Comcast Quietly Leaches $3/Month From Former Adelphia Customers

A reader from Vermont writes in to let us know that he accidentally discovered Comcast has been charging him a $3/month modem rental fee for a modem he owned, because Comcast claimed that due to poor record keeping, it had no way of distinguishing between Adelphia’s modem renters and owners. This fee went on for months undetected because Comcast doesn’t itemize such fees on their online statements, only on their printed bills. (Well yeah, because including such details online would waste ink…wait, what?) When our reader called Comcast to have the fees refunded, he was told he’d have to provide proof of purchase for his modem.

Here’s his email. [Note: since originally being posted, the dates have been corrected as per the OP's comments below.]

First, a little bit of a back story. I signed up with Adelphia for cable internet service back in June of 2006. I went out and bought my own modem and service was fine.

Comcast bought out Adelphia, and that’s when the trouble began. On 10/02/07 I started getting charged for leasing a modem (remember I have always owned and used my own). I wasn’t given any notice of this, and the charge was not itemized in my online bill, only the paper bill. Since I was expecting a rate increase at that point, the additional 5% went unnoticed.

On 01/05/08 I noticed that I was being charged this fee and called up to complain and have it removed from my bill. What I was told when I called is what disturbed me the most. I was told that Adelphia offered a free lease program to its customers, a service that Comcast didn’t have. The records, however, weren’t good enough to determine who had the free lease program and who had their own modem, so they decided to just charge everybody and let the customers figure it out for themselves. I was also told that I needed to prove that I purchased this modem by presenting a receipt (on an 18 month old modem I could just have easily purchased off of Craigslist or from a friend).

I got angry at this point and was told by the CSR that an e-mail would be sent to the Billing and Research Department and they would “see what they could do for me” and I could expect a reply within 10 business days. I promptly filed a complaint with the BBB and on Monday received a call from somebody at Comcast. The charges were removed immediately, but who knows how many other customers out there are slowly having $3 a month stolen from them. I know the amount seems trivial, but it’s how they treated the situation that got me fired up.

(Thanks to Keith!)
(Photo: Getty)

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. JiminyChristmas says:

    In hedge fund parlance they call this hoovering nickels. A nickel isn’t much, but if you can suck up 1 billion nickels you’re talking real money.

    It’s not surprising that Comcast would place the burden of proving the modem’s provenance on the customer. It would be just as logical to ask Comcast to prove they own the modem if they want to charge a fee for it.

  2. pylon83 says:

    I’m a bit torn here. As a former cable company employee, I know how difficult it can be to deal with stuff like this. However, I do have a problem with them deciding to charge everyone, without notice, and let them deal with it. I think I would have been OK with a letter saying “We’re going to start charing you unless you can show you own the modem, either with an old bill from Adelphia that indicates you weren’t part of the lease program, a receipt, etc” and going from there. I understand the need of the cable company to roll the acquired customers into their system, under their prices and conditions, and it would probably be nearly impossible for them to sort it out. However, I have a real problem with doing things like this without any sort of notice. I don’t have a huge problem with putting the burden on the customer, so long as they are willing to accept something short of absolute proof.

  3. cwlodarczyk says:

    This sounds like a class action lawsuit to me.

    I think that in order for Comcast to be able to charge these fees that they should have to also carry the burden of proof.

    I know that in my case I likely couldn’t prove that I owned the modem – I don’t keep old utility statements and for inexpensive items that are no longer under warranty (such as my cable modem) the receipts are long gone as well.

    Consider the way this works:
    I wonder how it would go over if the police started issuing speeding tickets to everyone with a drivers license and then telling them that they would need to provide proof that they weren’t speeding.

  4. hn333 says:

    Back in the day, my parents use to Leach off free cable from Comcast.

  5. DallasDMD says:

    @pylon83: “I don’t have a huge problem with putting the burden on the customer, so long as they are willing to accept something short of absolute proof. “

    Comcast has no right to charge customers for services or products of rendered. The burden of proof should be on Comcast.

