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September 20, 2011


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Ugh! Comcast is the worst! I just fought with them over my standalone internet package to get it down from $60 to $40. It is the fastest internet speed, but $60 is outlandish! anyway, my husband and i use netflix watch instantly, hulu, and internet sports packages( Mlb package) to replace cable. We have a roku which i recommend for ease of use. Maybe the roku has a subscription soccer package?

We desperstely miss food network and history channel shows, but can watch those at our gym which helps our incentive to work out as well.

I am contimplating ditching netflix, as their watch instantly is loosing some great collections soon, but not sure if hulu is ready to surpase them collection wise.

I was going to switch to Comcast about a year ago but after reading all the various problems people have been having, I figured it would not be worth it. Now I know it DEFINETLY would not be worth it to me.

I like WOW cable and in the 14 years we have had it NEVER have had a complaint.

BTW my cable(basic) phone and internet is $90 a month.

I am a Comcast Bundler because the deal was cheaper than what I was paying (even after the promo period).

Personally, I don't get as hung up on the cost of cable/internet like I used to. Probably because we don't spend too much on entertainment anyway, so if I pay a little extra a month for something on cable/internet, I can put up with it. With all the promos that all the companies have, it is really hard to do a comparison between cable companies. I used to call every six months and demand cheaper rates, and maybe I will do that again this week. Generally, I haven't been putting much thought into it lately though.

I've always had similar issues with Comcast. We switched a few years ago to Verizon Fios for all the services and we LOVE it. We've never had a single problem and the handful of times we have called they've been very helpful.

Sadly, a la carte television is almost certainly never going to happen since (in the current model) all of the major channels subsidize the cost of carrying the cult hit channels that don't bring in nearly enough revenue.

Like it or not, unless Comcast screws up again and gives you incredible promotions to make it right, your best bet is going to be to sign up for a 6m-1yr promotional rate and then call to negotiate each time it ends.


Have you looked into for your soccer/premier league needs? I've heard they have a good offering for about $20/month. Plus one of these days they may actually get a Roku channel.

Jon --

I have looked at it and it's an option, though not a great one at this point.

I was waiting for this latest Welcome to the world the rest of us live in! ;) I don't know about the Comcast in Michigan, but here, promotional rates are only for "new" customers. Even if you dump the cable and come back later, since you were a customer before, they do not consider you "new", and actually they will charge you a re-connection fee! This is what they told me the last time I tried to negotiate to a current promo rate. When I complained and said I would disconnect the service, they told me "Go ahead!" and transferred me to the disconnection department!! I actually like Comcast service - but I really hate Comcast's customer service and their policies. I would switch to Verizon Fios in an instant if they would offer it where I live.

We're ditching DirecTV at the end of the month (our contract ends then). The whole point of having them was getting Sunday Ticket NFL package, they've been advertising everywhere about giving it free to new customers, I called and asked for the same deal and they wouldn't budge, so I dropped it this year knowing that my contract is up soon. There are enough streams online, and we'll figure out something with the local channels (either antenna or just watching online) to see whatever we want to watch.

I stick with broadcast tv and online TV using PlayOn with a Roku player. You can get Fox Soccer (as Jon said) through PlayOn. We use PlayOn for Hulu, CBS and all other tv we want to watch. I use it for College football (either through ESPN3, or, or live streams using other systems), and most of the NFL games I want to watch are on broadcast, so that's not a big deal. I'm very happy with it and since I've bought everything already, it doesn't cost me any extra. The only problem would be if your internet provider puts a cap on data usage.

We just switched to ATT U-verse, and they charge about 80 for their cable, because I want just the FOx Soccer Channel too. If you ditch cable though, try this site.

It streams almost all the EPL games, and most sports games even, when they come on. If you've got a decent internet connection, it will work beautifully.

I'm a happy Verizon FiOS customer now but I used to have Comcast back when we lived in Chicago. They were the worst and only offer good prices when you do a bundling package with them (we had TC and Internet, but no phone). If you're just using cable to get TV then there's really no good reason to stay with Comcast IMO. I'd recommend looking up the packages on Dish or DirectTV.

Your battle with them sounds and looks like the one I have with them as well. My husband is consistently asking why is the bill going higher and higher on a monthly bases. I call complain they fix it and all is well for a few months then its back to the same things again. I then tell them I am leaving for direct tv and usually get a great deal. I guess its just a the game we have to play with them. Though my hubby finds it annoying.

