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Streetlight

join:2005-11-07
Colorado Springs, CO

Newest bill shows new fee - Convenience Fee

Just got my December, 2012, bill and it shows a new fee called a Convenience Fee which is $5.99. What's that all about? Anyone else see this?



telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15

1 edit

From: »Re: [Rant] Price increase on latest bill for all tiers

Convenience Fee (for payments made by phone through a customer care representative) $5.99

EDIT: See also:
»forums.comcast.com/t5/Billing/Co···/1077329
»forums.comcast.com/t5/Billing/Do···p/978475



Streetlight

join:2005-11-07
Colorado Springs, CO

I have never made a payment through a phone-customer care rep. I'm on Auto pay.



airwavz
Always the green wire

join:2011-09-11
Mount Juliet, TN
kudos:1
reply to Streetlight

You should call the Comcast billing dept and ask what it's for. My last 2 bills have had a 32 cent (yes, $0.32) fee for 'Cable TV Franchise Fee', though I haven't had cable TV in over a year and a half.

Needless to say, I didn't pay it last month (I had to call - twice - to get over $300 in erroneous charges removed) and I'll be calling again this month. But hey, they certainly are being creative in their attempts to pay for that NBC acquisition.



telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15
reply to Streetlight

I would then call Comcast and ask them about this, then.

[Just don't make any payments while talking with the CSR! ]


mario02423

join:2004-06-09
Berwyn, IL
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to airwavz

said by airwavz:

My last 2 bills have had a 32 cent (yes, $0.32) fee for 'Cable TV Franchise Fee' over a year and a half.

+1'ing this. I had the franchise fee on my Business Class Internet Only account. Had to take it to Corporate Escalation to get it removed.


Streetlight

join:2005-11-07
Colorado Springs, CO
reply to telcodad

Of course, I intended to call Comcast.

I did so this AM (11/28/12) and a helpful rep said she immediately credited the bill for the $5.99 charge when I pointed out that I had been on Auto Pay for some years and the previous bill had been credited properly. We'll see on 12/18 when the payment is debited from my checking account.

The lesson here is: watch your bill. If you have e-billing with no paper bill, it's probably easy to overlook what's on the the bill. Folks may just go into auto pilot and never look at their bills.
--
There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.

Sherlock Holmes in
The Boscombe Valley Mystery
A. C. Doyle
Strand Magazine, October 1891



pokesph
It Is Almost Fast
Premium
join:2001-06-25
Sacramento, CA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast

said by Streetlight:

...

The lesson here is: watch your bill. If you have e-billing with no paper bill, it's probably easy to overlook what's on the the bill. Folks may just go into auto pilot and never look at their bills.

That is why you NEVER use auto-pay.

In fact they push it so hard because they hope most don't look at actual bills so their little "slip-ups" and whoops fees go unnoticed. Its a great revenue stream for many companies.
--
Webmaster - Steve
- - - - - - - - - - - -
»www.1-gb.net
»www.ppnstudio.com

travelguy

join:1999-09-03
Santa Fe, NM

I couldn't agree more - "pull" payments are never a good idea. Far better to push payments from your bank's bill pay service. Most allow you to schedule recurring payments, although I got caught by a change in tax rates that made my bill go up a few cents. Fortunately I made up the difference before the window closed.



MSauk
MSauk
Premium
join:2002-01-17
Sandy, UT
reply to airwavz

My fee is .79 cents for the Franchise Fee. Yikes



Streetlight

join:2005-11-07
Colorado Springs, CO
reply to pokesph

said by pokesph:

said by Streetlight:

...

The lesson here is: watch your bill. If you have e-billing with no paper bill, it's probably easy to overlook what's on the the bill. Folks may just go into auto pilot and never look at their bills.

That is why you NEVER use auto-pay.

In fact they push it so hard because they hope most don't look at actual bills so their little "slip-ups" and whoops fees go unnoticed. Its a great revenue stream for many companies.

I have a number of auto pay accounts with paper bill - newspapers, two credit cards, utility bill, etc. - and have never had a problem with bills being paid on time. In this case, it wouldn't have mattered whether the bill was auto pay or send-a-check-pay, the bill was wrong. I would still needed to have the bill corrected.

I think auto pay with paper billing is the way to go. The paper bill is a potent reminder that the bill is due for payment and makes it pretty easy to check for errors rather than going to the Internet to view the bill on line.

