Monday, November 2, 2009

Comcast Internet raises rates on second month of contract without notice

I was one of the early adopters of DSL, during the Pacbell trial in November 1997 . But SBC, and now AT&T, didn't invest enough into their network. I was running the top ADSL speed available through AT&T, which was only 6 Mbits/s down / 768 kbps up. The upstream speed was particularly painful.

In September, I placed an order with Comcast, because they offered 12 Mbits/s down and 2 Mbps up, and there was a 12 months promotion at $24.99, plus $3 for a modem rental, or $27.99.

The Comcast service took longer than expected, because I hadn't had any kind of cable service in my home since I purchased it in 1997. There was a 10 day delay due to construction to run a new cable line from the street into the junction box.
Finally, the service was installed successfully on October 2, and so far, it has worked relatively well. My first October bill was for $27.99 plus tax.
Then came my second November bill. It was for $29.99 plus tax ! Imagine my surprise at this rate hike, having just started a new 12 months promotion.

I called Comcast about this problem. They claimed that only the Internet service was on a contract, but not the cost of the modem rental. It went up from $3 to $5, so I was told. I hadn't received any notice about this whatsoever. I was told that notices were mailed. I am very meticulous about my postal mail, and I know for certain I never received it. It is probably because I was such a new customer and the notices must have been mailed before I was a customer. In other words, I fell through the cracks.

The only thing I was able to get Comcast to accomplish was to refund me $2 for the modem overcharge for November, since I had no notice. But I'm supposed to pay $5/month for the modem rental from December on.

I already have a used identical Motorola SB5100 cable modem on order on ebay for $26.99 including shipping, which is $2.69/month for the next 10 months, vs $3/month for the Comcast rental. I will return Comcast's rented modem before the December bill is due.

When the 12 months contract with Comcast is up, Comcast will want to charge me for basic cable TV service, for which I have no use for, since I use a combination of satellite and OTA antenna for my TV. I don't even have a cable outlet in my living room. I had the Comcast installer run the cable line from directly to my home office upstairs. I have a feeling that I will be getting rid of the Motorola cable modem on October 2, 2010, and hopefully switching to ADSL2/2+, if a local telco operator has upgraded their network by then.

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