Cox Doubling Cablecard Fee!

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by djones18, Aug 8, 2007.

  1. Aug 8, 2007 #1 of 80

    djones18 Active Member

    Jan 6, 2006
    Alexandria, VA


    Thought this deserved its own thread:

    Cox, Fairfax, Virginia, announced that beginning October 1st, it is raising the cost of a single cablecard from $1.99 to $4.50. In an across the board price increase, this is the single highest increment for a piece of equipment and the highest percentage increase for any of their services and equipment.

    Quote from Cox: "Due to the continuing dramatic rise of programming expenses, particularly sports programming, Cox will adjust a portion of rates associated with video and some equipment..."

    This cablecard increase can be interpreted many ways. It may seem obvious, but in my view Cox clearly wants to discourage present/future Cox HD/DVR renters from jumping ship to TIVO and is capitalizing on a captive TIVO audience. BTW, the price to rent a Cox HD/DVR is increasing just $.60. I summarize the cost increase below:

    Payment to Cox today for each TIVO HD or Series 3: $16.99
    (2 digital gateway fees + 2 Cablecards)

    Payment to Cox 1 October: $21.59

    Is Cox trying to suppress the competition by price hiking the one item they control which every TIVO HD/Series 3 owner must have to receive cable? Can other big CableCo's be far behind? Are they already there?
  2. Aug 8, 2007 #2 of 80

    moyekj Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2006
    Even your current $16.99/month seems too high. As a comparison for Cox Orange County, CA:
    2x $1.99 CC rental
    2x $1.49 additional digital outlet fee (for 1st Tivo only 1 additional digital outlet fee applies)
    => $6.96/month per Tivo on top of the regular digital cable fees.
    No notice of CC price increases here AFAIK and the price structure did just change a couple of months ago but mostly the hardware rental fees went untouched.

    I'm not sure why you are paying "digital gateway" fees - that's what really seems to be jacking up the price.
  3. Aug 8, 2007 #3 of 80

    PRMan New Member

    Jul 26, 2000
    Complain to your city council.

    Or better, offer to hook up TiVos for all your city council members.
  4. Aug 8, 2007 #4 of 80

    nrc Cracker Soul

    Nov 17, 1999
    Living in a...
    You should complain to the FCC. They're unfairly penalizing cable card users. Given that every STB deployed must now use cable cards there's no justification for raising fees for CC more than for their own equipment.
  5. Aug 8, 2007 #5 of 80

    oldnacl New Member

    Mar 23, 2007


    Comcast pulled the same trick here in S FL on July 1. CCs went from $5.50/pair to $16.90 with the addition of a $6.95 "HD service charge" for each card. They got me. I returned the TiVo and rented their STB for $11.95. Aren't monopolies fun? And yes, I should complain to the FCC, the Feds, the guv but I don't have the time, and frankly, some days it just doesn't seem worthwhile to bark and chew on the chain link fence.
  6. Aug 8, 2007 #6 of 80

    sfhub Well-Known Member

    Jan 6, 2007
    So if the programming expenses are going up why don't they raise the programming rates? What's the point of separating equipment and programming fees?

    Why don't they just give away the programming for free and charge $60 for each equipment?
  7. Aug 8, 2007 #7 of 80

    MickeS Well-Known Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    No way! Don't you know there is competition from satellite!? There is no monopoly! S3 users can simply change the box to a satellite HD box!

    How dare you even suggest that the cable company is acting unfairly, when they struggle to barely get by??

    Yes, this was sarcasm, but I'm waiting for bicker to chime in with something similar. ;)
  8. Aug 8, 2007 #8 of 80

    GoHokies! O2->CO2 Converter

    Sep 21, 2005
    If everyone thought that, nothing would happen. ;)

    Link to complain to the FCC is in my .sig. Everyone affected take 2 minutes out of your busy day and fill out the form. :)

    I'd be pissed if Comcast did that around here - it's a good thing FIOS is right around the corner.
  9. Aug 9, 2007 #9 of 80

    yunlin12 Tivonation Citizen

    Mar 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA
    I sent the following to

    To whom this may concern,

    My name is XXXXXX. I am a resident at XXXXXXXXXX, San Jose,
    California. I'm current subscribing to Camcast cable here, under their
    digital plus plan. I have a Tivo Series 3 DVR, which requires 2 single
    stream cable cards to receive digital cable signal.

    In January this year (2007), Comcast introduced a new charge on the
    bill specifically for the dual cable cards in Tivo S3, for $1.50 per
    month, called "Dual C-card Dig access". In June, Comcast raised the
    price again. The dual cable cards charge were raised to $1.79 per
    month. In addition, Comcast also started charging $7 per month for
    "High Definition TV". This charge used to be called "HDTV Equipment"
    in Comcast's January 2007 pricing plan.

