10-11-2012 07:55 AM - edited 10-11-2012 07:56 AM
I know in the past, Comcast customers were allowed two free digital adapters (DTAs). I have had two free DTAs on my account for over a year. All of a sudden I am now being charged $2 for each of these DTAs.
I know starting this past July, any additional DTA boxes would be $2/box. However, from what I was told, anybody with their 2 current free DTAs from the past were grandfathered into this new arrangement and would not be charged for these first two DTAs. How do I effectively get these 2 DTA box charges removed PERMANENTLY?
I realize its only $4/month, but it has become a LOOOOOOOONG laundry list of billing F&%Ups by Comcast that I am getting fed up about. I am very close to dropping Comcast altogether and going with an over the air antenna, Netflix, Hulu and other ways to obtain the material I want.
10-11-2012 08:57 AM
I'm not being charged, yet, for the two that I have. I was told that you are only charged for boxes after the initial two that are offered.
But, you can call them until you're blue, and you will get a different answer each time. I've been back with Comcast since April, and they haven't gotten my bill right yet. I'm ready to turn off my TV service all together.
Verizon was a major pain, and now Comcast is also. It shouldn't be this aggravating to watch television.
10-11-2012 09:13 AM - edited 10-11-2012 09:15 AM
Yea, this is sort of what I was afraid of and talking to a Comcast rep about this could prove very frustrating. I too am ready to turn off my Comcast TV service altogether too. I currently have some TiVos and am waiting for a certain product by TiVo (TiVo Mini) to possibly eliminate some of these extra bogus charges. Will see.
Also, there are some products by Ceton & SiliconDust that would allow me to build a whole home DVR solution that would run off one "M" cable card & then use multiple Xbox360s as cable boxes (with no monthly fees). Will see.
A 3rd alternative I have thought about as well is to just use an outdoor antenna with my TiVos, then use an Xbox360 to access various other content including live ESPN channels and HBO content by using another family member's login ID from their Brighthouse and/or Verizon accounts. I let them borrow my Netflix account for their devices so I see no reason not to "share the wealth" when Comcast pulls these billing shennanigans.
10-15-2012 05:08 PM
This is outrageous. It is not the size of the charges it is the principle.
I contacted Comcast and was told that the purpose is to "capture REVENUE and establish value for new and existing DTA users..."
I will be looking for a new provider.
10-16-2012 03:16 PM
The exact same thing just happened to me. Suddenly in my latest bill, Comcast charged me for each DTA. I called Comcast twice and spoke with two reps who gave me different explanations and refused to eliminate the charges. One claimed that a letter was sent to customers on 10/1. I checked my records for the alleged letter and found nothing.
I think my solution to this problem, at least until I can switch from Comcast all together, is to eliminate some of the services on my account. Comcast will actually make less money on my account than they would have if they had honored their original offer of two free DTA's.
10-16-2012 04:59 PM
Here in Houston we received a notification in our September bill about ALL the rate increases it wasn't just for the DTS boxes. They also abandonded and degraded services once offered and increased prices. I thought I was a pretty intelligent person, but, after reading the new "notice" I'm not too sure. I called Comcast and asked how much will my bill be for October? First I get told it will be $12.00 a month for the same service I have now an overall increase of 9.5% in one fell-swoop. Then she tells me for the same money I can get a phone and the same internet and TV...er, no that will be another $10.00? I thanked her and hung up.
Called another day asked the same question and got quoted two different amount's than the first time.
I hate that I will have to return to Ma'Bell and her peculiar ways but I'm fast not being able to afford Comcast.
It's been 10 years since I went to "cable" from DSL. I hope that DSL has been improved in the last 10 years?
I'm still investigating, but it appears the Ma'Bell is offering what I am getting now with Comcast for about ½ the price?
