Antiquated Comcast cable box

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Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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New York
www.promalvacations.com
#2
We have company contacts on our contacts pages in top. I would suggest that you use the contacts for Comcast and write. Start with Customer Service, give them a week to reply, then move to first executive. Repeat weekly going up the executive chain one at a time.
 
Likes: jsn55
Jan 8, 2015
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#3
Do you have HD service? DVR service? If you are still using a non HD television then there is no way you'll get a new box. The best you will ever get is an old refurbished one. With cable it isn't necessarily about the bundled services, but what level of service you are getting for that specific package.
 

John Galbraith

Staff Member
Director
Jan 22, 2017
336
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Poole
#6
Hi Jeanne

The question that springs to mind why does it need upgrading/replacing? If it provides the service you have contracted for ie it does the job then unless you contract provides for an upgrade then i don't think (other than asking nicely) there is anything you can do. Just because it is old does not mean it has to be replaced.
 
Mar 16, 2017
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#7
We have company contacts on our contacts pages in top. I would suggest that you use the contacts for Comcast and write. Start with Customer Service, give them a week to reply, then move to first executive. Repeat weekly going up the executive chain one at a time.
I have a chain of emails between me and the address listed for Comcast as Ecare
 
Mar 16, 2017
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#8
Do you have HD service? DVR service? If you are still using a non HD television then there is no way you'll get a new box. The best you will ever get is an old refurbished one. With cable it isn't necessarily about the bundled services, but what level of service you are getting for that specific package.
I have an HD television set
 
Mar 16, 2017
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#9
Hi Jeanne

The question that springs to mind why does it need upgrading/replacing? If it provides the service you have contracted for ie it does the job then unless you contract provides for an upgrade then i don't think (other than asking nicely) there is anything you can do. Just because it is old does not mean it has to be replaced.
Thank you. It does not do the job. It is a DVR box that drops out every ten days or so which requires me to unplug it so as to reboot. Then it takes hours for the guide to load which is the only way I am able to schedule a recording. I have had four such boxes replaced in the last 12 months
 
Mar 16, 2017
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#10
@Jeanne Tassinari im in agreement with @Mike Z - my first thought was, what level of service do you actually pay for? Do you pay for the level of service where you get that box, and only that box?
There is an upgraded box. Basic digital comes with condo fees. I pay extra for DVR. Residents who also have Comcast internet and phone get the upgraded box. No connection to cable other than bundling requirements
 
Feb 9, 2016
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#12
@Jeanne Tassinari It sounds like your box is bad. You don't need an upgrade, you just need the box swapped out for a working one.

Please tell us - Specifically, why is Comcast denying you an upgraded box? when they say no, and you ask 'why not' what specifically are they saying?

I have direct tv. My contract specifically allows for me to have one master DVR control box (attached to one TV) and 2 other mini receivers (for 2 other TV's of my choice)

I can only swap out a mini receiver for a mini receiver. I cant swap out a mini receiver for a second DVR. And I am only allowed 1 master and 2 mini's as per my contract. If I want another mini, or master, I have to pay additional.

Also, if you are not on the contract (if the condo association are the ones on the contract) by law you cannot make changes to that contract. Perhaps you need to contact the HOA to get this figured out?
 
Mar 16, 2017
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#14
@Jeanne Tassinari It sounds like your box is bad. You don't need an upgrade, you just need the box swapped out for a working one.

Please tell us - Specifically, why is Comcast denying you an upgraded box? when they say no, and you ask 'why not' what specifically are they saying?

I have direct tv. My contract specifically allows for me to have one master DVR control box (attached to one TV) and 2 other mini receivers (for 2 other TV's of my choice)

I can only swap out a mini receiver for a mini receiver. I cant swap out a mini receiver for a second DVR. And I am only allowed 1 master and 2 mini's as per my contract. If I want another mini, or master, I have to pay additional.

Also, if you are not on the contract (if the condo association are the ones on the contract) by law you cannot make changes to that contract. Perhaps you need to contact the HOA to get this figured out?
 
Mar 16, 2017
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#15
I have had Comcast at this location for 11 years with the Condo Association entering into a contract and adding the cost to our monthly fees. This is for basic digital HD. Every owner is provided one cable box. Additionally owners can upgrade service by negotiating directly with Comcast and no contract is necessary. I have had a digital video recorder (DVR) during this time for which I pay $22 in addition to my condo fees. I still have the original type box which has not been improved upon. Four of these boxes have had to be replaced this past year. Comcast has a new improved DVR box but unless you have phone and Internet with Comcast, which I choose not to, they will not provide me with anything other than the antiquated box they no longer make. I hope this clarifies my issue.
 
Mar 16, 2017
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#16
Agreed - ask for a replacement rather than an upgrade on the grounds that yours is not working and then see what they say. I would do that by email so they have to commit in writing why they will not replace it.
Thank you. I have sent at least a half dozen emails to the address provided by Elliot.org which is Ecare. The emails I sent to the executive emails listed were returned as "undeliverable"
 
Nov 14, 2016
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#17
I have had Comcast at this location for 11 years with the Condo Association entering into a contract and adding the cost to our monthly fees. This is for basic digital HD. Every owner is provided one cable box. Additionally owners can upgrade service by negotiating directly with Comcast and no contract is necessary. I have had a digital video recorder (DVR) during this time for which I pay $22 in addition to my condo fees. I still have the original type box which has not been improved upon. Four of these boxes have had to be replaced this past year. Comcast has a new improved DVR box but unless you have phone and Internet with Comcast, which I choose not to, they will not provide me with anything other than the antiquated box they no longer make. I hope this clarifies my issue.
Just because it's not made doesn't mean it's not used. It's quite likely that the old boxes are still used for basic service while customers who spend more money and have more services get the newer, more expensive equipment.

