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Old 01-31-2014, 02:57 AM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA
2,389 posts, read 3,233,564 times
Reputation: 2884

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There are three televisions in the unit, each with one digital adapter.

We had four televisions when we signed up, where the fourth had a cable box. The fourth TV was removed, as well as the box with it because we had no one in that room any longer. Despite removing the box (hadn't returned it to Comcast yet), what I have discovered has just rocked my Realization Box: The Comcast digital cable box is not necessary in order to receive a full lineup for the Digital packages. Yet, Comcast charges fees for customers to have this box. Let me explain.

We signed up for the Digital Starter package, and were receiving that channel lineup, but someone was billing us for Digital Economy (a cheaper package with less than half the channels of the former). Of course we didn't realize that we were in fact receiving what we weren't being billed for. So recently they had realized we were getting the Starter lineup instead of Economy, and suddenly Comcast shut out more than half the channels we'd been getting.

When we called and asked why our service was changed, the representative said it's because a mistake was noticed. And so on. So when told that we weren't getting what we thought we were, we asked to upgrade to the package with the lineup we had before. We were told a Comcast technician would need to come in and install a box!

And of course, for a fee.

Wait a minute...

We were able receive the upgraded lineup with just the adapters on the three televisions without the box just fine. Why, then, is Comcast telling us that we need a big cable box in order to receive the lineup we were already getting without it?

Sounds like a scam to me, because it's obvious that only the small, black adapters are needed in order to receive the upgraded lineup.

This is how Comcast piles on fees by requiring customers to retain obsolete equipment.

HD Technology Fee - 9.95
DVR Service - 8.00
Digital Economy (Includes Limited Basic Service [the next lower package], Economy Channels *and Digital Equipment*) - 39.95

None of our televisions are hooked up to HD. None of our televisions have digital video recording devices. But their cable box (which they want us to get but as already proven we don't need) does.

Why can't Comcast just send the Starter package lineup back to our digital adapters as they've been doing for nearly a year, and fix the billing so we're billed for Starter and not Economy instead?

We can get every channel without more than just an adapter. It seems Comcast can send signals for channels straight to adapters without the need for a cable box at all. They just choose not to provide channels in order to force customers to purchase an unnecessary box and get double-dipped.

Last edited by Yiuppy; 01-31-2014 at 03:28 AM..
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Old 01-31-2014, 07:49 AM
 
41,823 posts, read 44,890,721 times
Reputation: 17745
You just have the little box that is say just a bit bigger than a wallet for all your TV's?

The larger cable box does things the those little boxes don't like the interactive program guide and On Demand. To put it bluntly those little DTA units suck. There is no reason you should need someone to come install it though .
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Old 01-31-2014, 09:40 AM
Status: "Enjoying the winter" (set 29 days ago)
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
34,100 posts, read 62,011,758 times
Reputation: 38021
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yiuppy View Post

Why can't Comcast just send the Starter package lineup back to our digital adapters as they've been doing for nearly a year, and fix the billing so we're billed for Starter and not Economy instead?

We can get every channel without more than just an adapter. It seems Comcast can send signals for channels straight to adapters without the need for a cable box at all. They just choose not to provide channels in order to force customers to purchase an unnecessary box and get double-dipped.
The same reason they won't sell you a package where you pay only for the channels you want. They are in business to make money. You can switch to another cable system (if available) one of the satellite providers, or or internet TV if you don't like Comcast. I have yet to find something more suitable for us since the woods block satellite signal, but we do save by having TiVo instead of a Comcast DVR, $2.50/month for a Comcast card to put in it.
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Old 01-31-2014, 09:59 AM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA
2,389 posts, read 3,233,564 times
Reputation: 2884
Quote:
Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
You just have the little box that is say just a bit bigger than a wallet for all your TV's?

