Sunday, February 8, 2009

Comcast, that isn't my idea of "enhancement"

Dear Comcast:

I am not pleased by your "exciting news" about my cable service. Your "enhancement"* of your network, transmitting all standard cable channels 35-76 exclusively in digital format beginning March 9, 2009 is not good news for me, nor is it good news for what I hear is about 25 percent of your current subscribers.

Several years ago I tried your digital cable service and discovered that it rendered my recording device almost totally useless. Making me use a converter or set-top box which cannot be programmed to change channels at set times make it impossible for me to record any different programs on different channels at different times. I returned your useless equipment and happily used your analog cable service.

What's that you say? You provide access to a digital video recorder? How very convenient (for Comcast's bottom line) that thousands of people will now have to pay an additional (high) monthly cost to record the very programs that they recorded for free in the past. In my area this new "convenience fee" will only be $15.95 per month.

I find it highly suspicious that you are making this change right at the same time as the government mandated digital broadcast transition. It is likely that many of your non-technically inclined subscribers of analog service will believe that you are switching because you must, not because you want to sell more services to the customers who are happily spending less money.

I also don't believe that your company has seen any televisions lately. Calling this huge piece of equipment a "set-top box" is ridiculous. The top of my television is about 3" deep. Trying to balance a "set-top box" might be good for an initial giggle, but impossible to do. I'm sure that because of ventilation of heat issues the "set-top box" can't be placed underneath a set, even one of the lightweight modern flat panel sets.

And how convenient for Comcast that after a 6 month promotion my monthly rate will increase to $59.95 per month (plus the $15.95 per month dvr charge) for exactly the same set of channels I have now. I know you're hoping that I upgrade to a larger package, since I need to "upgrade" the equipment, and how startling that the cost to include HBO is $103.94 per month and the cost to include Showtime is $118.94 per month. Plus the dvr charge. And all of this exclusive of taxes which I can only assume will add another $10-15 per month.

In your next "Important" letter to me I'd like to see how many of your previous analog cable subscribers have switched to the AT&T service which is less expensive and (at the moment) less deceptive in their intentions to make huge bundles of money. I doubt that people will change every service they have to your "triple play" and will instead join the U-verse. I believe that I will stay with my phone, internet and cell provider and dump your company.

Comcast, I don't appreciate the additional time and aggravation that this will cause me. Consider me a former customer who will not be enjoying your "enhanced Comcast network" in my area.

Disgruntled customer #1

*Comcast, your usage of the word "enhancement" confused me until I discovered the second definition in the on-line dictionary:
2. to raise the value or price of
Oh! You're absolutely correct! You ARE raising the price. I get it now. And thank you so much for the delightful browse through modern meanings of the term. I need to go scrub my eyeballs now.


  1. Too frustrating!

    But don't get me started on Comcast. I HATE THEM!

    I seem to keep living in areas where they're the only game in town, but every two minutes they raise their rates. Oooh, I really do hate that company.

  2. I heard u-verse was not stellar qualitiy but I totally agree with you I was outraged by the letter, I am in the industry and knew this was coming. They will eventually charge us for each tv set once this is in place. I have my antenna up already but I just don't get enough channels.

    I also pay for Directv and several comcast accounts, Money is not the issue but the idea that you charge more and give less, in technology and in the name of progress that is just irritating.

    Thanks for posting your frustration. I

  3. Loved the rant.