Comcast: "From Hell's Heart I Stab at Thee: Part II"

Posted:
in AppleOutsider edited January 2014
Well I finally did it. I finally had enough. After the NFL Network debacle that I posted earlier, Comcast raised my bill $20 a month. I called and asked about and they claimed my promotion ended. I don't think that was true though, because I have been signed up for a over a year and nothing changed other than the initial promotion ending 6 months ago. I then downgraded my premiums. Anyway, this resulted in $155.00 a month for digital with no premiums, no NFL network, phone and 6Mb internet. I threatened to cancel and they told me I need to be off promotion for 3 more months before I get another, so I could pretty much take a walk.



SO: I just ordered DirecTV for $60 a month and purchased the HD-DVR. I'm also going to can my land line because frankly I don't use it. Finally, I'm seriously considering just getting 3mb DSL for $35.00 a month. The way I see it, things can't possibly be that much slower. Comcast wants $60 a month for stand alone service, so screw that. Overall I'll save about $60.00 a month this way.



My only issue will be the install. I live in an apartment that faces the wrong way for the sat stream, so we'll see what they come up with. All I know is I'm excited to shit-can my Motorola DVR...it's an utter piece of crap. It lags terribly and freezes. Can't stand it.



Anyway...thoughts about either DSL or DirecTV?
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 34
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post


    Well I finally did it. I finally had enough. After the NFL Network debacle that I posted earlier, Comcast raised my bill $20 a month. I called and asked about and they claimed my promotion ended. I don't think that was true though, because I have been signed up for a over a year and nothing changed other than the initial promotion ending 6 months ago. I then downgraded my premiums. Anyway, this resulted in $155.00 a month for digital with no premiums, no NFL network, phone and 6Mb internet. I threatened to cancel and they told me I need to be off promotion for 3 more months before I get another, so I could pretty much take a walk.



    SO: I just ordered DirecTV for $60 a month and purchased the HD-DVR. I'm also going to can my land line because frankly I don't use it. Finally, I'm seriously considering just getting 3mb DSL for $35.00 a month. The way I see it, things can't possibly be that much slower. Comcast wants $60 a month for stand alone service, so screw that. Overall I'll save about $60.00 a month this way.



    My only issue will be the install. I live in an apartment that faces the wrong way for the sat stream, so we'll see what they come up with. All I know is I'm excited to shit-can my Motorola DVR...it's an utter piece of crap. It lags terribly and freezes. Can't stand it.



    Anyway...thoughts about either DSL or DirecTV?



    I think I would probably do what you're doing but I've cable internet at home and DSL internet service at work. I find that cable is better. My DSL service at work is not as reliable as cable. We get more outages with DSL. YMMV.
  • Reply 2 of 34
    I ordered DirecTV about 2 months ago, and I have to say I'm completely happy with my decision. The new HD channels are great, and they threw in my HD DVR for free after hassling them a few times.



    If you watch HD, you should love DirecTV...
  • Reply 3 of 34
    I am waiting for fiber, although with all the little bureaucrats running around the bay area, it will be a miracle if it ever comes.



    Am I the only one that finds it odd that silicon valley doesn't have fiber to the premises? Hell, I live in the middle of a high-speed fiber ring that was created for this very purpose. . . Oh well -- until then, I just don't get cable TV. I'm thinking about ITVN, though.
  • Reply 4 of 34
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,038member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Guybrush Threepwood View Post


    I ordered DirecTV about 2 months ago, and I have to say I'm completely happy with my decision. The new HD channels are great, and they threw in my HD DVR for free after hassling them a few times.



    If you watch HD, you should love DirecTV...



    You got it free? Hmm. I need the info on that. I paid like $200.



    As for DSL, I have an update: Verizon wants $42.00 a month because I'm not a voice Customer. Now Comcast goes to $60 if I can my cable and voice service, so the question is whether or not it's worth switching e-mails and what not for $18.00 a month, and dealing with slower speed. That is unless I get a another brand of DSL. Thoughts anyone?
  • Reply 5 of 34
    flounderflounder Posts: 2,674member
    Isn't frustrating how you can't just get internet, by itself, without a jacked up price? I mean, I understand the point of the variable pricing, but it still gets under my skin.
  • Reply 6 of 34
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,038member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Flounder View Post


    Isn't frustrating how you can't just get internet, by itself, without a jacked up price? I mean, I understand the point of the variable pricing, but it still gets under my skin.



