Comcast Cable Bait & Switch – Sales Tactic #8

October 24, 2007

This post is part of the Sales Tactics Revealed series. Make sure you check out the other Sales Tactics.

Have you read my post on How 5 Minutes Can Save You $120?  If so, beware the advice I gave because it may come back to bite you!

How 5 Minutes Can Cost You $180
Comcast just pulled a version of bait and switch on me today; don’t fall into the same trap. I didn’t give the details in my original post, but I was able to drop my cable bill $20 a month for 6 months by upgrading from Expanded Basic to Digital Cable.  What I didn’t know is that I was actually setting myself up to lose money in the long run.

Comcast Baits the Trap
At the time Comcast offered several tiers of service: Limited Basic, Extended Basic, and Digital Cable.  I felt I was paying more money for cable than I needed to be. We receive many, many channels we don’t watch and wanted something in between the Limited & Extended Basic plans in terms of channels available and rates.  They didn’t offer such a package and wouldn’t give me a discount on Extended Basic but did make the offer to drop $20 a month from my current bill if I upgraded for “free trial” of Digital Cable.  I wasn’t really interested in Digital Cable but wanted the discount so I agreed to the deal.  I specifically asked the phone rep if I could switch back to Extended Basic after the 6 months ended and he assured me that I could.

The Trap is Sprung
My six months has ended so my cable bill jumped back up, not to the Extended Basic rate but the even higher Digital Cable rate.  I took in my digital box today to cancel Digital Cable and revert back to Extended Basic and they informed me that was no longer an option.  Comcast is phasing out Extended Basic and slowly moving channels over to Digital Cable in preparation for a 2009 change to all digital broadcasting.

Comcast’s Bait & Switch
Comcast knew what they were doing six months ago when they baited me into changing over to Digital Cable.  They knew Extended Basic was going away and that I wouldn’t be able to change back to the service when my promotion ended. 

I’m not sure what angers me more, the fact the phone rep lied to me last spring or the horrible customer service they offered when delivering the news today.  Their only response to my protests about being lied to was:

“We apologize an uninformed associate gave you the wrong information but we can’t help you.  We’re not allowing anyone to transfer to Extended Basic”.

A company that values their customers and discovers that one of their employees misled a customer will take the necessary action and correct the wrong in the eyes of the customer.  The fact that Comcast isn’t willing to do that leads me to believe they knew exactly what they were doing when they made the offer and intentionally lied to me in order to convert me over to Digital Cable.

Financial Implications
Now I’m faced with the option of paying an extra $15 a month for Digital Cable ($180 annual increase) or looking for an alternative.  For whatever reason, Comcast is the only cable option in my part of the city so I’ll have to research the Dish network or DIRECTV.  Be aware of this tactic since Comcast seems to be heavily promoting the Digital Cable route.  As I stood in line today I heard the reps try and push the digital box on many other customers.  You’ve been warned : )


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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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57 Responses to Comcast Cable Bait & Switch – Sales Tactic #8

  • Dave

    Today, 11-14-12, Comcast offered a triple play package for $120. a month though one of their salesmen (Tony). When the technician (Laura) was put on the line all of sudden the price went up to $199. a month. I told them I was getting a better price at Uverse but they would not negotiate. If you want to feel like a fish with a hook in your mouth I suggest you give Comcast a call. Never did like the taste of worms.

    • K Holaway

      I have had numerous issues with Comcast and their bait and switch tactics. The bottom line is that no person there is accountable for their actions. They are set up this way for a reason and their customer service gets a zero on a scale of 1 to 100. The CEO should get on the show Undercover Boss and try and call his own company with an issue sometime. Now that would be funny.

  • Emma Kraus

    On Tuesday, I talked to Comcast and at 8888234280 and had a package set up forTriple Play Premium/Premier package for 159.00. By Jeff. He sent me over to a George who bundled a package with an extra HD DVR and 2 other HD boxes for a total of 168.95. conf.# 452518835. acct 1721-2993162. I went over this agreement at least 3 times before hanging up. The techs came in today and said they have the hddvr that comes with the package and the reg. converters, not the hd ones for the other 2 TVs. I talked on the phone with Kiasha, manager and she told me the two men will be “written up” but they will not honor the agreement. This is , in my viewpoint a “bait and switch” and I am angry that Comcast choses to treat customers this way.