The way Comcast looks at this is that they get $22 from you. That's it because they likely have a fixed fee per unit negotiated which means that they get the same amount whether you're a customer or not. There's not much profit in $22 after service, billing and collection fees. Thus it would take a long time - many years - to pay back the cost of new equipment installed at your location. Whether or not that's the right way to view a situation like this, that's the extent of their analysis. At $22/month you're likely to always get older, refurbed equipment.

Your best option may be to keep calling them out for service. Eventually they will replace it with newer equipment once they figure out the cost of the truck rolls exceeds the cost of a newer piece of equipment. With the old Time Warner, it took somewhere around half a dozen separate service calls for them to think about doing this.

If you decide to escalate via the customer contacts found on this site, you need to compose a short (bullet pointed) but professional email that might go something like this:

Dear Comcast,

I keep getting service interruptions on your DVR service and require your assistance. The equipment needs to be reset about every other week and takes an excessive amount of time (about 10 minutes) to bring the menu up to record anything. I have had service calls on the following dates and actions taken with no success:
- 1/1/2017 with the equipment replaced
- 1/2/2017 with the equipment reset
- 1/3/2017 with the equipment replaced
Please engage with your service team to provide a permanent solution to this issue. I have been informed that you have a newer piece of equipment that may solve this issue. Please consider that option to solve these service difficulties.

Sincerely,

Me


Another option is to seek assistance through your state public utilities commission (or whatever it is called). Cable companies are still classified as utilities and must respond to formal complaints. Usually they want these to go away so they'll do most anything to shut up the consumer if they file a formal PUC complaint.

Good luck!
 
Mar 16, 2017
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#18
Hi Jeanne

The question that springs to mind why does it need upgrading/replacing? If it provides the service you have contracted for ie it does the job then unless you contract provides for an upgrade then i don't think (other than asking nicely) there is anything you can do. Just because it is old does not mean it has to be replaced.
The problem isn't that it is old but each of the replacements stopped working during the time I had them. No technician could find out what the problem was. All they could do was replace it with one that eventually had to be replaced. There is a state of the art DVR box out there which Comcast will not provide me with unless and until I sign up for Comcast internet instead of Frontier. It looks as if the only way I can resolve this is to cancel my DVR service which is probably what I will do. Thanks to all the inputs from everyone.
 
Mar 16, 2017
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#19
Just because it's not made doesn't mean it's not used. It's quite likely that the old boxes are still used for basic service while customers who spend more money and have more services get the newer, more expensive equipment.

The way Comcast looks at this is that they get $22 from you. That's it because they likely have a fixed fee per unit negotiated which means that they get the same amount whether you're a customer or not. There's not much profit in $22 after service, billing and collection fees. Thus it would take a long time - many years - to pay back the cost of new equipment installed at your location. Whether or not that's the right way to view a situation like this, that's the extent of their analysis. At $22/month you're likely to always get older, refurbed equipment.

Your best option may be to keep calling them out for service. Eventually they will replace it with newer equipment once they figure out the cost of the truck rolls exceeds the cost of a newer piece of equipment. With the old Time Warner, it took somewhere around half a dozen separate service calls for them to think about doing this.

If you decide to escalate via the customer contacts found on this site, you need to compose a short (bullet pointed) but professional email that might go something like this:

Dear Comcast,

I keep getting service interruptions on your DVR service and require your assistance. The equipment needs to be reset about every other week and takes an excessive amount of time (about 10 minutes) to bring the menu up to record anything. I have had service calls on the following dates and actions taken with no success:
- 1/1/2017 with the equipment replaced
- 1/2/2017 with the equipment reset
- 1/3/2017 with the equipment replaced
Please engage with your service team to provide a permanent solution to this issue. I have been informed that you have a newer piece of equipment that may solve this issue. Please consider that option to solve these service difficulties.

Sincerely,

Me


Another option is to seek assistance through your state public utilities commission (or whatever it is called). Cable companies are still classified as utilities and must respond to formal complaints. Usually they want these to go away so they'll do most anything to shut up the consumer if they file a formal PUC complaint.

Good luck!
I just replied to John that I will probably cancel the DVR service. You are absolutely right and with all the alternatives available such as Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Firestick etc I am watching less and less cable TV. Thanks
 
Likes: sas80

mmb

Verified Member
Jan 20, 2015
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#20
@Kahhss -- Comcast gets such more than $22/month from @Jeanne Tassinari. She pays her condo Assoc dues, of which part is her portion of the Comcast contract for service. If she mentioned the cost I don't recall what it was.
I have DirecTV in my Denver building. I pay $37/month in my HOA fees and then an additional $20 directly to DirecTV for HD and DVR service.
Although the contract is with the building, we have a direct contact person with DirecTV to deal with these types of problems.
 
Likes: jsn55