subscribed in this market (including atlanta) for close to 20 years, and i'm still a customer.
     
  4. Jan 2, 2021 #4 of 29
    WVZR1

    WVZR1 Active Member

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    The WV...
    You 'ain't in So Kalifornia' any longer, or you plan on soon not to be any longer. Saturday on a 'Holiday' weekend with the situation as it is it seems you've things you need to 'get over'. You've had 2 mention 'quality service', both are very familiar with the area and also Comcast! I'm not in the vicinity but I am a Comcast/Xfinity user. I'm quite pleased.

    If you have the address of your move I'm quite sure you could make your self happy by inquiring the address and get on with it!!
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2021
  5. Jan 2, 2021 #5 of 29
    MichaelAinNB

    MichaelAinNB Member

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    Thank you for the prompt and detailed response. Admittedly, a much better review than I had anticipated. It's been quite some time since I have qualified for a "New customers only" pricing deal. I've been paying Spectrum $118 a month for their lowest tier cable and 200Mbps internet. Comcast's offer of 400Mbps and 125 channels for $80 a month for 24 months is quite appealing. I will take your advice and have any questions needing answering ready when I make the call next week. Thanks again.
     
  6. Jan 2, 2021 #6 of 29
    MichaelAinNB

    MichaelAinNB Member

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    Thank you. I purchased an Arris SURFboard modem about eight years ago which has saved me some $$$ in leasing costs. Hopefully, that will be compatible with Comcast as well.

    Thank you, also, for the location of the Comcast store. That is very helpful.
     
  7. Jan 2, 2021 #7 of 29
    MichaelAinNB

    MichaelAinNB Member

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    I appreciate the timely reply, albeit a bit snarky and less than informative (California is spelled with a "C," by the way).
     
  8. Jan 2, 2021 #8 of 29
    snerd

    snerd Well-Known Member

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    Note that Comcast has massive hidden fees, expect to spend $35 or more in addition to whatever price they advertise. Multiple cablecards may also result in $10 "additional outlet" fees.
     
  9. Jan 2, 2021 #9 of 29
    WVZR1

    WVZR1 Active Member

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    The WV...
    I get it. If you have a known address I'd do a CHAT for information. I have a friend who has a lakefront in SW Virginia no where near me, he anticipated a difficult conversation. He avoided the conversation for months. I actually just initiated a CHAT for new service using his address (NOT NAME). CHAT REP came back to the conversation, addressed me by name (HIS) acquired by location etc. I didn't share it. CHAT DONE it was emailed to me and I forwarded it to my friend to consider. It was a quite pleasant experience.

    Of course I had to get past them wanting to discuss my service.

    Comcast/Xfiniity does quite well when the conversation starts with a bit of respect. When you came here you certainly displayed I'd say an attitude. Here in the 'Wild & Wonderful WV' we sometimes return that.
     
  10. MichaelAinNB

    MichaelAinNB Member

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    Thank you. That is exactly why I wanted to talk with a CSR today. In hindsight, I now realize that today was probably the wrong time to call but I already had a bad taste in my mouth when I couldn't find a phone number on their site and then the CSR on chat was being evasive about providing one. The "bottom line monthly charge" is question #1 on the list for this week's questions.
     
  11. MichaelAinNB

    MichaelAinNB Member

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    You know, after re-reading my initial post, you're right, there was a bit of "tude" to it. I apologize for that. Just a lot going on and my frustration level was already at its peak with other move-related issues when I tried to contact Comcast. I'll give them a call Monday or Tuesday and get my questions answered.
     
    WVZR1 likes this.
  12. WVZR1

    WVZR1 Active Member

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    The WV...
    I'd think you'll be likely 'thrilled' with the Xfinity/Comcast experience in comparison to your current/previous provider.

    ...................................

    If you do a good bit of TV and Premiums consider the XG1V4 for sure. I have a XG1V4 and a Mini @ the bigger display along with a TiVo mini with a Roamio in another room. I don't regret the XG1V4 choice to go with the Tivo(s).

    Many others agree!!
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2021
  13. NorthAlabama

    NorthAlabama tabasco rules

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    sweet home, al
    you'll get an accurate bottom line price when you subscribe, it's surprisingly close.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2021
  14. WVZR1

    WVZR1 Active Member

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    Jul 30, 2008
    The WV...
    If you're actually 'shopping' a home it might be interesting to ask the HOA if there's a HOA maybe involved. That could change maybe your options. Many HOA have agreements ............
     
  15. MichaelAinNB

    MichaelAinNB Member

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    Thank you for the suggestion. I closed on the home earlier this week. I will be working from home which is why getting this done in a timely manner is important. There is an HOA but the only information they were willing to provide was Google Fiber and Comcast are in the area but Google Fiber is internet only, no TV. Thanks again for the suggestion.
     
  16. chiguy50

    chiguy50 Well-Known Member

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    Atlanta, GA
    You're welcome; I'm always glad to share whatever insights I've managed to glean over the years.

