Why switch to Comcast X1?

philb2

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So my wife and I are very happy with our old non-X1 system. But I had to replace the set top box a few months ago, and the store rep did a hard sell on me. Told me that the old boxes are long out of production, etc. etc. Try to FUD me big time. [Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt. Used by lots of sales people.]

So my wife is happy recording more shows than there are hours in the day or even week. But the hard drive is still only 25% full. I know that all those recordings will be lost if switch to X1. So can someone help me to understand exactly why I need to switch to X1. Or more accurately, why Comcast wants me to switch to X1.
 

GotNoRice

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There is no reason to switch really. They want to continue to be your entertainment gateway - the place you go when you watch TV, even if you are going to use a 3rd party app like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, etc. Being your entertainment gateway gives them the ability to sell you more ads, and make sure that their services are pushed/incentivized over others. They are losing tons of TV customers to people just using apps on their TV, and this is their attempt to go with the flow instead of fighting the inevitable, perhaps retaining more customers in the process. It's the same reason why Amazon sells Firesticks at break-even prices or even at a slight loss. Even if you mainly use the Firestick for non-amazon apps, at least you're still looking at Amazon content on your home screen, etc. And when you use the voice search with a Firestick it always shows Amazon results first. I'd imagine that with the X1 system, Comcast/NBC content will always be prioritized over 3rd party content if you did a similar search (if it even shows 3rd party content during a search at all).

As a bonus, they will probably make you sign a contract that bundles your TV services with your internet connection, making it harder to cancel the TV side of things later on and use Comcast/Xfinity only for Internet.
 

philb2

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There is no reason to switch really. They want to continue to be your entertainment gateway - the place you go when you watch TV, even if you are going to use a 3rd party app like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, etc. Being your entertainment gateway gives them the ability to sell you more ads, and make sure that their services are pushed/incentivized over others. They are losing tons of TV customers to people just using apps on their TV, and this is their attempt to go with the flow instead of fighting the inevitable, perhaps retaining more customers in the process. It's the same reason why Amazon sells Firesticks at break-even prices or even at a slight loss. Even if you mainly use the Firestick for non-amazon apps, at least you're still looking at Amazon content on your home screen, etc. And when you use the voice search with a Firestick it always shows Amazon results first. I'd imagine that with the X1 system, Comcast/NBC content will always be prioritized over 3rd party content if you did a similar search (if it even shows 3rd party content during a search at all).

As a bonus, they will probably make you sign a contract that bundles your TV services with your internet connection, making it harder to cancel the TV side of things later on and use Comcast/Xfinity only for Internet.
GotNoRice

OK. So I should not feel "guilty" that I'm not going along with the program. Some comcast people have pulled a sort of "Hey boomer, you are behind the times" crap on me. Foo on them.
 

SamirD

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There is no reason to switch really. They want to continue to be your entertainment gateway - the place you go when you watch TV, even if you are going to use a 3rd party app like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, etc. Being your entertainment gateway gives them the ability to sell you more ads, and make sure that their services are pushed/incentivized over others. They are losing tons of TV customers to people just using apps on their TV, and this is their attempt to go with the flow instead of fighting the inevitable, perhaps retaining more customers in the process. It's the same reason why Amazon sells Firesticks at break-even prices or even at a slight loss. Even if you mainly use the Firestick for non-amazon apps, at least you're still looking at Amazon content on your home screen, etc. And when you use the voice search with a Firestick it always shows Amazon results first. I'd imagine that with the X1 system, Comcast/NBC content will always be prioritized over 3rd party content if you did a similar search (if it even shows 3rd party content during a search at all).

As a bonus, they will probably make you sign a contract that bundles your TV services with your internet connection, making it harder to cancel the TV side of things later on and use Comcast/Xfinity only for Internet.
Absolutely dead-on. Remember, in today's world, honesty and integrity are dead and buried and have been replaced by 'FU, I've got mine!', so when someone wants you to do something, you need to first ask how it benefits them. Then if it also benefits you, it's a win-win, but a lot of times it's just someone trying to hustle you.
GotNoRice

OK. So I should not feel "guilty" that I'm not going along with the program. Some comcast people have pulled a sort of "Hey boomer, you are behind the times" crap on me. Foo on them.
Hell no. In fact, Comcast should feel shame for making you feel guilty in the first place. Scummy upsell tactics have become daily business and getting anyone to even do an honest job that they're not directly getting some sort of incentive for has become nearly impossible.