The larger cable box does things the those little boxes don't like the interactive program guide and On Demand. To put it bluntly those little DTA units suck. There is no reason you should need someone to come install it though .
I don't need an interactive guide, on-demand, pay-per-view and dvr for extra fees when I got tvguide.com to check listings for free. The DTA works just fine and does exactly what I need it to do - receive cable channels, control volume, turn TV on and off, provide closed captioning. That's all I need and I'm satisfied with that.

Comcast has a monopoly in this area. The satellite company's package costs even more than CONcast as they charge 24.99 per TV, before fees and taxes. No other options in my area.
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Old 01-31-2014, 01:22 PM
 
14,781 posts, read 38,589,032 times
Reputation: 14497
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yiuppy View Post
There are three televisions in the unit, each with one digital adapter.

We had four televisions when we signed up, where the fourth had a cable box. The fourth TV was removed, as well as the box with it because we had no one in that room any longer. Despite removing the box (hadn't returned it to Comcast yet), what I have discovered has just rocked my Realization Box: The Comcast digital cable box is not necessary in order to receive a full lineup for the Digital packages. Yet, Comcast charges fees for customers to have this box. Let me explain.

We signed up for the Digital Starter package, and were receiving that channel lineup, but someone was billing us for Digital Economy (a cheaper package with less than half the channels of the former). Of course we didn't realize that we were in fact receiving what we weren't being billed for. So recently they had realized we were getting the Starter lineup instead of Economy, and suddenly Comcast shut out more than half the channels we'd been getting.

When we called and asked why our service was changed, the representative said it's because a mistake was noticed. And so on. So when told that we weren't getting what we thought we were, we asked to upgrade to the package with the lineup we had before. We were told a Comcast technician would need to come in and install a box!

And of course, for a fee.

Wait a minute...

We were able receive the upgraded lineup with just the adapters on the three televisions without the box just fine. Why, then, is Comcast telling us that we need a big cable box in order to receive the lineup we were already getting without it?

Sounds like a scam to me, because it's obvious that only the small, black adapters are needed in order to receive the upgraded lineup.

This is how Comcast piles on fees by requiring customers to retain obsolete equipment.

HD Technology Fee - 9.95
DVR Service - 8.00
Digital Economy (Includes Limited Basic Service [the next lower package], Economy Channels *and Digital Equipment*) - 39.95

None of our televisions are hooked up to HD. None of our televisions have digital video recording devices. But their cable box (which they want us to get but as already proven we don't need) does.

Why can't Comcast just send the Starter package lineup back to our digital adapters as they've been doing for nearly a year, and fix the billing so we're billed for Starter and not Economy instead?

We can get every channel without more than just an adapter. It seems Comcast can send signals for channels straight to adapters without the need for a cable box at all. They just choose not to provide channels in order to force customers to purchase an unnecessary box and get double-dipped.
1. You DO NOT get all of the channels you get with a regualar box with the DTA on the Digital Starter package. You MAY get all of the channels YOU are happy with, but there are channels that you will not be able to get that will be part of your package and you will of course lose access to OnDemand, screen guides, etc.

2. If you have no need for HD and a DVR, you do not need to have them. The box they want to install is a HD-DVR box, hence the extra charges. You DO NOT need to have a HD-DVR box if you do not want it. There is also no reason why you HAVE to have a digital box at all, other than if you wanted to actually see everything you are paying for.

DTA's work differently depending on your pacakge...

Limited Basic = DTA's display all of your channels.

Digital Economy = DTA's only display "Limited Basic" or are non-functional and you need a digital converter box to see the "Digital Economy" channels.

Digital Starter = DTA's display the first 100 or so channels unmapped of your package. You need a digital converter box to see all of the "Digital Starter" channels.

The reason for this is that DTA's are generally "dumb" and display whatever is being piped into the house. Someone subscribing to "Limited Basic" is only having those channels sent. However, when you switch to "Digital Economy" everything is essentially being pumped in and the digital converter box is selecting what channels you can see. In some places DTA's will simply not work if you have "Digital Economy" and in others they will only display the "Limited Basic" channels. It depends on what the local setup is and if it didn't work that way, then a DTA would let you see channels you don't pay for as DTA's were never intended to replace actual cable boxes. When you cross to "Digital Starter" you are now paying for all of the channels a DTA can display and then some, so they are turned on.