10-16-2012 11:00 PM - edited 10-16-2012 11:30 PM
One thing I am now SERIOUSLY considering is building a whole home DVR solution with products available by Ceton and/or SiliconDust. Not to get too technical, but they basically allow you to use Xbox360s as cable boxes that run off ONE cable card (in a single networked PC). Additional Xbox360s can be added at any time without any additional monthly charges from Comcast.
Plus, Xfinity OnDemand is now available on an Xbox360 so that adds to the benefits as well (although, I hear that experience isn't that great and still has a lot of bugs/errors in it). Not to mention how the Xbox360 would be a true gaming & DVD machine that can also play other various internet content (Netflix, Hulu, etc.) and video files from your home network. WAAAAAY more benefits than the crappy DVR equipment or boxes Comcast provides.
While I know its not for everyone, its another option. Having 4 TVs with traditional Comcast equipment (or even cable cards in TiVos) will cost me an additional $30-40/month JUST in cable box fees. This homemade DVR solution with Xbox360s will cost you 0$ extra per month per extra TV. 7 HDTVs = 0$/month instead of $60-70/month from Comcast.
I realize you have to pony up front for the Xbox360 to be a cable box, but a simple Xbox360 can be purchased for about $130 and probably found cheaper on ebay or craigslist. With Comcast charging about $9/month PER box, it would take about 14 months to break even.
I suspect COmcast will also keep raising the rates due to more people "cutting the cord" so they can make up for lost revenue. Only time will tell.
10-17-2012 07:22 PM
mcf57, thanks for the tips about using an Xbox360. I already have one, but I haven't explored how to use it in the way you describe.
Since Comcast has caused me to seriously look into alternatives, I've discovered entire websites dedicated to alternatives to cable (besides satellite TV). Lots of creative ways to get content at lower costs. So perhaps Comcast is doing it's customers like me a favor by opening our eyes.
10-20-2012 05:41 PM
I'm am so with you. I was told the exact same thing about being grandfathered with the 2 FREE digital adapters.
I recently called and they said this is a charge that is now being implemented and I would have to pay. However, they removed the fees ONLY for this month as a "courtesy." Like you, I would like these charges removed permanently because I am so tired of the billing issues I've had with comcast. Never once was a biling "mistake" in my favor. It is always in comcast's favor of me paying more due to a billing "mistake"
Once my contract is up in Feb. 2013, I think I'm done with comcast. It is so much about the principle with me.
11-19-2012 05:00 PM
I agree that the charge is small, BUT I received these 2 converters free of charge over 3 years ago when the "digital to analog" was required. I just called and was fairly certain I was talking to a call center in another country and was repeatedly told they are very sorry, but they sent a letter in July. I said the letter wasn't the issue, the legality is. You are correct. They keep hiding more and more fees all the time. When I asked how they can give something away and then decide to charge three years later, he said again, " we sent you a letter." Still haven't decided what I am going to do.
12-24-2012 12:45 PM - edited 12-24-2012 01:04 PM
Just got my invoice for January and I am being charged a total of $3.98 for two of the DTAs that had been free for over a year now. They did have a notice on the previous bill that they pointed out when I questioned. I told them I don't want them. They asked me to drop them off at local Comcast service center (which is within one mile of my house). I reminded them it was their equipment and I will not be paying for so they are free to pick them up. They are sending me boxes and labels so they can be sent back. Comcast GFY!
From the Comcast web site:
How your bill will change with Digital Migration: https://customer.comcast.com/help-and-support/cabl
We’ll work with you to ensure you have the equipment you need, at no or minimal cost.
If you have the Expanded Basic package, you’ll get one cable box and up to two digital adapters at no additional monthly service charge.
If you’re a Digital Starter subscriber, you should already have at least one cable box. You can get up to two digital adapters at no additional monthly service charge.
If you have the Limited Basic package and live in an area where it’s changing to all digital, you can order up to three digital adapters at no additional monthly service charge.
If the equipment listed above is all you need, it’s unlikely that you’ll see a change in your bill after the Comcast® Digital Migration. However, if you find that you need more digital adapters, they’re available for less than $2.00 a month (Note: Prices may vary, and this cost doesn’t include any applicable equipment taxes).