    Dude...I know. EVERYTHING is a bait and switch. Comcast has their stupid promotions. DirecTV has mail-in rebates for the monthly rate they advertise. Verizon advertised their 3mb DSL for $27.99 and $29.99, but it's $41.99 without service.



    I really don't know what to do at this point. I'm leaning towards going with the DSL and saving $20 a month. In total I'd still save about $50-60 a month over my old services.
  • Reply 7 of 34
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post


    Dude...I know. EVERYTHING is a bait and switch. Comcast has their stupid promotions. DirecTV has mail-in rebates for the monthly rate they advertise. Verizon advertised their 3mb DSL for $27.99 and $29.99, but it's $41.99 without service.



    I really don't know what to do at this point. I'm leaning towards going with the DSL and saving $20 a month. In total I'd still save about $50-60 a month over my old services.



    I've been having such a grim time with virtually every service provider, financial institution, governmental entity and random purveyors of goods that I'm ready to cancel every service I have, convert all my assets to Krugerrands and bury them in the back yard, go off the grid and sign up for crazy old coot school, so I can learn how to best shriek insanely at telemarketers and what horrible, horrible things I might put in the postage paid return envelopes that come with all the sleazy, transparently misleading "offers" that I get from banks, credit mongers, car warranty mills, etc., etc.



    I called Earthlink about some random old email address that I had forgotten I had, and they instantly tried to sell me some bullshit "security" package-- the guy was on script so fast I could barely get him to answer my question.



    The city of Oakland? Evil beyond all knowing. They've decided that since I once got a business license, I must be making money and owe them a cut. I've explained that nothing ever came of that, that I've never made a single dime doing business as the name on the license, but they decided that I probably owed them something anyway, and just made up a number based on a made up amount of income for my made up business.



    Turns out that nowadays, if you stop at the Bay Bridge toll plaza and discover you don't have four dollars (which happened to me for the first time ever the other day) they consider that "toll evasion" and fine you $25. Plus the four you were short. At least that's better than getting a random toll evasion notice in the mail, which turns out happens a lot because, while the the camera that photographs your license as you drive away if the "Paid Toll" toggle hasn't been toggled is automatic, the toggling isn't-- which means that you can pay your toll, drive on, and if the toll taker is a little slow to hit the button-- toll evasion.



    Comcast is a joke. I honestly think they barely know what they're doing. I had a client with a bum cable box, called, got the usual "we'll be there between x and x, by which we mean some 6 hours to several days after x", and when the guy finally showed up and I told him we just needed to do a swap on the box, he insisted on spending three hours dicking around with everything in the building, after which he gravely informed me that we were going to need a new box, but unfortunately he didn't have one in his truck.



    So I shot him. Really, I have my limits.
  • Reply 8 of 34
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    ^^^



    Should be made into a movie.
  • Reply 9 of 34
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,038member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    I've been having such a grim time with virtually every service provider, financial institution, governmental entity and random purveyors of goods that I'm ready to cancel every service I have, convert all my assets to Krugerrands and bury them in the back yard, go off the grid and sign up for crazy old coot school, so I can learn how to best shriek insanely at telemarketers and what horrible, horrible things I might put in the postage paid return envelopes that come with all the sleazy, transparently misleading "offers" that I get from banks, credit mongers, car warranty mills, etc., etc.







    Quote:



    I called Earthlink about some random old email address that I had forgotten I had, and they instantly tried to sell me some bullshit "security" package-- the guy was on script so fast I could barely get him to answer my question.



    But you have to protect your computer from VIRUSES! And SPYWARE! And HACKERS!



    Quote:



    The city of Oakland? Evil beyond all knowing. They've decided that since I once got a business license, I must be making money and owe them a cut. I've explained that nothing ever came of that, that I've never made a single dime doing business as the name on the license, but they decided that I probably owed them something anyway, and just made up a number based on a made up amount of income for my made up business.



