Comcast Xfinity Best Buy Debacle - cable modem-

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I'm just going to tell the story, hopefully it will help someone. Stop reading right now if you are not looking to buy a cable modem with internet telephone to replace your cable modem rental as the post is just way too long.

I called Comcast/Xfinity about 2 weeks ago because my Triple Play bill went up about $20 a month (I'm not ashamed to be a FATWALLETER). They told me whatever promotion I was on expired. The guy was nice enough and put it back to the same rate for another 6 months. The he was also nice enough to say that he could see I was renting a modem for internet service for $7 a month and could buy my own. I was pissed, because I had brought this up to a rep maybe 5 years ago and they told me I couldn't do this because I have internet phone. (The math being 5 years x 12 months x $7 a month =$420) He told me the modems were available at Best Buy or online. So, I go to Best Buy and ask the guy what modem is for Comcast. He directs me to a Motorola Surfboard (model no ?) Its $99 on sale. I smell a rat. I don't buy it. Instead I go home and buy a brand new one one eBay for about $55 with no tax. I open it up, and the modem doesn't have telephone jacks. Now, I guess I could take a little blame here because I took the guys word at Best Buy that that model was the Comcast model, and I did go to the Comcast website and it was on the approved modem list...but ultimately I bought the wrong modem. This paragraph is a beef about Best Buy having a dope telling me this is the Comcast modem and their price gouging.

The guy I bought it from had a no return policy so I resold it for actually a little profit on eBay. With the eBay fees and the shipping being a wash (I paid shipping, but I charged shipping) I was out like $2.

Then I go back to the Comcast approved modem list. They have one called the ARRIS 722g that looked like it was going to solve my problems, it has phone jacks on it.

I go to eBay and buy one for $95 plus shipping. I get home and call up Comcast to register it. They ask me two questions. What is the CMAC number and where did I buy it. I give them the number and tell them I bought it on eBay. They tell me they can't register it because I didn't buy it at Best Buy. The explanation that is given is that because it is a telephone modem certain E911 criteria have to be met. At this point I'm sour for multiple reasons. 1) I bought this modem online and don't know the return policy off the top of my head, and while I'm on the phone with Comcast getting the bad news, my internet is down because I have the new one attached. 2) this model number is on the Comcast approved model list 3) there are absolutely no warnings or disclaimers on the Comcast website that say this model has to be purchased at Best Buy (and there are other unrelated warnings on some of the models on the Comcast website about various bug issues) 4) I have a sinking feeling that when I get to Best Buy, I'm going to get gouged on this modem they have a monopoly on. I go up three levels of supervisors on this Comcast phone call. Each level is very good at explaining the reason why (e911 issue) that it has to be bought at Best Buy. I accept this to some point, but my issue is that it should say this on their website. According to their website (at least as of yesterday) is that this is an approved modem for a consumer to go out and purchase with no Best Buy only warning. Third supervisor credits me $25 and hopes I can return the modem and hopes the $25 will cover the shipping. Seller accepted the return but now is pissed that he has a modem that is probably worthless, as anyone that is looking to buy that specific model is probably a Comcast customer looking to avoid a rental charge.

I go to Best Buy yesterday. I go to the modem section. There is no modem with telephone jacks. Not only is there no modem with telephone jacks, there is no sticker on the shelf with a price for one. I ask an employee if he has Comcast modems with telephone jacks. He says they are in back. He brings out a red box that says Xfinity all over it and has a picture of a modem. The box says Xfinity so much I have to read the fine print to find out the maker and model of the modem. Its the one I want ARRIS 722g. Then I have to ask they guy how much it is, because there is no sticker. $149.99. And the box has a bunch of stuff in it I don't need. 2 coax cables, Ethernet cable, 10 cable clips, 2-way splitter. As I am paying, the guy that is ringing me up asks if I want the 2 year warranty for another $20 or $30 (This was yesterday and I can't remember the amount, as I always decline anyway.) I get home and open the box. The first thing I see in the instructions. "Do not return this product to your store. If you are experiencing problems with this unit or installation, please contact your cable company or call arris support)" Thanks for trying to sell me that extended warranty Best Buy. I get home plug all the stuff in and call Comcast to register it. They tell me it had to be activated at Best Buy and they can't do it over the phone.

I have my receipt with the number on it and call Best Buy and ask for the manager. The girl answering the phone wants a brief description of my problem, tells me to hold and instead of getting the manager I get the Comcast rep assigned to that store. Comcast rep tells me its not working because I need to register it with Comcast. I tell him I already called and they told me Best Buy had to register it. He tells me Best Buy can't register a modem. I proceed to tell him the story posted above (I actually started at the buying the modem online, I skipped the Motorola Modem part as it didn't pertain to him). He indicated the Best Buy employee should not have let that modem leave the store without contacting Comcast to register it but I would have to bring it back in. I expressed my displeasure (I did this civilly as I did not consider this Comcast employee to be the problem) and he took my cell number, and the CMAC and serial numbers from me over the phone and said he would work on it. About 20 minutes later I got a call back saying I wouldn't have to come back in.