  • Joseph Nichols

    It is really funny, if you have to actually go to the comcast office in my area all the employees are in behind bullet proof glass and you have to pass the equipment, money, or forms through clear compartments in the windows that will only open one end at a time. It is a good idea as I noticed most of the customers are very pissed off and beligerent by the time they get there. It may be comcast’s fault

  • jessica@cable internet providers in my area

    The maximum channels the DTAs will receive are Digital Starter tier, which of course varies by market for what channels are actually in that tier. Also with the DTAs there is NO On Demand, HD channels, or Premium channels. If you are on a tier other than Digital Starter a Set Top Box, either SD or HD will be needed after the Digital Migration to keep receiving those channels. And prices also vary by market on those.

  • Laura

    You greatly misunderstand Ben, and one thing I personally cannot stand is a person like you who speaks before he knows all the facts. Just because you feel you are “entitled” to continually get promotions doesn’t mean Comcast hasn’t already offered you one, two or three promotions already. This is not enough for you but I ask, haven’t they already done enough on their end? When are you going to see that you must give and take on just about everything you do in life and that you cannot expect everyone to fold to your ideals, especially when it involves “All about you”. I think any cable company out there will agree.

    • Laura

      What you do not understand is that this was NOT a Comcast Cable undertaking. Actually for your educational purposes, the Federal Government & tghe FCC went to all the cable companies themselves and ordered all cable and satellite providers to discontinue the analog signal and go all digital. Want to know why? It is because not only was this analog signal interfering with the Emergency Broadcast System, but with people with pacemakers as well, among other reasons. the government then came out with their version of DAT boxes. After production, they were not compatable with the cable/satellite systems. We then went to Motorola & asked them to produce FREE, again FREE boxes for people to be able to pick up the digital signal with no cost to them

  • PopaRobH

    A special rate for Internet service is offered through The deal is stated as $19.95 per month for 6 months with no contract and service can be cancelled anytime without penalty. They also advertise a free modem, but you must buy the modem and then mail in rebate forms to receive reimbursement minus shipping cost. The online application takes you through some hoops and indicates that service will be activated after the modem is received. I received the modem and then called the phone number that was provided, which connected to Comcast customer service. They had no record of the order and do not offer any deals such as what was stated. After an 1-1/2 hours of the runaround, I was finally told that is a third-party service and I would have to go through them for activation. I went back to the beginning, which was an advertisement at, which links to I could not find any phone numbers. There was an online contact form and I submitted a request for activation. An email response the next day indicated that does NOT handle service activation. They referred me back to Comcast customer service.

    The box that the modem came in clearly says “Comcast Corp” at the top of the shipping label and directly underneath this it says “”. I finally realized that the whole thing is an elaborate bait and switch scam, which appears to be operated by Comcast. I sincerely doubt that I was the first customer to call Comcast and attempt to activate service based on the offering, but the operators played dumb and led me around and around as if to wear me down so that I would get tired and give up. The catch is that once you have payed for the modem and received it, you are not likely to return it at your expense, wait for a refund, and also forfeit the original shipping cost. cannot activate the service for the stated price and Comcast bumps you into a higher price plan (with a contract?). At that point I decided that I will NEVER DO BUSINESS WITH COMCAST AGAIN!

  • Rachel A. Figura

    ComCRAP yes, they DO ‘Bait & Switch’ since I called on March 10, 2011 after my montly geting and trying to get ‘Expanded Basic Cable’ and now I don’t get AMC, MSNBC, OXYGEN, & the other low-band channels – UNLESS YOU PAY MORE MONEY TO COMCRAP.

    • MogUr

      You should post this on Comcast forums site: what was your rate for this Expanded basic cable? NOrmal rates for comcast Standard… or Digital Starter… are exactly the same price: 56.95 in the West Palm Beach region:
      One gives you 3 Dta Boxes (without the benefits of On Demand functionality, and the other gives you 1 digital box and 2 adapters (granting 1 set On demand, enhanced search options, digital music cd quality stations and more)) Get your facts straight and do a little research before you Spout off about what you don’t understand.

  • bob

    They did the bait and switch on me today. Their website is misleading, their employees lie about no additional fees when you switch to their box. Not fair, government should do something about this crocked company.

