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Ony

@verizon.net

1 edit

[HD] HD Technology Fee

BEWARE of the extra HD charges that Comcast imposes.

I was interested in purchasing my elderly mother a flat-screen tv for Christmas last 2011. Before doing so, I called Comcast to see what extra charges this might include. They told me that I would need a special HD cable box for $9 per month.

Not happy but my cable company does that too (Cablevision), I went ahead and got her a flat screen TV (which she LOVES).

However, the bill not only shows the HD outlet box for $9.25 per month, it also has an HD Technology Fee for $9.95 per month! So, it is costing $19.20 per month EXTRA to have a nice TV. That's $230 per year for someone on a fixed income! I don't know how long she will want or be able to pay for this. I feel this is a rip off for anyone.

dishrich

join:2006-05-12
Springfield, IL

Re: HD Technology Fee

The HD tech fee is supposed to include an HD box on one (1st) outlet.
- Does she actually have more than 1 box (NOT counting DTA(s)?
If she does, then the 2nd charge might be for a 2nd box - regardless if it's actually an HD box or not. Or, maybe she has a little-used TV in another room, that she "forgot" had a digital box.
(FYI, once you are charged the HD tech fee, any of your existing digital boxes can be upgraded to HD ones, for no additional monthly charge)

- Is her (only) box a DVR, which carries a separate charge for the "DVR service?

Otherwise, then the bill is wrong, & you need to call to get it fixed.

chitchatjf

join:2008-07-13
Lawrence, MA
reply to Ony
This HD technology fee bugs me.
My friend has an HD set AND an HD box yet they blocked off ALL of her HD channels EVEN THE LOCALS!
She gets the Digital starter tier.

THIS IS UNFAIR!


Ony

@optonline.net
reply to dishrich
This is what she has:

1 DVR box that is not HD hooked up to a tube tv
2 small boxes (these are the DTRs?) they are tiny and attached to tube TVs
1 new HD box for the flat screen
(yes she has a lot of TVs)
She has no use for the DVR. Must she have this at all?

If the bill can be adjusted, I certainly want to do that.

Thanks for your help.

neufuse

join:2006-12-06
James Creek, PA
reply to chitchatjf
Digital starter should have HD included, I have digital starter because I dont watch any of the "preferred" channels I have HD and do not have a "HD Technology Fee" but I get 150 HD channels right now


FifthE1ement
Tech Nut

join:2005-03-16
Fort Lauderdale, FL
said by neufuse:

Digital starter should have HD included, I have digital starter because I dont watch any of the "preferred" channels I have HD and do not have a "HD Technology Fee" but I get 150 HD channels right now

No, Free HD is only for new customers. If you are a current customer upgrading you have to pay an amazing high amount of fees and box charges.

I have a story so similar to the OP that it is near identical. I wanted to buy my grandma a 47 inch HDTV and she was coming from a 32 inch CRT. My grandma already had a Pace RNG110 on her account, which is an HD box in another room for my cousin who already had an HDTV. But the Pace RNG110 was brought out by a tech to fix a broken non-hd box and when the tech installed it HD worked and we didn't have any HD fees or charges. Well when I went to pickup a new box for my grandmas new HDTV I got a newer Pace RNG110 with RF out and it wouldn't do HD as it said not authorized. Well I thought it plays in the other room on the same type of box in HD why doesn't this one? So I called Comcast and after spending a few hours talking with their owns customer service reps, they told me HD should be working. I eventually was transferred up to someone higher who said NO HD WAS NOT on my grandmas account and the HD working for years on the old box was a mistake! They would have to charge like $7.99 per box plus the box charges per box for like an extra approx $35 per month! I said to the rep disable HD in the other room as I only want it on one box but they said they couldn't. I said then disable HD in both rooms and she said she couldn't and would still have to add the charges unless I returned both HD boxes! I told her I never asked for HD boxes on my first TV as their own tech brought it out to fix a broken box we had so why should I have to take my time to return it?

I argued that everyone in my building has been getting free Pace RNG110's for the past year with FREE HD included and the women on the phone said that is only for new customers!? So I complained but they said there was nothing they can do. They even advertised FREE HD on their TV commercials! They don't tell you it is only for NEW CUSTOMERS! Comcast is so big that they don't give a crap about their customers and prices are only going to get higher as more people disconnect and go internet video only (Netflix, Hulu, etc).

