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Nightfall
My Goal Is To Deny Yours
Premium,MVM
join:2001-08-03
Grand Rapids, MI
Reviews:
·ooma
·Comcast
·Callcentric
·Site5.com
reply to brianstretch

Re: [Cable Card] Ceton to the rescue!

said by brianstretch:

That'll work for 6 months, then the price goes back up... bleah.

Let me give you a little advice here.

When it comes to promotional pricing, you have to call in to keep in. Every 6 months I call into Comcast to get better pricing because Uverse is in my area. It saves me $25 a month. Last time I called they gave me $25 off each month for a year.

There is no company that will give you promotional pricing for life. If you want the lowest price, call in and get it for 6-12 months, and then put a tickler on your calendar to call back in when it expires. Wash rinse repeat.
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My domain - Nightfall.net


halfband
Premium
join:2002-06-01
Huntsville, AL
reply to GTFan

said by GTFan:

Again, there is no HD fee in the ATL, nor should there be. Some areas are doing this wrong, that's all - the fee is ONLY supposed to be applied if you use their boxes.

So why do so few local offices seem to know this and why do apparently none of the CSRs on phone or chat lines know this?
Is there any comcast documentation that can be referenced to try and argue this point. The idea that comcast would somehow pass on an opportunity for an easy revenue increase is hard to grasp, particularly with the almost complete lack of evidence that it is in anyway comcast policy.
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brianstretch

join:2001-12-31
Ann Arbor, MI

said by halfband:

So why do so few local offices seem to know this and why do apparently none of the CSRs on phone or chat lines know this?
Is there any comcast documentation that can be referenced to try and argue this point. The idea that comcast would somehow pass on an opportunity for an easy revenue increase is hard to grasp, particularly with the almost complete lack of evidence that it is in anyway comcast policy.

The $9/mo "HD Technology Fee" is pure gravy. Why give CSRs information that may help customers avoid paying fees? For that matter, why not make using CableCARDs much more painful than necessary by not properly automating the activation process like Verizon FiOS did? Sure, for now relatively few people will go through the trouble and up-front expense of setting up a HTPC and buying Windows MCEs to replace rented HD DVRs but what's the upside for Comcast? Besides making the nerds that non-techies turn to for advice happy... which your average high-level manager probably won't think of.

Comcast sent me a customer support quality survey. I gave the Tier 2 support guy top marks and used the description box to point out that I wouldn't have needed a highly skilled tech in the first place if Comcast's system wasn't so broken.


flwpwr

@comcast.net
reply to GTFan

»forums.comcast.com/t5/Channels-a···/1006811

First reply by JayInAlg:

"The new HD pricing comes out cheaper for subs who had multiple HD boxes, but for subs who only had one HD box or cable card it ends up costing more."

Fee is for cable cards, sorry you wish it was not, but it is supposed to be there until the FCC states otherwise, which I am pretty sure is never going to happen.


GTFan

join:2004-12-03

Uh, from the last post in the thread, the OP got a rep with the right info (this is how it should be, HD channels are included with your package and the 'HD tech fee' only applies for Comcast HD STBs/DVRs):

Re: HD ACCESS FEE FOR TIVO

08-02-2011 01:38 AM

One local tech support rep...two problems addressed logically.

According to this tech rep, HD channels should NOT be charged extra. He explained that since I have a card capable of HD and I subscribe to a package that has HD channels, all channels that I subscribe to in SD that are available in HD should be available to me for NO EXTRA charge. He was very very adamant about this. I told him about my latest debacle with online chat telling me about an $8.50 HD Technology fee. He explained that this should be ONLY for households with MULTIPLE HD BOXES and would allow those account holders to pay a single fee for the multiple HD boxes, not the service. He then sent all sorts of signals to my card to get it to show all my channels. Still waiting but he mentioned to call out a technician if not working by tomorrow because he thinks its a faulty card.

He then went on to explain that the $2.50 tivo credit should show up automatically, and it did!


As with anything on Comcast's billing in multiple areas, YMMV. I can tell you for a fact that no one with a Tivo gets that fee in the ATL.



halfband
Premium
join:2002-06-01
Huntsville, AL

said by GTFan:

He explained that since I have a card capable of HD and I subscribe to a package that has HD channels, all channels that I subscribe to in SD that are available in HD should be available to me for NO EXTRA charge.

If you subscribe to an HD package the fee is rolled into the package, so no additional fee. Digital Starter is an SD only package with SD boxes. It would need a HD fee to enable HD channels. But as you say, YMMV and the inconsistency in this is applied, especially with cable cards, boarders on the ridiculous.
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snevl
Premium
join:2002-12-15
Aurora, CO
Reviews:
·Comcast

Add me to the ranks that have to pay the HD fee. I had been with only the Digital starter package, but when I got my first M-card I upgraded to Digital Classic. I asked to make sure I was going to get HD, and was informed that I could but it would be an additional $10 per month. Although I'm on the 6 month teaser and not paying for it yet, I just looked at my bill and verified: I have a "HD Technology Fee" of $10 (and a credit for $10 right below it, that will go away after 6 months).