  6. DallasDMD says:

    *not

  7. Bay State Darren says:

    Start moving your shit into their office and tell them to prove that they own it. If they produce a deed or a lease, tell them it means nothing. If they can pull standards of ownership out of their ass, then so can you!

  8. evslin says:

    Was Adelphia’s accounting so messed up that Comcast couldn’t figure out who was being billed for what?

    No wonder they got bought out.

  9. sethkinast says:

    “We think some of the dates may be a little off, so work out the chronology at your own peril.”

    For whatever reason, he’s using European-style dates, DD/MM/YY. This makes it look like his dates are off.

  10. basket548 says:

    @sethkinast:

    Nope, I think he just messed up the 1/5/08 as 1/5/07 – makes much more sense considering the 18 months and rest of the timeline.

  11. sled_dog says:

    Do you at least have a copy of the last Adelphia bill? That might settle it.

    Or if you do have a receipt, consider making a mail fraud complaint with the post office.

  12. goodkitty says:

    Oh come on, is nobody going to mention the sign? “WARNING: You are presently OUTDOORS. You may encounter NATURAL, WILD creatures in this area which may pose a RISK to your health. Stay on the designated ARTIFICIAL trail to prevent illness.”

    (But really, ticks are gross, so I’d rather have the sign.)

    The cable companies have their fake modem lease fees only because they’re jealous of the phone companies having their fake generic federal surcharge fees.

  13. rmuser says:

    I think the proper word would actually be “leech”, which has a distinctly different meaning from “leach”.

  14. MercuryPDX says:

    …because including such details online would waste ink…

    BZZZT Incorrect! The correct answer is “It takes up valuable ad space where we can upsell our customers.”

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked to make the content “You” come for on a website less useful to “You” because some marketing genius wanted more ‘breathing room’ around his ‘prominently placed’ ad space. Because we all really go online for the ads, right?

  15. MercuryPDX says:

    @rmuser: Good work! Only about 200 bajillion more pages to proofread. Off ya go!

  16. Raziya says:

    Thanks for posting this, Shadowfire and I are former Adelphia (now Comcast) costomers in Vermont! We’ll sure;y be checking our bill.

  17. Raziya says:

    Bah, if I could type…*SURELY be checking, heh.

  18. tallladude says:

    I had Adelphia and they never offered a free lease to me… they charged $3.00/month. (supposedly just as the OP mentioned in his letter.) It was never itemized. The bundled package I subscribed to simply had a single price, but if you added up the parts, applied the discount, it came out (granted, very confusing).

    Ok, so maybe some Adelphia franchises did in fact offer a free lease. Maybe that was the case here. Ummm… so the cable company offers a free lease on a modem. Would anyone else on here knowing that, go “Sure they’ll give me free use of a modem. But no, I’m gonna pass on that and go out and buy my own. And if it breaks, then I’m responsible for repairing/replacing it. I just don’t want to take advantage of an offer.. THAT’S FREE!”

    Seems to me there might be a little more confusion here than just with the dates.

  19. RevRagnarok says:

    I had a similar situation, moved from one Comcrap county in MD to another, which had recently been Adelphia. When they installed, they claimed I was renting the modem. Nope, I had bought it. They removed the charge, but I had to call every month for like three months to get it removed AGAIN. (In addition to needing to call every few weeks to re-authorize the MAC, but that’s a story for another day.) At one point I actually told them that I have an older modem just laying around and would gladly donate it for them to just STFU about “leasing” it.

    You’d think that they would be buying them in enough bulk that Motorola or whoever supplies them could have the S/Ns sequenced in some way: “Oh, if your modem’s serial number starts with CC it’s owned by us, if it’s TW then it’s owned by Time-Warner, it has no letter prefix? Must be yours.” Done deal.

  20. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    Similar problem, where I had the install order with ‘customer owned modem’ written on the order and signed by their tech. They wanted me to prove I owned the modem, I countered with “Can you prove you do? Show me where you brought out and installed the modem.”
    No problem.

