Thinking of making a change / Existing customer trying to negotiate with Comcast

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by srauly, Jan 22, 2020.

  1. srauly

    srauly Member

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    Simsbury,...
    Ooh...I had never heard this tip before. One downside is that I'd have go through the trouble of going to their store to return the cablecard, and then later go back again to get one.

    Actually, it works for me to just make sure I'm logged out of my account. I do see that $149.99 plan you listed, but hadn't thought too much about it, since it was even more expensive. I do have HBO, which is a $15 add-on. So that would make the $119.99 plan about $135. The only thing missing then is the XM cell service (which I guess I should look into), the 600Mbps -> Gigabit internet speed upgrade, and some other channels that I don't care about. Interestingly, the rate card shows the price difference for 600Mbps -> Gigabit with most bundled plans as being just $5. So, theoretically, that $119.99 plan with the Gigabit upgrade and HBO *should* just cost $140, but because these are promo bundles, the $5 internet speed upgrade may not be something they can easily add.

    More recent posts I've read (in various places) seem to indicate that this doesn't always end well and, again, I have no competition at my address. So I'd feel pretty stupid threatening to cancel only to tell them "nevermind" if they offered me nothing. Have you had recent success with this approach and are you, like me, at an address with no competition?
     
  2. chiguy50

    chiguy50 Well-Known Member

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    I think you will find that does not work as well anymore. As I have already noted, Comcast has made changes recently to simplify and standardize their fee structure (although not all regions are fully integrated quite yet). They are marketing the new system as more customer-friendly--which in some ways it is in that the palette of options is less arcane and more homogeneous throughout their territory. But it also eliminates or greatly reduces the special deals that could be offered by service reps.
     
  3. srauly

    srauly Member

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    Simsbury,...
    chiguy50, you've got me seriously considering switching to Xfinity Mobile. I thought about that about a year ago but then decided against it. I don't remember for certain, but I *think* the sticking point was reading about issues with WiFi Calling, and my house has horrible reception, so I rely on it with my AT&T service (the Verizon service at my house is even worse). Have you used WiFi Calling and found it to be reliable?

    Pricing-wise, it still doesn't look like it's a slam-dunk that the $150 plan is much of a deal versus the $120 plan. Assuming I could get a $5 Gigabit upgrade from 600Mbps (which may not be a reasonable assumption), and after paying $15/month for HBO, and even taking into account the $12 XM discount, the $120 plan after upgrades and separate XM service would be $152. So, only $2 more. Whereas if I jumped into the $150 plan and decided later that I didn't like the XM service, I may not be able to easily downgrade to the $120 plan. I know that the $150 plan also includes TMC, Hitz, and some other channels, but I don't think I'd care about any of those.

    One good bit of news is that I took a closer look at the terms of the early-termination info for these promo plans, and it sounds like they only charge you the ETF if you cancel all three of the Internet/TV/Phone service plans (XM is not a factor). So if I hated XM, for example, I could see possibly canceling everything except for internet, at least for a month, and then see what new promos are out there at that time.

    At this point, I'm still not sure whether the $120 600Mbps promo for existing customers can get the free year of Gigabit (it doesn't show it, but hopefully some haggling would work), or if I can get it as a $5 upgrade. I'm also not sure if the $150 promo is even something I can get (it doesn't show it when I'm logged in). I may start a new chat session to ask some of those questions. If you can think of anything else I may be overlooking, let me know.
     
  4. TostitoBandito

    TostitoBandito Active Member

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    I just recently switched my Comcast package with zero issues. For years I had this preferred double play thing with 150Mb/sec internet and a cable package which included HBO/Showtime/Starz/TMC/Sports Package for $160 plus taxes/fees. Last week I was looking on their site and noticed a premier package which was similar except it had gigabit internet, but lacked Starz, TMC, and the sports package for the same $160 price (plus taxes/fees). I was fine with this so I switched it and I now have gigabit internet which is fun. Didn't have any issues. All I had to do was have them reprovision my modem (SB8200) for gigabit.

