Comcast did it again Around Town, posted by Surprised, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on Jan 11, 2013 at 4:14 pm
I just received my Comcast bill and was shocked to see that the Franchise Fee had doubled since December. There was no mention in any bills that the Franchise Fee was increasing in January. I have no problem with a 3-5% increase but almost a 100% increase. That is over $100 additional per year that has been added to the bill. Happy 2013. Oh by the way, Comcast just added another increase to the cable service as well.
Posted by who gets the money, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jan 11, 2013 at 5:48 pm
Seems that fees for just about everything government related are increasing substantially. I guess it's easier to increase fees vs. raising taxes. My question is is it Comcast, Pleasanton, the County or the state that receive the money? Who initiated what you describe as a 100% franchise fee increase?
Posted by Milo Thompson III, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jan 11, 2013 at 8:37 pm
Comcast has got most of us over a barrel. To be a citizen of the modern world, we need to have access to TV. Could you imagine going to a cocktail party and shouting out that you did not watch the Niners or Newsroom on HBO (insert your favorite programs).
The cigarette companies found out that they could raise prices and people would still purchase them. The same with heroin / meth / rock cocaine (I watch Drugs Incorporated on NatGeo ... man what some people go through to get their drug fix).
Anyway, they don't care if you complain about high prices, because they know that you will pay the price. Same with the government ... sure you'll complain about higher taxes, but you pay the bill regardless.
It's a vicious circle. I ultimately blame the cocktail party. If it wasn't for keeping up with the Jones' we'd all be free from this insane vampire-esque sapping of our hard earned dough. It's liked we're HOOKED on TV / FaceBook / Google and Dancing with the Stars!!!
Posted by Milo, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jan 11, 2013 at 9:25 pm
It isn't comcast that benefits from the franchise fee. Pleasanton benefits from the franchise fee. I don't care, the city needs the money, right? I'm just a dumb taxpayer that seems to learn I need to pay more every time I read a news story about franchise fees, pensions, etc...
Posted by There are choices, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jan 14, 2013 at 9:51 am
Ummmm...there are choices..change from Comcast to another carrier: Direct TV, AT&T U-verse... Remember, you get what you pay for - if you want the high-speed, and all the perks of Comcast you have to pay their fees. We left them, because there cable dropped all the time and one of the service men who came out and checked the lines said that the lines in our cul-de-sac couldn't carry the load - until Comcast changes those lines I'll go with a slow DSL that never drops rather than a "high-speed" that drops during critical times. Especially when the DSL is significantly cheaper.
Posted by Ann, a resident of the Val Vista neighborhood, on Jan 15, 2013 at 9:28 am
It wasn't the City that raised the fees, the State of California controls the franchise fee rate. The City does receive some of the franchise fees, but it's strictly controlled for items like Channel 30 costs.
Posted by Crooks Galore, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jan 15, 2013 at 9:33 am
Contact members of the City Council and vigorously voice your concerns. Then go to a City Council meeting, sign up to speak, and then vigorously voice your concerns again. Encourage your friends and neighbors to do the same. Be aware, however, the problem can be that cable companies often bribe city council members. A case in point was when Gill Cable was bribing some San Jose City Council members in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The details came out in a lawsuit and at least two council members were forced to resign.
Posted by Chemist, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Jan 15, 2013 at 9:37 am
AT&T UVerse is just as bad or worse. They tempt you with very competitive pricing, then start eliminating the "deals" that were buried in the cost. They also drop channels and force you to upgrade to the next package up to get the channels you were getting last week. One year ago my bill was $117/month, today it is $167/month. The really sad thing is that I get 200 channels and only 2 of them ever carry a program that is worth watching. Next time, I will try to figure out how to get the sports from the Internet or visit the local bar for the 49er's game. Speaking of the Internet: my UVerse internet connection gives me a lousy 2.5Mb/second while my son is getting 25Mb/sec over his less expensive Comcast internet service! UVerse internet can't even track with a simple little YouTube video, so I am hosed when it comes to streaming a sporting event over the net. Oh well, my cost is now in the range of a T1, so maybe I will forget the whole TV thing.
Posted by Laury, a resident of the Laguna Vista neighborhood, on Jan 15, 2013 at 9:40 am
I have to call them every month because they offered me a 12 month rate and after 6 months they tried to take it back. Each month the rate is different and I spend a few hours on the internet and phone to get it straightened out. I am almost ready to get rid of the TV and cut back on internet. Sick of bait and switches.
Posted by Mr. Geeneyuss, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jan 15, 2013 at 10:55 am
Network bandwidth is the key factor here and just remember, a few years ago we were all sometimes working late at our offices because they had a T1 connection with 1.54Mbps.!!
The 100Mbps. "holy grail" of network speed will be achieved sooner than you think. If you've seen those large Verizon trucks prowling the neighborhoods with a gigantic spool of fiber out back they are about halfway through their network & system upgrades to bring fiber to the curb for a majority of the Tri-Valley.