  • jeff

    What you guys don’t realize is that the sales people at Comcast and any other cable/satellite provider make commission off the sales they produce. With that said any sales person you talk to wants to make more money so no matter where you take your service whether it be a cable company or a satellite company you will run into the same tactics. If you ever call a sales person and they sacrifice there paycheck to make you happy then they either 1 don’t want/need the money or they are just plain stupid.

  • Fran Gloor

    I’ve had Comcast internet service since it became available in my area. Was getting tired of paying over $50 a month just for internet so when I discovered Clear internet service was in my area, I jumped at it for $30 per month, locked in!!! After I got Clear setup, I called Comcast to cancel my account. The CSR asked my why I was canceling, I responded it was the cost. Then she asked me what service I had changed to, I told her Clear. She then offered to lower my Comcast rate, when I asked for how long, it was just for 6 months. I told her that didn’t do me any good if it was going back to the original price, I then told her about the locked in price at Clear. She then started bad-mouthing them, saying they would increase my rates, that they didn’t have a ‘locked in’ pricing offer & more! I had to interrupt her twice to get a word in edgewise, told her to cancel my account & hung up. I ported my phone over to Clear & pay $50 per month for internet & unlimited phone service!! I am SO done with Comcast!!

  • Compost

    Honestly I renamed this pathetic company COMPOST because that is what they really are. I have filed formal complaints to the FCC regarding their so-called stupid bait and switch promotions.

    I have ported my phone and internet to AT&T and my TV service will follow suit with Direct TV satellite. My experience was my bill shot up astronomically after 6 months and they refused to offer any additional promotions for me. So I told those idiots to cancel my internet service and I have ported my phone at least I will know price stability of service and know what to expect. My TV has a contract that ends in July and rest assured I will cancel the TV as well.

    BEWARE of COMPOST they will lure you in with cheap prices then jack up the costs astronomically to their regular high priced and unaffordable rates. Their customer service is something from the stone ages..

  • Anonymous

    I got hit by something along these lines recently. We’d been on the basic package for years, no cable box, just plugged right into our TV, but they sent a mailer that we needed to get a cable box or we’d lose most of our channels by the end of the month. So we got the box, but with the box suddenly we don’t get any HD channels anymore, even though all the HD channels came through just fine before the change-over. Comcast is a scamming monopoly, no question.

  • DH

    last week our neighborhood went through this “digital” change over. All effected persons, all Comcast subscribers, need to be writing our states attorney generals, Comcast has committed a fraud and a theft on us all. They have lied to us stating that we will be receiving upgraded service at no additional cost, LIE. many of the digital devices that we all have in our homes,ie TIVO no longer function, tv tuners in computers, VCRs, DVRs, DVDRs. Also, I no longer want to rent any comcast equipment, i prefer to purchase it.. I have been spending $250 a month for f***ing TV and they have the nerve to tell me i have to pay more for degraded service, F*** You comcast.

  • Fuzz

    Comcast letter states “Comcast will provide you with digital equipment for up to three TV’s at no additional cost. To continue viewing Expanded Basic channels after April you should order a digital cable box, at no additional cost. With a … box you’ll enjoy amazing benefits like:
    “Blah blah”
    Access to … On Demand
    “Blah blah”
    In addition … we are also providing you with more channels.
    A digital cable box OR a digital adapter is required to view the new channels.”

    OK I’ll try it. Hooked ’em up and found that: Few (none I wanted) new channels through the adapters, only through the one free box. No On Demand through the box. They offered to send somebody out. I’ve logged three free service calls here already, same result, nothing. Then she started ragging about changing to Digital Starter, same price (for a month?). I said if they couldn’t even deliver as promised in print, why should I ask for further torture.

  • Fuzz

    Comcast letter states “To continue viewing Expanded Basic channels after April you should order a digital cable box, at no additional cost. With a … box you’ll enjoy amazing benefits like:

  • Chris M.

    you think that’s bad? The have gotten more blatent about thier bait & switch tactics.. Earlier today i saw a promotopn on thier website for $19.99 / mo 12mb cable internet.. so i logged into my account, and clicked the button to ” learn more ” and instead of showing me available offers for internet, i see three tabs, the first one (the one they start you on ) is for cable TV (all packages higher than mine) phone bundles on the second tab, and the last tab is 1 package for phone, internet, and cable.. all packages listed in all the tabs are for FAR higher ammounts than the advertised 19.99, as well as there were no actual INTERNET packages other than the severely overpriced – not safe for 9-1-1 calls – phone/internet/cable bundle.

