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Consumer Alert

Comcast confusion: Bill questions? Just ask them

View imageQ. We have Comcast as our cable provider and we have the “digital starter” package, along with two DVRs – as my wife and I watch TV in separate rooms. The DVR service requires “Whole House HD Technology” at a separate charge of $9.95, in addition to the DVR service at $8 for a total of $17.95. What I don’t understand, and have never been able to get a good explanation from Comcast is, why I pay a second fee of $9.95 per month, for the second DVR, when the fee is for the “Whole House?”

Irv Arons, Peabody

A. Looking at the bill it does seem confusing, with the first DVR costing $8 plus the $9.95 “Whole House” fee and the second one costing $17.95 – coincidentally the same combined price of the DVR charge and “Whole House” fee.

Comcast spokesman Marc Goodman explained that customers are only charged the “Whole House” technology fee once. While your bill does make reference to that fee in the description of the second DVR service, you aren’t being charged twice. The second $9.95 monthly charge is the cost of the additional cable box to provide service to your second television.

“We try to provide our customers with detailed bills and as much transparency as possible,” Goodman said. “We’ve reached out to Mr. Arons to better explain the charges on his bill, which are correct, however we understand might have been somewhat confusing.”

Because of the misunderstanding, as a goodwill gesture, the folks at Comcast made an adjustment that adds up to one year of $9.95 charges. Goodman suggested that customers with questions about their bills or services call, check online, or XFINITY My Account App that can be downloaded from the Apple App Store.

If you’re confused about a bill or want to re-evaluate the services you’re receiving, call your provider. All consumers should be aware of what they are paying for.

If you’re looking to trim costs, it’s worthwhile going through your bill to see if there’s any service you can live without. In addition, you could find out if would be beneficial changing to a different package. In other words, ask until you get an answer you can live with.

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