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robhouston

join:2001-09-15
Chester, NJ

[DTA] Pay for All DTA's?

Hello:

I just looked at my January bill, and I'm now being charged $1.99 for each of my two DTA's, when previously, they were free. Perhaps I've missed some billing change announcement, but is Comcast now in the process of eliminating the free DTA's?

On a separate topic, after two previous phone calls, Comcast has failed yet again to credit my account for about $50 for the 12 day Hurricane Sandy service loss, so I've had to make a request on the Comcast Direct forum. I can't imagine why it is so damn difficult for Comcast to issue this credit.


owlyn
Premium,MVM
join:2004-06-05
Newtown, PA
Yes, they are now charging for DTAs in most, if not all areas. The notice was in my December bill.

Are you sure CC is issuing credits for Sandy outages? It wasn't their fault there was an outage.


telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15
reply to robhouston
said by robhouston:

Hello:

I just looked at my January bill, and I'm now being charged $1.99 for each of my two DTA's, when previously, they were free. Perhaps I've missed some billing change announcement, but is Comcast now in the process of eliminating the free DTA's?

Yes, for subscribers with Digital Starter service or above, Comcast is now charging for all DTAs. They are free now only for Limited Basic customers. This is the notice that was printed in the bill I received in November:
Effective Jan 1, 2013, the monthly price for Digital Adapter Outlet service on the first 2 additional outlets for customers with a minimum video subscription of Digital Starter, will change from No Charge to $1.49 per outlet. In addition, subscribers will be charged a separate equipment charge of $.50 per month for each Digital Adapter that is utilized on these outlets. Prices exclude applicable taxes and fees.
said by robhouston:

On a separate topic, after two previous phone calls, Comcast has failed yet again to credit my account for about $50 for the 12 day Hurricane Sandy service loss, so I've had to make a request on the Comcast Direct forum. I can't imagine why it is so damn difficult for Comcast to issue this credit.

I received my credit on this month's bill (for January services). It was under the "Other Charges and Credits" area and was listed for "Service Interruption."

robhouston

join:2001-09-15
Chester, NJ
reply to owlyn
Thanks for the fast response on the DTA charges.

Yes, both times when I called, I was told that I'd receive a credit for the 12 day outage. The bottom line is that I didn't have their service for 12 days, so why should I pay for those 12 days?

robhouston

join:2001-09-15
Chester, NJ
reply to telcodad
Thanks, telcodad, I must have missed that message on my last bill.

I still have not received the storm credit, so I've opened a message on the Comcast Direct forum. I'm tired of calling Comcast about it.......

andyross
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-04
Schaumburg, IL
reply to telcodad
said by telcodad:

Effective Jan 1, 2013, the monthly price for Digital Adapter Outlet service on the first 2 additional outlets for customers with a minimum video subscription of Digital Starter, will change from No Charge to $1.49 per outlet. In addition, subscribers will be charged a separate equipment charge of $.50 per month for each Digital Adapter that is utilized on these outlets. Prices exclude applicable taxes and fees.

This is what seems weird. They charge $1.49 for the outlet, and then $0.50 for the DTA? Are they going to start further unbundling 'additional outlet' prices for regular boxes? (Basically, a fee just to connect something, then a fee for that actual device.)


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

This is what seems weird. They charge $1.49 for the outlet, and then $0.50 for the DTA? Are they going to start further unbundling 'additional outlet' prices for regular boxes? (Basically, a fee just to connect something, then a fee for that actual device.)

On my bills, there is one item that is labeled "Digital Additional Outlet Service" that includes a Digital Converter (@ $2.15) and a remote control (@ $0.20), for a total of $9.25 each. So the charge for the Additional Outlet (AO) itself must be $6.90 ea./mo.

GTFan

join:2004-12-03
Here it's just a straight $1.99 for each DTA, no outlet BS. Still sucks when these were given out for free.

Zoder

join:2002-04-16
Miami, FL
reply to robhouston
Even with all of the DTAs purchased, Comcast saved billions of dollars by going the digital migration route instead of upgrading all plants to 1 ghz or more. They also saved money by getting the FCC to give a waiver on the separable security mandate for the DTAs.

Now that they have a huge install base hooked on them, they go for an easy profit stream. After the year or so it will take to break even on the wholesale cost, Comcast will be making 100% on the millions of these deployed in the field every single month.

The worst part is they are so cheap but we have no way to purchase them out right. Customers are going to be paying for them many times over through a DTAs lifetime.

willpick
Premium
join:2008-01-28
Boca Raton, FL
reply to robhouston
I have the 2 DTA's that i got for free still in the box. never installed them. Glad i didn't. Main reason was that the last analog TV bit the big one 2 weeks later, and the remaining tv's were all HDTV's. 2 use set top boxes, the third was just hooked straight in-- worked fine until CC went all digital on all channels. So I may just wait until the HD DTA shows up in my neck of the country, then get one.

Zoder

join:2002-04-16
Miami, FL
If you ordered them, they are still attached to your account, whether they are hooked up or not. So you should return them if you don't want to be charged.

Joe12345678

join:2003-07-22
Des Plaines, IL
reply to Zoder
service electric let's you one off lease them.

