Searching for Basic Cable Rates

Posted on January 29, 2008 - 9:55am.

Channel slamming the PEG channels to digital not only moves them, but also makes them more expensive to get. A search on Comcast's site for rates in Dearborn MI and came up with these basic packages:

Digital Starter - $24.99
Standard Cable - $49.49 (analog)

What's missing here is "basic cable". Apparently nowhere to be found on the web site and there's no way to add the service to the online "shopping cart". For Dearborn MI, Comcast shows in the channel guide a service called "Limited Basic", which includes PEG and local broadcast. Of course, pricing, or other information for this is no where to be found anywhere.

So, I entered a live chat with a Comcast service representve (very helpful). After some searching, it turns out, "Limited Basic" costs only $11.95 month. The rep said it wasn't on the web site because rates varied so much - though I entered a precise Dearborn address when I originally searched.

I've had the exact same problem with Time Warner in NYC. Basic cable pricing is always hidden and almost never mentioned as an option. "Basic Cable" pricing is as easy to find as AT&T's 'naked' $10 DSL.

So - for the MI residents, not only would they have incurred a cable set-top box charge to still watch PEG, but also a rate increase for digital service of another $13 a month (if they had "basic cable).

Live Chat

user Michael_ has entered room

Michael(Mon Jan 28 2008 18:12:49 GMT-0500 (EST))>
Hi, I'm trying to find the price for "limited basic" cable service on
your web site - can you tell me the monthly rate or where to find it.
It's for a Dearborn MI residence address.

analyst Syndee has entered room

Syndee(Mon Jan 28 2008 18:12:57 GMT-0500 (EST))>
Hello Michael_, Thank you for contacting Comcast Live Chat Support. My
name is Syndee. Please give me one moment to review your information.

Syndee(Mon Jan 28 2008 18:13:14 GMT-0500 (EST))>
What is the street address and the zip code?

Michael_(Mon Jan 28 2008 18:13:54 GMT-0500 (EST))>
I don't have the exact address yet - just trying to find the info

Syndee(Mon Jan 28 2008 18:14:17 GMT-0500 (EST))>
I can help you with that, can you hold for one moment while I process
your information?

Syndee(Mon Jan 28 2008 18:16:04 GMT-0500 (EST))>
Give me one moment to get you over to the correct department.

Michael_(Mon Jan 28 2008 18:16:33 GMT-0500 (EST))>
IF you have a weblink for this on the site, that would be fine too.

Syndee(Mon Jan 28 2008 18:17:02 GMT-0500 (EST))>
Please wait, while the problem is escalated to another analyst

analyst Paula has entered room

Paula(Mon Jan 28 2008 18:17:14 GMT-0500 (EST))>
Hi. Thank you for choosing Comcast! I will be processing your order. It
will take me just a few minutes to pull up your account in our system.

analyst Syndee has left room

Paula(Mon Jan 28 2008 18:17:29 GMT-0500 (EST))>
Hey Michael, how are you doing today?

Michael_(Mon Jan 28 2008 18:17:52 GMT-0500 (EST))>
Fine - and you?

Paula(Mon Jan 28 2008 18:18:20 GMT-0500 (EST))>
Good to read. I understand you are wanting to know the price of the
limited cable service, correct?

Michael_(Mon Jan 28 2008 18:19:33 GMT-0500 (EST))>
Yes, the "Limited Basic" service, I saw the price for standard and basic
- but not the limited version.

Paula(Mon Jan 28 2008 18:20:45 GMT-0500 (EST))>
Ok, it will just take me a moment to pull up your address in our system
so that I could get the exact amount for you.

Paula(Mon Jan 28 2008 18:20:57 GMT-0500 (EST))>
You have 10019 as your zip code, correct?

Michael_(Mon Jan 28 2008 18:21:35 GMT-0500 (EST))>
I'm in NYC at the moment, but I'm looking for rates for Dearborn MI, is
that possible?

Paula(Mon Jan 28 2008 18:22:02 GMT-0500 (EST))>
Yeah, that would be possible. Do you have the address, or maybe just the
zip code?

Michael_(Mon Jan 28 2008 18:22:33 GMT-0500 (EST))>
Can you try this one - 48124?

Paula(Mon Jan 28 2008 18:22:50 GMT-0500 (EST))>
If you don't that will be ok, it's just that I wouldn't be able to give
you an exact amount.

Paula(Mon Jan 28 2008 18:22:56 GMT-0500 (EST))>
Sure, let me try it.

Paula(Mon Jan 28 2008 18:24:28 GMT-0500 (EST))>
Ok, the price for the limited basic service would be of $11.95 monthly.

Paula(Mon Jan 28 2008 18:24:39 GMT-0500 (EST))>
This is the one that include mainly local programming.

Michael_(Mon Jan 28 2008 18:25:11 GMT-0500 (EST))>
Thanks - that's really helpful. Is this on the web site anywhere? I need
to point a friend to it.

Paula(Mon Jan 28 2008 18:26:15 GMT-0500 (EST))>
Since it is a very limited service most of the time the website wouldn't
even show it as something that is available. It happens with some areas.

Michael_(Mon Jan 28 2008 18:27:21 GMT-0500 (EST))>
I see, but even if you search by zip code? I was doing that and only
found the more expanded services listed. "Limited Basic" had a channel
lineup but no price.

Paula(Mon Jan 28 2008 18:29:01 GMT-0500 (EST))>
The thing is Michael, since the prices do vary a lot it is best if you
provide a full address, that way the website can give you precise
information. If you just enter by zip code it may be limiting you to the
information that you are seeing because it wouldn't want to show you
something that might not be available.

Paula(Mon Jan 28 2008 18:29:07 GMT-0500 (EST))>
Get what I'm saying?

Michael_(Mon Jan 28 2008 18:30:21 GMT-0500 (EST))>
Got it. I appreciate your help here though. Thanks! That should do it
for now - take care.

Paula(Mon Jan 28 2008 18:30:48 GMT-0500 (EST))>
You too! Thank you so much for contacting us today Michael. Anything
else I might be able to assist you with?

Paula(Mon Jan 28 2008 18:30:51 GMT-0500 (EST))>
After you close this window another window will pop-up on your screen, I
will thank you if you could please answer the survey.

Paula(Mon Jan 28 2008 18:30:53 GMT-0500 (EST))>
Thank you for contacting Comcast! We do really appreciate your
bussiness. If you have any questions regarding anything remember that
you can contact us 24/7 through or by giving us a call
at 1-800-COMCAST!

Michael_(Mon Jan 28 2008 18:31:22 GMT-0500 (EST))>
Not at the moment, thanks again for your assistance.

Paula(Mon Jan 28 2008 18:31:33 GMT-0500 (EST))>
Thank you! Have a very lovely day!

Paula(Mon Jan 28 2008 18:31:35 GMT-0500 (EST))>
Goodbye Michael!

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