HELP! CableCards costing me $29.90 a Month!!

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by pashasurf7873, Jul 14, 2007.

  1. pashasurf7873

    pashasurf7873 New Member

    Sep 22, 2006



    I live in Hawaii, am with Time Warner Cable and was wondering if any Time Warner Cable customers have heard of this in the Mainland?

    Here is a breakdown of the CableCard charges:

    >Duplicate Service Charge: $8.00 a month per card
    >HD Entertainment Package: $6.95 a month per card
    >Total: $14.95 for each CableCard!!!!!

    The CableCards are $3.10 each with no premium programming on them. To
    receive the Digital Cable Service on the cards, the Duplicate Service
    Fee of $8.00 would apply instead of the $3.10 card charge. The HD package is not included in the duplicate service fee. It is charged per card.
    So in Hawaii it costs $29.90 per month just to enable the use of my beloved TIVO S3.
    When I called and then emailed to complain this is the response I got:


    1. as I stated previously, the Duplicate service charge does not include
    the HD Entertainment Package. The Duplicate service charge only includes
    the equipment rental fee, digital cable service, and any premium movie
    channels in your subscription. Each device that is receiving the HD
    Entertainment Package is billed for that package.

    2. Yes, we are aware of the current limitations of the technology. You
    can install a single CableCard in your Tivo and only record one channel
    at a time.

    3. The CableCards are billed for each device, each CableCard is a
    separate device. You could obtain the HD DVR without the duplicate
    service charge, however you would still be billed for the HD
    Entertainment package which is required to have any HD cable box.

    You could also rent the CableCards for $3.10 each, however they would
    only be able to receive the Standard Cable Service. They would not
    receive the authorization to receive the HD Entertainment Package, the
    Digital Cable Package, nor the HBO or Showtime.

    4. Because that is how the company decided to do the billing.

    5. Everything is NOT going HD. That is a common misconception. HD and
    Digital are two very different things. The FCC is only requiring a
    change to Digital, not HD.

    6. I am sorry, but it does not appear the same from our point of view.
    We bill per device that receives premium programming in the home. If you
    TiVo requires 2 of those devices then the account should be charged for
    each one.

    If you have any further questions, please feel free to e-mail us again
    or contact our Customer Care Department at the appropriate number below.
    When replying to this e-mail, please include this message as well as all
    previous correspondence regarding this issue.

    Cable TV or Internet:
    Billing: 643-2100
    Sales: 643-2337
    Repair: 643-2300

    Thank you,
    Nick S.
    Oceanic Time Warner Cable
  2. jrm01

    jrm01 New Member

    Oct 17, 2003
  3. pashasurf7873

    pashasurf7873 New Member

    Sep 22, 2006
    hate to say it but yes it's me and I have been paying this whole time. It kills me and I reposted hoping I'd find someone who could give me advice on what to do.
    I have talked to numerous people at TWC here and they won't budge. My monthly bill (with internet) is $188.90. It just doesn't seem right.
  4. jrm01

    jrm01 New Member

    Oct 17, 2003
    Your local Franchise Authority (local municipal government) should have some answers for you as I would think that they have had many complaints. The Franchise Authority in many cases is listed on the cable bill.
  5. jrm01

    jrm01 New Member

    Oct 17, 2003


    Response to the e-mail that you got:

    The Tivo is only one device, no matter how many Ccs are in it.

    Not sure what question this was answering, but of course this is not an acceptable answer.

    Again, the Device is the Tivo, not the CC.

    This does not make any sense. If you want only Standard Cable you don't need any CC.

    Not sure what your question was, but the answer is insulting.

    Their clarification is as wrong as your apparent statement. The FCC is only mandating OTA Digital. There is no mandate for cable companies to go Digital. This is their choice.

    Once again they are confusing what is the Device. If they want to bill per CC, why even use the word device?
  6. rmassey

    rmassey Damn, these are fun!

    Sep 5, 2002
    Holly cripe, that's a frickin' car payment - cancel some service, go OTA only and get a life :D
  7. Lensman

    Lensman Member

    Dec 22, 2001
    Hoboken, NJ...
    Their day of reckoning will come with the emergence of alternate fiber to the home vendors. Actually, the mere threat of such seems to have improved service here in New Jersey. Though actually it's more than a threat because some areas actually have FiOS.