12-24-2012 01:09 PM
I hear your point & making Comcast do the legwork to get the DTA boxes, but I honestly wouldn't trust sending something to Comcast in the mail. It would be a WHOLE lot more reliable if you got a receipt from your local office saying you returned the DTA boxes. There is no proof that they got them when you mail them & the way Comcast operates these days, I wouldn't be surprised if they come back and tell you "we never got them". I guess unless there is a tracking number on the labels, but if your local office is only a mile away (similar to what mine is), I would just drop them off and be done with it. Keep the equipment receipt and make sure they are taken off your bill.
I wound up just keeping mine anyway. I have two (SD) TVs in basement that aren't used a lot and usually just for guests so $2 is better than some other options.
12-24-2012 04:06 PM
I'm a long time Comcast subscriber...more than 25 years! I'm now Triple Play with Digital Preferred.
There are two issues with my December 19, 2012 bill.
1) January's charges include 2 digital adapters (2 at 1.99 each) without notice. If I did not review my bill, these charges would just have been implemented.
2) I've been having a discussion since September 2012 when Comcast elected to start charging me for the Wireless Gateway rental ($7.00). Because my former Comcast modem (the rental was part of my package) could not handle the new speeds just available in the area, they sent to me the new modem in August 2012. Was told that there would be no change in the service fees...and there was not until the September 28 letter. I called and spoke to a variety of people (Rachel, Donald), until finally Jasmine on 10/13/2012 said that they would "extend the fee for one more year at the same cost with no additional modem fee." However, on 10/26, with the new bill, the fee was still on the bill. At this point, I was ready to go to Verizon. On 10/26, Robert (UM0) was of no help, and put me through to Ebony after I said to cancel. Ebony applied a credit to my account, switched me to a HD Digital Blast Package, and decreased the total cost of my bill (while removing some premium channels). Ebony said that the charges for the Wireless Gateway occurred because Comcast did not log the return of my old modem. When I provided by UPS confirmation number, Ebony credited the Gateway charges, and assurred me that the Wireless Gateway would not be charged a monthly rate.
Well, the 12/19/2012 bill arrived with a Christmas surprise from Comcast...the Wireless Gateway charges are back, and are retrospective to 12/9 (claiming that the services were added on 12/10)! Tania took my call on 12/24, and put me on hold while she checked my account after an explanation of this odyssey. Which got disconnected! I called back and got Keisha, and she also volunteered to put me through to a supervisor (after a long discussion)...which also got disconnnected. I taped part of Keisha's call (with her knowledge and consent). Maybe I'll post on YouTube as an example of Comcast service!
Merry Christmas, Comcast. We'll be switching to Verizon in 2013...unless this gets resolved soon. I just don't have the time for this.
01-01-2013 09:55 PM
I too am fed up with this BS from Comcast. To take matters into my own hands i decided to file a complaint with the FCC and I recommend everyone do the same thing to make sure Comcast does not get away with this misleading and fraudulent practice. Below is the link to file a complaint with the FCC.
01-03-2013 12:36 PM
01-03-2013 05:54 PM
See my post in the "digital adapters" thread about dealing with customer support (you obviously got a bad choice for your contacts), but basically we still have our free DTAs. For some reason, Comcast's computer thought I had changed my equipment and they removed the DTAs from my account and then added them back in on Dec. 17, triggering the rate change. The chat support person was able to credit my next bill for the $3.98 they mistakenly charged me and also was able to remove the rate codes so I won't be charged in future. If she had been unsuccessful, she said to call the local office. They can see easily that your equipment has not changed and so they can remove the rate code and get back your zero charges. Comcast really did guarantee that we would not ever be charged for the dta's or set top box when they sent them to us cavemen who refused to upgrade to digital, when they did a universal digital conversion. I don't think they can change that without legal consequences unless we change equipment or maybe if we change our plan (not sure about what happens with a change in plan). My set top box has never worked, their signal is too weak, but the dta's work on my analog tv's. My bill has always had two separate items: Digital Adapter included with service (at $0.00, which it still was this bill) and Digital Adapter Service, Primary or Additional Line, 2@$0.00 each (this is the one which changed to $1.99 each in the current bill). The change was just a computer glitch, so keep asking about it until you find someone smart enough to know that's what happened.