It costs plenty for Comcast to provide a paper bill, probably somewhere between $5 to $10. If they would give a $5 to $10 credit to go to paperless auto pay, I'd jump at it, but I'd still make a paper copy.
--
There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.

Sherlock Holmes in
The Boscombe Valley Mystery
A. C. Doyle
Strand Magazine, October 1891

andyross
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-04
Schaumburg, IL

Even with e-billing, Comcast gives you a few weeks notice about the new bill. You can go on-line and view the FULL bill, which is just a PDF version of the paper bill.

I don't use PPV and haven't made changes in a long time, so it should be the same month-to-month, beyond normal price increases. I get mail or other notes about that a month or more in advance.

I do worry about the next month. I recently had to exchange a DTA that died. I hope the system doesn't treat it like 'new' and un-grandfather my free DTA.

Finally, mine is charged to a credit card, which gives you extra law behind it, and a buffer between any issues and when you actually have to pay for it.



telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15

said by andyross:

I do worry about the next month. I recently had to exchange a DTA that died. I hope the system doesn't treat it like 'new' and un-grandfather my free DTA.

Well, it looks like those "grandfathered" free DTAs are all being "un-grandfathered" soon: »[DTA] Formerly free DTAs are now $1.99/mo. each in the ATL


NetFixer
Freedom is NOT Free
Premium
join:2004-06-24
The Boro
Reviews:
·Cingular Wireless
·Comcast Business..
·Vonage

said by telcodad:

said by andyross:

I do worry about the next month. I recently had to exchange a DTA that died. I hope the system doesn't treat it like 'new' and un-grandfather my free DTA.

Well, it looks like those "grandfathered" free DTAs are all being "un-grandfathered" soon: »[DTA] Formerly free DTAs are now $1.99/mo. each in the ATL

I have not received any notice in my bill about such an impending change around here, but if/when it happens, my spare DTA (the TV for which it was obtained has long since been retired from service) will be returned forthwith. In fact I may just cut the cable TV cord entirely; I really can't remember when I actually watched anything on the TV (except for the occasional DVD or a locally stored movie on my Windows server) anyway.
--
We can never have enough of nature.
We need to witness our own limits transgressed, and some life pasturing freely where we never wander.


joako
Premium
join:2000-09-07
/dev/null
kudos:6
reply to travelguy

said by travelguy:

I couldn't agree more - "pull" payments are never a good idea. Far better to push payments from your bank's bill pay service. Most allow you to schedule recurring payments, although I got caught by a change in tax rates that made my bill go up a few cents. Fortunately I made up the difference before the window closed.

Auto-pay with a good credit card, such as American Express and chargeback any errors.

The only issue with this is for a $2 error American Express will usually eat it and not actually charge it back to the merchant, so they won't be charged a chargeback fee.
--
PRescott7-2097

dishrich

join:2006-05-12
Springfield, IL
reply to Streetlight

said by Streetlight:

I think auto pay with paper billing is the way to go. The paper bill is a potent reminder that the bill is due for payment and makes it pretty easy to check for errors rather than going to the Internet to view the bill on line.

Plus I actually MAKE $$$ with my cash-back CC's; $1.75 EVERY month on just my CC bill alone. Multiply that month after month, with all my other bills I have on this CC, & it adds up nicely.
(& before anyone asks - of course I do NOT pay ANY fees on my CC's; would defeat the purpose of cash-back)


S1R1US

join:2002-08-25
Clearwater, FL
reply to mario02423

said by mario02423:

said by airwavz:

My last 2 bills have had a 32 cent (yes, $0.32) fee for 'Cable TV Franchise Fee' over a year and a half.

+1'ing this. I had the franchise fee on my Business Class Internet Only account. Had to take it to Corporate Escalation to get it removed.

If my understanding of this fee is correct, it's valid for both of you whether you have cable television or not. I believe it relates to a cost to providers by the city you live in to A, allow them physical access to install/repair equipment on city property and B, provide funding for local channels. 100% of this fee goes straight to the city you live in. It's not a tax like it might sound, but service providers treat it as a tax in the sense that it's a charge incurred on them by an outside entity (government, city, etc), so they simply carry the charge onto customers. It's an optional fee that providers can choose to pass on or not.

I suspect if there are companies who are only just now starting to charge it, they are finding a tight budget in certain areas and recognize the legal advantage of spreading the cost out to us customers. In my opinion, I think it's appropriate.


