Ask Comcast for reasonable Basic Cable service

Letter

Posted by
Sun, May 22, 2011


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Do you subscribe to Comcast Basic Cable television service?

Did the quality of Basic Cable go down last November when Comcast reorganized the Basic Cable channels?

In November 2010, the cooking channel and CSPAN-2 (which is Book TV and secondary political presentations) were dropped from Basic Cable.

Take this survey and tell Comcast a little bit about how Comcast Basic Cable changed after the Xfinity hardware reorganization that took place last October or November 2010.

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/KGCPCGT

Please write your additional comments here on coastsider.com. I will tally the results and contact Comcast at the end of May.


Dropped Comcast years ago.  Are they supporting HD yet?

As long as San Mateo County is “negotiating” our local cable monopoly from Redwood City, nothing will get substantially better. The most satisfied TV watchers on the coastside seem to be those who switched to Dish or DirectTV.

There’s not a lot left to negotiate at this point.  The cable co’s have gotten most of the review and decision making moved to the state and federal levels.

I’m thoroughly disgusted with the changes. I don’t need three separate weather channels, I don’t need duplication and addition of shopping channels, I don’t need the Hallmark channel twice, I miss the Portuguese channel (something that made previous cable line-up truly unique and a reflection of our community). I hate having to use two remotes again - a major step backwards. It’s barely worth mentioning the new religious channels (ugh). I use a similar digital cable service at another location and their service (a much smaller company) provides far better on screen info about what I’m watching - network ID, show name and what’s on next. And I’m not talking about the higher end digital cable box. It’s the same small digital one comcast “upgraded” us to. Oh, and there’s no way to set favorites on their remote so that I can blow by the channels I NEVER watch.

That should be enough to get you started

The only reason I’ve stayed with comcast is that I need the broadband internet speed and internet alone from them is too expensive.

It seems clear to me that the primary intent of the channel changes was to make basic cable worthless in order to get more customers to upgrade from $20/month Limited Basic cable to $60/month Expanded Basic.  They moved just about every channel that anyone might want to watch from Limited to Expanded, and back-filled with junk that nobody cares about.  The only reason that the broadcast stations are still on Limited is because there’s federal law requiring those channels to be carried.

There are about 3 or 4 channels in Expanded Basic that I’d like, but it’s not worth tripling my monthly bill for those channels.

Whatever happened to the proposed federal requirement that cable companies not require you to subscribe to packages but instead allow picking individual channels?  (This is clearly now possible with the current digital boxes.)  Of course, if they did that, most of the cable channels would go away due to lack of subscribers.  Instead of having 300 channels of mostly junk, there might be 50 channels.  However, big business in the USA doesn’t care about customers, only stockholders, and the current scheme makes Comcast’s stockholders happy.

Shortly after Comcast switched to digital, the quality on analog service went way down.  I think this is an intentional ploy to get people to pay more for digital.  I got better service in L.A. with a rooftop antenna than I’ve ever gotten here from Comcast cable.

A year or two ago I got subscriber numbers from a Comcast support tech.  In the Coastside service territory:  4,000 cable TV customers and 3,000 cable internet customers.  That means that less than half of the approximately 8,500 households in the Coastside Comcast territory have Comcast cable TV!  As a cross-check, in 2006 San Mateo County’s Department of Public Works indicated there were 2,026 Coastside Comcast subscribers in the unincorporated area.  With around 4,000 households in the unincorporated area, that’s about half with Cable TV.  Comcast lost a lot of customers between then and now due to not having real digital and HD.