Comcast Tech: “You Don’t Need Dis Fuggin’ Box”

If you cancel Comcast, does that black, blinking box on the top of your television have any real purpose? According to one Comcast CSR, sure! It’s just a swell antenna and, not only that, but you can keep basic On-Demand service.

Wow. Like magic! Reader Stone W’s foxy girlfriend got just such a Merlinesque response from Comcast. The only problem? When the Comcast tech — outsourced to a third-party company — waltzed in, he proceeded to just rip out the box and lambast Comcast as full of shit. “That’s stupid,” he said, then told her it was just a plot of Comcast to continue to charge her.

Beware! Stone’s email, after the jump.

So, my girlfriend recently took advantage of a Comcast deal in suburban Philly where she got 6 months of digital cable w/ HBO & Encore for $50/mo. She has one TV in the living room, and one in each of the two bedrooms in the apartment. Digital was installed on all 3 TVs. The six months is due to expire in a couple of days, so she called Comcast to downgrade the service to regular cable and avoid paying >$100/mo for TV she & her roomate barely watch. The CS rep she spoke to (Bill) informed her they could send a tech out to disconnect the digital boxes and turn off the HBO, but that she should “keep the digital box in the living room to act as an antenna for the other two TVs,” which would be running on normal cable. She’s no electrical engineer, but this claim struck her as a little strange. However, Bill confirmed that even though she was downgrading to regular cable, keeping one of the digital boxes would allow her to keep some basic On-Demand service and act as an antenna improving the reception of the other two TVs.

Interestingly, when the tech (actually an independent contractor hired by Comcast) showed up the next day to remove the digital boxes and shut off the HBO, he called the idea of one box acting as an antenna for the other “stupid,” and uninstalled all three to avoid Comcast continuing to charge my girlfriend for digital cable when she specifically requested turning off the service in favor of it’s analog predecessor. She thanked him very much, and will be following her bills closely to ensure accuracy. Still, how NUTS is the idea that one digital box will somehow act as a beacon for her other TVs? Anyone else ever heard Comcast (or any other cable provider) make a similar claim?