RR Conductor
NWP RR Inc.,serving NW CA
Premium
join:2002-04-02
Redwood Valley, CA
kudos:1
reply to Streetlight

You gotta love it, you pay to give money. "Yo Jo, I wanna give you some money..Okay, it'll cost you 10 bucks though"
--



cork1958
Cork
Premium
join:2000-02-26

1 recommendation

said by RR Conductor:

You gotta love it, you pay to give money. "Yo Jo, I wanna give you some money..Okay, it'll cost you 10 bucks though"

All cable company's do this and most phone company's also, as far as I know. Isn't it just great, that they can invent ways to nickel and dime you to death?!
--
The Firefox alternative.
»www.mozilla.org/projects/seamonkey/


Decieved3754

@scansafe.net
reply to telcodad

All DTAs now are getting charged!!! Comcast just arbitrarily began charging $1.99 per DTA (at least in the Atlanta area). So much for the 2 free DTAs to help with the switch to encrypted digital service. This is clearly a deceptive bait-and-switch. Just filed FCC complaint and encourage others to do so also.


aabaaf

join:2011-12-09
Lombard, IL
reply to RR Conductor

You pay to give them $, because they have to pay the person who took your money. When that person could have been helping someone else, that truly needed help with getting their services working again. That's the thinking behind it.



telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15

1 edit
reply to Decieved3754

said by Decieved3754 :

All DTAs now are getting charged!!! Comcast just arbitrarily began charging $1.99 per DTA (at least in the Atlanta area). So much for the 2 free DTAs to help with the switch to encrypted digital service. This is clearly a deceptive bait-and-switch. Just filed FCC complaint and encourage others to do so also.

Yes, see a few posts back: »Re: Newest bill shows new fee - Convenience Fee

EDIT: Also see: Comcast Help and Support Forum - FREE digital adapters are now being charged
»forums.comcast.com/t5/Billing/FR···/1439157


RR Conductor
NWP RR Inc.,serving NW CA
Premium
join:2002-04-02
Redwood Valley, CA
kudos:1
reply to aabaaf

said by aabaaf:

You pay to give them $, because they have to pay the person who took your money. When that person could have been helping someone else, that truly needed help with getting their services working again. That's the thinking behind it.

It's just a way to make more money, plain and simple. Like activation fees with Cell Companies, if you ask them to explain why they are necessary, you get blank stares, but you know they are to make up for lost revenue from voice. I stay with local banks and credit unions because they don't feel the need to do things like this, sadly, most don't have this choice (myself included) when it comes to broadband.
--


travelguy

join:1999-09-03
Santa Fe, NM

Exactly. Consider it a financial education incentive tax. There are always ways to pay that do not cost extra. Most banks offer free bill payment services. Unbanked? Pick up a free Bluebird account from American Express / Walmart. It offers free billpay as well. Alternate payment services offered by the biller are a convenience, not a necessity and are surcharged based on value to you, not what it costs to provide.



ArrayList
netbus developer
Premium
join:2005-03-19
Brighton, MA
reply to pokesph

I look at my credit card bill, which is where all the autopay bills come from, and if the price changes, then I inquire. It's silly to look at all 6 bills every month.



DGDTrathole

join:2000-05-07
Newmarket, NH
reply to cork1958

son got me thinking the other day....

hey dad, your the man in the middle....
huh???
ya, you work, then you sit down each month
and pay all these bills and do it for free...
huh???
dad...just have your company send all your bills
in each month and give you what's left over.....

ya right....but I said hey....that's an opportunity....
for every bill I have to send in each month...attach a
bill for my service of paying the bill and deduct it from what
the bill is....

every time they go up on their bill, raise my rate to spend
the time paying the bill....maybe I can play their game of
nickel and dime us all the time...!!!LOL



IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast
reply to Streetlight

The only time I use auto pay is if there is a discount for doing so (such as my auto or renters insurance). Otherwise I pay the bill through the service provider's (Comcast, Verizon Wireless, Wester Mass Electric, etc) website.

Sometimes I use the bill payment kiosk at the Verizon Wireless store if I happen to be at the mall.



NotTheMama
What Would Earl Do?

join:2012-12-06
reply to Streetlight

What?! Incorrectly billing customers for a service/action they didn't/don't use/have (and hoping they never notice it)? Sounds like Comcast has graduated from the Verizon School of Billing... cum laude even.
--
"...but ya doesn't hasta call me Johnson!"