    Don't even get me started with the government. I once had a local tax collection agency keep asking me for more W-2s or whatever, even though I had paid them. I finally got them on the phone and said "yeah, um...can you guys leave me alone?" And guess what? they did! That's because they were a private company, I'm sure.



    Quote:



    Turns out that nowadays, if you stop at the Bay Bridge toll plaza and discover you don't have four dollars (which happened to me for the first time ever the other day) they consider that "toll evasion" and fine you $25. Plus the four you were short. At least that's better than getting a random toll evasion notice in the mail, which turns out happens a lot because, while the the camera that photographs your license as you drive away if the "Paid Toll" toggle hasn't been toggled is automatic, the toggling isn't-- which means that you can pay your toll, drive on, and if the toll taker is a little slow to hit the button-- toll evasion.



    Wow..that IS bullshit. PA at least has an EZ Pass appeal process.



    Quote:



    Comcast is a joke. I honestly think they barely know what they're doing. I had a client with a bum cable box, called, got the usual "we'll be there between x and x, by which we mean some 6 hours to several days after x", and when the guy finally showed up and I told him we just needed to do a swap on the box, he insisted on spending three hours dicking around with everything in the building, after which he gravely informed me that we were going to need a new box, but unfortunately he didn't have one in his truck.



    So I shot him. Really, I have my limits.



    My HD-DVD is a PIECE OF SHIT. It lags. It feezes. You rewind and it gets "stuck" in rewind. It fucks up the resolution setting on my TV. Sometimes when I turn it on it displays a sort of HD split screen, left to right. I have to hit the channel guide and then turn off the guide to make it go back to normal. The interface makes me want to scream. I just hope DirecTV can find a working spot for the dish...we'll see. I'll them to drop the fucker on the ROOF if I have to. What's that..."sir, you're on the first floor" you say? Eff you. Drop the bastard in there. It'll be worth the $200 I paid for the DVR not to deal with this shit anymore.



    Still undecided on internet though. Need opinions: $41.99, changing my e-mail and getting DSL to work with my AEx, or $60.00 for the status quo Comcast. Hmmm.
  • Reply 10 of 34
    Adda,



    The Concord bridge did the same to me this summer. I figured they just billed you the $4 toll charge in the mail. Wrong. $27.50.



    If Jack-In-The-Box and McDonalds can have fast pay with a credit card, why can't Bay Area toll plazas?
  • Reply 11 of 34
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,456member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    I've been having such a grim time with virtually every service provider, financial institution, governmental entity and random purveyors of goods that I'm ready to cancel every service I have, convert all my assets to Krugerrands and bury them in the back yard, go off the grid and sign up for crazy old coot school, so I can learn how to best shriek insanely at telemarketers and what horrible, horrible things I might put in the postage paid return envelopes that come with all the sleazy, transparently misleading "offers" that I get from banks, credit mongers, car warranty mills, etc., etc.



    You make this sound like a bad thing.



    I currently have a dubious television solution, but if it didn't work out, I would make due with regular over the air programming and a subscription to a Netflix type service since I either watch regular programming when the mood strikes me or movies with nothing in between.



    We gave up the land line. It was just too annoying to check multiple mailboxes, and also the taxes on it were just insane. I would want the cheapest $45 package and they had to tack another $45 of ancient fees and taxes on top of it. I saved the money and simply added more minutes to the cell phones.



    We've got FIOS for $50 a month. It is the 10:2 plan from what I recall and we are fine with it. I tried FIOS television but didn't like it. My friend has it and it has gotten much better but all the little fees drive me insane so I avoid it.



    I'm avoiding anything HD including televisions for as long as possible. It is clear from the whole blu-ray/HD fight and HDMI version X evilness that the customer isn't right and no one even gives a care about him or her. I'll enjoy $10 DVD's until they pull their head out of their butts.



    Toll roads... I hate them period. I'd rather live in a trailer in Topeka than have to deal with that nonsense. I don't (yet) but don't doubt me.