01-03-2013 09:34 PM
01-05-2013 01:19 AM
My very long conversation with online rep-- finally resolved that my account is grandfathered in, but took forever to get straight answers to simple questions and she quoted a company release which was contradicted by one a couple months later. Here is the paste for those who are searching for what to say about these "mistakes" by Comcast. I can't wait to see the follow up email from Comcast.
Cristy > Effective July 1, 2012, Comcast w ill implement a price change for additional outlets w ith Digital Adapter (DTA) service for all
markets that completed Expanded Basic digital transition prior to Jan 1, 2012. The goal for this change is to capture revenue and
establish a value for new and existing DTAs w hich provide our customers digital sound and picture quality for their additional TVs w ith
Digital Adapter service at home.
Cristy > Existing customers subscribing to Digital Starter or above w ill be charged $1.99 for each new Digital Adapter (DTA) added to
their account on or after July 1, 2012. There w ill be no price change for the DTAs already existed on their account.
Cristy > New customers subscribing to Digital Starter or above on or after July 1, 2012 w ill receive the first digital set top box free of
charge (on primary outlet) and w ill be charged $1.99 for each DTA (that is not on the primary outlet.)
01-05-2013 07:57 AM
This is ridiculous! Not only does 2013 ring in $40 less dollars out of my Husband's and my Paycheck, But now my Comcast bill has gone up $5. I picked up the two free adapters along with the cable box way back when we were "advised" to do so when the digital conversion happened.. I don't know why I am even still with them, other than we are part of the old fashioned group that likes the convenience of pushing a remote and accessing Cable in the live. We are not crazy about all the hassle and extra steps of going through the Wii. This is so not right - especially for those who are grandfathered in.
01-05-2013 06:58 PM
After another half hour or so on the phone with customer support and insisting on speaking to a supervisor, I was directed to review the price list sheet effective 2013. They can reset the prices any way they like each year and they are charging everyone for these balky little devices. So, I am returning one of them and may return the other. Sigh. I really dislike this company.
01-11-2013 09:37 AM
So what are we going to do about this? I just got my bill and I am pi$$ed that I am being charged for those POS boxes. They even took service away. For instance you can't get TRU tv on them now. So BBB, FCC, someone for a class action? I am not going to sit back and pay for something they told me was free. This digital thing has made me miserable and I am really sick of it!
01-12-2013 12:52 AM
This was my concern also. I don't think it's fair for me to pay for equipment that was once offered by Comcast for free. It's not an actual "service," it's equipment they're charging for. I have 2 additional converters, but no additional outlets. I have 1 TV and my cable is split to go to 2 different components. (vrc and dvd recorder) which is what I use the digital converters for. Customer service told me that Comcast is charging for the actualy "box" itself not the "service" I voiced my dissatifaction (nicely) to the rep whom I realize is not responsible for Comcasts rules.She understood. I wonder if there's an offical way I could voice my concerns, like writing a letter to the CEO.
01-12-2013 08:35 AM
I would suggest taking it to the BBB. You can do it on line and it is pretty easy. I did so with Comcast over another charge issue and won so that they dropped it. It takes a while and you may or may not win, but if enough people do it, it will have a pretty big impact. The bottom line as I see it is that they are now adding these charges and we have no increase or improvement in service and no one came to my house to add or alter equipment. How can they justify this? It is not in my contract.