  21. privatejoker75 says:

    Comcast is one of the greediest companies i’ve ever seen. A few years ago they bought out a small cable company in my area. My bill for basic analog cable went from $25 a month to over $50 a month in the span of 2-3 years and we LOST channels. I can’t say enough bad things about them

  22. JustAGuy2 says:

    @evslin:

    Short answer: yes.

  23. vastrightwing says:

    After the FCC gets done with them, they’ll need the extra $3/month, at least! Don’t be so selfish, they’re Comcastic!

  24. glenno86 says:

    People actually lease their cable modems from their cable company? For the amount you pay, you can buy a brand new one every 17 months.

  25. That70sHeidi says:

    Anyone know what the Franchise Fee is on the Comcast bills? It’s about $4. To me it looks like I’m paying off their cost of doing business (office space, taxes, who knows), in addition to paying for their service. Am I wrong?

  26. darkened says:

    @glennosmond: When i originally received excite@home / comcast@home i went through 3 modems in the span of 4 months. The last modem lasted 5 years plus before it was returned to comcast.

    I would NEVER EVER buy a cable modem. They are some of the most shoddy peices of hardware ever made. When I had time warner installed when i moved to college it took the tech 2 hours of calling them and activating the MAC addresses on half a dozen modems that were all busted and previous techs never took out the truck correctly until he found one that finally worked.

    Leasing is by far the best advantage for cable modems.

  27. Mariajl says:

    I despise Comcast… practically had a party when I got them out of my house in favor of DSL and Direct TV. And I’ve never been sorry.
    With their cable, they used to love to send out letters saying, in short, that I should be very excited because they were making improvements to my service. Then they’d take away channels (1 HBO instead of 3) and raise my rates.

  28. kmn842 says:

    This was my letter, and yes, I meant 01/05/08, sorry about that. I was never personally offered the free lease, so that’s why I bought my own.

  29. kmn842 says:

    That 01/05/07 is meant to be 01/05/08 (the new year always screws me up), and I was never personally offered a free lease, that was simply a program that Adelphia had at one point in time.

  30. shan6 says:

    @darkened: I bought a Linksys cable gateway a couple years back and it has worked wonders for me, with no problems, ever. Basically I’m just saying that if you know what you are looking for not all cable modems are shoddy pieces of sh*t.

  31. HalOfBorg says:

    @Mariajl: I LOVE it when they make changes to their line-up. I do.

    They change the channels, add a couple, remove a couple, and shuffle a few.

    Then they send you a nice notice about it – a couple months later.

  32. Trick says:

    So Adelphia provided the modems at no charge, Comcast buys Adelphia’s service area and then cahrges for modems they didn’t supply or pay for?

    Cool.

  33. glenno86 says:

    @darkened: Were you buying or leasing all those modems before you decided to lease? Could it be because all your replacements were used?

    Never had a problem with my linksys and it’s been over 2 years.

  34. SuperJdynamite says:

    Comcast is physically linked to every cable modem. The MAC address alone would indicate who made the modem and screen out manufacturers that Adelphia never used. There’s probably other information that could be gleaned from the MAC and/or DOCSIS information.

    Bad records or not there was at least some work Comcast could have done on their end to see who might be leasing modems.

  35. SuperJdynamite says:

    @Trick: Comcast bought Adelphia, which means it paid money for all the assets and infrastructure owned by Adelphia.

  36. noquarter says:

    @Mariajl: I love how, in their most recent shuffle, the shuffled the TV Guide channel onto a digital one. So the only people who can watch it are the ones who already have a converter box with the onscreen guide.

    As they predicted, I was very excited about these important changes to their lineup, and I think the few extra dollars per month are worth it for the vastly improved service I now receive.

  37. JustAGuy2 says:

    @That70sHeidi:

    Of course you’re paying for their costs of doing business, how else would they stay in business? If they just charged you for the direct costs their pay to their programming providers, how exactly would they build the network, pay their engineers, pay their local taxes, etc?

