Sunday, May 16, 2010

Comcast: Change the name, raise the rates

Crossposted at
Finally got a chance to look at the bills this afternoon. Noticed a $7 increase in the Comcast bill. Hmmm, what's this?
Well, it looks like Internet went up $2 per month. The TV side went up $5.01.
I had to go back to April's bill to look up why this was happening.
The HD cable box charge increased by $0.95 per month. If anything, the more people get HD sets, the more the price should go down. In fact, why are we being charged a surcharge for the HD box again? Basic service went up $3. Digital Classic also went up $3 (we have this for the kids programs and other things). Comcast also warned subscribers that Digital Classic will no longer be available for new subscribers. Hmm ...
Standard cable, something we don't have, went up $2.45 per month. Everything else seems to have stayed the same. Expanded basic service, something we don't have, was reduced by $0.50.
Interestingly, two items I don't use - Digital video recorder, recorder service - were also reduced. The "Digital Additional Outlet Service Charge" was increased by $1.
The letter from Comcast stated that the increases were due to "programming and other business costs." But looking at this, one has to really wonder.
Comcast recently started dubbing its services "XFINITY" ... whatever that means. It looks like it means higher rates and a name change. Big deal. Maybe if they spent less money on commercials, the bill wouldn't have to be so high.

More complaints
In looking at Basic Service, one has to wonder what is going on.
First, there are three free "multicultural" channels, specifically, three Spanish channels. Are these really necessary in New Hampshire, where there are few Spanish people?
Second, New England Cable News' HD channel is not on the Basic lineup (the non-HD version is). One has to wonder why we have to pay a surcharge to view this in HD.
Third, still no C-Span or C-Span II in the free service or the Digital Classic. This seems stupid since these channels are free. I have tried to get answers on this in the past and have not received them. I guess I'll be waiting even longer for an answer.
In many ways, these are small complaints. But the $7 increase is a bit much. If anything, the cost of business is dropping, not increasing. We should be seeing decreases in bills, not increases. And, with no competition in Concord, I guess we'll just have to live with it, unfortunately.

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