    I opened a ” chat ” session and got some rude SOB that did nothing but spam canned responces like a fookin rollidex of retardation. the next session i opened, that technician tried to tell me cable internet was not available for my location (my neighbors on both sides of me have comcast internet)

    the third on told me that because i was already a digital cable subscriber, i could not get any internet package from them unless i upgrade to teh full phone / internet / cable tv bundle…

    it’s blatent, and obvious bait & switch, and tomarrow morning i’m headed to the city-county building to file a formal fraud complaint agains tthe company. it is INDEED illegal to advertise a ” great deal ” only to force the consumer to buy a much pricier item / service.

    It’s classic bait and switch scheme.

  • matt

    boy, i just got finished talking to the comcast technician.

    basically, i’ve had ‘extended service’ for 2 weeks. two days ago the service was cut in half–half the channels no longer come in.

    the technician said comcast is going neighborhood by neighborhood switching to digital signals and that this is the result. that if i wanted to get those channels back, i needed to rent a cable box, as well as upgrade my service to ‘extended’ service in order to get those previous channels back.

    i’m going to write my local and state attorney’s general, as well as our local city supervisors, the mayors office, the better business bureau and, what the hell, i’ll write to the dish network, as well. this really sucks and it is clearly (in my mind) a bait and switch. they get you used to the channels, then take them away, hoping you’re so hooked, you’ll spend the extra money.

    surely there must be a class action lawsuit here.

  • James

    When I first subscribed to Comcast in 2007, it had a useful, functioning search engine, recorded the shows I set up, and appeared to recognize repeats and know the difference between programming in English, and programming in Spanish. Then one day, everything changed: The menu changed, the search by date function, search by subject, search by actor went away. The DVR stopped recognizing the difference between new episodes and repeats, between English and Spanish. After living with a product that simply no longer functioned on any meaningful level for about 3 days, I called Comcast customer service and asked them why nothing worked any more and where all the usefull features of the search engine went. The reply was “we’ve dropped Microsoft;s browser and are having a few software issues in the transition to our new system, we anticipate we’ll have the bugs worked out in the next couple of weeks”. That was three years ago, and ABSOLUTELY NOTHING HAS BEEN FIXED. It’s a JOKE. Whoever decided to replace the Microsoft/TV guide software, ought to be shot and THEN lynched.
    I HATE Comcast. They’re absolute MORONS, the product totally sucks, and YES, they flat out LIE and play games with your bill.

  • Ann MA

    I was tricked too.

    I was offered a free digital box because they moved a station. I was told the box would be free and I would not pay more for 6 month at which time I could return the box or start paying $5.99 a month for it. I decided to see if I liked the Box since they sent me a letter offering it for free. Before the box BTW I had a ton of channels with my extended basic cable and have had it at this address for 10 years. Watched the price creep up more and more over those years too.

    So, I was also receiving HD choices with my new big screen TV before putting that damn Comcast digital box on. I had channels like 4-1, 5-1, 7-1 etc. The -1 was the HD versions of the ABC, CBS, and NBC etc, stations. With the Comcast digital box on I don’t get the -1 option of those stations so don’t get the digital options I have without the Comcast box. My TV stations look MUCH better WITHOUT Comcast’s digital box. With the box I get less quality looking station for what turned out to actually be MORE money (remember Comcast told me the same price.) Anything, on demand cost extra or if a free show or movie is old and often I have seen or would come across on my Original cable stations at some point or another anyway.

    So, I disconnected the box and plugged my cable back directly into my TV which I had BTW I ran out about a year ago and brought when we were first tricked into thinking we had to buy NEW TV’s for the digital change over. Before we were later informed not with cable. Anyway Ahhh my good-looking clear stations again. But wait suddenly I don’t have any of the stations I use to have before I tried the box on my TV. One’s like in the 70’s and am discovering others missing too. Seems as soon as I put that box on Comcast seen my station and seemed to be able to remove stuff suddenly that I had before. I did not connect the box right away, had it sitting around for like a month so its not like I lost station when they first sneaked the switch to Digital from expanded. So, I go online to look into this loss of station and low and behold Comcast has duped me.