GTFan

join:2004-12-03
reply to halfband

said by halfband:

said by GTFan:

He explained that since I have a card capable of HD and I subscribe to a package that has HD channels, all channels that I subscribe to in SD that are available in HD should be available to me for NO EXTRA charge.

If you subscribe to an HD package the fee is rolled into the package, so no additional fee. Digital Starter is an SD only package with SD boxes. It would need a HD fee to enable HD channels. But as you say, YMMV and the inconsistency in this is applied, especially with cable cards, boarders on the ridiculous.

Totally untrue, in the ATL digital starter and preferred (I'm on preferred) include all channels in SD and HD, there is no separate tier for SD only. I don't know why you keep repeating this but it is absolutely wrong.

The price for starter here is just shy of $60/mo., and it is the same price whether you want the HD channels or not with Cablecards.


halfband
Premium
join:2002-06-01
Huntsville, AL

Totally untrue maybe in ATL, but wasn't that an AT&T system at one time. If it has not changed over to the standardized comcast billing system then it is the oddball. You can not really use that system as any indicator of any national comcast policy. If you do not have the HD fee there yet I suspect within a year or so you will. It is a great additional revenue driver for comcast and that is the direction they have chosen to go.

I keep repeating that HD is separate because in mine and as near as I can tell most upgraded comcast systems, HD is an extra fee (beyond limited basic). That is as much a standard comcast policy as any other in the mass of inconsistent local comcast implementations. There may be some locals and shopping channels that are not encrypted but that is it. That does not mean in any way that all systems will require the HD fee, or that they will convert anytime soon. But the overall standard in the majority of comcast systems is that for standard tiers like digital starter they are SD only. You must pay a one time HD fee to enable HD to all your equipment, regardless of what tier you on (excluding limited basic.)
Now if you get one the HD preferred packages, then of course the HD fee is rolled in.

I have not found any definitive source for comcast HD policy, which I guess is part of the problem. It is very difficult to determine what HD channel you will get with a cablecard as the systems are simply completely unready to deal with them. You can not call into a CSR and point to anything that indicates what "free HD" you should be getting as the policies and lineup simply do not exist. Yet when cablecards are activated, yes many do get a combination of HD channels that do not match any cable package in the comcast lineup.
[HD locals are subject to the preference of the local station as to how they are carried.] Comcast definitely does not have a national free HD policy of any kind. What you get is completely hit or miss and total random almost to the extreme. Calling a CSR will typically get the default position that a cablecard should get the same HD lineup as a cablebox, as long as you are paying the HD fee. Reality is that many systems still enable far different lineups on cablecards than the advertised packages.
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GTFan

join:2004-12-03

From what I've read elsewhere, Atlanta is a Comcast premier market, where new features, channels, and tech are rolled out before the rest. So if this BS HD tech fee is supposed to be national, you'd think we'd have seen it long ago.

If they all of a sudden start charging this fee for Cablecard devices on my bill, I'd be pissed - there's no justification for it other than a money grab. It would be hard for them to explain how I and everyone else with Tivos and HTPCs in this town have been getting all the channels in HD for years now, but gee whiz we really were supposed to be charging you extra for them. It doesn't pass the smell test, and I would immediately file an FCC complaint just to make them respond with an explanation.



halfband
Premium
join:2002-06-01
Huntsville, AL

1 edit

But this additional fee is exactly what has been happening in many areas, particularly as the digital transition to the "world of more" has occurred. I don't disagree with your opinion of it at all and there are numerous posts complaining about the increased fees for what is perceived as being "the same or even degraded service."

Is ATL cisco or motorola based? If it is motorola it may very well be a test market for various features. But if you are not being hit with the HD fee, have not seen the introduction of "additional outlet fees" and don't have the $2.50 HD DTA for limited basic HD (which can be a HD box that is set to only get the basics) then your billing system is running behind the current roll outs. Your area is not unique, there are many comcast areas that are "different". But comcast is obviously attempting to create a more uniform national system for tv service (as they have with HSI) and these new fees and limitations seem to be a part of that plan. When you start seeing 1000 level HD channels (mapped to be 1000 above the corresponding SD channel) you will know you are on the leading edge of the new system.
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Registered Bandwidth Offender #40812


GTFan

join:2004-12-03

ATL is moto and we've always had the outlet fees, but HD channels have always been included in the digital service tiers. We've been upgraded with Cavalry (WOM) for almost 2 years now, but no HD channels in the 1000s yet.