Author Topic: comcast playing hard ball  (Read 7216 times)

themagicman

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comcast playing hard ball
« on: February 04, 2015, 02:41:27 PM »
My current comcast promo is running up this month and my internet bill is scheduled to go from $40 to $70. Even if I lower the speeds, it will still be $55 a month. I have called up several times trying to negotiate them to keep me on the $40 promo. I have not had any luck. I want to go ahead and cancel except none of the other big companies services my house.

Any one have any ideas on what I should do? I have looked into Freedompop but I do not think 10gB will be enough for us (I stream a lot of netflix). I know clear has gone away but are there any services like that, that I could use? Any tips to try to get this bill down would be appreciated! I do not think I could go without internet!

nereo

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Re: comcast playing hard ball
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2015, 02:56:10 PM »
If you tried negotiating with them and they haven't caved, you have to walk away and cancel your service. 
Then call them back in a few weeks and tell them you will only become a customer again if you get the promo back.

If you aren't willing to go a few weeks sans internet... well... then Comcast owns you as a customer.  Simple as that.  If you're not willing to walk away and if there's no cheaper alternative, they can charge you whatever they want. 
Sorry....

Blonde Lawyer

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Re: comcast playing hard ball
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2015, 03:05:00 PM »
I'm the same boat except.  Comcast is my only option and w/ fees I pay about $80/month.  We have no cable but use roku extensively.  My husband and I both need fast internet at home for work and no, our work will not pay for it. 

themagicman

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Re: comcast playing hard ball
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2015, 03:05:33 PM »
If you tried negotiating with them and they haven't caved, you have to walk away and cancel your service. 
Then call them back in a few weeks and tell them you will only become a customer again if you get the promo back.

If you aren't willing to go a few weeks sans internet... well... then Comcast owns you as a customer.  Simple as that.  If you're not willing to walk away and if there's no cheaper alternative, they can charge you whatever they want. 
Sorry....

The main issues with that are
a) I am not sure they are going to let me back in under the promo and would like to have a back up plan as I need internet
b) I think they will try charging me all of the installation and one time fees again if I re sign up. Has anyone done this and avoided extra fees?

red7

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Re: comcast playing hard ball
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2015, 03:12:16 PM »
When you say none of the other big companies service your house, which ones have you checked? I live in the Atlanta suburbs, and in my part of town, I get advertisements from Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-verse sometimes. I know Charter is also a "competitor" in some areas (but not really).

Comcast really sucks in Atlanta. They have almost a complete monopoly and know how hard it is to find a comparable alternative, and they milk it for all it's worth. I've never heard of them extending promo rates, even for people who threaten to cancel. They don't give a shit -- they "own" most of Atlanta.

Are there any restrictions in the fine print about cancelling, making due without netflix for a couple of weeks/a month, and then signing back up at the promo rate again? There probably are, but it's worth checking. You should be able to find their terms of service on the website, somewhere.

Other options: mobile data/tethering on your phone (T-Mobile is pretty cheap), using more downloads than streaming (so you can download at the library and watch at home), trying out Freedompop to see how much data you actually do use, admitting defeat to the Comcast monstrosity and going with the $55 plan

Good luck in finding what you need.

nereo

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Re: comcast playing hard ball
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2015, 03:15:57 PM »
You're playing a game of chicken, and ComCast isn't blinking.  They know exactly where their competitors coverage is, and they know whether you have other options.  If they don't think you are really likely to quit, they won't give you a deal.

one constructive suggestion (for themagicman) - have you looked into what your library has for DVDs to check out?  That might allow you to go with Freedompop's lower data limit (and cost) and still watch a lot of movies and TV shows.

As for signup fees - every time I signed up with Comcast after a move they waived the startup fees.  Might have just been the market I was in and the fact that they were struggling to sign up customers.

Daley

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Re: comcast playing hard ball
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2015, 04:17:24 PM »
Themagicman, let me ask a question and provide a couple tips.

That $55/month, is that for their Performance Starter ($50/month 6mbps) package, or their Economy Plus ($40/month 3mbps) package? I ask, because they don't draw much attention to their Economy Plus package and tend to hide it away on their own site to the point that it doesn't exist unless you namecheck the package itself. If you're concerned about 3mbps internet, don't be... it's still plenty speedy to stream video and other whatnots, you'll just have to settle for SD quality video which is a hedonic adaptation issue. If you're willing to go FreedomPop, going 3mbps shouldn't be much of a concern.

I don't know what your income level or family looks like, but I'm going to casually leave this particular link here for you just for the sake of academic curiosity: Comcast Internet Essentials FAQ

The qualification is based on whether your kid qualifies for the NSLP, not whether you're actually taking the government subsidy or not. There's also the whole 90 day without service issue, but you might be able to work around it by canceling and using the spouse's name to sign back up instead of yours. That could theoretically work for new service, too, but don't bank on it.