    I find after a lot of searching and getting no information about my beloved extended cable on Comcast’s site, information at other sites like this. I learn I will be losing even more stations unless rent boxes monthly for ALL my TV’s. So, now I find they switched me to that digital started plan without telling me and dropped my extended cable plan. Seems the minute I accepted their free cable box for 6 months that was suppose to be their nice gesture for switching channels around on me, their “Gift” they snatched my extended cable away and put me on this plan. This digital plan that at the end of the free box for 6mo I am going to have to pay even more to see the station my family has had for 10 years! I am livid!!! I am a single mom working my butt off, my hours have been suddenly cut and I can’t afford to pay Comcast more money for what they took away from me what was mine for no fault of my own. My kids are going to be upset when all our stations are suddenly gone and I can’t afford boxes throughout the house.

    I just want my extended cable, I don’t want to pay extra for a Box to go on every family members TV just so I can have the station I have always had but in poorer quality then I would have without the box. Oh and if I want the quality I get without the cable box I will have to shell out even more money per-month for Comcast’s HD package which without their digital box I get on all our nice new TV’s for free. OMG.

    We have a few cable channels we like we don’t need a bunch of useless stations that might come in with that stupid box for more money. I can find old movies all over the Internet if I want to see a movie or show from 1970. But, I don’t want to have to downgrade to Basic cable and lose those few cable station I have had for 10 years that my family and me like. And I have to wonder, when Comcast takes all my extended cable channels away and I no longer have that soon to be over priced cable box will my bill really go down I think not. Just suddenly shows won’t come in Comcast will say I am still paying for the Digital starter package and its my fault if I don’t get stations because I don’t choose to rent boxes for every TV my family has. We have had to lose a lot due to the cut hours I can’t take TV away from my family too. Lets be realistic Comcast Basic cable station are not going to have anything for kids. We all know Comcast will cut down these also soon enough and have most of them become infomercials and local non-show stations so they can force Basic subscribers into buying a more expensive package from Comcast. I do the right thing I work for a living same job for years I can’t help that they cut my hours. I don’t feel I deserve to work my butt off and have to drop my cable because simply because Comcast is trying to get us all into triple digit numbers on our payments to them monthly.

    I wish someone would investigate Comcast. Its monopoly still in many areas, and its history of deceptive business practices are legendary. This is possible the biggest deception yet by Comcast to its customers. How does Comcast get away with this stuff? How do they get away with stuff other companies would be under investigation for and prosecuted for or forced to correct.

  • Jerry

    LISTEN TO “J”… RETURN YOUR BOX, tell them your want basic. Demand it! it cost about $6 or $7 bucks channels 2 to 17! Extended basic should be around $30 or $35 bucks channels 18 to 98! Comcast! get basic & if U find were cable connection is theres a filter! remove it and you get extended basic for the price of basic…!

    • Mogur

      So, what you are condoning is for people to Become Thieves by removing the filter which prevents people from recieving what they don’t pay for? This is one of the reasons that cable prices keep increasing. Now, with Digital transition this will not be a problem: when you have cable service installed… you will recieve Broadcast service. To obtain higher services you will require some kind of converter. I find it more fair now that people wanting standard, or digital starter and are willing to pay for the channels, obtain them while cheapskate thieves like you whine and cry about how much a service costs then steal it when you don’t want to pay for it.
      I personally love my COMCAST service… I get On Demand service, for the same price as having standard cable. Which means I can watch ANY of the shows I NORMALLY watch… NCIS, CSI, Leverage,Burn Notice, The Walking Dead… Mythbusters, and others… any time I want… without needing to record them. Rather than complaining about cost… why not ask what the retail rates are for the products, and packages… then find out what the bundle/promo rates are… If you were to call me at my job and ask me… I’d tell you the retail price (after the promotion) and what the promo rate is. Remember everyone… a promotional rate doesn’t mean that’s the normal rate… It’s a promotion. You get it… THEN you go to retail. (or part way to retail when the term is up.) Comcast CSRs(for the most part) Don’t like to offer the CONTRACT offers… as Early termination fees apply if you downgrade, go on seasonal, get disconnected for not paying your bill… and a few other things. The rates may be available for people upgrading services without a contract… but you will not get the Value Added items in most cases (gift cards, Ipods, etc.)
      Quit bashing… it’s pathetic

  • Zaius Eason

    I live in Framingham MA, and Comcast has representatives on foot who go door to door trying to get people to sign up for their services. They recently told people in my neighborhood that if they owe Comcast money, they would sign them up with a stranger’s SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER and name so service can be provided to their home. That is major fraud/identity theft if you ask me. It could be mine or your SSN being used next! And if the scumbag subscribers don’t pay their bills AGAIN, there goes the credit report of the individual whose identity was stolen.