And they also rent out the older small FULL SD boxes for $3.95 /mo

Zoder

join:2002-04-16
Miami, FL

1 edit
reply to telcodad
said by telcodad:

Jan 1, 2013, the monthly price for Digital Adapter Outlet service on the first 2 additional outlets for customers with a minimum video subscription of Digital Starter, will change from No Charge to $1.49 per outlet. In addition, subscribers will be charged a separate equipment charge of $.50 per month for each Digital Adapter that is utilized on these outlets. Prices exclude applicable taxes and fees.

This shows perfectly how much of a scam the whole "digital outlet" charge is. It's clearly been designed as a system to work around the FCC's customer owned equipment rule. Since Comcast has to issue a credit for the equipment part of the charge for these customers.

Oh no customer, we're only charging you $2.50 for the equipment. It doesn't matter if it's an SD, HD or DVR box. The equipment is just $2.50. It's the "outlet" that you are paying $7+ for.

Yet here we see the outlet charge is only $1.49. It's the same outlet and if you have digital starter, the same channels.

Since the difference in price is so minimal, this also incentivises customers to stick with the Comcast leased equipment vs buying their own and using a cablecard. This is certainly not what the FCC intended. Whether they will ever have the will to do something about it is another story.

Joe12345678

join:2003-07-22
Des Plaines, IL
Some one should sue and also sue to be able to own the cable box (so you can get VOD) as well.


telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15
said by Joe12345678:

Some one should sue and also sue to be able to own the cable box (so you can get VOD) as well.

Someone filed a lawsuit against Cox for this recently, don't know what became of it: »Re: Who Killed the Open Set-Top-Box?

Zoder

join:2002-04-16
Miami, FL
For the cable companies I don't see antitrust law as the way to go on this. They don't have a monopoly in television distribution.

You can argue that the STB manufactures are colluding to keep STBs from being sold at retail or directly from the cable providers. That's a much stronger argument.

On the cable side though, it really comes down to the FCC's authority under the 96 telecom act. Do their regulations go far enough in promoting the intent of the law? Since it's been 16 years and the market is barely better than when the act became law, I would say no. But without a will from a majority of the commissioners to get things rolling, nothing is going to change.

Allvid has been delayed another 2 years at least.

RalphKramden

join:2007-01-10
Newtown, PA
reply to Joe12345678
said by Joe12345678:

Some one should sue and also sue to be able to own the cable box (so you can get VOD) as well.

Go for it.


mikedz4

join:2003-04-14
Weirton, WV
Reviews:
·Frontier Communi..
·Verizon Online DSL
·Comcast
reply to Zoder
said by Zoder:

For the cable companies I don't see antitrust law as the way to go on this. They don't have a monopoly in television distribution.

You can argue that the STB manufactures are colluding to keep STBs from being sold at retail or directly from the cable providers. That's a much stronger argument.

On the cable side though, it really comes down to the FCC's authority under the 96 telecom act. Do their regulations go far enough in promoting the intent of the law? Since it's been 16 years and the market is barely better than when the act became law, I would say no. But without a will from a majority of the commissioners to get things rolling, nothing is going to change.

Allvid has been delayed another 2 years at least.

The act of 1996 was a crock of crap. It basically took all of the authority of the fcc on cable. It was meant to drive competition which in some areas it did but in a lot it didn't. Yes there are satellite providers out there but I don't really consider them
"true" competition.

GTFan

join:2004-12-03
reply to Zoder
said by Zoder:

said by telcodad:

Jan 1, 2013, the monthly price for Digital Adapter Outlet service on the first 2 additional outlets for customers with a minimum video subscription of Digital Starter, will change from No Charge to $1.49 per outlet. In addition, subscribers will be charged a separate equipment charge of $.50 per month for each Digital Adapter that is utilized on these outlets. Prices exclude applicable taxes and fees.

This shows perfectly how much of a scam the whole "digital outlet" charge is. It's clearly been designed as a system to work around the FCC's customer owned equipment rule. Since Comcast has to issue a credit for the equipment part of the charge for these customers.

Oh no customer, we're only charging you $2.50 for the equipment. It doesn't matter if it's an SD, HD or DVR box. The equipment is just $2.50. It's the "outlet" that you are paying $7+ for.

Yet here we see the outlet charge is only $1.49. It's the same outlet and if you have digital starter, the same channels.

Since the difference in price is so minimal, this also incentivises customers to stick with the Comcast leased equipment vs buying their own and using a cablecard. This is certainly not what the FCC intended. Whether they will ever have the will to do something about it is another story.

This is exactly right, and results in a net $7.50 charge for each Cablecard you get after the first ($10 outlet minus $2.50 credit). This was clearly not what the FCC intended when it said card rentals must be a reasonable price to cover the card itself, not an attempt to gouge for an 'outlet'. The FCC said that cableCos had to break out the cost of an STB rental vs. a card separately, and it's ridiculous to say that an HD STB is only a $2.50 rental value.

Complaints have been filed with the FCC about this from folks in the Tivo community, but nothing has happened.

Donut

join:2005-06-27
Romulus, MI
reply to robhouston
Oh you noticed the Xmas gift from Comcast too. Wasnt that nice of them.
--
Mr. Donut