Check your cable bills! I checked my Mom’s bill the other day and what I found is the subject of my latest video.
The worst part is that the cable boxes she’s paying for are old digital to analog adapters that she’s had for the better part of the decade. Techs even came out at some point and hooked these things up, with RF connections, to her HD televisions!
Initially these adapters were around $3 a piece but Comcast has slowly increased the monthly cost on them over the years. When she changed her plan a few years ago they sent her an additional HD box for one of her televisions but never suggested or offered to take the older boxes off the plan.
Comcast’s customer service was not very helpful. They work extremely hard to direct everyone to the website first – in fact this weekend I couldn’t even talk to an agent unless I went back to their website to request a call. When I did they sent me back to the website and use their equipment return page to initiate things. The problem is that only the two HD boxes showed up – not the other three adapters!
To rectify things I ended up using their Twitter support and got the ball rolling there. They sent us some return boxes and labels and I’ll be getting those back to Comcast this week. My hope is that they’ll take everything off the bill as those three adapters are still not showing up on her online account.
Thankfully Comcast offers customers a simple option for avoiding box rental fees by using a “partner device.” The best and most affordable option at the moment are Roku devices. Apple TVs also work pretty well too. I set up Mom up with a few Rokus are on her TVs this weekend.
I was able to save my mother $720 a year by removing the boxes and another DVR service add-on they slipped in that she didn’t need or use. All of this stuff sits outside of the contract she was on for service so Comcast can raise those rates whenever they want.
If you have loved ones that are a little challenged when it comes to technology definitely give their bill a close look. My video also provides a checklist of what you need to have ready to help.
It’s so frustrating that monopolies behave in this way. It’s especially unfortunate that because I’ve found Comcast’s network to be reliable and consistent in its performance. If they focused on making customers happy vs. ripping them off perhaps they’d be better positioned now that their business is getting significantly more competitive.