What you have going on sounds more like confusion then anything else. If you are on "Digital Economy" your DTA's will not get anything more then "Limited Basic" channels no matter what you do. This is where the HD-DVR is coming in. That will actually be able to display all of your channels, but is in and of itself an "upsell" unless you are getting it "free" as part of a promotional package. A plain Jane SD digital converter box would also work.

If you actually upgrade to "Digital Starter" you will get all of the channels you had before, but you won't be able to see everything you are paying for without a digital converter box. In the land of automatons Comcast calls customer service..."this does not compute"...who could possibly want to pay for channels they can't see, even if it means they need to pay all this extra money for a converter box?

What I would do is go to a local Comcast "store" and talk to someone face-to-face. They will see what you want to do and there is no policy against letting you have just DTA's as long as you are on either "Limited Basic" or "Digital Starter". It's the quagmire of "Digital Economy" that is causing the issue.
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Old 01-31-2014, 01:59 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA
2,389 posts, read 3,233,564 times
Reputation: 2884
Here's their lineup.

https://www.comcast.com/Customers/Cl...up.ashx?area=0

Okay. Now this is what's wrong with Comcast. If the issue is what channels can be piped in, then there's no problem here because the lineup for Digital Starter has been piped through here and worked just fine with no xfinity box in the house, just the digital tv adapters. They were working just fine. But Comcast had been billing us for Digital Economy, so they removed the Digital Starter lineup yesterday.

The technician just came in two hours ago and installed one of the xfinity boxes to one of the tvs. He said the boxes are going to cost money and going to run up the cable bill. I told him to just install one instead of the three that Comcast sent him to install, until I can talk with customer service about why exactly every tv in the house needs an xfinity box in order to watch channels we'd been watching for a year without them. The tv with the installed xfinity box is getting the lineup for Digital Preferred; remember, I told them I want Digital Starter!

Now we have one tv with an xfinity box which is getting all the channels for Digital Preferred (when I asked for Starter), one tv with just a digital tv adapter which is getting the lineup for Digital Economy, and one tv with just a digital tv adatper which is getting the lineup for Digital Starter.

Again, this is the channel lineup for my address for each package: https://www.comcast.com/Customers/Cl...up.ashx?area=0

There is a vast difference in channel availability. Limited Basic is 29.95; Digital Economy is 39.95; and Digital Starter is 49.95. When I called Comcast, the representative said that we are currently (with the newly installed xfinity box) on the Preferred package for 49.95!

What the HELL?!

And the technician was not professional nor helpful at all.

The representative said she was going to dispatch the technician again (he left without saying whether he was finished or coming back, or reviewing anything with us, didn't give us a channel guide, no information on guarantee - NOTHING), try to fix the mess, and then call me back. She hasn't called back yet and that was almost two hours ago.

However, she did tell me that we did not need to get the xfinity box on every television. But if that's true, then why the hell is one of the televisions still not getting the lineup for Preferred (since that's what she said we're on now, even though I told them yesterday that we want Starter)?

I'm not complaining about having to pay for cable, but I like to know what exactly the hell it is I'm paying for, what's involved with it, and I don't like businesses that lie and manipulate information in order to price gouge and double-dip customers - which I believe is illegal and unethical.
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Old 01-31-2014, 02:58 PM
 
14,781 posts, read 38,589,032 times
Reputation: 14497
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yiuppy View Post
Here's their lineup.

https://www.comcast.com/Customers/Cl...up.ashx?area=0

Okay. Now this is what's wrong with Comcast. If the issue is what channels can be piped in, then there's no problem here because the lineup for Digital Starter has been piped through here and worked just fine with no xfinity box in the house, just the digital tv adapters. They were working just fine. But Comcast had been billing us for Digital Economy, so they removed the Digital Starter lineup yesterday.