Comcast scams people everyday and no one can tell me different as I've seen them do things worse than this before. I once went to another grandparents (in-laws, lol) house in which they were being charged for two boxes when they only had one. I called Comcast and said well do you need to know the box serial number so you know which box they don't have and they said oh, no we know which one it is!? I started yelling saying you knew they only had one box but you've been charging them for two for almost two years now! After I was done my other grandparents got back over $230 in back owed box charges! Scam Artists!

5TH
--
"The relationship between what we see and what we know is never settled..."

dishrich

join:2006-05-12
Springfield, IL

3 edits
reply to Ony
I think you need to take a CLOSER look at her bill...it might also be helpful for you to get a copy of your local CC price sheet, either from your local office or when it was enclosed with a recent bill.

said by Ony :

This is what she has:

1 DVR box that is not HD hooked up to a tube tv

First, understand that when you have ANY CC DVR's on your account, you are required to have the "HD tech fee" enabled on your account. (unless you are a small minority of grandfathered SD-DVR users) Note that some (triple-play) pkgs have this fee included as part of whole pkg, so in that case, it would NOT be charged separately; in that case, you would then only be charged the "DVR service fee", which is typically $8-$9. Where I think your confusion on her billing is, they are probably charging her a separate combined DVR & HD fee of around $17-$18; returning the DVR would remove the DVR portion of that fee.

If she does NOT want the DVR, she can swap it either for a non-DVR (full) digital box, or just get another DTA, which would remove the DVR service fee above. If she get a DTA, it would only be $2 extra; DO remember that DTA's ONLY get all the SD channels up to Digital Starter service level. If she does NOT have anything above this level (ie: Premiums, Digital Preferred, etc.) then she won't be loosing anything, except Music Choice.

If she goes with a full digital box, it's going to be an additional outlet charge of approx $9; if she's still wants to pay for "HD service", that full box can be an HD one at no extra charge. (since as I already said, the HD tech charge applies to ALL full digital boxes on your account)

Some food for thought on this TV - while it sounds to me like a DTA would suffice on this TV...think about if, for whatever reason, she ends up replacing it w/a new flat-panel TV. After having HD on her (new) flat-panel, she may want it on this one - & you'll have to then swap the box back. Not a big deal though - & she WOULD at least save some $$$ until then. (if she goes with a DTA instead)

2 small boxes (these are the DTRs?) they are tiny and attached to tube TVs

The 2 DTA's should already be FREE. FYI, there have been posts here that CC is sending out notices that any new DTA's activated after July 1st, will ALL be charged $2/month - regardless if it's your first 2 or not. (existing FREE DTA's appear to be grandfathered in)

1 new HD box for the flat screen

And as already stated, the HD tech fee includes an HD box on your 1st (primary) outlet; as long as she's OK with the (single) HD charge, there should be no extra charges for this same TV/outlet. If she chooses to ditch the HD tech charge, then there would be NO extra charge for her first full digital box - regardless if it's actually an HD box she has or not. (if she ditches the HD fee, they just simply shut off all the HD channels thru the box; it does NOT have to be exchanged)

(yes she has a lot of TVs)

Actually by my standards, she doesn't have many at all!

She has no use for the DVR. Must she have this at all?

Already answered above ; curious - why DID (does) she have it, if she has (had) no use for it in the first place???

Thanks for your help.

No prob, & after (if) you DO makes changes to her service, look her bill over closely the next month, to make sure the charges match what she actually has. Get AND KEEP any receipts for returned boxes, in case there would be a problem w/her bill.

dishrich

join:2006-05-12
Springfield, IL
reply to FifthE1ement
said by neufuse:

Digital starter should have HD included, I have digital starter because I dont watch any of the "preferred" channels I have HD and do not have a "HD Technology Fee" but I get 150 HD channels right now

No it (normally) does NOT - unless you are on a triple-play that has HD included as part of the pkg.
BUT...some CC systems may vary on this, but the majority of them do NOT include FREE HD on DS.

said by FifthE1ement:

No, Free HD is only for new customers. If you are a current customer upgrading you have to pay an amazing high amount of fees and box charges.

Hardly; I'm a long time sub who just upgraded from limited basic/internet to HD Preferred triple play & am NOT charged for HD service at all - since it's bundled with the package as stated above. The ONLY (extra) box charge I'm paying is the $8 DVR fee.