  38. vaeric says:

    I’ve also been getting charged by Comcast for modem rental for the last 4 months or so even though I physically returned my “rental” modem that was suppose to be a free modem given out when I originally signed up for Time Warner before it was bought out. Anyway, I returned both my “rental” modem and a DVR and decided to use my own cable modem. I even had a carbon copy receipt of my return but after recently noticing that I’m still being charged a rental fee, I called and they told me they have no record of my return even though I have this piece of paper saying I did. So now I have to find the time to run over to their closest building and show them the paper they gave me saying that I returned to modem. Only with Comcast will they mess up and then blame you before ever looking at the issue.

  39. wpc105 says:

    Oh, your fun is just starting!

    Guess what happens when you cancel service? That’s right, it’s “prove you never had an Adelphia issued cable modem.” I used to have Adelphia before Comcast took over. I moved over the Summer and in what I assume was a move on Comcast’s part to make things easier, they canceled my old account and activated a new account at my new residence. That way they don’t have to deal with a legacy Adephia account. Well, after moving and receiving my first bill, I discovered they wanted to collect on an unreturned cable modem. I had to spend quite a bit of time on the phone convincing them that I never had an Adelphia cable modem because I own my own.

  40. Sir Winston Thriller says:

    This sounds…a bit trollish to me. I’m in Vermont, I’m a former Adelphia now Comcast subscriber. When the switchover came, Comcast didn’t start billing me for my modem–they knew (from Adelphia) that it was customer owned, and didn’t charge me.

    As for it not appearing on the online bill…the online bill only seems to show total charges. However, there’s a link to the paper bill that you can display onscreen, with all the itemized charges. There’s something else that the OP isn’t telling us…

  41. kmn842 says:

    I swear that there is nothing that I left out. I had autopay on, so as long as the charges looked about right I didn’t question it. I never went looking for the lease charge because I never thought they would start charging me. I’m telling you exactly what was told to me on the phone. I never leased a modem from Adelphia, and I have the receipt at home to prove that I purchased the modem on 06/02/06, less than a week after I moved up here.

  42. econobiker says:

    Are these the same people who rented rotary phones for decades???

  43. AMulls says:

    Actually, it’s not trollish. I just realized this month that I’ve been paying the $3 modem fee through Comcast. I own my modem and have had it for over 6 years. I moved to Charlottesville, VA a year ago and started with Adelphia, which was then promptly switched over to Comcast after the buyout. Didn’t realize I was being charge the rental fee until my bill increased by $50 this month due to Comcast’s increased rates. Looked at the bill and noticed the fee was there, despite the fact that the couple of times I’ve called customer service in the past, they have asked if I own my modem and I have confirmed that I do. I also found it interesting that Comcast automatically put me into the highest rate categories for service when my promotion (1 year full cable with some movie channels and high speed internet for $75/mo.) ended. Time to call Comcast and see what I can do about getting costs reduced, otherwise, it’s off to DirecTV.

  44. emona says:

    Uh, “charges removed”? I hope you got a big refund too, pal.

  45. johnva says:

    They tried this same thing with me after the Adelphia conversion. I noticed it on the first bill, though, and got it removed without too much trouble. I did have to argue with them a little bit.

  46. johnva says:

    @SuperJdynamite: It seems to me that if Comcast and/or Adelphia kept “bad records” on who was leasing modems and who wasn’t, then Comcast should be forced to just eat the loss of all those modems if they can’t prove they own them. You can’t just charge people because you’re not sure. It was their fault that they got mixed up.

  47. brigidkeely says:

    I signed up for Comcast as a new customer, not an Adelphia conversion, and they automaticaly charged me a rental fee. I had to call several times to get that removed. I have had SERIOUS ongoing problems with Comcast. They’re one of the slimiest companies I’ve ever dealt with.