The technician just came in two hours ago and installed one of the xfinity boxes to one of the tvs. He said the boxes are going to cost money and going to run up the cable bill. I told him to just install one instead of the three that Comcast sent him to install, until I can talk with customer service about why exactly every tv in the house needs an xfinity box in order to watch channels we'd been watching for a year without them. The tv with the installed xfinity box is getting the lineup for Digital Preferred; remember, I told them I want Digital Starter!

Now we have one tv with an xfinity box which is getting all the channels for Digital Preferred (when I asked for Starter), one tv with just a digital tv adapter which is getting the lineup for Digital Economy, and one tv with just a digital tv adatper which is getting the lineup for Digital Starter.

Again, this is the channel lineup for my address for each package: https://www.comcast.com/Customers/Cl...up.ashx?area=0

There is a vast difference in channel availability. Limited Basic is 29.95; Digital Economy is 39.95; and Digital Starter is 49.95. When I called Comcast, the representative said that we are currently (with the newly installed xfinity box) on the Preferred package for 49.95!

What the HELL?!

And the technician was not professional nor helpful at all.

The representative said she was going to dispatch the technician again (he left without saying whether he was finished or coming back, or reviewing anything with us, didn't give us a channel guide, no information on guarantee - NOTHING), try to fix the mess, and then call me back. She hasn't called back yet and that was almost two hours ago.

However, she did tell me that we did not need to get the xfinity box on every television. But if that's true, then why the hell is one of the televisions still not getting the lineup for Preferred (since that's what she said we're on now, even though I told them yesterday that we want Starter)?

I'm not complaining about having to pay for cable, but I like to know what exactly the hell it is I'm paying for, what's involved with it, and I don't like businesses that lie and manipulate information in order to price gouge and double-dip customers - which I believe is illegal and unethical.
I would highly recommend going into a local Comcast store, they have them all over (make sure it's the right one for your area) and work this out face to face. Comcast has atrocious customer service over the phone. They always have, they always will. The people in the local store are generally much easier to work with and resolve more complicated issues. What you want to end up with is "Digital Starter" with just the DTA's and no other boxes. I don't think they are purposefully trying to scam you, unless you count institutional stupidity as an attempt to scam.
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Old 01-31-2014, 03:33 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA
2,389 posts, read 3,233,564 times
Reputation: 2884
Thanks for the feedback. Hopefully this will be resolved before Sunday, and I'll follow-up if they ever get it right.
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Old 01-31-2014, 05:16 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA
2,389 posts, read 3,233,564 times
Reputation: 2884
So, after empty promises by one account rep, then another whose call I lost while I was on hold for however many minutes, I finally got in touch with a competent account representative who 1) changed the package to Digital Starter as asked, and it only took him about 20 seconds without having to put me on hold; 2) attempted to send a signal to the DTA to try to get the Digital Starter lineup back by serial number, twice (although this didn't work - however he mentioned the area is in an outage until after 8pm [an outage that didn't begin until today, but he said hitting the dta with a signal may not work during an outage so will try again later]); and 3) identified a "problem" with the DTA's cable card which was not existent before, which he says may be responsible for not getting the channels.

So what ended up happening in this brief call that took less than ten minutes (whereas I was on and off phones for half an hour at a time before), was that one of the two problems were resolved (getting the package I'd ask for), but there's still this issue with the darn DTAs, which I refuse to believe is attributed to a bad cable card, since prior to the new xfinity box installation on the other tv, the DTA on that one had also lost channels - it was a complete loss of the Digital Starter service caused by Comcast sending a signal to shut them off. This is not a problem with the adapters' cable card, but Comcast flipped a switch and turned off that service, requiring us to get at least one of the xfinity boxes.

