Berlin Cable Subscriber Upset With Comcast’s New Fee For Digital Adapters

February 27, 2013
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Complaint from Richard A. Lagassey of Berlin. Comcast’s response at the bottom.comcast_thumb3

Recently disappointed when I opened my Comcast bill and noticed that for the first time since the conversion over to digital  several years ago they are now charging everyone for every digital transmission adapter box in their home.

 When we were all forced to convert to digital, for those with expanded cable or above,  COMCAST (unlike Cox Cable) required a digital transmission adapter box for each TV.  COMCAST provided FREE (with the migration) for each household up to 3 boxes with the indication that their would be a charge for each box above 3.  Fair enough since the only purpose for the box was to interpret the signal when they move channels around.  A year and a half ago they moved additional channels around and now required even those consumers with even just the basic plan (like many seniors) to install a Free digital transmission adapter box in order to receive their channels.

 Well guess what!  Now that they have everyone in their territory, most of which with multiple TV’s, fitted with the COMCAST required digital transmission adapter boxes COMCAST has decided to charge $1.99 for every single box in every home.  What they indicated would be FREE (and this was all in their literature as part of the migration) is now being charged for and that is a lot of revenue for them and expense to the consumer when you multiply the number of households by the number of DTA’s.

 I called COMCAST to complain and every person sympathized and understood (REALLY?).  They said that the charge is now a legitimate charge and that they never specifically said that the DTA’s would be free forever, just free. Guess they left something out.

 They have had many fee increases since the migration.  This is just another avenue, that may not be under the oversight of the utility commission that they can extract additional ONGOING year to year revenue otherwise they would have incorporated the increase into the normal service increases.

 While this hits all of the consumers in their wallets within their territory it hits those thousands of Seniors that are on fixed incomes even harder.  This is a new charge that should not have been put on the backs of the consumers, especially since it was originally communicated as “FREE” for which I am extremely disappointed.  If we had the option to convert over to Cox cable, which has no such requirement, it would be done in a heart beat but it is not available in the COMCAST territory. 

 Comcast’s advance communication to date on this subject has been poor to date.  I feel that they are simply instructed to blow smoke an indicted that YES it is now a legit charge…………Sorry.

 There may be nothing that you can do but I do think this affects thousands of people in the state of Connecticut and was a situation that was mis-represented. 

COMCAST’S RESPONSE

When we began moving markets to full digital distribution in 2008, we provided up to two digital adapters (DTAs) at no additional charge to customers with Standard/Expanded Basic Cable. 

In addition to providing customers with additional channels – including History International, Biography, C-SPAN 3, G4, Sprout, Bloomberg News and Hallmark Movie Channel – at no change in price, DTAs also provided customers improved picture quality.

The deployment of DTAs allowed us to increase the number of HD channels from about 30 to as many as 100 channels and faster internet speeds. 

We are also beginning the deployments of HD-DTAs which will provide customers a less expensive way to access HD services on additional outlets, as well as deployments of an interactive guide for the DTAs. 

Bringing these enhancements to our customers requires significant investment, and we feel the nominal fee now being implemented for DTAs appropriately reflects the additional value of the service.

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15 Responses to Berlin Cable Subscriber Upset With Comcast’s New Fee For Digital Adapters

  1. Th3P00r on February 27, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    If wherever comcast is in, Cox doesn’t services at that territory. Isn’t that monopoly?

  2. Bob on February 27, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    After reading this article I ran and checked out my Comcast bill and didn’t find any extra $1.99 charge for my digital adapters. But I do know that my basic went up over $2.00 and I’m considering dropping cable because I get the channels I like for free over the air. As a matter of fact when my cable goes out I just switch to over the air and the picture is better than on cable. If they start charging than $1.99 for the adapter I definitely dropping cable.

  3. Rick on February 27, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    And this is just another reason why I am glad I cancelled Comcast and bought myself a Roku box. So, I went from paying $80/month for channels loaded with infomercials to $17/month (Netflix and Hulu plus subscription). It may not be perfect, but its better than dealing with Comcast.

  4. Wigs on February 27, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    How are you going to bypass the cable monopolies? What will you do or use for I telnet?

  5. Bud on February 27, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    Switch to U Verse from ATT have had it since it was available and love it.

  6. H on February 27, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    I took a good hard look at my last Comcast bill and have since returned 1 adapter and traded in my DVR box for a HD box(no charge) and only used my DVR a bout twice a year. Found out when I picked up my
    HD box that even though I was paying for HD I wasn’t receiving it. Probably my fault as I’m not up to all this electronic stuff. They did give me 3 months credit for that. Really can’t tell the difference. We are senior Seniors and will be looking for other ways to cut back.