  48. forgottenpassword says:

    @econobiker:

    LOL! My parents did! About 13 years ago I was at their house looking at their phone bill & realized they were paying a rental fee on the rotary phone they had since as long as I could remember growing up there. I think it was like $10. It was listed though on the bill. I convinced them to call the phone company & cancel the rental. The phone company even came out to pick up the phone! An old big boxy beige rotary wall phone. JESUS WHAT A SCAM! I bet the phone company made a small fortune off of my parents.

  49. johnva says:

    @JustAGuy2: Of course you’re right that companies will always pass on their cost of doing business to the customer. But when Adelphia was my cable company they did NOT charge me a separate line item passing on these regulatory fees. I’m sure they were passing it on, but it was including in their fee for service. First thing Comcast did when they took over was start charging a separate $5 or so per month in fees for “franchise fees”, “regulatory cost recovery”, etc, while leaving the fee for service the same. They actually had the guts to say on the bill that “this is not a rate increase”. Um, yeah it is if it used to be included in the service fee and you didn’t lower the service fee by the amount of the fees you broke out as separate line items.

    Comcast is the greediest company I’ve ever had the displeasure of doing business with.

  50. dcartist says:

    Comcast needs a class action suit against them. This type of scummy crap is supposed to happen with online fly by night operators…

    but nowadays, the previously “reputable” businesses like banks all do it.
    -
    Of course Comcast was NEVER “reputable”, ever.

  51. padams89 says:

    Comcast did the same to me only I realized it about 3 years ago when I had only had their service for about 2 years. I called them and informed them that they needed to refund me that $72 that they had charged me over the previous two years. I wish I was wiser at the time but I ended up compromising with them to have a credit of $50 put on my account.

  52. johnva says:

    Comcast business strategy:

    1. Charge higher rates for cable services than anyone else.
    2. Use higher rates to build up cash reserves.
    3. Buy every other cable company in America using cash reserves.
    4. Immediately raise rates on “purchased” customers.
    5. Repeat process until you own the world.

  53. cwlodarczyk says:

    @hn333:
    “Free” implies that it was given to them – what they were doing is called “theft”.

  54. Corydon says:

    @Mercurypdx: BZZZT Incorrect! The correct answer is “It takes up valuable ad space where we can upsell our customers.”

    Sorry…I pay my Comcast bill online as well, and there are no ads in the part of comcast.com where you pay your bill and manage the financial side of your account.

    First of all, the moral of this story is read your bills. Especially when there’s a major change to the account.

    With Comcast, you can look at the paper bill that they send you or you can view a .pdf of the paper bill online. This probably would have been a lot easier to deal with if he’d brought it up the first month he was with Comcast.

    That being said, it is pretty crappy to automatically assume that everyone gets a modem charge. What Comcast should have done was to continue not charging all of the people with the free lease program until they could figure out Adelphia’s paperwork.

    At the very least, this should have been communicated better to the customers. On the other hand, there may very well have been a letter from Comcast explaining the situation included with this guy’s statements, which he would have seen if he had read his bills instead of throwing them right into the trash. See point number one.

  55. That70sHeidi says:

    @JustAGuy2: I have no problem believing their costs are marked up to make a profit already, and hell, if they HID the stupid Franchise Fee that’d be one thing, but to flat out say “We’re charging you way more than we should, oh and here’s a fee so we can have French Vanilla coffee too,” that’s another thing.

    To me this sounds like the credit card issue of charging their customers a fee to use a card to offset the fee the company is charged to accept credit cards.

    I can’t wait to switch to dialup and ditch the digital.

  56. dcartist says:

    They shouldn’t have to just refund the money.

    They should be fined and penalized… which they’ll pass on to the customer of course… so man… that sucks too.

  57. jeff303 says:

    @rmuser: I thought the same thing at first too, but then I actually looked up “leach” and this is a valid usage. [www.answers.com]

  58. harshmellow says:

    Comcast bought out Time Warner in our area, and everything (we have digital cable and broadband internet through them) has gone downhill. From the transition, to the TV service (empty guides, On-Demand channels that don’t work most of the time) is worse and the internet connection is definitely throttled, especially when I upload to an FTP site. Just got the new Consumer Reports that had an article on the combo TV/internet/phone service companies, and Comcast was tickling the bottom of all three lists. Surprised, nope.