    Is there a way for me to report this to an agency that will investigate and prosecute? What would this organization be?

  • another disgusted comcast customer (like that narrows it down)

    in response to: ann on June 1st, 2009 6:29 am

    You’re funny…Comcrap lowering prices… ever…..ROFL

    The only way to lower that bill with Comcrap is to drop their service or change to a lower service plan, ok a bit of a redundant suggestion (you can’t get much less service for your money than with them).


    The ONLY reason that I haven’t already switched to Fios is that I live in an apartment that is not yet served by Fios, and because Verizon has already begun their deployment in the neighborhood, they won’t permit a new DSL activation. So, I’m stuck till Fios is made available in my apartment complex.

    In every other utility industry (phone, power, gas, satelite, even a few of the other cable co’s), a single service issue for a single customer warrants the company sending out a repair crew AND fixing the issue. This is not the case with Comcast, the only way to actually get your service repaired is to make it worth THEIR time, and sadly as a single end customer, you do NOT have enough clout to get them to fix the issue without ALSO contacting the FCC and/or FTC AND filing a complaint.

    I’ve been having internet issues since day one, and since my only other option at this point for internet is dial-up (a non-option). Comcast has made it quite clear (through their actions more than their lip-service) that they have ZERO interest in the quality of service I receive at my apartment.

  • Bill

    Talk about deceptive, Comcast are masters at this. They sent me information about their “network enhancement.” In the letter they sent, they have a section entitled “what is the cost?” It says, and I quote:

    “You are entitled to one digital cable box and up to two digital adapters at no charge. Additional cable boxes are at $5.99/each per month. Additional adapters are $1.99/each per month.”

    Deception #1 – if you have more than two (not 3) TV’s, you get the honor of giving Comcast the $1.99 per month per TV to get channels you now receive for free.

    Deception #2 – They told me when I asked them for my free digital cable box (as it says above) that I was mis-interpreting their information, that I would only get the two digital adapters free. The first digital cable box would cost $5.99 per month.

    The only thing they agreed to do was advise marketing that they should be more careful about their wording. This has nothing to do with a mistake, this is clearly more deceptive advertising, bait and switch, etc. by Comcast. And one more deception.

    The brochure also says that this enhancement will “allow Comcast to offer digital benefits to all of our valued (that’s a joke) customers, as well as other exciting new services in the future.” The truth is nothing will change now, you will see these channels exactly as you do today, and they can provide no information about future services.

  • ann

    Is my concast bill going to be reduced now that
    Comcast has eliminated so many channels from
    the cable channels to the digital channels?

  • Jennifer

    I just got a letter from Comcast saying they are moving to digital network enhancement THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE FEDERAL-MANDATED DIGITAL BROADCAST TRANSITION and I should either call or visit the website to answer a few questions to see if I need a FREE converter.

    1) visited website but was told to call
    2) called number to speak with an automated system, only to transfer me to a live person.
    3) said person keeps me on hold for 30 minutes trying to figure out how to send me the free converter only to tell me I now have to upgrade to a digital cable box for “about a dollar a month”. The reason was totally vague and was a total bait and switch. If it was a reputable company, I wouldn’t be so hell bent on the $1 extra a month, but knowing Comcast, the $1 would turn into $10 next month because of some other vague reason. So I asked to speak with a supervisor.
    4) The supervisor told me that it was a mistake and I should be able to get my free converter kit and would be sent to me. (got her name and ID number…and I’m not holding my breath.)

    To me this is a classic bait and switch where the operators probably get incentives to trick consumers into a slightly higher bill. And they are trying to ride the digital transition piggyback to justify the increase.


    I’m waiting for Hulu to get more shows so I can tell Comcast to F*** off.

  • Tony

    You are totally correct with this article. My wife works for comcast, and she tells me that they are instructed to do this kind of stuff on a regular basis!