    It's sad. They're going to build up so much ill-will in their captive customer base that they're not going to know what's hit them when competition arrives.
  8. cokyq

    cokyq New Member

    Jan 21, 2007
    As much as I hate not getting Discovery HD channel, and with a monthly bill of $96 (after a $10 monthly discount which TWC gave me to help me during my unemployment period), I decided it was too much money and cancelled my service 10 days ago. (No way I would pay over $180/month for cable/internet service - you need to do some research and find an alternate, cheaper source for your internet).

    I switched my internet service to ATT which is currently offering a 3 month free for people switching from cable, and after calculating the rebate, my monthly cost for the first year is around $30 (and that is including a basic phone line).

    The quality of the over the air signal here in the Dallas Fort Worth area is excellent. The picture in the HD channels is superb! Much better than cable.

    My 2 cents...
  9. PeytonRE

    PeytonRE New Member

    Oct 23, 2006

    I was in the same type of situation that Pashasurf7873 was in that my total bill (cable, Premium channels, internet & phone) was in the $200 range here in Huntsville, AL with Knology. I went round and round with Knology for 3-4 months on their billing practice concerning the cablecards -- I talked to several Customer Service Reps and their Supervisors and kept getting different answers and different bills. I finally got fed up and reduced my package to the lowest levels for phone, cable and Hi-speed internet, this cut my total bill by more than 50% and I put up an antennae for OTA and got a better signal than the cable.

    The last excuse I got from Knology was that they had to bill the CableCards separately because they could not know what the customer did with them and they might be using them in multiple devices -- of course, they would not take my word for it when I said that they both went in one device and that their technician was the one that put them there. Maybe they will come around once the digital signal is more prevalent/mandated and cablecards are more utilized; however, I am not going to hold my breath...
  10. classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

    Feb 18, 2004
    Ontario Canada.
    No, the cablecard is the device they authorize, regardless if a device requires two, or you have the two cards in separate things.

    It makes perfect sense to charge twice to provision and service two cablecards.

    Now if they were charging "per outlet" one could argue one charge since the Series 3 TiVo uses only one outlet.

    What makes no sense is billing for HD services per card. You should be paying for all programming fees for your home once, and on top of that the cost to rent each device, and to authorize each device after the first. And $8.00 is a bit high for a service mirroring fee. Satellite does something like $4.99, which is pretty fair.
  11. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

    Jan 6, 2007
    Actually they do know that you are using the cards in a TiVo because the CableCARD Host IDs that they pair with are registered to TiVo.
  12. MickeS

    MickeS Active Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    If you want the "standard" digital cable, in other words the unencrypted digital channels, you will unfortunately need CableCARDs in most cases, since the S3 does not always have the guide data for those channels otherwise. The channels are still received fine without CC, but become nearly useless anyway because of the missing guide data.

    So I guess in a sense they were correct...

    And I REALLY wish TiVo would figure out how to get those channels into the guide correctly without using CC.
  13. wierdo

    wierdo New Member

    Apr 7, 2002
    Arkansas, US
    DSL is not equivalent to a cable modem in most places. Until cable became available to me, I had the highest speed package AT&T could deliver to me (3Mbps). Now, for $20 more a month, I get 4 times the download speed and 4 times the upload speed (which is more useful to me than the 12Mbps downloads). Additionally, I receive the full speed for which I pay from Cox, unlike SBC, who through their choice of using PPPoE delivered a line only really capable of 2.5Mbps.

    And yes, I do pay about $180 a month for cable and internet, but that includes all the premiums. It's essentially the same cost as DirecTV was, aside from the increased internet charge.
  14. cgould

    cgould Member

    Dec 28, 2002
    Bay Area, CA
    No, the device should be the single Tivo, for equivalency with their dual-tuner HD DVR (which does NOT get charged twice.) There should be something in the FCC regs, not that anyone bothers to enforce...
    They can charge for rental cost certainly for two cards, but not for service, for equivalency.

    Agreed re HD service charge, but at least here Oceanic TW Hawaii is consistent... they charge the HD service fee for ANY HD device/tuner(outlet) you get, even ones you get from them, so it is indeed an HD service fee (just per outlet). Comcast's fee is(was) for HD equipment, since HD STB is more expensive, but if you had your own equipment it was free... TW, as they say, "sees/chooses to bill differently".