    One note, I couldn't do this transaction completely online by myself. It would ask me to pick a TV, and since I have no cable box and just a single cablecard there was nothing to select without adding a DVR or whatever for a fee. I just called them instead and had them do the upgrade and they were able to with no issues. I used to have an X1 box on another outlet in addition to my cablecard, but turning this in a while back saved me like $30 in fees (DVR, HD tech fee, additional outlet fee).
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2020
  5. srauly

    srauly Member

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    Apr 26, 2000
    Simsbury,...
    Thanks for that info. One of the things I ran into with the online chat reps was that they had no way to prevent me getting the rental cable modem, etc., and told me that I'd need to return those to the store. I also saw that the order process wanted to force me to get a box that I'd need to return. If I can avoid all of that by calling someone on the phone, and save myself from having to return stuff to one of their stores, that would be great.
     
  6. trip1eX

    trip1eX imo, afaik, feels like to me, *exceptions, ~aprox

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    If Comcast's webpage says $160 for a package, what's the total cost going to be? I see some big fees. Then what about equipment charges? Then of course tax. I mean what are we looking at in total then after the $160? Just curious. Assume 3 tvs.
     
  7. spiderpumpkin

    spiderpumpkin Say no to Hydra!

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    Approx: Broadcast Fee $15, Sports Fee $8, Taxes/Other Fees $20, first box if DVR $5, second non-dvr box $5-10, third non-dvr box $5-10.

    Depends on where you live but you're looking at about $55-65 more.
     
    trip1eX likes this.
  8. srauly

    srauly Member

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    Apr 26, 2000
    Simsbury,...
    Some others here might have better info than me, and this probably varies by region, but I can tell you that for me (in CT) with most of the TV packages I'll be paying an extra $14.95 for a "Broadcast TV fee" and $8.75 for a "Regional Sports fee". If I rent a modem from them, that's another $14. I was also quoted $5 for a "DVR fee" but I'm assuming/hoping I can get that removed, since I just need the one cablecard I get from them (which is currently $0 for one). If you need actual boxes from them, I think that's $5/box. And then there are some tax and other government fees, which I'm not sure how they're calculated (for example, the CT sales tax didn't seem to match our sales tax rate for most things, so I'm guessing it's a different rate for TV-related services).

    So, in my case, since I don't want any of their hardware, I'm approximating that $120 plan will cost me about $144 plus other government fees/taxes ($120 + 14.95 broadcast fee + $8.75 regional sports fee + government fees/taxes).
     
  9. srauly

    srauly Member

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    Apr 26, 2000
    Simsbury,...
    It doesn't really apply/matter to me, but I'm just noticing that my price card (downloaded from the Xfinity site after you log in) doesn't mention DVR under their "Xfinity TV Equipment" section. It has "TV Box" for $4.60. Also, it lists $0 for the CableCARD for the 1st and 2nd (if needed) card in the *same* box, but doesn't list what the CableCARD charges would be if you needed more for other boxes (e.g., other TiVo boxes).
     
  10. spiderpumpkin

    spiderpumpkin Say no to Hydra!

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    Some packages include a free DVR rental but the latest packages seem to charge about $5-10 if you want a physical DVR box. If not DVR box then they seem to include that for free.

    If you don't get an Xfinity box then the first cable card is free and you get a $2.50-5 credit. If you do have an Xfinity box then the first cable card is free but there's a $9.95 additional outlet fee and you get a $2.50-5 credit. A second card for another device would be free but there's another $9.95 additional outlet fee and another $2.5-5 credit.
     
  11. TostitoBandito

    TostitoBandito Active Member

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    Mill Creek, WA
    My bill is like $172 on that $160 package. The only fees are the regional sports or whatever and taxes that everyone pays, a little over $10 total. I have all my own equipment and the cablecard is free, so no other charges. Oh yeah, and I get a small credit of like $2.50 or something for using my own equipment (eg. Tivo).
     
    trip1eX likes this.
  12. NorthAlabama

    NorthAlabama tabasco rules

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    is this the price following the january 2020 increase? my bill went up about $7.
     