Lastly, you might be able to do an end-run around Comcast by switching to Earthlink, which resells on Comcast and TWC cables in some (but not all) municipalities.

That should give you a bit more wriggle room.

Terrestrial

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Re: comcast playing hard ball
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2015, 05:30:53 PM »
When they tried their shenanigans with me a few years ago I asked for the cancellation department and about halfway through that call to ACTUALLY terminate the service (not just threaten to), they broke. 

At the end of that contract when they tried it last year no such luck so I had to follow through and cancel.  My wife called the next day and set it up in her name as a new customer.  It was annoying but worth it for the savings.   

However,  I have other options for high speed where I live.  As others have noted, depending on their knowledge of your other options you may have less luck.

DavidAnnArbor

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Re: comcast playing hard ball
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2015, 06:18:48 PM »
And this is why the Internet should be regulated as a utility.

themagicman

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Re: comcast playing hard ball
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2015, 06:27:38 PM »
When you say none of the other big companies service your house, which ones have you checked? I live in the Atlanta suburbs, and in my part of town, I get advertisements from Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-verse sometimes. I know Charter is also a "competitor" in some areas (but not really).

Yeah I have checked all of them. I live in a newer area and I guess they just haven't decided to branch out there yet.
One constructive suggestion (for themagicman) - have you looked into what your library has for DVDs to check out?  That might allow you to go with Freedompop's lower data limit (and cost) and still watch a lot of movies and TV shows.

Do you all think 10GB would be enough for all browsing, emails, light you tube watching if I stopped watching netflix?

themagicman

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Re: comcast playing hard ball
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2015, 06:32:44 PM »
Themagicman, let me ask a question and provide a couple tips.

That $55/month, is that for their Performance Starter ($50/month 6mbps) package, or their Economy Plus ($40/month 3mbps) package? I ask, because they don't draw much attention to their Economy Plus package and tend to hide it away on their own site to the point that it doesn't exist unless you namecheck the package itself. If you're concerned about 3mbps internet, don't be... it's still plenty speedy to stream video and other whatnots, you'll just have to settle for SD quality video which is a hedonic adaptation issue. If you're willing to go FreedomPop, going 3mbps shouldn't be much of a concern.

I don't know what your income level or family looks like, but I'm going to casually leave this particular link here for you just for the sake of academic curiosity: Comcast Internet Essentials FAQ

The qualification is based on whether your kid qualifies for the NSLP, not whether you're actually taking the government subsidy or not. There's also the whole 90 day without service issue, but you might be able to work around it by canceling and using the spouse's name to sign back up instead of yours. That could theoretically work for new service, too, but don't bank on it.

Lastly, you might be able to do an end-run around Comcast by switching to Earthlink, which resells on Comcast and TWC cables in some (but not all) municipalities.

That should give you a bit more wriggle room.

Thanks for all the tips! I had seen the economy plus but I didn't know about the 3Mbps speed. So this is fast enough for most day to day tasks and watching videos online (I do not do any online gaming )

I do not have kids, so I am not eligible for the program, but thank you!

Just checked earthlink. They only have dial up in our area, so that will not work.

HairyUpperLip

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Re: comcast playing hard ball
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2015, 06:41:58 PM »
Also in North Atlanta and on Comcast. Terrible speeds and customer service. Now we are starting to hit our data limit every month.

Nothing else is even an option. :(

CptCool

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Re: comcast playing hard ball
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2015, 06:48:01 PM »
I 2nd the recommendation of canceling, then re-signing up that same day in your significant others' name.

I've always done this yearly....first with roommates in college & now with my wife. Works every time since it's $30/mo promo and $55-70 "standard" it's a no-brainer for an hour or less time. I would pickup 2 different modems if you haven't rather than rent from comcast too. If you have 2 then one is "yours" and the other is the "significant others" and you just alternate every other year.

neil

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Re: comcast playing hard ball
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2015, 06:50:16 PM »
I have 3mbps and do both online gaming and video streaming.  The only drawback I tend to run into is when jumping back/forth on video content because I usually don't have much of a buffer, but I rarely have to wait when streaming a movie uninterrupted.  (Quality might be turned down but it seems fine to me)  But the important key with a low bitrate is having a quality connection.  I have been much happier with uverse (since 2010 or so) than when I was with comcast because uverse was giving me constant 3mbps and comcast had a tendency cut off completely for half a second, which is a big no-no for gaming.  (I think comcast sucks in general but it was worse in my area because they kept adding people to an already stressed network and never added capacity.)

I used to be more liberal with my data usage on my phone and I never broke my 4GB limit.  But random youtube viewing can add up unexpectedly.  I might try to stay away from 1080p content (youtube is usually easy to turn down).  Text sites like email, news/finance, etc is not going to create relevant data usage.  Using mobile devices can help control the amount of bandwidth spent because most common sites have apps that are basically low bandwidth versions of their websites.

themagicman

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Re: comcast playing hard ball
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2015, 07:07:58 PM »
I 2nd the recommendation of canceling, then re-signing up that same day in your significant others' name.