    You can't get OTA in most of Hawaii due to iron-rich mountains/poor reception (which is why most get cable anyway.) It's also problematic getting satellite/DirectTV, since most of the HD birds are located/facing the wrong way (aiming at the mainland).

    Many of the Hawaii stations don't even have/broadcast HD yet anyway (several say don't have the HD storage equipment), so this extra fee is a real insult since it only gives like 1 or 2 broadcast channels!
    Strangely, Oceanic was "high tech" otherwise faster than Comcast/AT&T here in the Bay Area, w/ more advanced features up til now... Comcast caught up w/ HD over cable and such.

    As they say, "luck you live Hawaii" :(
  15. CharlesH

    CharlesH Member

    Aug 29, 2002
    AT&T seems to be pushing the ability to provide 6Mbs DSL pretty hard; it probably comes along for the ride as they build out for their TV service. Mine cost $34.99/mo, and Comcast is $42.95. Obviously, YMMV. And BTW, PPPoE has very little to do with the DSL overhead. PPPoE costs 8 bytes per 1500 byte packet; it's the ATM encapsulation inherent to DSL that is the bulk of the cost, with 5 bytes per 53 byte cell, and you will pay this even if you manage to get a static IP, non-PPPoE line.
  16. oldnacl

    oldnacl New Member

    Mar 23, 2007
    Comcast raised my fees for the TiVo from $5.50/mo to $21.90 July 1st and then added the STB fee (which I didn't have) to the cable charge, effectively raising the rate for using my TiVo to $26.90. Additionally I was paying $19.95 a month for digital service and 42.95 a month for internet service. Not quite as bad as your rates but still enough to have me march into the office with CCs in hand and cancel ALL my Comcast service including Internet.
    I then signed up for AT&T DSL, got a $125 rebate for switching from cable and cut my monthly internet cost in half (for the first year, anyway - 25% cheaper after that). I then returned the Tivo to Costco, went back to the cable office and picked up a SA8300HD box that costs me 11.95 a month plus $19.95 for digital service. My basic cable service is covered by my HOA fees. Cable companies have us by the short hairs, forcing us to use their rental equipment or pay dearly to do otherwise. In my case, they won - unlike Geo Bush, I don't have the funds to fight a lost war.
  17. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    I think the original poster should complain to the FCC.
  18. pashasurf7873

    pashasurf7873 New Member

    Sep 22, 2006
    Thanks for all the input, as stated above, we don't have too many alternatives to cable, especially with an upgraded S3 with Lifetime subscription.
    PS to be fair we subscribe to numerous pay station packages which adds to the high bill,but it's the principle of the double charging that makes it so hard to swallow.
  19. wierdo

    wierdo New Member

    Apr 7, 2002
    Arkansas, US
    FWIW, I'm 2kft from the remote terminal that serves me. Somewhere in the last 500 feet things go awry. At the box on the side of the building (sort of a demarc, I live in an apartment, only 5 or 6 years old), 3500 is the max attainable per the t-berd. Out at the next cross connect box, max attainable is 8000. It's not anything particular to my pair, either, as they tried several others. A tech spent a couple of hours messing with it to try and figure out what was wrong. I don't get that sort of service from the cable company, unfortunately. :(

    DSL is incredibly hit and miss once you get over 3Mbps, in my experience. It'll work in some places while not in others for no particular reason. 1.5 is pretty robust, though. I had a 1.5/128 line for several years at somewhere around 15kft. That was direct from the CO.

    In areas with U-Verse, if you can get the TV service, you'll also be able to get 6Mbps for Internet, at least if you subscribe to U-Verse. If not, you'll still be stuck on the old RT that is farther away from your location. No VDSL for you! ;) Of course, with VDSL's much lower tolerance for poor lines, I can't help but think that there will be U-Verse black holes in most cities that have it deployed. I've been a pessimist on the whole idea since the beginning, though, and that was before I tried to get 6Mbps DSL. ;)
  20. vstone

    vstone Active Member

    May 11, 2002
    Which channels do you really want? If you're happy with just the broadcast networks (not saying that you are) tell them you just want the basic tier (usually called the broadcast tier). Per CFR, the basic tier, which includes local broadcast stations, must be unencrypted and they probably can't charge you for the digital versions (HD or not).

    Looking at Oceanic's lineup, that would say the 82-89 (SD) and 1003-1010 (HD) ought to be free. Maybe also 443 (PBS Kids)

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