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I don't get the hate. Comcast has been my only (not sateliite) choice until just the last year or so when Verizon became a possiblity.


I think if you talk to a human you can get decent pricing - right now I have all their channels (digital preferred) + HBO and 20mbps internet for $90 a month. The offer nearly every channel I personally could want and I rarely have a service drop out.


I finally saw their X1 system in action recently. Someone who likes tinkering with computers wont replace their HTPC with it, but it gives all my friends who were too scared to invest in a system like mine a great integrated whole home option.
 

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I get the hate. 6 years ago I had to suffer through Comcast until FiOS became available. $90/mo for 20Mbps/3Mbps internet. Ripoff. At least 4 hours a day I wouldn't have an internet connection due to intermittent dropouts. So working from home I'd have to tether from my 4G for several hours. I had the same dropout issue living in three different areas of the city. Everyone I know who has Comcast has the same dropout issues. Whenever I would call customer service over half the time I would get put on hold immediately and the call would eventually hang up on me before ever getting to talk to someone. Whenever I scheduled someone to show up on site they would never show up. It took me two months just to get internet setup at our new home because at least 10 appointments no one ever showed up. They keep claiming they have improved all of this but when I talk to people who still have Comcast or are trying to sign up with Comcast they say it's even worse than before.


For the last 5 years I've had FiOS and I haven't had 1 single issue. They showed up exactly when they said they were going to for the initial setup and the only thing I've had to call them for since the install was to get my CableCard activated. There were a couple technical hiccups in the process but the tech actually knew what he was doing so he was able to fix it within a couple minutes. My monthly price recently went up but all I have to do is think about Comcast and the price doesn't upset me
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by techmattr  /t/1526848/no-surprise-here#post_24595502


My monthly price recently went up but all I have to do is think about Comcast and the price doesn't upset me
Same here. My 2 year pricing with FiOS just expired and the bill went up $30 a month but no way I would go back to Comcast. I hated their customer service (if you could call it that) and their garbage equipment.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by lulimet  /t/1526848/no-surprise-here#post_24595857


Same here. My 2 year pricing with FiOS just expired and the bill went up $30 a month but no way I would go back to Comcast. I hated their customer service (if you could call it that) and their garbage equipment.

Yeah.... the only positive thing I remember about Comcast is that they made it somewhat easy to ditch their crappy equipment and buy your own. Getting someone on the phone to active your own modem however....


The Actiontec router FiOS uses is actually pretty decent but if you want to use something better.... there are only workarounds and most of which are unsupported by Verizon.
 

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I will add my two bits as well, I have Comcast but only pay for the economy slow tier, won't give them anymore of my money until they act as responsible net citizens. Youtube is almost unwatchable due to the caching servers problems. Even if I block the cache servers that is not a nice solution at the moment I am using Youtube center on firefox that allows me to disable dash for youtube watching.


In my area I will not be able to really take advantage of the faster tiers, as copper is everywhere, and I don't expect a reliable fiber connection on the poles anytime soon. Don't fell like giving them any extra money when I can't get the sustained rates. But the throttling is the biggest concern. Even if I have the faster tier no guarantee that my service will be any better than it is now. I refuse to subscribe to cable, and at the moment Netflix is fine but am not happy looking forward as this breaks the interent. I pay for service and why should my service be degraded due to peering agreements. My alternative is not that good either, I did have ATT DSL but got tired paying 45 bucks a month for crap speeds with no improvement in sight. Not to mention that IPV6 on ATT is not well thought out.


In the next few years I hope that folks get tired and really push for fiber, I think that at this point network access is like water and electricity as it is a necessity and the communities should provide what the folks want. I want to own my own gear, and I want some level of privacy that will at least act as a buffer but having a internet connection is a must. I will probably upgrade at some point when 4k streaming is viable but giving my money to Comcast is not going to happen if other choices are available.


Rthoreau
 

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All the quasi-monopoly companies suck, especially when it comes to customer service, but Comcast is indeed the worst in my opinion. I remember vividly the entire ordeal of trying to get a cable card activated for my Tivo and then getting them to stick to the correct charge on my monthly bill. For months after they would randomly go back to overcharging me and I'd have to call in every time and get transferred around to one drone after another, having to teach them their own companies policies on user owned equipment and cable cards, re-verifying all my account info to every new dim-bulb I talked to. I became convinced that if hell exists it's having to spend eternity on the phone with freaking Comcast.


