I’ve used Comcast  for the last two years and have, on the whole, been satisfied with the service they’ve provided. My only complaint is that they’ve been really expensive and there hasn’t been much I’ve been able to do about it. You can get their high speed internet package for $20/month for six months but then it jumps to around $40 a month. The basic cable is about $50 a month with little wiggle room. Packaged together, basic digital cable and high speed internet comes out to $80 plus tax and service charged. That’s when I learned about the rebate games and the “Ditch the Dish” program which saved netted me a few hundred dollars in rebates, a free cable modem, and $25 off a month for 16 months.
Ridiculously Generous Rebates and Freebies – Updated 6/8/08
It used to be that the various companies taking Comcast high speed internet and digital cable signups didn’t communicate so you could sign up to multiple rebates and have them all fulfilled. It’s still possible that they don’t communicate but people have been having problems lately. Below I’ve listed the best (highest dollar rebates) for the high speed internet signups.
- ComcastSpecial.com  Triple Play – Comcast just improved their ComcastSpecial offer by replacing a broadband internet only rebate offer with a ‘triple play’ that includes broadband internet, cable television, and digital voice telephone with up to $325 back in rebates:
- Comcast High Speed Internet Deal – The standard $19.99/month for six months offer plus, $150 CASH, a D-Link DCM-202 Cable modem  (may not be this unit), a wireless router, and no contract required! Getting your own modem will save you $3 per month.
- Comcast Cable Television Deal – While the rate you’ll pay isn’t disclosed (starts at $39.99/mo), you’ll get a $75 statement credit which is as good as money in the bank just for signing up!
- Comcast Digital Voice – A flat monthly rate, $100 cashback and your first month free. I use a cell phone as my primary phone so I’ve never used Comcast for this service.
- Dell and Staples Rebates – I originally listed a couple rebates from Dell and Staples but they’ve since expired and haven’t been replaced, so I’ve removed the links.
“Ditch the Dish” Program
In their constant battle with DirectTV and similar satellite cable providers, Comcast has implemented the “Ditch the Dish” campaign. Basically you sign up for service, turn in your satellite dish or cable box, and you receive $25 off your bill for the first sixteen months. Details of the program are here  (The page says New England but it’s a national program). If you don’t have a dish and don’t know anyone who is getting rid of one, try Craigslist or Ebay . A cable box on Ebay can be purchased for around $15. Sometimes you’ll be lucky and the guy coming to do the installation won’t even take the box with him (installations are contracted out to local companies).
Extending the $19.99/month plan past 6 months
Threaten to quit. Usually they’ll extend it, if they don’t then hang up and try again later. Eventually a customer service rep will give it to you.
Avoid Installation Fee
Get the self-installation kit, it’s some coaxial cable and a cable modem, and hook up the stuff yourself. They’ll charge you $35 to do it for you, a complete waste of money.
If you are looking for high speed internet and cable deals but don’t have Comcast (or hate them), Broadband National  (who runs the ComcastSpecial.com listed below) has the capability to search for all sorts of providers including Time Warner, Qwest, AT&T, Covad, and many more providers .
There are more offers out there if you poke around at other sites but they come and go month to month. Office Depot, Office Max, and a few other places usually offer deals that allow you to double or triple dip. The most bang for your buck is the Comcastoffers free cable modem offer because it’s worth the $90 for the modem but also $3 each month so it’s “worth” $126. You may be able to find free after rebate cable modems though, so then the Staples $105 back is the best deal. Regardless, always do the “Ditch the Dish” promotion! Good luck!