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Something Free from COMCAST ?

Original post made by Kiko on Feb 18, 2009

Just received a letter and a recorded phone call from COMCAST telling me that by March 9th they would be going all digital and that I needed to go on-line or call them to get 1 digital set top box and 2 digital adapters "at no additional cost". Well, on-line doesn't work, and apparently neither does the phone. Has anyone received these boxes "at no additional cost" and if you did, how much do you think it will cost you in the future?

Comments (22)

Posted by Jerry, a resident of Oak Hill
on Feb 19, 2009 at 1:22 am

I had the same problem with the "on-line order". I didn't have a problem with the phone order. Be prepared to answer a few questions and hold a few minutes while they confirm your number.

My digital box and adapters arrived in a couple days(UPS). Haven't had a chance to connect them yet but from a quick inventory I may need some connector cables. After a brief glance at the instructions, installation doesn't seem to be difficult.

They changed me to a new account, that included the "boxes", with no additional monthly charge. Like you, I wonder how long that will continue...

Posted by Joe, a resident of Oak Hill
on Feb 19, 2009 at 4:25 pm

I visited their facility in Livermore, where they gave me one digital adapter and one cable box. The clerk assured me that my bill would never increase because it was their decision to eliminate channels 3 through 85, in order to gain more bandwidth for additional digital service.

Told her that if my service fee increased by evan a penny, the boxes would be returned and I would switch to Dish Network.

And, they kept advertising that "Comcast has you covered" for months, and waited until the last minute to spring this on us. Why am I not surprised?

Posted by M, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 19, 2009 at 9:49 pm

there shouldn't be a charge for the converter box--they need you to convert in order to keep your biz. this box isn't going to give you any premium channels- just your basic cable.

Posted by Jerry, a resident of Oak Hill
on Feb 19, 2009 at 11:42 pm

If I change to another service I'm not gonna return the "boxes". If they want them, they can come get them. I'll leave them in the driveway...

Posted by Kiko, a resident of Val Vista
on Feb 20, 2009 at 8:28 am

Has anyone actually installed and activated these "at no additional cost" boxes. I read on the internet that when they did this in Corvallis, OR last December they couldn't be activated unless you tuned to ch.1 and got the new service. Of course they were sued...maybe they changed their procedures.

Posted by Tim, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 20, 2009 at 8:41 am

I have installed two of the digital adapters (the small ones). I already have a Digital Recorder (DVR) from Comcast, so I wasn't able to get larger converter box without an additional $6.99/month charge. I ordered the boxes by phone, but they sent two of the larger converter boxes in error. I had to return them to the Livermore office and get the small free ones. They are up and running without much trouble. I had to trun them on and the TVs on, then call the activation number. They activated both boxes and they are working fine. The person at the Livermore office said that I wouldn't have to get them activated, they would work "automatically". He was wrong.


Posted by Tori, a resident of Country Fair
on Feb 20, 2009 at 9:11 am

I called and received a converter box, and two of the smaller boxes. Our bill has cycled siince then and the charge is about the same. I hate to tell you Joe in Oak Hill, it was exactly a penny more (rounding as they show a charge and reversal for the "free" equipment). Anyway, we installed them over the weekend and they seem to be working well. No significant change in the channel lineup for us. We wanted to hook up our DVR (Not Comcast) and think we know how but it stopped working and is in for repair.

We also received a mailing for DirectTV and are going to look into that. Seems like that might be a better deal but I don't know for how long and if there are hidden fees. Anyone have DirectTV who can share their experience?

Posted by old lady, a resident of Del Prado
on Feb 20, 2009 at 9:17 am

I am no tachie. I received my Data box in the mail from a telephone request and it was simple to connect. The activation was by telephone and only took a few minutes. I am satisfied.
I believe this is to keep you a satisfied customer. The competition with A T & T is getting fierce. As long as we have competition I think we'll be fine in regards to a futre charge.
Further, you will buy new T.V.s, eventually, and probably not need this equipment.
Change is the name of the future game - get used to it.

Posted by mooseturd, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Feb 20, 2009 at 10:16 am

Wait, there is a cost. If you still use a VCR, you can no longer program your VCR to tape programs off the air. And you can no longer tape one program while watching another. In addition, these three boxes consume about 5W of electrical energy each. Figure on 50/month to run the boxes (always on). Figure another 50 per month to keep the three remotes in batteries.

The real reason they want you to have the "full feature" box is so your children order pay per view content. Now you are talking real money!!

Posted by Nuicheboy, a resident of Valley Trails
on Feb 20, 2009 at 10:41 am

I think you nailed it, mooseturd. The whole purpose of the "upgrade" is to get that full feature box into your house for more money. Since its a two-way box they can also track your viewing habits and sell that info to all those other companies after your business.