With tax the modem was $161.23. It will take 23 months to recoup this at $7 a month.

Also, ultimately I call BS on the e911 issue as well. All I needed to get that modem verified was the CMAC number and my comcast account number. I had that exact information with the eBay purchased modem.

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Cliff notes
Rant
Best Buy and Comcast are confused companies individually and together
Rant

The details of OP's story are somewhat unique, but experiences like OP's are all to common these days, in various industries. Unregulated oligopolies controlling markets. Not the basis of capitalism. Everyone should have access to broadband just like automobile roadways and reasonable cost and people should be able to attach easily FCC registered wired or wireless devices to it. To simple to happen.

Agreed its a rant. As the disclaimer says, its only useful to people trying to buy a cable modem with internet telephone. Beyond that, its worthless. If it helps one person its worth the time I took to type it.

TL;DR

horizon6 said:   oligopoliesBig word ... did this get booted from FWF to DD?

Connman said:   horizon6 said:   oligopoliesBig word ... did this get booted from FWF to DD?

Did you mean to make a comment?

1. should have specified on your first visit to the store you needed a modem for triple play
2. triple play costs too much for what you get - no one should be paying that much for voip

What until you buy your own modem and Comcast charges you for the rental... happens to me about once a year....

Zuke76 said:   What until you buy your own modem and Comcast charges you for the rental... happens to me about once a year....

I've never had a problem (10+ years) with them trying to charge me for a rental modem when I am using my own.

I'm confused. I have the triple play, and I was told that I could not buy my own modem and that I had to rent it from them. Is that not true?

Ideally, I would love to buy my own modem and stop paying the rental charges.

If I can, please let me know which model of modem to buy.

Thanks.

Don't most FWs know that in more and more places now fair dealing is the exception to the rule. As sellers try to catch us, cavaet emptorText. Now sellers need be caught by FW'ers surprises and by FW'ers taking their business where they get the best deal from time to time, cavaet venditor.

It's often a matter of who you talk to and when. Negotiate almost everything of significant price/value, almost everywhere.

Keep records, even if only notes who and what was agreed regarding significant purchases. If not a one-time cash item transaction, watch your upcoming bills carefully.

Off topic, but related: I have a modem for uverse and want to change my plan. I currently do not get charged for the modem, but if I add tv service, I will be charged a monthly fee for the exact same modem. Forget that!

timx said:   Agreed its a rant. As the disclaimer says, its only useful to people trying to buy a cable modem with internet telephone. Beyond that, its worthless. If it helps one person its worth the time I took to type it.

Yes, as the OP says, the OP is a rant, somewhat lengthy and somewhat anger ridden. OP probably could have made the key points better if they were concisely stated, we could exhibit a little sympathy for the plight with comment made or not, ( and perhaps if OP needed to, added a parenthetical appendix of details and anger at the end of OP post).

Go to the xfinity site and search approved modem list. You will need a model that says "telephony" in it and will most likely have to purchase it through Best Buy

computerquest said:   Off topic, but related: I have a modem for uverse and want to change my plan. I currently do not get charged for the modem, but if I add tv service, I will be charged a monthly fee for the exact same modem. Forget that!

Understand this is a vendor game, that the total is the relevant item, not how they spread the charges. Think of it as an for a free new car, choose from among four top-selling specified subcompacts, but available only when you buy the four tires for $10,000 each. Negotiated if interested, and then select the best deal from available vendors, or decide that you don't want the item at the available prices (including any negotiating you decide to do), and if you're still interested try again later.

Good luck whatever path you follow.

timx said:   Go to the xfinity site and search approved modem list. You will need a model that says "telephony" in it and will most likely have to purchase it through Best Buy

At a Comcast booth at B-B or elsewhere at B-B retailer outlets? It appears you're saying that someone can rent the modem, or they can buy the specific modems in some limited manner, but in ever case the service provider own its customer

If you wanted to change service providers or moved to an area where Xfinity was not available, would it be correct that the purchased modem likely could be incompatible with another provider?

This is how customer service dictate its own law (all BS). You have to pray your god for good luck before dealing with customer services.
I bought my modem Motorola at WalMart first, to have it available for Comcast tech to activate during the installation day. Since the modem was old Docsis 2.0, then I bought a new one from Amazon and call in Comcast to reactivate my new modem. Then I returned the one I bought at WalMart (I did this because my local WalMart did not have Docsis 3.0 modem).

Could you not have just said you bought the eBay-purchased modem from Best Buy? Are the numbers on the modem specific to Best Buy?

Love8008s said:   Could you not have just said you bought the eBay-purchased modem from Best Buy? Are the numbers on the modem specific to Best Buy?