So I swapped the leftover adapter that was still only getting Digital Economy channels with the one that was still getting Digital Starter ones. So that problem still exists.... but at least I will have what I'm paying for in the bedrooms, but still getting only Economy in the living room.

It seems the problem would be totally solved, and quickly, if they would just flip the switch for the Digital Starter lineup back on (the same way they flipped it off) for the DTAs instead of getting us to put in a box that's going to be 10 extra dollars every month on top of a 49.95 package before taxes and HD technology, DVR, Equipment and Installation fees. We'll have to see whether the signal will work after the outage is over.

It's an ongoing saga. I'll follow up when the DTA "problem" is ever fixed.
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Old 10-04-2016, 03:43 PM
 
1 posts, read 4,878 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yiuppy View Post
There are three televisions in the unit, each with one digital adapter.

We had four televisions when we signed up, where the fourth had a cable box. The fourth TV was removed, as well as the box with it because we had no one in that room any longer. Despite removing the box (hadn't returned it to Comcast yet), what I have discovered has just rocked my Realization Box: The Comcast digital cable box is not necessary in order to receive a full lineup for the Digital packages. Yet, Comcast charges fees for customers to have this box. Let me explain.

We signed up for the Digital Starter package, and were receiving that channel lineup, but someone was billing us for Digital Economy (a cheaper package with less than half the channels of the former). Of course we didn't realize that we were in fact receiving what we weren't being billed for. So recently they had realized we were getting the Starter lineup instead of Economy, and suddenly Comcast shut out more than half the channels we'd been getting.

When we called and asked why our service was changed, the representative said it's because a mistake was noticed. And so on. So when told that we weren't getting what we thought we were, we asked to upgrade to the package with the lineup we had before. We were told a Comcast technician would need to come in and install a box!

And of course, for a fee.

Wait a minute...

We were able receive the upgraded lineup with just the adapters on the three televisions without the box just fine. Why, then, is Comcast telling us that we need a big cable box in order to receive the lineup we were already getting without it?

Sounds like a scam to me, because it's obvious that only the small, black adapters are needed in order to receive the upgraded lineup.

This is how Comcast piles on fees by requiring customers to retain obsolete equipment.

HD Technology Fee - 9.95
DVR Service - 8.00
Digital Economy (Includes Limited Basic Service [the next lower package], Economy Channels *and Digital Equipment*) - 39.95

None of our televisions are hooked up to HD. None of our televisions have digital video recording devices. But their cable box (which they want us to get but as already proven we don't need) does.

Why can't Comcast just send the Starter package lineup back to our digital adapters as they've been doing for nearly a year, and fix the billing so we're billed for Starter and not Economy instead?

We can get every channel without more than just an adapter. It seems Comcast can send signals for channels straight to adapters without the need for a cable box at all. They just choose not to provide channels in order to force customers to purchase an unnecessary box and get double-dipped.


Okay so let me mellet me let mettell you guy and ladies in on a little secret thst the cable companies don't want you folks to know about because I don't to need more money because they don't have enough ofaare money already and they wonder why we hack there stuff or wonder why people steal cable bbecause the DTA boxes the small black boxes converters that everyone are talking about they are and hsve been built into to all televisions sets sense 2009 and that has been forced by the government you can look it up not all cable companies charge most give the dtas out for free because they know we didn't ask for this upgrade it was forced on us but the greedy ones charge us the big ones nice right now if your asking how does this guy now well I'm a lines man I traveled to do the upgrades for the lines to make it happen lol so yes I'm sorry I made this happen but it was going to happen but just so you know if you look at your tv and you see a channel like say 123.1 the .1 means it's digital that's what the DTA box is so the tv has it in now the old tube won't have but 2009 and up will and do I've been with the cable company for over 25 years and am very high up now so I know what I'm taking about and I don't agree on them making money off of what's already built in and I think a class lawsuit needs to be filed it's wrong that's why so may cable companies didn't charge they didn't want to be taken to court but companies like comcast can afford to go to court I man they have lobbyist
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