  • Mark

    Think cable companies are a pain? DirectTV customer service will hang up on you immediately if you only have a question on service that you’re thinking of subscribing to. If you aren’t buying it right then and now, they hang up and take the next caller. Try it.

  • CCM

    COMCAST did the Bait and Switch on me for the Wii offer last summer.

    And guess what I got the same line today, that was posted above. They are blaming the person who signed us up and told us we were getting the Wii.

    I even had to change my phone number that I had for 25 years to get the Wii deal.

    But after sending in all the paperwork, calling the rebate center a dozen times and being on hold forever, Comcast says TOO BAD.


  • john

    How much would Comcast loose if all of their customers had the balls to cancel their subscriptions? Maybe just for a month. But not tell them. Let’s get,
    U N I T E D . . . (you) states of America.

  • snooks

    if you have verizon fios in your area and you want a crapload of speed, go for it!

  • Jesse

    Have you thought about going with verizon Fios if its in your area of course they do not hide the fact that in feb everything is going all digital they don’t even offer the analog channels anymore and its not at a bad price if you bundle and with some of the advances with the technology they have a lot coming out pretty soon. The only reason I know about this is because I am a contracted employee that sells the service in verizon wireless stores we have bundles with tv internet and phone at discounted rates. I’m going to be truthful about this customer service with verizon sucks I know this because I have to call into it almost everyday to get something done for a customer but I have had bad with the good on from the customer service so it isn’t completly bad. Also if your interested you may want to check out the bundles with direct tv that verizon offers it may save you some money of course this is only if you cannot get the fios service in your area.

    email me I would be happy to give you more information on the matter and I will give you the truth not bull.


  • jm

    Like snooks said you are not being informed of all your options and you were put on digital preferred, which is more expensive.

  • jm

    Digital starter is supposed to be the same price as standard cable/expanded basic. Also they will be rolling out a new digital Economy package for 39.95. Either way, the price usually includes the first box and any other tv’s you can still plug directly into the wall for analog.

  • snooks

    I only saw one person state something about digital basic. the package you have is digital preferred and what you need to do is downgrade to digital starter. digital starter is the same price as regular expanded basic cable. and also you do not pay for the first box. so if you have more than one box you definitely have to pay extra past that first box. there is no bait and switch involved. the price is the same for digital starter and expanded basic. the problem is you signed up for a promo that was for digital preferred. get your facts straight bro…….

  • Niles Gibbs

    Also, Comcast pulling the “it’s cause of the 2009 switch-over” line is bull. The 2009 switchover only affects over the air antenna connections. Cable and satellite are completely unaffected by the new law.

    But cable companies are taking advantage of the ensuing confusion to trick customers into their more expensive tiers.

    The official website says it in a maddeningly confusing way:


    I’m a cable customer. Will I be affected by the transition?

    Television sets connected to cable, satellite or other pay TV service will not require a converter box. Cable and satellite subscribers should check with their providers before February 17, 2009, to see how they are handling the transition.

    Do cable customers with analog TV sets have to buy or rent a set-top box (converter box) from their cable company? If so, how much will it cost?

    First, it’s important to know that the February 17, 2009 deadline for the digital television transition only applies to full-power broadcast stations. The government does not require cable companies to transition their systems to digital. They can continue to deliver channels to their customers using analog signals. Actually, cable companies are required under FCC rules to offer local broadcast stations to their customers in analog, as long as they offer any analog service. This requirement will continue for at least three years after February 17, 2009. The FCC will decide in 2011 whether the requirement should be extended beyond February 17, 2012. This means that customers who receive analog cable service (without a cable set-top box) will be able to continue doing so.

  • JMitch

    You are right, I have comcast but you do not have a contract with them so you can always cancel and go back to whatever you want.

  • Anonymous

    I so-oooo prefer direct tv over dish!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    dish suuuuucckksssss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    they have NOOOOOOOOOOO customer service; and have you on hold FOREVER
    would NEVER recommend them!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    direct tv is SUPERB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    currently have comcast; they too suck!!!!!!!

  • Anon2

    I have extended basic and I keep getting these voice mails from Comcast telling me that such and such channel will no longer be available after such and such date and that I have to get a digital something or other, which, of course cost more money. My bill is already $56 a month for the basic. First they called and said the TV Guide Channel was being eliminated. Then they called and said CNN and something else was being eliminated. Then they called, last week, and said the Hallmark Channel (one of my favorites) was being eliminated. I am so psssst. Being FORCED to pay more for something I do not want. I intend to get a satallite dish, now. If I am going to pay more money, I am going to have a different service. Which is best…Direct or Dish???