01-12-2013 09:34 AM
I too am appalled that Comcast is charging for something I have had for a year and a half for free. I subscribe and pay for Basic Cable, Digital Preferred and HD TV from them. In order to get Basic Cable, all you used to have to do was attach a cable from the wall to the TV and you got service. Then when the powers that be decided to switch all signals to digital you could no longer get the Basic Cable you are paying for unless you got a Digital Adapter. To continue getting the service you are already paying for they offered 2 FREE digital adapters to households. Now to add insult to injury, they decide to charge me extra to get service I am paying for that I can't get without one of those adapters. ComCast now has crossed the line in my book because they raised their programming fees too and now without their adapters I can't get what I bascially am paying for, I too have been with them for 26 years now and have more than paid for any equipment I have. I will be returning those 2 adapters as my first step in phasing out their services in my home. When I talked to customer service about this they actually laughed at me.
01-12-2013 08:21 PM - edited 01-12-2013 08:22 PM
Does anybody know if there's a way we can just buy a digital adapter somewhere and use our own? I got the sneaky upcharge for 2 boxes this month, too and I would love to just return them to Comcast. I don't even care if they're cheaper to "rent." It's the principle.
01-12-2013 08:53 PM
No, you can't buy them. Just like you can't buy a cable box.
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01-12-2013 10:54 PM
Comcast web site still list the first 2 DTAs as beeing free. It was updated August 2012. Go to the
FCC web page and file an on line complaint. If enough complaints get filed maybe Comcast will get the message.
01-14-2013 12:44 PM
So I was told that my adapters would be free and never have a fee for them. I called today after noticing an increase in my charges being billed and was told that as of January, everyone was being charged for the adapters, no matter how many you had. I looked back at previous billings and found they were charging me since November! They billed me then for 2 adapters, now they are billing me for 5! I don't even have 5 adapters. I'm disgusted with their nickel and dime tactics and bait and switch. Time to look elsewhere.
01-14-2013 01:57 PM
@mcf57 - Watch out what you recommend here. Right now Xfinity here has in place a 300 gb "limit" on downloaded data volumes which has been "suspended." The minute too many people follow your advice, that limit will begin to be enforced. This may well mean effectively a price increase on your Internet service.
The reason Comcast passed out all those "free" digital taps to analog TV owners was that they wanted to change they way they used the "bandwidth" of their physical standard cables to deliver services. The devices greatly reduced the "load" which conventional tuners put on their cable plant. The FCC permitted them to make the change only if they gave a reasonable solution to foks who still owned Analog tuner TV's which would otherwise become useless "boat anchors" and end up in the landfills across the nation. Now they are apparently being permitted to go back on their word and charge for these devices attached to the same TV's their customers had in place when they "took away" the Analog bandwidth from them.
01-14-2013 02:05 PM
I just did the same thing... Unfortunately, the FCC is somewhat a captive of the big communications companies and pretty much does what they want, including lately some subtle modifications in rules about "routing" within the internet which makes it easier for providers of bandwidth to determine how fast data can be expected to go from point a to point b within a system designed to serve all equally.
01-14-2013 02:10 PM
I hope you are right, but from the converstations I've had with billing people so far... they are charging me even though I am in the same category. I did upgrade to a different cable modem which I bought from their representative at Best Buy rather than continuing to pay "rent" every month, something which started when my old personally owned cable modem took a lighting hit and died some years ago, and which had been creeping up in cost as well.
01-19-2013 11:09 AM
I have found that you get better deals and consideration when you go into a Comcast store. I heard that the telephone reps are telemarketers. These new charges are just outrageous. I need to take another look at U-Verse.
01-21-2013 04:01 PM
I did that, some time ago and looked at their technology for multiplexing essentially DSL level analog signals to expand the capacity of their legacy netowrks via existing copper as opposed to shielded coax. There is little liklihood you will be close enough to the MUX which converts that signal to one that is carried by fiber optics to get the kind of bandwith Comcast is currently providing via their cable. I'm lucky in that the fiber owned by AT&T has been pulled all the way to a box about a long city block from my house, but I've invested too much in building out my home's wired network to 1000 mbps levels to connect it to the internet via u-Verse.
