Avoid Comcast’s Internet Installation Activation Fee

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Last November, the promotional rate on my Comcast Internet and digital cable service expired and jumped from a somewhat reasonable $70/mo rate to an ridiculously unreasonable $140/mo rate. We tried to do the Comcast cancel dance to no avail as the CSR said “I can’t do anything” and we said “I want to cancel” and the bozos at Comcast actually let us cancel. Almost the same day, Verizon started putting in signs around the neighborhood advertising their new FiOS service, fiber optic right to the house, and we were intruiged. Talking to the Verizon folks at their booth, it appeared that their rates would equal the promotional rates of Comcast so we decided we’d live without Internet for a couple weeks until they got the whole thing setup. Well, as expected, Verizon still hasn’t setup FiOS is our area so I’ve decided to sign back up with Comcast for their promotional rate.

So, how do you avoid that ridiculous $50 activation fee? Well, the activation fee is so that you have the pleasure of waiting at your home during a four hour window, where they will invariably show up an hour after the end of the window, just so the guy (or gal) can do one of two things:

  • If you live in an apartment, he will unscrew your coaxial cable panel from the wall, and connect the cable on the inside with the jack, or,
  • He will find the box outside, open it up (it’s hardly ever locked), and connect it.

So, to avoid the $50 charge, just connect it yourself and ask for the self-install kit (please do not steal cable and do not trespass on their property, I’m not advocating or condoning the theft of services that you aren’t paying for). If you have a cable modem, simply hook it up and try to open any website. A Comcast site will appear where you can download their installation CD software and you can do the installation yourself. If you don’t have a cable modem, wait for the modem to show up before you do all of this. If you’re patient, you can avoid the $50 fee but you can’t avoid a phone call, and the 30 minute wait because somehow they are always busy and they never hire more CSRs, to Comcast to activate your service.

The benefit is two-fold – not only do you avoid the $50 fee, you get internet the day you start paying… not two weeks later when their technicians are able to pencil you in for a four hour window they stand no chance of making anyway.

{ 100 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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100 Responses to “Avoid Comcast’s Internet Installation Activation Fee”

  1. jay says:

    its so rediculous how this company says its all about costumer service but based on
    how much they really do when they finally come is based on efficiently takeing your money. thats why i love directv. they dont sit down finding ways to charge you for extra

  2. JACK says:

    Normally when you cancel service, cable modems are returned to COMCAST. If you want to restore cable modem service someone usually a “technician” needs to register the cable modem into the Comcast computer system to recognize the MAC Address of the cable modem box you have. EVERY device on any computer networks has a UNIQUE MAC address.The MAC address is unique worldwide!!!

    Technician has cbl modems in truck.
    They call a “special” telephone number to register the modem.,
    But you are allowed to BUY your own cable modem. To get it registered is another question to ask of COMCAST Tech services. Internet install free is HUGE close to $100.

  3. Anonymous says:

    comcast is the least customer oriented bussiness i have ever dealt with. they want moreyour money every month but if they have a servi outage do you think they’ll deduct that from your bill? no my service goes out at least once a week and they want to charge me a late fee even tho iv asked them to move my due date to the 5th of the month because thats wen i get my monthly check. they suck! service is bad and customer service is even worse

  4. Seth says:

    New apartment, has free basic Comcast TV, but not receiving CNN, Animal Channel, Fox News, etc. as I need a Digital Transport Adapter (I think). If I buy a used Comcast DTA, will the old activation still work? Or if I have a friend activate a DTA box at his house, can I then take that DTA and move it over to my apartment and will it work? Thanks.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Not to mention them going to your attic (after saying NO)Putting foot thru ceiling,and doing nothing…(I had cable before,cancled,then all they had to do is just start service through their computer) The same way they cancel you. They had three guys going through every room of house,closed doors that I daid not to enter. They said they needed to know how many TV’s were on the property. I finally Re-canceled. NEVER AGAIN ! NOT ComCast !

  6. Anon says:

    I cancelled Comcast TV 2 years ago after unexpected price jack-ups and no customer service.
    Now I’m thinking of getting back with the pimps for internet. But the 1st tech said my install would be more than the phone quote, so while I tried to contact Comcast, he just left. Original “install” quote was $25, but tech said a wall fish would be extra $35. After some reading, I’m sure the first bill would be considerably higher. Sounds like I need to stick with my existing ATT pimps’ DSL and living at 1Mbps.

  7. DB says:

    I just moved from an area with Cox Cable (I had for 27 years) to an area with Comcast. I don’t know if Comcast’s pricing is different from area to area but now I know how bad Cox Cable is. Cox Cable made me a customer of 27 years feel appreciated by letting me keep my service on for a few extra days a hand full of times wail I paid the bill late, with all the fees for disconnect, late, ect. still there of course. Their other strategy for customer retention (for at least customers of 27 years or more) was to say “good luck” as they told you they don’t care that you want a promo price that they new customers get because you got a 6 month promo price 27 years ago, go somewhere else. Another thing I like about Comcast and makes me still like Comcast even with the fees, FREE HDMI CABLES WITH OUR HD CABLE BOXES!?!?!?!? Cox rather give you a Component Video Cables for free (witch has to cost more than HDMI cables just from the size of the wires, also crappier picture) and try to make you think you need to buy one of their HDMI cables for 25.00. I don’t know it just seems like Comcast at least tries to act like they want to keep their customers with the “only for existing customers” promos (yeah I know new customers can get the promo if they just ask.)

  8. eric says:

    Please DATE your articles! Old Tech articles are nearly useless!

  9. eric says:

    Once I commented, there is now an authors block with date. Prior to commenting – no article date? I have to comment to see the date?

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