Unfortunately I'm a sports fan (baseball especially) otherwise I would have cut the cord with them a long time ago. When the only other alternative is satellite and DirecTV and DISH aren't really any better than Comcast, then you're stuck.
 

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I have a love-hate relationship with Comcast. I love the Internet speed and reliability from Comcast, both at home and at work. I like the online viewing options they have and some of the integration with mobile apps. I'm ok with the channel lineup and I'm ok with the pricing after I called and threatened to cancel if they didn't drop the price. Customer service is a different story. I've had times when they were quick and efficient and easy, and there have been times they were terribly incompetent and annoying and disinterested and too quick to transfer you to someone else just to get you off the phone. For instance, it took 3 months and endless hours on the phone and finally agreeing to a contract we weren't allowed to review to get a phone number rolled from another carrier. On the flip side, activating a new modem and setting up a cablecard last fall was quick and easy. I just wish I knew which Comcast (Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde) I was going to get when I call. And honestly, if I could get a decent OTA signal for CBS and FOX, I'd only have the cable TV service during football season for college football.


-Duncan
 

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Cable providers and credit card companies tend to get the lowest customer satisfaction ratings every year. A lot of it is just how the company is perceived. I get the hate for banks and credit card companies since they're just greedy bastards with a license to steal, but cable providers tend to be a bit of a mystery for me. I've had Comcast twice in the past, and while I can't say that they're in my top ten favorite companies, I can't say that I hate them either. I think people just think that cable companies are all crooks in the same light as they perceive banks.


I think a lot of it has to do with frequent outages and other service interruptions that are a result of older infrastructure combined with bad weather and other mishaps, such as someone knocking down a utility pole that happens to support your cable feed. Newer installations are burying cables underground to prevent a lot of this from happening and many are switching to fiber optic trunk lines instead of coax, at least in my area. Overall, I think many providers are trying to take a step in the right direction. Then again, many providers hold a monopoly in many areas and don't have any major incentive in going the extra mile for their customers, except for keeping their charter. If they don't hold up their end of the deal they can get their charter revoked or simply not renewed by the local government and have it awarded to one of their competitors. Some areas actually have more than one cable provider so there's competition. I have both Comcast and Verizon in my area and I dumped Comcast as soon as I could get FIOS to my house.


I've got nothing but praise for Verizon. I've always gotten prompt response from service calls and their techs always seemed to be on top of things.
 

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I get the hate for comcast, as someone who is stuck with them, as well as having parents stuck with them.  Their pricing tactics nickle and dime you to death at every turn.  A DVR box is $16 a month, and for the first dvr, which they try to insist is cheaper, you have to pay an "HD fee" of $10 a month which "opens HD to all further DVRs" on top of a $6 premium for it to have DVR, so it's the same price as all the others.  It's not exactly like they're anything special either...  They also have 3 or 4 packages I think, and the cost for me to actually get ESPN (one of the only channels I would watch in addition to what I have) would send my current introductory-rate of $55 a month to ~$90 a month.  No flexibility at all, I either pay ~$40 a more a month or I don't get ESPN.  Speaking of my $55 a month, it goes up to almost 90 a month after my first year.  Thankfully I didn't get a contract with my plan so I can consider my options when the time comes.

 

As for the nickle and dime stuff, I've been using an HD HR prime to get around most of it.  If you don't use their DVRs you don't have to pay the HD fee, and you don't need additional DVRs.  My father had a DVR in 2 downstairs rooms and my parent's bedroom and he had the second-highest tier package so he was paying almost $200 a month for cable until he called them and threatened to leave for directTV..  I believe they also charge for "additional outlets" but I have none so I get no charge.
 