01-21-2013 04:40 PM
This is really a complete and total joke. I've had so many issues with Comcast billing that now just opening my bill can cause anxiety. Once again.....I'm furious. 2 DTA's a no charge should mean 2 DTA's a no charge. The announcement of any change in policy should have made on television, via insert, and by email at least 90 days in advance of a change.
I'd have still been angry, because it's another nickle and dime, bait and switch tactic. I left satellite for comcast about 6 years ago because I hated being tied to the idea of a receiver on each separate tv. Well, I am back where I started on that only comcast costs more and lies to customers.
It's time to put my money where my mouth is...Goodbye Comcast. I don't need this bad relationship.
01-21-2013 05:03 PM
Another thing I never understood....I subscribe to Digital Preferred service; however, I can only get all those channels on one television where I have the DVR. To get them on another TV, I have to get a bigger box at a higher cost. Why doesn't subscribing to a service give it to you in your whole house. The level of service you pay for should give you a box to access it on at least two tv's, if not all of your tv's.
Comcast also needs to come up with an improved DVR box like Direct TV and U-verse where you can tape more than 2 shows and can watch them in another room. Comcast has a service to watch in other rooms, but the boxes are very expensive. They don't even care about being competitive. There attitude seems to be, if you want our service, fine; if not, goodbye.
01-21-2013 05:48 PM
I just noticed that I am being charged for 2 of the digital converters when I am only using one. They know how to tell how many cable boxes you have, but they can't tell how many converter boxes you are using....That's a bunch of crud!!!! Not a happy camper right now......
01-21-2013 06:05 PM
I was told by customer service that if I don't want to be charged for the additional converter that I have, I need to return them to a service center and they'll be de-activated from my account. When I requested the converters originally, they have serial numbers on them and I needed to have them activated.
01-21-2013 06:10 PM
What you were told is true you have to return them and they will be taken off your account and no longer charged for it. Always make sure you get a receipt showing you returned any devices you return it can save huge problems in the future if they have no record of the return and this happens all the time..
01-21-2013 07:35 PM
I've been with Comcast for 6 years.... Paid my bill on time every time. Can get a discount and now being charged for "Free" adapters. Switched to Dish..2 Hours set up now I can record 6 shows at once and have HD DVR's in all rooms and more channels and cheaper and a much better picture... can't wait to find a ISP then I'll dump comcast all together
01-21-2013 07:54 PM
Technically, their servers must store the hardware signature of each device on their network in order to prevent piracy (unauthorized devices connected to their wire) They have a "homeowner monopoly" even in places where there are competing services available. I got rid of one already when A.T.&T. raised rates on their analog phone services so that they could use the bandwidth for digital "uVerse" bandwidth. It cost me $900 and an increase in monitoring fees to upgrade my old alarm system to get rid of them. I so wish some company would bring in the kind of "over the air" digital bandwidth available in Israel. I'd get rid of Comcast in a New York minute. I've been waiting for that type of service for almost fifteen years! It is only because our government and the corporate controlled FCC won't allow the use of the public airways for the technology that it is not avaialble nation-wide essentially for free as it is there.
01-23-2013 10:10 AM
DO NOT PAY THE DTA CHARGES! Simply remove the $1.99 plus tax for each DTA you are being illegally billled. Then file a complaint with the BPU of your state. It takes less than five minutes.
01-23-2013 10:42 AM
Thank you for the fcc web site. I have submitted my complaint re the charge for adapters. I too was told they would be free many years ago when I signed up.
01-23-2013 11:23 AM
If I may, I believe if a person didn't pay their entire balance, their service would be cut off. I don't think it's fair of Comcast to charge for the extra digital converters, but I do think it is legal for them to do it. Corporations have many good lawyers who research these things. I don't think they would do it and run the risk of getting sued if they could find a legal way of charging their customers.
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