    When I asked Comcast about this additional $7 charge per month,
    initially they claimed that this charge was for HDTV equipment, as in
    their January 07 pricing. When I stressed that the only equipment I
    get from Comcast are the 2 cable cards, and they are needed for
    digital TV, and should not be counted as HDTV equipment, Comcast
    changed their explanation, and said that the charge is for HDTV
    service, and not for equipment. I then requested to not receive
    Comcast's HDTV cable channels, because I have the option to use over
    the air antenna to receive local HDTV channels, and I was told that
    this HDTV charge is tied together to the dual cable card charge, and
    there is no way to remove it. I feel that this is unfair pricing by
    Comcast. They are forcing me to pay for a charge that I should have
    the right to not pay, for a service I do not need. I also feel that
    Comcast is targeting cable card users specifically in this case.

    I have called Comcast twice on this, both time being put on hold
    numerous times while their customer representatives requested
    clarifications from their managers, and was told the same thing each
    time. Therefore I do not believe this is any accident on Comcast's
    part, but rather a planned effort to price gauge cable card

    Since I have invested in Tivo hardware which requires cable cards to
    be fully functional, I have given up some of my rights as a consumer
    to choose TV service providers, in the hope that my local cable
    company (Comcast) would provide a fair service at a fair price, and I
    must say I am very disappointed. Since there does not appear to be any
    other viable cable competition to Comcast in my area, I'm writing to
    you, hoping that FCC is aware of, and can put a stop to these unfair
    pricing practices by Comcast towards cable card users.

    Sincerely yours,

  10. vman41

    vman41 Omega Consumer

    Jun 18, 2002
    On July 1, the cable companies were required to use cablecards for their STBs, so perhaps a shortage of supply has caused their cost to go up. Cox and Verizon may have an been granted an extension on the requirement.

    Has anyone seen any cablecard-eqpipped STBs supplied by other major cable companies?
  11. vman41

    vman41 Omega Consumer

    Jun 18, 2002
    So they are trying to see how much the market will bear?
  12. moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2006
    Cox in several areas including mine is already deploying Moto DCH boxes with M-card as "separable security". I use quotes because they deploy the box with the M-card pre-configured and screwed into the back of the unit. So no waiver for them.
  13. mike_camden

    mike_camden New Member

    Dec 11, 2006
    Same here with Comcast. The last cable card "expert" Comcast sent to me told me his only experience with cable ards was installing a couple of these new Moto boxes with cable cards installled. He said that the install for a tech is the exact same for these as the normal Moto box w/out cable card because all of the cable card work is done before Comcast Pittsburgh gets the box.
  14. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

    Jan 6, 2007
    In future rants with the FCC you may want to add that:

    1) if you choose to use cable company equipment, you have the option of not paying for HDTV service/equipment
    2) the cable company equipment, as of July 1st, also uses the same CableCARD that is required by your TiVo, yet those users have the option of not paying for HDTV service/equipment if they don't need it

    This is clearly predatory pricing when using 3rd-party equipment because the same CableCARD, when installed in cable company equipment, has lower-priced billing options.
  15. yunlin12

    yunlin12 Tivonation Citizen

    Mar 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA
    Thanks, I got a reply email from FCC with a case number, I'll add to that.
  16. GoHokies!

    GoHokies! O2->CO2 Converter

    Sep 21, 2005
    That's actually pretty cool! Keep us updated if the FCC actually does anything. :)
  17. djones18

    djones18 Active Member

    Jan 6, 2006
    Alexandria, VA
    As the OP of this thread, I intend to complain loudly to the Fairfax Government Council and file a complaint with the FCC.

    Called Cox customer service, talked to a manager, and he indicated the price increase was reasonable and attributable to the increasing costs associated with cablecards and programming. I asked why they just didn't raise the cost of programming at a higher rate and he indicated this would be unfair to customers. When I indicated the huge increase in cablecard costs was unfair to TIVO customers he indicated they made up a much smaller customer base for Cox and therefore fewer customers would be affected. I got an answer, an insufficient answer.

    This is clearly predatory pricing and an attempt use their monopoly (as the single source) on cablecards to reduce consumer choice...making TIVO users pay a higher price for HD/DVR capability. Good point made above that all new cable boxes now must use cablecards so why aren't rental prices for these going up over 100%.

    I presume there is no ceiling on what the Cableco's can charge for cablecards and they will continue to price these upward forcing a hard choice for potential TIVO users.
  18. Sapphire

    Sapphire Xtal substance

    Sep 9, 2002
    Wow, this stinks...

    I purchased my cableCARDs outright from Service Electric so I pay only for programming. Hopefully they'll not find any way to stick it to me.
  19. jmpage2

    jmpage2 Active Member

    Jan 20, 2004
    I'm amazed you were allowed to do that. I thought that the cable companies controlled which cable cards could access their system specifically to avoid "hacked" cable cards from being introduced into their system.
  20. AJRitz

    AJRitz Princess Anti-Santa

    Mar 25, 2002
    Oooooo - I hadn't even thought about this possibility. How much did you pay for your CableCards? It's very tempting to purchase my own Motorola cards, to avoid the problems that many are having with the SA cards that Time-Warner appears to be using.

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