  • Anonymous

    Go with Dish.

    Comcast IS the devil.

  • Sarah

    As someone who used to work in tech support, I think it’s pretty likely the rep was telling the truth about not being able to switch you back. The system we used to manage customer information did not give us (regular reps, supervisors, *anyone*) the ability to add people to plans that had been retired. The only thing we could do for them was put them on the nearest possible current plan (usually more expensive) and, if the plan change was due to us *mistakenly* removing them from the legacy plan, add special discount features to make the plan comparable to the one they’d had before.

  • Ed

    Qwest did the same thing to me. I had a phone package that included the dial tone (I guess this is not free with the phone line) and an extra service, which I used for Caller ID.
    I received notice to upgrade to another package with call waiting caller ID, I was told it would actually be less in the long run.
    Next month I got my bill, it was more, I called to get back on my old plan and it had suddenly been discontinued. Even after complaining up the phone tree, writing a letter, and contacting the PUC, nothing changed.
    I hate Qwest.

  • Frank C

    We had something like this happen with Adelphia a few years ago. I guess their customer service people went to work at Comcast after the buy out.

    We’ve been very happy with DirecTV since then. The only hitch is bad weather can knock out the satellite connection.

  • J

    Thats not true, its just a hard sales tactic. Take the box back in cancel service and then call them back to get basic cable. They will hook you up without a problem. I would complain to a manager. I just got basic cable two weeks ago without a problem.

  • Pinyo

    The unfortunate thing is most of these cable companies are virtual monopoly in their region. Beside going to satellite, I have no other option either. Please keep us updated.

  • Ben

    Blaine, 4 letters: ESPN : )

    KMC, you may be right but i still think Comcast planned this initiative and even if the CSR didn’t know the plans they knew they were supposed to push the Digital Cable plan.

    jodie, thanks I’ll have to check out the Digital Basic package.

    Money Socket, I hope you didn’t lose them, they’ll charge you for them. However, I did turn mine in without a power cord without a fee.

    Patrick, I agree, only having one cable company is messed up. It kills competition since there’s only one option.

  • Patrick

    Man, I would be ticked off.

    It’s rare, by the way, for there to be multiple options for cable in the same area unless you are in a highly populated area. Even then, many companies essentially have legal monopolies. The reason usually stems from the amount of cables municipalities allow to be strung through their jurisdictions. It can get pretty corrupt.

  • paidtwice

    Thanks for posting this! When we bought our house and transferred our cable the rep tried soooo hard to get me to upgrade to digital – I didn’t because I was afraid I’d forget to cancel in time (I was less organized then) and… whew.

  • Money Socket

    What!!!! I was literally just about to call comcast this week to downgrade my parent’s digital package to expanded basic. They haven’t even used their box for the past year but we’ve been paying extra for it.

    Ugh! Comcast is horrible. I just switched to ATT/yahoo for their internet services, which is about 50% cheaper and feels just as fast. I found dish network to be a low priced and viable alternative but my parents “need” their Chinese channels. Those channels are costing us $30 a month extra!

    Comcast stinks, I’ll have to call them up today and see what they say. First I have to find those boxes lol I hope I didn’t lose them.

  • jodie

    Do you not have the Digital Basic package in your area? That’s what we have, which is the exact same price/channel lineup as the old Extended Cable (analog) package was. It’s not the Digital Cable you probably got, which has tons of extra channels.

    Like you, we were also told by Comcast that they are trying to get everyone over to a digital package (we did it to get HD channels), but surely they can’t force you to get an expensive package with a bunch of worthless channels. So ask about Digital Basic!

  • KMC

    Two things. First, saying Comcast has bad customer service is like saying the tide will come in. It’s a sure thing. But you (and every other Comcast customer) already knows that.

    Second, I think you give them too much credit for planning ahead. My experience has been that companies make money in spite of themselves. I seriously doubt a lowly CSR knew corporate’s plans.

  • Blaine Moore

    Or, you could just do without cable and save even more money than you had been saving by doing without.

    All of a sudden you will have more free time on your hands and fewer bills…


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