Rant – Comcast Bait & Switch

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    See, Ken, I feel like I have to be a techie like you to figure out the best configuration/deal – there’s a business venture for you! Someone with no vested interest in any of the services, but processes the information and charges a flat fee to present the customer with maybe one or two ways to go…then they take it from there.



    Okay, is this right?

    I have basic expanded cable with Comcast (one TV).

    If I want to get channels above #30, I need to call them, get one of those little boxes?

    No cost because I have one TV? Is that correct?

    Who installs it? Me or comcast?

    And, GenHillOne, you are entirely right-on using the term “Bait and Switch.”




    I wrestled with the companies web sites for two weeks and could not figure out enough info to make an informed decision. I called and talked to both companies several times without making a choice because I refuse to be sold something by someone who has an even poorer understanding of the product than I.

    I finally chose one during the whole house 4 unit free install promotion and got two tv hooked to DVR (one DVR box = 2 tvs, 2 remotes) and 2 more hooked to a regular set top box. (also two tv’s, 2 remotes hooked to one box).

    I questioned the installers relentlessly and read the manuals and finally got enough info to configure the wiring plan to work where I needed it to. I now have enough knowledge to redirect the signal anywhere in the house via my pre-existing cable wiring if I need to.

    A friend also went to work for direct-tv so I got several of their failed boxes to take apart and “play” with.

    Most of my experience in the corporate world was always based on figuring out how to do something complex and then teaching it to execs, sales droids and office serfs. I was reminded of that by seeing a ad here that needed expertise with excel. I would not call myself an expert, but I was always the one handed a process in the form of a box diagram and I had to turn it into an actual work flow using whatever tools and software were available. I know some pretty weird stuff in excel but I suspect there are normal common office functions I have never seen or used.



    Just sharing my research as I go…if anyone was considering the Verizon bundle being advertised on tv (FoIS for tv, internet, “home” phone) – it’s not available. Everytime I tried to search for availability, 98116 was coming up as Redmond/Kirkland, so I called. “We don’t service Seattle.” Maybe they could figure out how to run the ads exclusively on the eastside too.



    I know some people hate Qwest as much as Comcast, but I’ve had great service from them as well and you can bundle phone(land and/or cell), DSL, and DirecTV all on one bill if desired.



    I use my neighbor’s wifi and we share the cost.

    For those who think their wifi is secured, think again.It can be cracked.

    They told you to password protect–ha ha –false sense of security.. because they want more business.

    There is nothing wrong sharing the wifi(very common in poor villages in India) and it won’t slow your connection.

    paying for wifi is a big rip off…

    if you have good neigbor, we can share.

    Go to public libraries, they are freeeeee



    I know somebody who got busted for that!



    Thanks, JT, doing a “line-by-line” on Qwest now. Interesting that they offer both DirectTV and VoIP service. Though I dispise the landline, I may have to give them kudos for adapting to the market with those services. They are also the only ones I’ve seen that have a very clear tool for pricing…shows cost of each piece as you add or subtract from the menu AND the related “bundle” discount each time. It really helps.



    I dislike Qwest and am loathe to contemplate resigning with them, BUT…

    Since GHO brought it up,

    does anyone currently use QWest VoIP service. Any feedback on that service?




    Growingjade –

    You are not going to get very far on these forums if you insult its members like that.

    Cell phone’s have limited reception at many locations. If one’s home has no cell reception, landlines or other phone services are still likely necessary.

    Some folks have health issues and are restricted in ways your compassionless heart has not considered. They may not have the mobility and health you obviously take for granted.

    Saving money is good, but ripping off service providers just to save money is unethical and quite possibly bad juju.




    why don’t you buy nuclear insurance?

    Service providers like insurance and Comacast love to play with the ignorance and the fear factor.

    They are there to make money..your money

    LANDLine can be dropped too.

    There are no guarantees!!!



    Growingjade –

    did you notice your previous message was removed by the WSB owners?

    What does that tell you about yourself? That’s a rhetorical question for you to quietly contemplate.



    who cares…

    It is your money!!

    As they say, ignorance has a price!

    Why do I blog here when I have my own forum?

    stupid meeeeeeeee!!!



    This issue is the same as global warming…ha ha .

    what a bogus!!

    the only people getting rich is al gore

    and forget about recycling. The garbage guy just dump all the stuffs in one container.

    Your work separating cleaned bottles and paper is wasted.



    Growingjade’s account has been deleted for repeated and obviously deliberate, flagrant rule violations, which is our prerogative, although it is also our prerogative to respond to violations in various ways. He/she may show up here again under some other name, in which case, as always, I appreciate the flags. Thanks.



    thanks, TR. It’s such a downer to read. I know a lot of us are guilty of foul posts from time to time but that is above and beyond…



    My experience with Comcast was to call and request termination of service by a specific date. Customer Retention would always call back (if I didn’t take the inital offer) with another offer of reduced service, especially if you mention Qwest or VZ competition. Right now, they have lowered basic digital cable and HSI to $24.99 each for 6 months, at which time I will call to cancel again. It’s much cheaper for them to retain customers rather than aquire new ones, so you have to play their game. Its the art of negotiation.


    HMC Rich

    I bundled with Directv/qwest.

    Pros (for directv)

    HD DVR had more recording space than comcast and menu works better than comcast (neither as good as tivo for selecting shows)

    NFL Sunday Ticket – Not available on Comcast.