  59. scarlin says:

    They tried to do exactly the same thing to me when they first bought out Adelphia, but I caught it after the second month. I called and complained and they wanted to see my receipt. I had purchased the modem nearly 3 years earlier, so there was no chance that I still had the receipt.

    At first they wouldn’t stop charging me and they wouldn’t refund the fees, but when I called back and tried another method they agreed to drop it.

    I called Comcast billing and immediately asked to speak with a supervisor. As soon as the supervisor got on the phone I immediately asked to speak to their supervisor. As soon as the second level supervisor was on the phone I asked to speak to their supervisor. I didn’t waste time and energy with small talk or pleasantries, I just politely asked to speak to the supervisor. Once I had the third level supervisor on the line I politely told her that obviously there was some kind of mix up and they were improperly billing me for rental on a modem that I owned. After about 2 minutes of explaining that I had purchased it myself about 3 years ago and with her having no record of me renting it she agreed to drop the charge and refund the amount that had been previously billed.

    The duration of the phone call was about 8 minutes total.

    I believe the key was that I was never impolite or rude. I never raised my voice. I never accused them of trying to cheat me. I simply let them see that there was a mistake that needed to be corrected and they happily corrected the mistake. I didn’t even try to imply that they were doing anything sleazy, I just let her correct the mistake.

    Personally I believe that it was a sneaky way to grab another $5 a month from me.

  60. johnva says:

    @harshmellow: Oh yeah, I forgot that part. When they took over, Comcast DRASTICALLY cut the upstream speed of my cable Internet service, while simultaneously stating that they were making things “faster” by increasing the downstream speed (though in reality that didn’t get faster either…I’m on the 6 Mbps tier but never get close to that speed). I asked them about this and they said that the claim of “faster” does not apply to upstream because “you don’t need much of it anyway”. That’s funny, considering that it drastically increased the time required for me to transfer big files from home to work.

  61. JustAGuy2 says:

    @That70sHeidi:

    They explicitly break out the franchise fee (which is paid to your town or city) to make the point that “look at all the taxes we’re paying.” Same reason the wireless companies break out all the gov’t fees as well.

  62. noquarter says:

    This might also be a good way to get them to pay attention, and to force them to rethink where the burden of proof lies in this case.

  63. t0fu says:

    I also discovered this. I have NEVER rented a modem from either Adelphia or Comcast yet closer looks at my bill showed that infamous 3$ rental fee.

    It took 6 months to get this taken care of. Every month I would check my bill see the 3$ charge for rental fee and then a 3$ credit from the previous month after I called to report it.

  64. JiminyChristmas says:

    Here’s my dilemma. I currently pay Comcast the $3/month for modem rental. I could easily buy my own modem for $25 and amortize the cost over 9 months and be home free after that.

    The hangup is this: My Comcast paperwork says owner-supplied modems are ‘not supported.’ What I take that to mean is if I ever have a problem with my service (and I have in the past, which resulted in Comcast replacing their modem) they are going to see I have my own modem and say Sorry, we can’t help you.…regardless of whether the problem is with my modem or not.

    Then, it would be my problem to figure out whether my modem is working or not and a long struggle to restore my service with Comcast would ensue. Of course, I’m assuming that they can’t or won’t do any troubleshooting on their end that would tell me to get a new modem if I needed one.

  65. Eukaryote says:

    I literally just had this happen to me last night. I moved to another state in May, and this entire time, I believe they have been charging me $3/mo for modem rental. I called last night, and the guy took the fee off and refunded it to my next bill.

    Additionally, they are charging a list of items, including two in particular:
    Digital Service: $9.95
    Digital Serivce Add’l Outlet: $6.95

    I only have one television, and they said that this was for renting a cable box. I just got a TiVo and don’t have a cable box from them. I’m going to call back today to talk to a more helpful rep.