    It seems that you have focused on the bundle of Extreme HSI and Extra CATV. You should realize real-world download speeds of better than 480Mbps with this tier (upload speed will probably be somewhere north of 20Mbps). If you are not firmly set on this deal you should play around with the various service combinations to see where your requirements are best met and which gives you the best bang for the buck.

    Note also that "new customers only" does not generally apply in dealing with Comcast. Whenever you sign up for a new service as an existing subscriber you should be able to avail yourself of any published offers. Take written caveats to the contrary with a grain of salt.

    You don't mention a model number, but that modem would appear to be long in the tooth. It may well still suit your needs, but even if that is the case I would not hesitate to invest in something newer and more up to date which will also serve you well into the future in case you decide to upgrade. If you do so, at a minimum make sure that the modem you purchase is DOCSIS 3.1 compatible.

    You can search for third-party modems that are compatible with your Comcast HSI speed tier and service location at this web page. Note that you can narrow the search by brand, speed tier, DOCSIS version, etc.

    Getting an exact final MRC (monthly recurring cost) from the outset can be a sticky proposition. If all goes well, the CSR will quote you something very close to the accurate all-inclusive sum (and you will get a written email or text confirmation before you execute the agreement). But it might also take a couple of months for everything to get sorted out; that's just the nature of the game, whether you're starting up a new service or making significant changes to an existing subscription.

    As a general rule, add around $35 to the basic price for service + rental equipment. Also, some of the pass-through fees such as local taxes and Franchise Fee can vary somewhat from month to month. I am not currently using any Comcast customer-provided equipment (CPE) other than a single multi-stream CableCARD for my TiVo Roamio Pro, but their newest inventory is pretty decent, to include the XG1v4 DVR, Xi6 wireless STB, and XB7 gateway (modem/router). If my TiVo were to give up the ghost--or if my desired linear channels were only accessible via IP--I would not be reluctant to use the Comcast CPE.

    Doing good research pays off here, as well as exercising a bit of patience and persistence.

    If you are a value-focused consumer you will want to examine and take advantage of as many of the considerable discounts as you can. That $80 p.m. you cited is the basic service price for Extreme + Extra with a 24-month agreement after promotional and "always-on" discounts. (N.B.: In Comcastland, you will not be subject to any early termination fees unless you cancel ALL of your contracted services; you are free to make changes to or cancel a service so long as you retain at least one other. You will lose any promotional discount tied to the original agreement but are still eligible for any discounts associated with the new arrangement.)

    Your proposed deal should get you a $50 prepaid VISA card, which increases to $100 and $150, respectively, in the higher HSI tiers.

    Also, you can shave another $10 p.m. off that $80 if you sign up for Xfinity Mobile (XM) cellular service (which uses the Verizon network) within the first 30 days. You will see that offer in the on-line check-out process or you can have the CSR you deal with add the coding to your account when you sign up. If it suits your mobile communication needs, XM can be a real bargain. My wife and I have been using it for the past two years and are very pleased; we use very little data and so have the basic ("by-the-gig") XM plan and pay a total of ca. $16 p.m. including all taxes and fees (but before the $10 discount) for two lines.
     
  17. MichaelAinNB

    MichaelAinNB Member

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    Chiguy50, I can't thank you enough for the wealth of information you have provided. I especially liked the "Long in the tooth" reference. I haven't heard that for years. It immediately reminded me of simpler times which, if you think about it is ironic in that those "simpler times" didn't have internet or Cable TV.

    I'm considering the $80 deal mainly for the internet speed(s). I will be working from home and will require somewhat fast and dependable internet. The number of cable channels I have comes in a distant second to the internet. In addition to professional needs, I do a lot of streaming on Netflix and Amazon Prime which, obviously also requires fast and dependable internet. Oh, that does bring to mind a question I have regarding "capping." It is my understanding that Comcast has a monthly cap on data use and there is an overage charge once that amount is exceeded. Should I be concerned about having to pay overage fees? My wife and I do a fair amount of streaming on Netflix and Amazon Prime. Device-wise, the household has three TiVos, three Rokus, three PCs, two iPads, and two smartphones. I s'pose that will be another question for the CSR.

    I doubt we'll be changing to Xfinity Mobile, although I do appreciate the information you provided. We're on T Mobile's "55" plan which provides unlimited everything for a flat $70/Month. And the CS at T Mobile for the few times we've needed it has been excellent.

    Thanks again for taking the time to provide your insight and information.
     
  18. snerd

    snerd Well-Known Member

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    If caps turn out to be an issue, you might look into Google Fiber for your internet. If it is available in your new neighborhood, they have a 1Gbps plan for $70/month or a 2Gbps plan for $100/month, with no caps. Not TiVo compatible, so only best for internet.
     