At these or any speeds above 30-45Mbps. you can chuck your cable/SAT box, buy a used Xbox or Playstation, get a HULU/Roku/Apple TV + a set top (or better yet roof antennae) and start downloading, streaming and over the air receiving almost ANY type of network programming, movies or sports you can think of and finally cut the cable portion of your Comcast/Verizon bill for good.
Just make sure you have access to a 17-25 year old to help you get everything up & running.
Posted by Mary, a resident of the Stoneridge Park neighborhood, on Jan 15, 2013 at 11:10 am
Why don't we all strike against these big companies! Come on, we can survive for awhile w/out TV, cell phones etc. Let's get back to our libraries and regular hm phone, this will hurt these companies and will soon realize that they are no one w/out the consumers.
Posted by Libertarianism is my tea, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jan 15, 2013 at 12:12 pm
Striking would entail unionizing with others, and that infringes on everyone's liberty. I'd much rather exercise my individual liberty to call, be put on hold for an hour, and then scream at a public service representative in New Delhi.
Posted by Surprised, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on Jan 15, 2013 at 12:37 pm
Ann is correct. This increase is not a City increase but a State Fee. In fact Pleasanton also saw their franchise fee double. The one issue that I am having difficulty finding out is this, if there is an increase to the franchise fees does Comcast have to give you some type of notification letting the customers know of the impending increase. Comcast says they did notify the customers, then they said it was all part of their latest increase. Does anyone know the answer on this?
Posted by Tanya Martin, a resident of the Canyon Meadows neighborhood, on Jan 15, 2013 at 4:53 pm
Comcast has the worst customer service. They keep raising my rates to high heaven after at least15 years with them. When you call the "retention dept. " to complain they will offer you another promotion with 2 year contract however to get through is a two hour process complete with dropped calls and very snotty taunting people on the other end of the line. I paid these high rates for months just because I didn't have the required 2 hour it takes to go through the bull. Additionally Ive had lousy service. It doesn't work well in the bedroom as well as the screen pixlizing often.
This is the worst company I have ever had to deal with. I cant wait for the day there is enough competition or alternatives that they can't get away with treating their customers so poorly.
I cut the service down to high speed wireless and use Apple TV and Hulu. When I have the time to investigate other carriers I will change that too.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Danbury Park neighborhood, on Jan 16, 2013 at 9:09 am
Comcast only has unions in 2 cities; Fremont and Oakland. And the union covers only the installers, so claiming that unions have jacked up the prices is wrong. I canceled my phone and went to Ooma (keep your same number), and canceled my TV cable and went to Net Flix and Hulu Plus. I save so much money. Many are unaware that Comcast shuttered its Livermore call center and sent the calls to Mexico. Greed is the game at Comcast. Plain greed. At least AT&T is local with their headquarters still in San Ramon.
Posted by sheila, a resident of the Mohr Park neighborhood, on Jan 16, 2013 at 10:00 am
I was also upset by the large increase in my Comcast bill and spent hours over the past two days dealing with them. Their front-line CS is the worst, but once you escalate to a supervisor, it gets better. Learn from my mistakes and do that quickly in the process. I did learn that the franchise fee, which on my bill went from $5.00 to $12.00!, is not controlled by Comcast. It's either city or state mandated, I didn't find out which. They also added, without our knowledge or consent, an Internet accelerator called Blast! Internet for free (at first) and then began charging for it in January. A phone call and they'll remove that and $10 from your bill. The bill is still too high, but I was able to drop the monthly recurring about $20.
Posted by $$$comcast, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jan 16, 2013 at 2:48 pm
I'm here on PW this moment because I can't activate a blank page for me to www. anything ! ! ! ! I know my day is shot if I call comcast...HATE IT !.. Multiple PW are always active. THIS XFINITY crap really disgusts me. All worked this morning...now....nothing but open PW online pages and my email ! I CAN'T activate a www. requesst.
Stacy tell me more about Ooma, hulu, netflix....all I want is basic
cable tv, phone, and home internet....now costs me $160. month...
I'm a senior and think I'm being ripped off ! They INTERRUPT in the middle of typing emails, etc to transfer me to SELL MORE CRAPPY XFINITY stuff I do NOT want !!!! MEANWHILE THEY INTERRUPTED MY USE. DISGUSTING !
Posted by Laura Latt, a resident of San Ramon, on Jan 29, 2013 at 12:38 pm
I suggest you call Comcast and/or the person in charge of the franchise fees at the City of Pleasanton. I noticed my franchise fee went up $5 for the month of January 2013. Come to find out, the City of San Ramon's Comcast customers were over charged and we are to see an adjustment in February.
I would like to know if each city knows exactly how many Comcast customers they have, the exact amount of the franchise fees being charged to the Comcast customers in their city so they know exactly what they should be receiving from Comcast? What accounting methods are in place to be sure what Comcast is charging for franchise fees is correct? Is all that money making it to the city?