  13. TostitoBandito

    TostitoBandito Active Member

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    Mill Creek, WA
    My 1/18 bill was $172.05. It breaks down as:

    Premier+ Pro DP Package - $150 (I think I said in error above that it was $160)
    Broadcast TV Fee - $10
    Regional Sports Fee - $6.70
    Taxes - $5.32

    Looks like my previous bill prior to changing package was $169.69. I think the difference is the $2.50 equipment credit is missing on my most recent statement, which I will call them about. That said, it's effectively the same.

    Oh, and I'm not on any sort of contract or anything. So this isn't a promo rate. It's month to month.
     
  14. srauly

    srauly Member

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    Apr 26, 2000
    Simsbury,...
    Tostito, I don't think I'm seeing the plan you're describing on my Xfinity price card, and my broadcast TV fee and regional sports fees are higher. I suspect the pricing on the latter two are regional, and the packages may be regional, too. Just out of curiosity, does your package include HBO and/or Netflix?
     
  15. SNJpage1

    SNJpage1 Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    imgx121_LI.jpg
    With the $149 plan they just gave me, Netflix is included in the package. I do have to pay for a cable card but they do give me a credit for having my own box. The rep also mentioned Ruku and that Comcast has a deal with them to get it for a discount.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2020
  16. TostitoBandito

    TostitoBandito Active Member

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    Mill Creek, WA
    Yes the packages are absolutely regional. They will likely vary a lot, especially for internet. My package includes HBO and Showtime:

    TV:
    X1 Premier Pro+ Dp
    $150.00
    Double Play Includes Preferred+, HBO, Hitz, Showtime , HD DVR Service, HD Technology Fee, 1 Gig Internet

    They also had another version of the same thing which replaces HBO with Netflix (HD plan), but as I pay for the 4K Netflix plan I'd rather have HBO.

    Also, on another topic, everyone should buy your own modem. Paying $15/month for one is highway robbery. If you are under gigabit speeds you can get a perfectly good one for well under $100. For gigabit, a decent DOCSIS 3.1 modem can be had for $150 or less. Even the expensive one is less than a year of Comcast rental payments.
     
  17. zalusky

    zalusky Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    Cupertino, CA
    In our area they have a preferred+ triple play for $150. It has the 1 gig speed. Last summer I switched to the premiere triple play for $140 but it only has the 500mb speed. If I switch it’s an extra $10 but also extends my contract another year. Things are changing fast and we are watching more and more streaming but not enough yet currently cut the cord. There HBO and Showtime bundling are just competitive if I go direct. In 1 year ??? Or 2 years ??? Maybe it’s different. I like the improved upload speed but I don’t think the extra download speed is enough to justify the extra $10.
     
  18. saeba

    saeba Active Member

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  19. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    OR ... they will cut costs by spending less on maintenance and service, plus no upgrading or innovation in their DVR’s (that horse may have already left the barn). And remember cable tv providers have local monopolies on high speed internet in many regions, so they can jack up internet prices to compensate for losses on cable tv.
     
  20. chiguy50

    chiguy50 Well-Known Member

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    Atlanta, GA
    We have had no problems with cell phone operation whether in house or away from home, but YMMV. My wife has tried a good number of mobile providers and likes XM as well as any of them. We also have Ooma VOIP for our home phone line and I usually use that service over cell phone when at home.

    The cost/benefit ratio for XM is very high IMHO: We have three lines that share 1GB of data (w/unlimited text and calling) for a total monthly charge of around $18 including all taxes and fees. On the rare occasions that we exceed 1GB there is an additional charge of $12.

    I should also point out that XM has frequently offered credits or discounts for purchasing a new phone from them and/or porting a number. My wife purchased an iPhone 8 in 2018 together with porting her number from Cricket and got a $300 pre-paid VISA card, while I (a first-time cell phone user) took over her old iPhone 5 and ported a secondary number from Ooma in return for a $150 VISA card. This month I purchased a new iPhone Xr from XM for $600 and again ported a new secondary number from Ooma (you can replace the secondary number repeatedly) in return for a $250 credit on my account.

    That is correct. As long as you maintain at least one of the services, you are not subject to the ETF on your plan.

    My advice is to call (repeatedly if necessary) or visit your local Xfinity store. IMHO and experience, that is usually more productive.
     

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