Thats what I did.. They didnt care..

Love8008s said:   Could you not have just said you bought the eBay-purchased modem from Best Buy? Are the numbers on the modem specific to Best Buy?
Yes he could have said it was from Best Buy. It does not matter one bit where you purchase it from because as soon as you connect it to your Comcast account (give them the MAC address) they will TFTP a config file to your modem that will define everything from your speed tier to your e911 access. The CSR probably has no idea what they are talking about.

Solution: call back and say "best buy"

My 2 cents:

You can use your own internet modem and not pay fee's I have been doing that for 2 or 3 years now, now for the VOIP modem, you need to look at there approved list and even better try finding it, they say best buy is the only place you can buy it, but somehow they want to sell you service and not the voip modem. This is something us the users need to bring up to the FCC, otherwise switch back to a land line or another voip service and drop comcasts.

Just remember, as they say at big biz, what can we do you out of.. being your cash

Dil

just say you bought at best buy, i did it like that when i had comcrap

Information of OP's tale are somewhat exclusive, but encounters like OP's are all to common these days, in various sectors. Not regulated oligopolies managing marketplaces. Not the foundation capitalism. Everyone should have entry to high speed internet just like vehicle highways and affordable price and people should be able to connect easily FCC authorized wired or wifi gadgets to it. To simple to happen.

I have Comcast with my own Motorola modem. I use obi 110 with Google voice and have had free phone for years! Return the modem and buy the obi. Its on sale for $50 every few months!

I have it too and I agree but whats the other options? im thinking going with OOMA for phone and just keeping cable and internet service with them but still its expensive... ideas?

skh12 said:   1. should have specified on your first visit to the store you needed a modem for triple play
2. triple play costs too much for what you get - no one should be paying that much for voip

so you use comcast just for internet? what about TV? and whats your monthly bill, im paying like $150 a month for all three


klbarnes1 said:   I have Comcast with my own Motorola modem. I use obi 110 with Google voice and have had free phone for years! Return the modem and buy the obi. Its on sale for $50 every few months!

Comcast has always given me problems

FriendlyPeon said:   Zuke76 said:   What until you buy your own modem and Comcast charges you for the rental... happens to me about once a year....

I've never had a problem (10+ years) with them trying to charge me for a rental modem when I am using my own.


They did that to me as well!

first mistake: going to Worst Buy
second mistake: Comcast

I just saw this post and had the exact same problem. I bought a cable modem from eBay so I wouldnt have to pay the rental fee for something I need to have for internet and cable. I called up many times after being told it couldn't be done. First off make sure you look on the list of approved modems to make sure you get the right one for phone and internet. Second and lastly, and this is the hardest part, you have to find someone at comcast that knows what they are doing. What needs to be done is the modem needs to be registered as a comcast modem. If the serial # isnt in their system they can't program and or conect it to the system. I had one guy swear it has never been done before and therefor can't be done and he has been working there for 10 years. Again I finally found someone who actually took the time to find out how to do it before he told me no. So make sure you get comcast to register the serial # , it took a whole day for it to get done but it got done. PM if you have any questions. I did this a few months back and so far so good.

As terrible as this Comcrap runaround is, DirecTV is worse.

I hate Comcast. I tried that too. Didn't work. Anybody want a used modem?

Anyway, I'm still renting mine. Every couple of months they send me a letter telling me to contact them - that my battery needs replacing. So maybe I'm better off renting, because the battery is free from them.

i have never rented a modem from comcast in the 10+ years i have had them, always used my own

Why did you pay so much for a modem? I got a DOCSIS 3 modem for like $65 shipped. 5 minutes on the phone and it was done. You got ripped in more ways than one.

For most companies, I wouldn't even believe your story. However, Comcast and Best Buy are two of the worst service companies out there. I gave up on Best Buy a long time ago and I have had my fair share of problems with Comcast. It's a shame they are both so awful. With luck, Best Buy will be gone in a year or two. I think we are stuck with Comcast for a while.

Sounds like OP's problems are particularly related to an x-finity requirement and a need for a cable-modem with RJ-11 jacks included in the modem. OP might want to clarify.

allowingtoo said:   I hate Comcast. I tried that too. Didn't work. Anybody want a used modem?

Anyway, I'm still renting mine. Every couple of months they send me a letter telling me to contact them - that my battery needs replacing. So maybe I'm better off renting, because the battery is free from them.


I highly doubt you are coming out ahead at 7 dollars a month rental. Besides, I have never heard of a cable modem needing (or even having) a battery to replace. It has a wall wart for power, so I'm not even sure what a battery would be doing powering.

Skipping 26 Messages...
I was so happy to get Verizon out of my life, when I switched to Comcast.So they're probably all dreadful. I want these local providers to offer Residential, and not just Business service. None of the big providers are capable of handling the customer support they have expanded into.



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