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Avoid Comcast’s Internet Installation Activation Fee

Posted By Jim On 03/13/2007 @ 3:00 pm In Shopping | 100 Comments

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.


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