Finances & Money Frugality

Deal with the devil: I got Comcast Digital Cable … FOR FREE


I was informed a couple weeks ago about Comcast’s deal for basic cable subscribers: Free Digital Cable for 12 months for Basic Cable Subscribers. Also, you get all HBO and Starz channels for 6 months free.

Basic cable is the cheapest plan you can get. I pay about $18 a month. They already know I’m cheap, so why would they just give me hundreds of dollars of free service for an entire year?

Because they hope I’ll buy Pay-Per-View and pay to keep or add premium channels

Blockbuster TotalAccess
What they don’t know is I’m a loyal Blockbuster Online subscriber. I’ll NEVER keep their crappy cable service. Actually, I had canceled their free service a month early last time we had it.

However, this past Wednesday, Comcast called me directly to offer their service. Turns out they really want to give me this free service!

I get 12 months free digital service, 6 months of HBO, 6 months of Starz, the box shipped for free, and they automatically cancel HBO and Starz at the end the 6 months!

I took the offer. Now I’m just waiting for the cable box. How could I pass this up?

Have any of you gotten this offer and declined? Can you justify your reason?

About the author

Clever Dude


  • I’m sure they’re also hoping that you’ll upgrade to their DVR. You should do it…Completely convert to the dark side.

  • […] this week, I told you I got Comcast Digital Cable for 12 months for free. Plus they threw in 6 months of all the HBO and Starz channels and mailed me the self-install kit […]

  • I too got a call from comcast yesterday 4/5/07. I currently have expanded basic cable. With taxes and everything it runs a good $40+ bucks a month. The lady told me they are offering enhanced digital cable to current loyal comcast customers. I get 3 DVR boxes that record 60 hours each. Free service for 12 months. After 12 months my bill goes up ony $1.00 a month (not a typo….$1 a month). I drilled and drilled her to find the secret hidden scam, but she assured me it’s true. Just does not sound right at all. DHL will have the self install DVR’s delivered to my house in 3 days. I searched and searched the net, and this is the only site I found anything about it. Can ANYONE elaborate if this is a scam or not?????? I’m in the Seattle area (actually north of seattle in Edmonds, Wa.). Thanks all. JD

  • JD, that’s a very different offer than what I was offered and what I saw on the web. I only got a dinky digital box that doesn’t even show the channel or time. I get HBO/Starz for 6 months and supposedly they auto cancel it without my having to call in to cancel.

    My bill has gone up about $2 because of taxes and whatever else they assess (sorry don’t have the bill with me right now). So, I’m paying $2 to watch about 5 HBO movies and a couple weekends of Globe Trekker each month.

    I would say for you to call back Comcast directly and talk to a manager. Ask them what the offer is, get their name, employee number, and direct phone number if possible. If they tell you the same thing as when you signed up, then you got a great deal!

  • I called and go the “free” promotion for one year of free digital cable plus HBO and Starz for 6 months…it’s a scam. I was told it was availble to basic subscribers…which I am. I got a bill for $82. I paid $16.41 with basic limited. They are telling me that in order to give me the free digital cable..they had to start charging me for basic expanded. This is not what I was told over the phone when I called about the promotion. I was told I would only have to pay a one-time $19 installion free and $3.50 a month for the converter box. So that would make my bill $19.91. When I called to work this out..they basically said I was a liar and that the person I talked to would never have told me these prices.

  • ITS A SCAM! I don’t know how they can get away with this. I received a flyer for free digital cable for one year. I thought it was too good to be true, so I called Comcast to confirm. After the rep told me that I would in fact get to enjoy digital cable for free, I signed up. I then received a bill for even more than what I originally paid. Now they are saying they don’t know what I’m talking about, and that there was no such promotion. This is illegal, and I feel powerless in the situation. Any advice?

  • SW – Is your bill for a dollar or two more than normal? If so, they’re charging you for the box and remote rental, plus taxes. It should have been outlined in your agreement (it was in mine).

    Unfortunately, in just a couple years, we’ll all need to either buy or rent digital converters like these (if you don’t have one built into your TV) as we all must switch to digital rather than analog cable. Even if you have basic!

    If you don’t like the deal, you could call and threaten to cancel unless they refund the extra charges and stop charging for the “rental”. Hey, it might work!

  • Back in April I got a call from a telemarketer telling me I could get 3 free digital boxes for 1 year because I was a valued Comcast subscriber. I had the Expanded cable package and pay $54 a month. I asked her what the catch was and she said “none” but I still didn’t believe her, I felt like she was just trying to reach a quota.

    So I called Comcast directly and they said they had no idea about that deal. But they said they did have a deal for free digital cable for one year at no charge. I confirmed my bill would still be exactly $54 and she said “yes” with no other fees.

    So I picked up my digital box at my local office and started using it. My first bill came and it was $10 over what I expected. I was charged $2 for a “change of service” fee and $8 more for the digital package. I called and explained the situation and they credited me $8 for the package but not for the service fee. Whatever.

    Now I just got my second bill and now it’s $4 too much. I called again and now they’re telling me they have no idea about the promotion I’m talking about and that I have to pay for the box each month if I want to keep it. They have no “records or notes” of anyone giving me this promotion. What the heck! I’m ready to cancel Comcast and switch to anything else. FIOS isn’t available yet in my area.

  • You guys are making me nervous about moving into Comcast’s service area next week.

    I’ve also got a account and a TiVo so I might just go for the regular analog expanded basic service for $47.99/Mo. and not even bother with their free digital trap.

  • Free Digital Starter for 1 Year –> RIP-OFF

    I’ve already had just about enough go-rounds with this issue and I’m too mad to do it again right now. So I’ll keep this simple and short.
    Comcast called me and offered their Digital Starter Kit and one year free Digital Service. They promised it at no additional cost.