Posted by GOM (Grumpy old man), a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 20, 2009 at 12:38 pm

If you get the small digital adapter box (2 free per home) you can't order anything with them. So you are safe from movie purchases.


Posted by GOM, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 20, 2009 at 12:39 pm

If you get the small digital adapter box (2 free per home) you can't order anything with them. So you are safe from movie purchases.

GOM (Grumpy old man)

Posted by frank, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Feb 20, 2009 at 10:06 pm

I went through the phone drill tonight ordering my boxes. Like posters above I questioned repeatedly about any price increases in the future. Of course, the answer was no. But I remain suspicious.

I already understand that certain functionality that I have now will be reduced. This is a consequence of the digital signal format and not a conspiracy by comcast. In return for this loss we will get HDTV digital input. But now I need an HDTV monitor to appreciate the difference. Without upgrading my monitors I suffer a net loss. So, the cost to us is not related to our comcast bill.

Posted by mooseturd, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Feb 22, 2009 at 4:19 pm

Oh yes, there is one more loss of functionality. The remotes supplied can be programmed for most (not all) TVs. Now I need two remotes to operate a simple 12inch TV in my den. Comcast suggests duct tape.

Posted by Ann, a resident of Val Vista
on Feb 25, 2009 at 1:25 am

Called and was sent a small digital adapter box with no hassle. I have to use a RF tuner to make my TV work with my DVD player. Was expecting that it might be difficult to hook everything up, but it was a breeze.

Be sure to use the call back number that comes on the adapter box instructions to have it activated. If you call other numbers they are unprepared to deal with what is a painless process.

Don't care for the extra remote and changing channels is a little sluggish, but otherwise am very pleased. Many more channels for my basic service and even FM stations. Don't even know if my TV is on the list, I just went with the pre-programed stations.

They are getting lots of calls, so better to act sooner than later.

Posted by 2 remotes, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 28, 2009 at 10:12 am

We did ours last night.

Be prepared to call after you connect the boxes to activate the services.

One TV now requires the old remote to turn off and on. A bit of a pain.

But the new remote from Comcast cuts out the blank channels, that's nice.

Posted by John, a resident of Del Prado
on Mar 3, 2009 at 12:59 pm

Had to call to get the new boxes, online didn't work. Received them from UPS a few days later. Easy to install and program. cable from wall goes to new little box, and you get a 3 ft cable to go from the box to your tv. Needed to call to activate - which was annoying since you go thru the automated menu, get an account person who can't help you, and who transfers you to the department handling these "upgrades". You need to regurgitate all your account information for security purposes (as if someone would seriously consider stealing these things) and read off the serial numbers (there are extra stickers with this info with each new box - have them on hand when you call). the phone work took about as long as it takes to install boxes and program the new remotes.

Posted by Nuicheboy, a resident of Valley Trails
on Mar 3, 2009 at 3:34 pm

I got the boxes, hooked em up, went through the analog style phone routine for the new digital service and discovered that my big screen digital tv didn't look so good, but my analog tv's were ok. I switched all the boxes around, and still the digital tv was fuzzy. So I went back to a direct hook and the digital tv looks sharp again. Has anyone else noticed this ? Are we supposed to wait until Mar. 9th for everything to look good? I'm might be "dish" time. Hey, where is u-verse?

Posted by pdm, a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 4, 2009 at 9:33 pm

What a bunch of freaking whiners! Read a book losers!

Posted by Nuicheboy, a resident of Valley Trails
on Mar 5, 2009 at 7:56 pm

Hey pdm...civil discussion between adults and then people like you chime-in with your crap. Either you're a 14 year old or an Obama lover. Didn't you used to go by the name of cholo ?

Posted by John, a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 6, 2009 at 3:45 pm

I called and received 4 digital transport adaptors, self installed them and then had one unit that would not initiate and had to have a tech come out and exchange it. Trouble is, these are all connected to VCR's. I noticed that everything scheduled to record last week came out un-viewable. A chat with the on line service didn't resolve this, so another tech is coming out, maybe at a cost to us. It tells you how to hook these adaptors up to a TV with a VCR, but it doesn't tell you that you can only record channel 3, as that is apparenly the only signal that comes through now. This is really back to the future. All their literature and web sites say these work with a VCR/DVD recorder, but it don't look like it does. We shall see when the tech comes out again.

Posted by Jim, a resident of Val Vista
on Mar 6, 2009 at 7:12 pm

John in SR... I know what you're talking about, but here is an interesting thing I discovered. A friend told me that you don't need the boxes with a digital TV, so I disconnected the box and went straight into the TV. Guess what...I still get all the channels that the box was delivering, but, of course, they are in different locations on the dial so I went through them all and made a list (took about 30 mins.) If you have a digital TV and you disconnect the box you will need to re-scan the channels.

I don't know if this will last...maybe on Mar.9 it will all change.

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