  7. Janice Robertson on February 27, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    I too discovered this fee added to my bill and am on a 2-year specific rate promotion. I called Comcast to question the new charge for the DTAS, as it states on my 1/17/13 bill the following: “If you are currently receiving services on a promotional basis, under a minimum term agreement associated with a specific rate, or in the guaranteed period of one of our SurePrice plans, the prices for those specific services will not be affected during the applicable period.” The rep claimed that the DTAs were not included in my package, therefore they had the right to now charge me for them. One of the reasons I switched back to Comcast from U-verse was the great 2-year promo rate that had NO FEE FOR DTAs! So I am not happy with Comcast, after arguing with two reps over this issue and getting nowhere. And if I want to switch because of this, I will have to pay them quite a bit of money, which is not happening. At $1.99 per box per month I hardly consider this fee to be nominal. Moreover, I neither care about the new channels Comcast provides me nor do I watch them. How about a la carte pricing instead? in this way, I could select specifically the channels I’m interested in and not have to pay for an entire tier when all I want is one additional channel – in my case, Turner Classic Movies. Where is that public utility commission when you need them?!? Probably out of business in this state economy. What a sorry state of affairs this country is coming to.

  8. DW on February 27, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    I really, really, really hate Comcast. But living in Old Saybrook, there is little choice. UVERSE TV is not available and the various dish products do not interest me. Without competition, we are screwed. I returned 2 DTA’s and adjusted my plan as much as I could, but still pay way too much. I use a straight cable on 2 lightly used sets and can get local, PBS and a few other stations without the DTA. The local channels are HD. You need a set with a QAM tuner to do this.

  9. joan cyr on February 27, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    I too, was riipped off by Comcast. I still have the original letter from Comcast, when they were advising us that we may need a DTA . Their oriiginal letter states “you can receive up to two digital adapters at no additional monthly charge”. I called the PUC about this and they referred me to somewhere else (of course) . If my memory serves me correctly, I never did find any authority to talk to. Of course I called Comcast and complained to some rude customer assistant.

    Mr. Gombossy, I think it is time you make this ‘rip off” your priority and and use your platform to publicize this issue loud and clear. The only reason for this is because they are a monopoly. I have found the exact model of my “DTA” on EBAY and Amazon, but hesitate buying one because dont know if it is possible to hook up without Comcast knowing about it.

  10. Mark Schiff on February 27, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    Another problem I am having with these new converter boxes besides the charge is that I am unable to find a large button remote that will work with them.

    My mother-in-law who has vision problems and cannot operate the DTA remote is out of luck on having her own remote.

    This is one more way she is losing her independence.

    This seems like an ADA violation, but I doubt I will pursue it.

  11. Glenn on February 28, 2013 at 12:10 am

    Comcast is a bunch of thieves. They bought up all the small cable companies years ago, and now they have a monopoly, and can do whatever they want.

    I have called them several times, about bogus charges, and all they do is polish my apple.

    Television is nothing but commercials now anyways, so I am considering getting rid of them, and find another pastime.

  12. David Jackson on February 28, 2013 at 8:12 am

    I live in the Keys. Everyone that has Concast complains about constant price increases. I moved to Dish and love it. Cheaper, quality, HD, DVR, $75. Don’t go with Direct. Promotion prices are good, then… One word of warning. Local TV station use a different satalitte. Make sure the receiver can see both. The baloney that Dish out every time a cloud pases is baloney.

  13. Bob on February 28, 2013 at 8:50 am

    Another thing with ComCast is they really don’t want to give you a break what so ever. I called them to see if they could give me a senior discount. They said sure, we’ll send you a form. On the form they want more personal information than you have to show a bank if you were looking for a loan. They wanted SS#, birth certificate, copy of your license, copy of rent receipts, how much money you make etc. All this for a $2.00 discount.

  14. PC on February 28, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    I would like to see a class action against them. There is no excuse for paying the ammount of money we pay for their service when up to 30 minutes of each hour is commercials broadcast at about 50% higher volume that someone else is already paying for. Lawyers take note! Judges have familys also, I doubt any one of them would want to tell their family, especially their parents who are on fixed incomes, that they agreed with the cable company unregulated monopoly tactics.

  15. Ed P on March 3, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    I got fed up with the cable monopoly and went to DirecTV. Saves me a few bucks a month but it was gratifying just to tell the cable company “goodbye” after many years of paying the thieves.

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