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Every provider nickel and dimes you to death with numerous nuisance charges like these:

Taxes, Governmental Surcharges and Fees

Verizon


MD State Sales Tax $0.95

MD 911 Fee $1.00

Telecommunications Access of MD Fee $0.11

Verizon Wireless


Taxes, Governmental Surcharges and Fees $4.67

Total Taxes, Governmental Surcharges and Fees $6.73

Verizon and Verizon Wireless Surcharges and Other Charges & Credits

Verizon


Video Franchise Fee $4.38

MD Gross Receipts Tax Surcharge $0.68

Federal Universal Service Fee $3.19

PEG Grant Fee $.20

Regulatory Recovery Fee - Federal $.08

Regional Sports Network Fee $2.42

Verizon Wireless


Verizon Wireless' Surcharges and Other Charges & Credits $4.58

Total Verizon and Verizon Wireless Surcharges and Other Charges & Credits $15.53


Heck, I still don't know what some of these charges are for. I thought the regional sports network was included in my package so I'm confused why I'm getting charged an extra fee for it. Anyway, just about every provider hits you with similar nit-picky charges that most customers won't ever dispute
 

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Those are all regulatory fees mandated by the government/providers, which is not quite what I'm talking about.  I pay very similar fees, but I'm not very concerned about ~$3 a month in fees like those, it's the points I made in my post that annoy me.  Do other companies do similar things?  Yes, probably to an extent, but all those weird charges (HD fee is a made up way for them to charge you more for your first DVR box) with horrible times dealing with their billing, which their own CS reps usually fail to understand, just sweetens the whole deal.

 

My father called in about his cablecard; he was getting charged for it and not getting money back like he should according to their website which was updated just this past December.  Rep has no idea what he's talking about and instead doesn't see an "additional outlet" charge for the cablecard so he applies one, increasing the bill.
 

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I know they're all fees mandated by local and regional government laws,but they're still mostly ridiculous, even if the provider is required to include them.


I'd personally like to see every provider standardize charges for specific items, such as cablecards, STBs, DVRs, etc. Program packages vary so there should be a little wiggle room there, but it should be based on what they have to pay for it and not what they wish to charge. There should be absolutely no extra outlet fees, period. How you distribute the signal throughout your own home is your business. Internal wiring is generally not supported by the provider's tech support anyway so where do they get off charging you for it? If they installed it initially then I can see having to pay for any outlets over and above what's included in the installation, but it should be a one-time installation fee and not a recurring charge.


Verizon only charges me for the service and any equipment I rent from them. I do not get charged any outlet fees.
 

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The biggest concern I have with Comcast taking over Time Warner is that I will have a data cap. If that happens I'm going to be screwed unless Google Fiber comes here.
 

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You folks in the U.S. were unlucky because cable TV was so widespread, I guess. They happened to have cable infrastructure which fairly easily could be used for Internet so the cable providers could become ISPs as well and control both markets. And charge whatever they wanted.

No competition = bad service.


That wasn't generally the case here in Europe, cable was much less common so people went to satellite. But sat can't be used for Internet (at least not at reasonable cost) so fiber deployment became much more accelerated. Good for us.


But we hate the satellite companies as much as you hate cable.
 

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IMO, the main differences between US and Europe is the cost to lay fiber. For the same length of fiber run, you may serve 10,000 in Europe but 10 to 100 in US
Fiber can be found in many highly concentrated urban area (where Verizon FiOS is deployed and supposedly compete with cable guys).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxbat121  /t/1526848/no-surprise-here#post_24608669


IMO, the main differences between US and Europe is the cost to lay fiber. For the same length of fiber run, you may serve 10,000 in Europe but 10 to 100 in US
Fiber can be found in many highly concentrated urban area (where Verizon FiOS is deployed and supposedly compete with cable guys).
Yeah, a lot of Europeans can't seem to grasp how huge our country is. In 2010 I had some cousins visit us. They live in Norway. They wanted to go to Disney in Orlando and couldn't believe it that we would have to fly from Philadelphia to Orlando and it's a 2 hour flight. Hell, they were surprised we would have to drive two hours to go to the nearest beaches in the Jersey Shores.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxbat121  /t/1526848/no-surprise-here#post_24608669


IMO, the main differences between US and Europe is the cost to lay fiber. For the same length of fiber run, you may serve 10,000 in Europe but 10 to 100 in US
Fiber can be found in many highly concentrated urban area (where Verizon FiOS is deployed and supposedly compete with cable guys).

A lot of that has been done.


I don't want to play down the size of the US, as an average US state is about the size of a typical European country. California is about the size of the UK, has similar population and GNP.


But that's not the big problem inmost cases.


The cost of fiber in many cases is dominated by the cost of terminating each drop.

http://www.ecmag.com/section/systems/termination-processes-decide-costs
 
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