  66. SuperJdynamite says:

    @johnva: I agree. My point was that there was at least some due diligence that could have been done in the absence of good records. Throwing up their hands and saying “just charge everybody” is unacceptable.

  67. Buran says:

    @DallasDMD: I’m confused. You meant that they can’t charge for services NOT rendered, I take it? Ditto on the “prove I’m renting from you” idea.

  68. dawime says:

    @cwlodarczyk: When I moved into my house, there was comcast cable active (I am a dish customer). I called them to let them know it was active. Two weeks later I called again to let them know it was still active.
    A month after that I gave them one last call, and figured I’d done enough to have them turn it off. As it so happens, I have one TV in the house connnected to it for convenience, but since I told them three times over a period of almost two months to turn it off, I dont see why I shouldn’t use the cable ( and again, most of the TVs are hooked to dish network).

  69. harshmellow says:

    @johnva: I think throttling the upstream speed (i.e., uploading to an FTP site) is their way to keep you from running a website from home and not paying for some “upgraded” or “business class” service. You’re right–when I work from home and upload the files to our FTP server, it takes forever now. Thanks for speeding things up, Comcast!

    Roadrunner was so much better.

  70. johnva says:

    @harshmellow: If their goal was just to stop people from running websites, they could use selective traffic shaping or filtering for inbound web traffic only. It’s possible they’re trying to drive people to upgrade to business-class service. I think they’re just greedy. All I know is that my upstream was suddenly capped at less than 25% of the typical speed I used to get.

  71. Bryan Price says:

    Gee, I remember when I couldn’t own the modem due to state law. I hadn’t really thought about it. They’ve already replaced it once due to lightning — which took out my router shortly thereafter (It was acting up, it just finally fell over dead later).

  72. kmn842 says:

    I’m the OP, and I wanted to clarify a few things. First, 01/05/07 is supposed to be 01/05/08, the new year always screws me up. Also, I was never offered a free lease deal, it was simply an offer that Adelphia had at one point in time. I have not left out any details, so those who say I’m trolling are incorrect. I realize that I should have checked my bill more diligently, but that still does not make what they did right.

  73. mondomondoman says:

    This same thing happened to me. I was about to alert the consumerist but I was lucky enough to get a rep that knew what was going and and take care of my issue when it called them for one last time. That will probably be the last time I get someone like that but I’m glad I did.

  74. swalve says:

    @That70sHeidi: The franchise fee is charged by the city. Taxes are almost always broken down on bills. It is not so they can have a starbucks franchise in their office.

  75. johnva says:

    @swalve: Adelphia did not break it down before on my bill. And then when they did break it out as a separate line item they didn’t subtract it from the service cost. Shady way to cover up a rate increase.

  76. kmn842 says:

    So they didn’t even give me a full refund, but the extra $1.93 is not worth arguing about.

  77. Tijil says:

    My customer-owned modem on Comcast is an RCA (Thomson) modem that has worked flawlessly for about 6 years. With the RCAs the model number has a “R” at the end of it indicating it was sold at retail rather than being provider owned.

    I suspect there are similar differences in other brand modems, too.

    (Comcast did charge me a modem fee for a few months for no apparent reason, but when I told them the modem type they recognized it was a retail modem, not theirs and they backed out the charges immediately.

    In the Adelphia/Comcast case, I believe Comcast should have to prove ownership before they have a leg to stand on charging customers, NOT the other way ’round.

    Tomas

  78. GR2008 says:

    A Washington, D.C. law firm is seeking current and former cable internet subscribers who were improperly charged rental fees in connection with the use of a cable internet modem. The law firm is attempting to determine whether various providers of high-speed cable internet services have engaged in the practice of charging rental fees to consumers who already own their own modems. If you believe that you have been the victim of this particular billing practice, please contact the law firm at InternetResearch@gilbertrandolph.com. Potentially aggrieved consumers should own their own modems and have proof of the rental fees charged by their cable company. Once again, if you believe that you have been the victim of this particular billing practice, please do not hesitate to relate your experience to InternetResearch@gilbertrandolph.com.