I've always done this yearly....first with roommates in college & now with my wife. Works every time since it's $30/mo promo and $55-70 "standard" it's a no-brainer for an hour or less time. I would pickup 2 different modems if you haven't rather than rent from comcast too. If you have 2 then one is "yours" and the other is the "significant others" and you just alternate every other year.

Did you have to pay start up or installation fees? I currently own one modem. Are you saying they would be able to tell/would care if I used the same modem when my wife signs up.

Daley

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Re: comcast playing hard ball
« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2015, 08:08:57 PM »
Thanks for all the tips! I had seen the economy plus but I didn't know about the 3Mbps speed. So this is fast enough for most day to day tasks and watching videos online (I do not do any online gaming )

Yup, it sure would. I detail in the guide the necessary basics for ISP shopping, and I've done 3mbps without any problems, and technically I'm only on 5mbps now. Not a big deal.

I currently own one modem. Are you saying they would be able to tell/would care if I used the same modem when my wife signs up.

Service is tied to the MAC address of the cable modem, and the keep a record of those modems. I've not done this sort of thing myself with Comcast, but you could theoretically run into problems if you cancel, sign up using another name, and use the same modem on the new account... no promises or guarantees, though.

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Re: comcast playing hard ball
« Reply #16 on: February 05, 2015, 06:59:32 AM »
Have you asked them to lower your bill?  Not to give you the old rate or some other plan.  Just to lower your bill.  I did this and they knocked $15/month off for a year as a good customer discount or something.  I did say that I'd have to cancel if they couldn't do it, but it worked.

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Re: comcast playing hard ball
« Reply #17 on: February 05, 2015, 09:26:19 AM »
Can't wait for Google Fiber to start operating here.

skunkfunk

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Re: comcast playing hard ball
« Reply #18 on: February 05, 2015, 09:39:46 AM »
+1 for threaten to cancel. I had a similar issue with AT&T. They said "sorry no promotions available." I asked if I was under contract, they said no, I told em "Oh good, guess I can shop around." They immediately caved.

gecko10x

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Re: comcast playing hard ball
« Reply #19 on: February 05, 2015, 09:53:33 AM »
I agree this is frustrating as hell; I am in a similar boat- choices are Comcast, satellite, or dial-up.

I was getting a $10 discount for ~2 years, and it just expired last month. I haven't called back because I hate doing it, and they have me by the balls anyway, cuz I'm not going to cancel. REALLY hate monopolies.

bmiles62

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Re: comcast playing hard ball
« Reply #20 on: February 05, 2015, 09:58:02 AM »
I had a similar situation with Time Warner. They would not cave so I put in a cancel date three weeks out and they called me back in one day and caved. I do have one other option and they know it but they were not cheaper. It may be worth a try then you have three weeks to decide to stay or jump ship.

CptCool

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Re: comcast playing hard ball
« Reply #21 on: February 05, 2015, 10:00:18 AM »
I 2nd the recommendation of canceling, then re-signing up that same day in your significant others' name.

I've always done this yearly....first with roommates in college & now with my wife. Works every time since it's $30/mo promo and $55-70 "standard" it's a no-brainer for an hour or less time. I would pickup 2 different modems if you haven't rather than rent from comcast too. If you have 2 then one is "yours" and the other is the "significant others" and you just alternate every other year.

Did you have to pay start up or installation fees? I currently own one modem. Are you saying they would be able to tell/would care if I used the same modem when my wife signs up.

No startup fees. Although there is a $6 "transfer fee" if you move during your contract. Certainly doesn't make sense, but it's only $6...

And yes, they can tell if you use the same modem. Not sure if they care, but it's more hassle. Started out with just the one, and everytime we switch services they'd have to call up the person it was previously registered to, verify that it was ok for new person to use the modem, then reactivate. Easily added a half hour to the setup time. I just bought a cheap modem to avoid the hassle and any future questioning

CptCool

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Re: comcast playing hard ball
« Reply #22 on: February 05, 2015, 10:03:22 AM »
I agree this is frustrating as hell; I am in a similar boat- choices are Comcast, satellite, or dial-up.

I was getting a $10 discount for ~2 years, and it just expired last month. I haven't called back because I hate doing it, and they have me by the balls anyway, cuz I'm not going to cancel. REALLY hate monopolies.

I'd recommend using the chat function. You can chat while your doing other things (at work is a great time!) and just ask straight off the bat if they'll give you the lower discount. If they say no, end the chat and restart one immediately. You'll eventually get the discount.

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Re: comcast playing hard ball
« Reply #23 on: February 05, 2015, 03:00:57 PM »
Didn't see anyone flat out say this but you can save $8-12 per month by using your own modem instead of renting one from them.

LadyStache

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Re: comcast playing hard ball
« Reply #24 on: February 08, 2015, 01:40:40 PM »
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