    Nick
  • Reply 12 of 34
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by trumptman View Post


    You make this sound like a bad thing.



    I currently have a dubious television solution, but if it didn't work out, I would make due with regular over the air programming and a subscription to a Netflix type service since I either watch regular programming when the mood strikes me or movies with nothing in between.



    We gave up the land line. It was just too annoying to check multiple mailboxes, and also the taxes on it were just insane. I would want the cheapest $45 package and they had to tack another $45 of ancient fees and taxes on top of it. I saved the money and simply added more minutes to the cell phones.



    We've got FIOS for $50 a month. It is the 10:2 plan from what I recall and we are fine with it. I tried FIOS television but didn't like it. My friend has it and it has gotten much better but all the little fees drive me insane so I avoid it.



    I'm avoiding anything HD including televisions for as long as possible. It is clear from the whole blu-ray/HD fight and HDMI version X evilness that the customer isn't right and no one even gives a care about him or her. I'll enjoy $10 DVD's until they pull their head out of their butts.



    Toll roads... I hate them period. I'd rather live in a trailer in Topeka than have to deal with that nonsense. I don't (yet) but don't doubt me.



    Nick



    FIOS I'm interested in, although handing over my digital life to Verizon makes me sweat, a little.



    Still, vastly faster speeds for about what I'm paying for DSL is kind of a no-brainer, or would be if they had it available in my neighborhood yet.



    I'm curious what turned you off to FIOS TV? I'm torn on the whole consolidation thing-- on the one hand only having to deal with a single vendor for phone, internet and cable is easier, but on the other hand since there are no non-evil players in that market, whichever evil all-in-one vendor you go with really has you by the balls....



    The only upside for Comcast is that they apparently have no quality control whatsoever on their installs, so that the odds are something like 50/50 that you'll get more than you pay for.



    I hooked up a friend (who has some kind of sub-basic $15 dollar a month Comcast service) with a Samsung LCD that had a built in digital tuner and boom: every channel but the big premiums like HBO and Showtime, and HD channels galore. Even the odd pay-per-view shows up intermittently.
  • Reply 13 of 34
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,038member
    Well I called DirecTV and they refused to give me a free HD DVR. Dish Network offers it, but I don't know about them. I also think Dish's programming is more expensive.



    I am still torn on downgrading to DSL. As I've said, we're talking $20 a month less, but the question is how much slower is it going to be. Officially it's 6 vs. 3mb, but I know I get better than 6 with Comcast many times.



    Still going forward with DirecTV though. I've been happy with the way they've treated me on the phone so far....even though they wouldn't budge. The rep also knew his stuff concerning installation issues such as I have (limited outside access, sat stream facing issues).
  • Reply 14 of 34
    You talked to a stubborn one.



    I went through 3 before getting what I wanted. You might need to bluff and get transfered to retention. That's where the true magic happens.



    I'll look for some links on some forums where people had similar requests like yours when I get home.
  • Reply 15 of 34
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,038member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Guybrush Threepwood View Post


    You talked to a stubborn one.



    I went through 3 before getting what I wanted. You might need to bluff and get transfered to retention. That's where the true magic happens.



    I'll look for some links on some forums where people had similar requests like yours when I get home.



    Awesome. Either way I'm sticking with it though.
  • Reply 16 of 34
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,456member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    FIOS I'm interested in, although handing over my digital life to Verizon makes me sweat, a little.



    Still, vastly faster speeds for about what I'm paying for DSL is kind of a no-brainer, or would be if they had it available in my neighborhood yet.



    Well the FIOS for internet is awesome and as such I have been with them since it has been available in my neighborhood.



    Quote:

    I'm curious what turned you off to FIOS TV? I'm torn on the whole consolidation thing-- on the one hand only having to deal with a single vendor for phone, internet and cable is easier, but on the other hand since there are no non-evil players in that market, whichever evil all-in-one vendor you go with really has you by the balls....



    Well we were right at the beginning of their install so the interface was pretty crappy and while it worked, it just felt slow and cumbersome in terms of the interface.