    I have since seen others that were also offered 6 months of HBO and Starz or Cinemax or something.They did not offer me anything more than just digital service with some free On-Demand movies and the opportunity to buy more and Pay-Per-View (none of which I wanted).

    Then they charged me for the two Starter Kits (you can get up to four).

    Then they charged me more per month for Digital Service.

    After many hours and many phone calls, it turns out that they took away my Senior Citizen Discount. After many more hours of calling, an Executive named Wm. Cochrane agreed that the Senior Discount DOES apply to Digital Service. He said everything would be corrected on my next bill or two. Currently, Mr. Cochrane is not returning my calls.

    Everything seemed fine for a month or so, but then I was charged again for one Starter Kit plus sales tax. Also, my monthly charge was still too high. Comcast is now charging me $3.99 a month for one of the digital boxes and remote (the other is still free).

    Comcast now claims I can have the Free Year of Digital Service OR my 10% Senior Citizen Discount, but not BOTH.

    Then why is Comcast calling Seniors and making this offer? It is misleading at best and FRAUD at worst.

    How many others have they cheated and victimized? This looks like a Comcast trick to make some customers to pay MORE not less.

    Have you been victimized? Do you know anyone who has?

    Send emails to:

    Please state on which forum/bulletin board you saw this post.
    Thank You

  • Victim: Your story sounds pretty bad, but the only problem I had was they tried to start charging me for the digital converter after 6 months. I called them and got it settled with the first call.

    I have to admit that I like their on-demand, since we can see many shows from cable that we couldn’t otherwise see since we don’t have more than plain basic cable.

  • Folks,
    I work for a cable company. I can only tell you this…
    Every different department of our company has different promotions available and each department cannot use another department’s promo. So what this means to you is… If you are given an offer by one person, but instead try to get the same offer from a different person (from another department) you most likely wont get the same deal.
    So…If your not sure right then and there, and you want to think about it, just tell the salesperson to call (or come) back the next day so you can think about it. Also, NEVER give out your credit card or bank account information. If this company knows you are already a subscriber, then they should already have your info on file. They may however, need you to confirm your date of birth, last 4 of your social, or maybe your Driver’s license to know you are the paying subscriber and not a babysitter/houseguest/etc…
    Hope this clears things up a little.
    Cable Guy.

  • Comcast has worn me down! It started with the move from TW. A rep came by with a package that would add phone service to my cable and internet for only 9 dollars more AND I would get ALL the movie channels free for one year for 129.00. Free installation. No extra charges. Didn’t need the phone, but I agreed. This was all spelled out on TW receipt. When the comcast guy showed up couple of weeks later as scheduled, he had a Comcast invoice with all this on Comcast invoice. Great. A week later, I still didnt have all the channels and called tech support directly and told him. He looked, agreed that I wasn’t getting what I was supposed to and said he would add the channels. Later, all the channels were there except a few that I let slide. Great! But then comes the bill for 220 dollars. 180 of which was the package charges, and the other various charges for ‘changing my service’. Called the reps and they told me I changed my service and the package I got costs more. I assured her I did not and would not because it is silly to think I would pay over 50 dollars more to get less or the same channels for more money. She finally conceded that an error had been made, but could not give back the price I had because the deal was for ‘old’ (a month) TW codes. After this I can remember going through this same speech to managers, reps and waiting for call backs from higher ups that never came. I DONT HAVE TIME to spend hours and hours on such as this! I finally called and dropped my service down to a price I could afford in the meantime. I am looking for some alternative that will give me satisfaction. It is Sunday, but tomorrow when the offices are open I am going to explore something I have seen googling around about getting the LIMITED BASIC cable and keep my High Speed internet. Please comment if you can think of a way that I could have MADE these people keep promises. I have been ineffective an wasted my time and feel real screwed and powerless about it!

  • Kenny, I’d say if the only thing you could have done was to go up the chain. I’ve also learned that yelling at them and losing your patience gets you nowhere (well, that’s in life in general). I’d be upset about a $200+ cable bill too!

    This digital cable is up in about 4-5 months, and I looked at the prices. I’m not renewing the digital because the cheapest plan is about $60-70. I like the On-Demand (took 6 months to find the glory in it. I thought it was just PPV movies), and if I could get that for $20 a month, I would. However, we’ll just stick with basic cable and Vonage, similar to your new situation I guess.

  • Who cares?
    Don’t you people have other things to do than just sit around and watch movies on Cable or whatever??

    Get a real Life!

  • The offers Comcast give you when you call are totally unrelated to their actual service dept. The man at the servioce counter where we went to pick up a box said you can call back the same phone number and they will give you a different deal each time. IS THIS BOGUS OR WHAT. MAYBE WE NEED TO DO AWAY WITH DEREGULATION. WE DON’T HAVE ANY CABLE COMPETITIOR IN OUR MARKET.

  • Billy J. Don’t you have anything better to do than sit around and abuse people online? Yea I know it’s from 2008, but it needed to be said.

    I currently have comcast limited basic cable(I got in apparently before they cut it off and I will keep it forever) with comcast internet. My bill is now $58/month. If I didn’t convert to limited basic cable, it would be over $70/month for just internet.

    I agree with everyone(on this site and others) I don’t understand how any cable company is allowed to have a monopoly in Metro areas(or any areas) Where are the Anti-trust laws?

  • Well, actually I gotta say that this a pretty much daily situation to me. I work as a customer service employee, and there are always reps that try to sell services by skipping certain fees and charges, or just forgetting them.

    But actually what was said before is true, depending on the department you are you may be able to get certain promotions that you wouldn’t in any other. I recommend you guys to ask for the cancellations department when you are having issues with a package that was promised to you. And when you start any new deal try to get all information, write it down along with the operator ID and the employee’s name.

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