    NFL Network – not on a digital tier like comcast is/was

    (I like football)

    Access to almost all Regional Sports Channels (costs extra)

    Seem to have more HD channels

    Less outages unless there is a cloudburst or heavy snow (and the twice yearly direct sunlight interference.

    Installers were more professional and it was free. Comcast charges you to plug in your box and connect the f connector (cable).

    On Demand available but limited and downloaded through a land line.


    Very little on demand content compared to comcast

    Less local channels and no local radio channels. Comcast has the secondary digital channels available.

    Need to pay for additional boxes for every tv.

    Does not have Northwest Cable News nor CBC/CBUT.

    Some HD sports packs cost more than Standard Definition plans (see NFL Sunday Ticket).

    Comcast Internet is better than Qwest DSL, but I am basically OK with our DSL connection. It was fairly easy to hook up too. if you are too far from the CO your speeds will be slow.

    We like a land line to call England (mother in law) and in case of emergencies.

    For our needs Qwest bundle was more cost effective. We will save about 60.00 a month. And the Directv installers didn’t drop a DVR on my wood floor and put a dent in it while listening to their IPOD!!!

    VoIP is getting better, but there are still some quality issues. Find someone with that service and make a few calls to see if you like what you hear. If you aren’t very picky, then try it.



    Has anyone seen this service called ooma? I saw it on Amazon when shopping for a gift certificate.

    I know very, very little about how this VOIP stuff works – :) – so does anyone know how this is different than Vonage or Skype etc..? What does this hardware give you that you cant get using Skype?




    We live in Chengdu, China. Skype has been cracked by the Chinese govt and is not a secure media to use. We switched to Majic Jack.

    Not sure about ooma but, the security of the application would be a seller. Here the Chinese government monitors traffic of both citizens and foreigners in Skype even though they publish security as a benefit.

    Better make sure ooma cannot be monitored by big bro.



    To Toddinwestwood: I work in TV broadcasting. At no time in the past did any of the local TV stations reduce their power so that people would subscribe to cable. I hate to use terms like this, but that is an absolutely crazy idea, and one that would lose money for the broadcasters. As far as I know, we do not get paid by the cable companies for our signal- in fact, “must carry” laws were passed in order to force the cable companies to carry local broadcast signals- otherwise they would not carry all of them. Satellite systems are another matter- those agreements I do not know about.

    If anything, broadcasters have found ways to improve and strengthen their signals. There was a proposal for a very tall “supertower” on Capitol Hill years ago, and sometime in the 80’s I believe KSTW moved their transmitter from View Point in Kitsap County to Capitol Hill, strengthening their signal in Seattle.

    Analog signals you can receive over the air include 4,5,7,9,11,13,16,20,22,28 (a bit snowy),33 & 51. At one time there were stations broadcasting on 45 and 56 as well. Those are now digital broadcasts exclusively. Digital signals you can receive are 4.1,5.1,5.2,7.1,7.2,9.1,9.2,9.3,11.1,13.1,13.2,16.1,16.2,


    42.1,45.1,45.2,45.3,45.4 & 51.1. So you can see, broadcasters have spent their money improving their signals and adding new stations and services- something they wouldn’t bother doing if they were working so closely with the cable companies.

    One important caveat: Some analog signals have been reduced in power over the last few months in order to prepare for the digital transition. Most broadcasters rely on two or more transmitters which are then fed into a combiner and then to the antenna. This is done for redundancy and to be able to make the licensed power for the station. Some broadcasters have had a transmitter failure that they have chosen not to repair because it will soon be shut off anyway; others have taken a transmitter out of service in order to convert it to digital. This is because some stations will continue on at their new digital channel and some will get to go back to their old channel with digital broadcasts. These power reductions only affect the very fringes of the coverage area and will not be noticeable here in the Seattle metro area.



    We have DISH.. in spite of all the bad press recently, we like them and will continue to use them… we chose to stay with DISH for some of their features even when we bundled with Qwest and it would have been cheaper to use DIRECT.

    however, if someone offers unit pricing..paying per station you actually want to view.. we will reconsider because nearly every station we watch is a premium channel.

    I hope the rest of you are enjoying all that sports programming and other assorted channels that we subsidize… and never watch.

    so far, i find i haven’t missed ABC… and if i find that i do.. i think i will go buy myself a rabbit ears and stop being limited to the local channels that DISH has chosen to rebroadcast.

    We have had no real problems with signal drop either at California and Madison or down in this little valley by 35th and thistle.

    BTW.. they have plenty of on demand.. which we don’t use…

    We do pay for one HD DVD and one DVD.. (so that i can record what i want when i want without comment :) ) we could use on box for both tvs if we chose.

    i do have one complaint. in order to get HD programming we had to have two satellites:(

    But… our landlord is ok with it and the satellites are pretty unobtrusive…

    We now have clearwire for interent and are considering switching to them for phone…

    any feedback?



    I know this is an old topic, but hey I’m a little slow sometimes. Just wanted to throw my two cents in (that’s more than I pay for my TV…) Yes, TV is still *free*, everyone. And with my digital converter box (which I have had long enough for it to pay for itself four times over–that’s four months of not paying for basic cable) I get about twice as many *free* channels as Comcast sells you with its basic service. Internet and Netflix easily fill in any programming gaps–in fact I’m thinking about cancelling Netflix because it’s taking me too long to get around to watching the movies!



    Once caveat I forgot to mention–I have used an amplified antenna for the past two years, it does make a big difference with reception. That was another $20–paid for itself in a month also.



    How about listing the channels you get?

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