    The hump I really have problems getting over is that while we actually watch very little television, we don't tend to watch it in one place. We have a television in the living room, family room and master bedroom. This set-up from what I have seen is pretty common. Well there is no way to get around equipment rentals with most vendors and on average they want around $6 a month per television.



    To me, it is ridiculous to have a $40-45 package and then be spending almost another $20 just to have your televisions be able to receive it.



    I can imagine these internet providers trying this later with limiting the number of computers who can hook up to "your" internet connection. In that case for example, I don't mind buying routers, wireless cards, etc. but I don't want to "rent" them forever. If later an internet provider wants $6 per month per computer accessing the router through their approved rental wireless card, then we will have a serious problem.



    Quote:

    The only upside for Comcast is that they apparently have no quality control whatsoever on their installs, so that the odds are something like 50/50 that you'll get more than you pay for.



    I hooked up a friend (who has some kind of sub-basic $15 dollar a month Comcast service) with a Samsung LCD that had a built in digital tuner and boom: every channel but the big premiums like HBO and Showtime, and HD channels galore. Even the odd pay-per-view shows up intermittently.



    Well congrats to your friend. There was supposed to be a standard like this for all sorts of televisions, Tivo's, etc.. that allowed you to purchase and use your own equipment. It has had nothing but problems from what I have read. In the case of your friend, they lucked out, but the problem is that those of us who want to do this and are willing to even pay for the programming, there is no option to do so while owning the equipment.



    I had and enjoyed DirectV for years. I've been the same way with Verizon Wireless. With Verizon, I could get to the end of my contract and get some control back with regard to equipment costs. If I want to keep the phones or upgrade them I at least have a choice. I don't like the per phone access fee to share minutes, but it is still cheaper than a land line. In the case of DirecTV, they basically create an artificial distinction between leasing and owning whereby they can screw up if you don't want to stay under a multi-year contract commitment. So they were shown the door.



    If I had to do something right now, I would put up a big antennae and go with Blockbuster Online with the ability to return to stores a couple times per month.



    Nick
  • Reply 17 of 34
    About 4 years ago I ditched my cable TV and landline but I kept my cable Internet with Comcast. I've had no problems with Comcast Internet and yes, I do pay $60 a month for it. Since I don't have landline service, DSL through Bellsouth was going to be about $60 a month.
  • Reply 18 of 34
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,038member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ThinkingDifferent View Post


    About 4 years ago I ditched my cable TV and landline but I kept my cable Internet with Comcast. I've had no problems with Comcast Internet and yes, I do pay $60 a month for it. Since I don't have landline service, DSL through Bellsouth was going to be about $60 a month.



    Yeah as I said I'm still on the fence. I just can't decide. I will likely just cancel the landline and TV when my sat gets installed, then decide in a month or so if I'm going to bail on the Comcast internet thing. It's really a question of whether or not it's worth it for $20 a month. In other words, will it be noticeably slower during browsing? My downloads are not great as it is. It's not like Software update is going to scream. I don't do a lot of massive downloading.

    What do you think?
  • Reply 19 of 34
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post


    Yeah as I said I'm still on the fence. I just can't decide. I will likely just cancel the landline and TV when my sat gets installed, then decide in a month or so if I'm going to bail on the Comcast internet thing. It's really a question of whether or not it's worth it for $20 a month. In other words, will it be noticeably slower during browsing? My downloads are not great as it is. It's not like Software update is going to scream. I don't do a lot of massive downloading.

    What do you think?



    Will you get a trial period with the DSL? If so, give it a shot.
  • Reply 20 of 34
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,038member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ThinkingDifferent View Post


    Will you get a trial period with the DSL? If so, give it a shot.



    Yeah I think I get a month free or something. I'll have to ask. I am leaning towards it at this point for some other reasons. For one, checking my Comcast mail at work is a pain. I have to go through their stupid Comcast welcome page no matter what I do. I have to click at least three or four things just to get to it, no matter what I bookmark. It also gets slow and won't load just as much as my .mac used to. I stopped using the latter for that reason, and for a while, Comast was better. But now I'm noticing that .mac (which I still have) is running just as well. Plus, Mail gives .Mac mail priority when checking it seems.
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