I hate Comcast. I've had a similar story of being in pretty much constant negotiations with them. I finally decided it wasn't worth the time and frustration. The system is designed to take advantage of you. There is no autopilot unless you are willing to pay oodles for their service, which I simply am not. But, hold times, incompetent reps, promises broken, I'll deal with it every so often. Not several times a year like clockwork.

Now we stream Netflix, and buy seasons of series on iTunes with discounted giftcards. Its certainly not as convenient as flipping on the TV, but it works and I sit much more firmly in the drivers seat.

We have been using DirecTV since 2003. As I want to watch my home channels from Hong Kong, I have no choice but stick with it. Just five channels for $36.99 a month on top of the normal TV package. It is expensive but it is all worth it, otherwise I don't know how I can live in a foreign country in the past eight years. We always want to save money on everything, but if for something you really enjoy and make your life happier, why not?

Comcast treats most customers the way they do simply because they can, knowing that most people either don't have a practical alternative, or just don't care enough to find one.

Comcast in my area changed their behavior from a current-day interpretation of Ernestine to something almost resembling decent customer service the minute Verizon lit up FiOS. Even so, I still have to call and threaten to cancel (with every intention of actually doing so) each year in order to maintain decent service at a reasonable price. People like Christy are just out of luck, unless they can convince their local franchising authority to allow a second cable provider access to the right-of-way. Even then the economics may not work in the consumer's favor.

I recommend perusing the Comcast forums over at DSLReports for help with Comcast issues, and the Comcast Direct forum in particular. Going straight to their Executive Support function also usually works wonders. As our host says, there's a reason Comcast ranks at or near the top of the WCIA competition every year.

"Going Dark" at home is the way to go. When there is a game you REALLY want to watch you can go to a sports bar or find it streaming online. That helps you be more intentional about how you are spending your TV time.

My wife and I have "sports bar" built into the budget. As long as the annual expenditures for that are less than cable, there is no need to get cable.

"Going Dark" at home is the way to go. When there is a game you REALLY want to watch you can go to a sports bar or find it streaming online. That helps you be more intentional about how you are spending your TV time.

My wife and I have "sports bar" built into the budget. As long as the annual expenditures for that are less than cable, there is no need to get cable.

Many folks need to know, a simple " TVantenna", preferably roof or attic mounted, (urban dwellers can get a rabbit ears or very small indoor antenna to work fine)in about 80~% of the US will allow, "pure non compressed digital TV" (the best signal quality by far) of over the air reception of all major networks, and many minor ones for FREE! For a $100~ one time cost in my case, I get about 25~ english channels. ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CW, MNT, TBN, PBS, plus several "sub channels on the .2/.3/.4 channels like: PBS Plus, Antenna TV, This, Universal Sports, RTV, etc., including several religious variations and several all childrens programming too, plus a weather channnel! Add an HDMI cable from your computer and combine HULU, Netflix, Redbox etc., and you get a VERY powerful and CHEAP video experience. Most non-rural tv watchers should consider this option first. Remember: It's how we did it until the latter 1980's, except there are far more free OTA channels today! OTA digital FREE tV IS teh best experience and by far the most cost effective! :)

Just wanted to second what JeffinwesternWA just said!

Oh my word.... You are paying comcast for *ONE* (soccer) channel? Oy....

we kicked out cable from our house almost a year ago - I have a mac mini hooked up to the TV along with a digital antenna for local channels - the blu-ray dvd player is wireless internet available so I can get netflix, hulu, etc.... For getting interesting sports channels I have found places that stream what I am interested in. I also get foxnews, cnn and others via streaming......

I unplugged cable completely and am able to see *EVERYTHING* I did before. I won't go back....

Rory --

It works out to about $5 per game per month if watched that channel alone...

We have had several similar experiences with Comcast, and unfortunately they are the only decent provider in our area. Recently our package was expiring and believe me, we were dreading the inevitable rate hike. (It didn't help that it was right when this season of True Blood on HBO was starting, and there was no way I was giving that up!) But we lucked out and just happened to get a very helpful representative on the phone. He and my husband negotiated a 2 year contract for less money than the promotional package we were previously getting, and more channels. And I didn't have to miss True Blood, everybody wins!

When it's time to renew, try calling more than once. Maybe you'll luck out and get someone more willing to negotiate! I also wouldn't hesitate to (nicely) ask for a supervisor or manager. It never hurts to see what someone with a little more autonomy can do for you.