  19. chiguy50

    chiguy50 Well-Known Member

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    Atlanta, GA
    It might behoove you to refine what qualifies as "somewhat fast" for your purposes so that you can settle on a speed tier that best meets your needs without overspending.

    As I mentioned, I have been on everything from 25Mbps to 1Gigabit with Comcast (and before that, 3Mbps in a Digital Subscriber Line from another provider); I can't really claim to have noticed any significant difference in performance here between 200Mbps and 1Gigabit.

    Only you can determine the best fit, but I will say that IMHO very few users who are not graphic designers or serious gamers or in some similar category really need much more bandwidth than 100Mbps provides. I am none of those but have nevertheless opted for Extreme Pro (720/25Mbps) based on relative pricing even though it is almost certainly overkill for our needs--which nonetheless entail a good deal of 4K streaming.

    It helps to get it right the first time, but know that you can almost always "rewicker" your service without penalty. You will just have to deal with the offers in effect at the time that you make the change, but moving up or down in HSI speed tiers should be relatively painless (and I have done it a number of times mid-agreement).

    The short answer is you should probably not be overly concerned about the data caps.

    Most Comcast areas fall under a 1.2TB data cap at present. You are granted one month's overage without penalty in any 12-month period, after which you will be subject to a surcharge which I believe is currently $50. My wife and I are fairly heavy internet users and I stream quite a bit, but we have never hit 1TB, let alone 1.2TB, and I suspect that our household is similar to yours (two UHD TV's with TiVo/Mini, multiple dedicated media streaming devices, two PC's, two Android tablets, and two iPhones). YMMV, so I would monitor my usage from month to month for peace of mind (this is very easy to do with Comcast's app and on-line tools) and make any necessary adjustments.

    You also have the option to sign up for Comcast's "xFi Complete" service, which includes their rental gateway (a $14 value) and waiver of the data cap for $25 p.m. inclusive (plus sales tax, if any, for the gateway rental portion of the fee). Or, I believe that you can add unlimited data to your HSI plan for another $30 p.m.

    FWIW, in the past I have used Comcast's XB3 (DOCSIS 3.0) and XB6 (DOCSIS 3.1) gateways and found them perfectly reliable performers. However, once I had settled on using Comcast for my internet provider, I purchased my own Netgear CM1000 cable modem and Netgear R7800 wireless router, coupled with an Actiontec MoCA system. Even with $464 in acquisition costs, they have paid for themselves.

    Again, only you can determine which service best suits your needs and budget, but I would take a look at XM's offers if you haven't done so already if only for comparison's sake. There are substantial monetary incentives to switch (particularly if you or your wife are in the market for a new phone). As far unlimited is concerned, I believe that would cost $45 per line at XM; but you could also get 10GB of shared data for $60 total or 3GB for $30. Check it out if you like.

    You're very welcome!:)

    GF is a great alternative IF it is available at your address. Unlike Comcast HSI, GF is symmetrical (1000/1000Mbps or 100/100Mbps according to which plan you take) and the retail pricing ($70 for the former and $50 for the latter) should be uniform and all-inclusive no matter the geographic location. The price also includes all the receiving equipment (ONT and gateway). The only additional charge should be for installation, which can be waived depending on the plan.

    OTOH, if your needs are perfectly well served by something less than 1Gig--and particularly if you want broadcast/cable TV service as well--you will most likely save quite a bit by taking a bundle deal from Comcast. Even just comparing stand-alone HSI service, Comcast's (asymmetrical) 1Gig is an identical $70 and 100Mbps (Performance) is $35 p.m. with discounts.

    The biggest drawback with GF in my view is the sparsity of availability, with very few neighborhoods ("Fiberhoods" in their parlance) actively serviced. I have engaged in detailed discussions with GF for my HOA over the past five years (up to last fall) and we even signed an initial access agreement for a site survey of our property. Unfortunately, prolonged delays on their end and eventual privacy/liability concerns on our end scuttled the deal.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2021
  20. DeltaOne

    DeltaOne Mount Airy, MD

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    Sep 29, 2013
    Comcast has never enforced the data cap here in Maryland (to stay competitive with FiOS). That changes in February, we will be under the data cap just like the rest of the country.

    Three adults in our household: my wife, myself and an adult son. My wife and I typically watch/stream the same stuff...so I guess that counts as two users. I would say we stream more than the average household. We watch a fair amount of Apple TV+, Disney+, Netflix, Prime and Hulu.

    Our data usage for the second half of 2020 was:
    July 461 GB
    August 1133 GB
    September 928 GB
    October 1018 GB
    November 1146 GB
    December 1008 GB

    So, we average 949 GB per month. Two of the six months we were close to the cap, at over 1100 GB.

    I'm wondering why July was so much lower than the other months. We were home...we didn't go anywhere. If you throw out July and average the other five months our monthly average is 1047 GB.

    If necessary I'll add unlimited data for the $30/month, but I'm hoping we'll be able to continue as we do now...we pay Comcast enough as it is.
     

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