Comcast is my ISP, and I think I must be their only satisfied customer in the country. The customer service folks always the phone quickly, and are knowledgable and helpful. The connection is blazing fast. I used to have DSL; it was dog-slow, and telco's customer service was unbelievably belligerent. Comcast costs 2.5x as much, but you get what you pay for. Internet is one budget item where I don't scrimp.

Just get rid of 'em. Cable TV is not a necessity and Comcast is notorious for bad service.

If it weren't for our football & basketball games we'd have gotten rid of Comcast by now probably. In fact I'd probably have never gotten Comcast in the first place. I was happy with DISH but we decided to get Comcast for the basketball games that are not carried on DISH.

It seems like a simple answer to just watch your games online or in a bar. But lots of sport events are NOT available online and NOT every game is shown in every local sports bar. Many are but many are not. Besides that I don't want to be going to a bar every other night to watch all the basketball games. Bars are not cheap either, they do kinda expect you to spend money.

I've actually been happier with Comcast service than Verizon. I'm not thrilled with Comcast prices but their service has been better for me at least.

I've also had less then reliabile results from Hulu or other online sources. Netflix streaming worked perfectly but Hulu and some direct network video feeds were sometimes choppy.

Why are you giving Comcast so much power? Shop around. There are other cable companies to chose from. I switched from Comcast to FIOS two years ago and we are very satisfied thus far.

V --

Unfortunately, there aren't other companies in my area...I've checked.

It would help if you'd do some research instead of blaming the messenger. You blame Comcast for all your problems and say they will "rue the day they crossed you when you have more choice"....only your choice is going to be getting Comcast's internet service (which will be far better than any other ISP in terms of speed and reliability) and striking out on your own with Ala Carte options, most of which are going to give you less content for a more expensive price due to bundling. Cable companies HATE bundling, but it's the only way to get content from Turner, ESPN, Fox, and half a dozen other larger media content providers. We'd much rather you had a la carte options -- but content providers don't want you to have them, they want to "bundle" so they get paid whether you want to watch it or not. ESPN is the worst of the bunch and will only get worse and worse as advertising rates climb for sports TV since that will be the only guaranteed "live TV" window (etc. non-DVR) for most advertisers.

Your gripe is with content providers, not with your cable company, and trust me: You would pay a ton more without cable companies negotiating your rates down to a reasonable level.

Secondly, the reason they're pushing for Triple Play packages (and you will not get a good rate on single service "promotions" that involve TV anymore, FYI) is that Internet and Phone are money making machines compared to broadcast and cable television and require ZERO negotiations with other content providers. YouTube isn't charging your monthly cable company $4 for every subscriber they have that accesses YouTube, but that's what ESPN does, WHETHER YOU WATCH ESPN OR NOT. They can offer you cheaper rates because those services are much stickier than TV (Internet subs rarely get cable and then go back to DSL at a higher price with slower speeds; same with phone subs)

Lastly -- you bitch about their business model, and then you complain that you can't get all the channels you want for $40. Well, which is it? The business model works to bring in new subscribers at a reduced rate and then gradually move them to regular price. If satellite providers didn't do this, cable companies wouldn't have to -- in fact, most cable providers NEVER did this until DirecTV and Dish Network came along. The problem I see is that you think that you should have to pay next to nothing for all the content that you want to watch. Do you really, honestly think that you could pay for all the content you watch in an ala carte format and pay less than $40 per month? You're NUTS if you think that. Why? We already have a model like that: Hollywood movies. For you and your family to go to ONE movie, I would guess it's $40 just to get in the door, not to mention snacks for the kids once you get inside.

You always want something for nothing on this site, it seems, and then complain when you don't get it. Truth is, some content is worth paying for, which is what you ultimately decided, and that's your decision. Don't blame the process, blame yourself for making a decision you aren't happy with. It's like people who complain about gas prices. My answer to those complaints? Don't drive. It's similar here. Don't watch TV. See, simple. And I saved you $40.

Eric --

So I assume you're a Comcast employee? (since you say, "We'd much rather you had a la carte options.)

And, BTW, there's a nice way and a not-so-nice way to handle customer issues. Comcast seems to prefer the latter.

Comcast isn’t able to charge whatever price they want any more because there are too many other companies competing with them when you consider that Satellite is available all over the country. I know that my employer DISH Network makes sure their price is lower than Comcast and DirecTV which competes with Comcast in nearly every market. I know that when I talk to customers they complain about the extra regulatory fees and higher taxes all the time which is why they are satisfied with their bill when they call me back since Satellite doesn’t have to deal with that.

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