Case in point is when my parents' iphone 4's were going to stop working because Sprint/Tmobile merger blah blah whatever. Fine, so what's the catch--told us need to buy new phones. Well, we have no contract so what's the incentive to stay vs switch? After rep did some digging, they found out that we could actually get some free iphones, no contract, no catch. Well, when I walked into a store that had phones in stock to do this, it took about 3 people to finally have them confirm this, and then they really didn't want to do it because no sales commission upsell, etc. Fine, you don't get paid so great in your job, but then why the hell is your $40 nail job and $120 hair do my problem? Save your money and do your MF job while you're here to do that.
 

philb2

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Absolutely dead-on. Remember, in today's world, honesty and integrity are dead and buried and have been replaced by 'FU, I've got mine!', so when someone wants you to do something, you need to first ask how it benefits them. Then if it also benefits you, it's a win-win, but a lot of times it's just someone trying to hustle you.

Hell no. In fact, Comcast should feel shame for making you feel guilty in the first place. Scummy upsell tactics have become daily business and getting anyone to even do an honest job that they're not directly getting some sort of incentive for has become nearly impossible.

Case in point is when my parents' iphone 4's were going to stop working because Sprint/Tmobile merger blah blah whatever. Fine, so what's the catch--told us need to buy new phones. Well, we have no contract so what's the incentive to stay vs switch? After rep did some digging, they found out that we could actually get some free iphones, no contract, no catch. Well, when I walked into a store that had phones in stock to do this, it took about 3 people to finally have them confirm this, and then they really didn't want to do it because no sales commission upsell, etc. Fine, you don't get paid so great in your job, but then why the hell is your $40 nail job and $120 hair do my problem? Save your money and do your MF job while you're here to do that.
I think that as a class, there is a reason why cable companies are about as well liked as the airlines. Hint: most people hate the airline companies. This is based on solid market research I've seen on consumer attitudes and preferences.
 

SamirD

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I think that as a class, there is a reason why cable companies are about as well liked as the airlines. Hint: most people hate the airline companies. This is based on solid market research I've seen on consumer attitudes and preferences.
I think it boils down to one reason--the lack of integrity. If you read the terms of service agreements, you basically are giving up all your legal rights and they are the right to get paid even when their service doesn't work--that's just plain dishonesty. If people just wouldn't agree to this crap, we could change the way they work, but people don't read what they're agreeing to. All telecommunications companies have turned into these monsters.
 

philb2

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I think it boils down to one reason--the lack of integrity. If you read the terms of service agreements, you basically are giving up all your legal rights and they are the right to get paid even when their service doesn't work--that's just plain dishonesty. If people just wouldn't agree to this crap, we could change the way they work, but people don't read what they're agreeing to. All telecommunications companies have turned into these monsters.
Abso-freakin-lutely. Blame this situation on the lack of real competiton and a weak FCC. I could say more, but I won't.:censored:
 

SamirD

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Abso-freakin-lutely. Blame this situation on the lack of real competiton and a weak FCC. I could say more, but I won't.:censored:
I don't think it's only a lack of competition because there is enough competition that one provider could say no to bad terms and tout that as an advantage. The biggest problem is people don't stand up to terms bullying. If enough people walked out on mandatory arbitration clauses and the like and simply worked with someone else who didn't have these in place, it would change the agreements. But today, people are so utterly stupid that they will sign up for apps that ask for banking info without even reading what the app is doing with that info. :banghead:
 

philb2

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I don't think it's only a lack of competition because there is enough competition that one provider could say no to bad terms and tout that as an advantage. The biggest problem is people don't stand up to terms bullying. If enough people walked out on mandatory arbitration clauses and the like and simply worked with someone else who didn't have these in place, it would change the agreements. But today, people are so utterly stupid that they will sign up for apps that ask for banking info without even reading what the app is doing with that info. :banghead:
In an ideal world, some provider could do that. But the world, at least in the USA, is not exactly idea. [As an aside, whenever I'm traveling on business to Europe, I'm amazed at how cheap cellphone service is there, compared to the USA.]

These damn almost monopoly companies spend a lot of money hiring fancy lobbyists to snooker the FCC and other agencies into promoting anti-consumer policies. Comcast, Verizon, AT&T,. they are all greedy.
 

AgrFan

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So can someone help me to understand exactly why I need to switch to X1. Or more accurately, why Comcast wants me to switch to X1.

Supporting outdated technology is costly. Their goal is to have all of their customers on a single platform. Eventually your outdated equipment will stop working and they will no longer support it. This is how technology works.

Comcast, Verizon, AT&T,. they are all greedy.

Have you contacted the Comcast Retention Department yet to review your bill for any cost savings?
 
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philb2

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Supporting outdated technology is costly. Their goal is to have all of their customers on a single platform. Eventually your outdated equipment will stop working and they will no longer support it. This is how technology works.
My career was in tech, so I understand that. That's why new PCs don't have floppy drives or IDE interfaces. But Comcast could have chosen to tell the set top box makers that they wanted a new rev of a box for local storage. They did not. It was a marketing/revenue decision.
Have you contacted the Comcast Retention Department yet to review your bill for any cost savings?
No, thanks for this suggestion. I have had an ongoing issue with my email for two months now, and I even wrote a letter a few days ago to Comcast corporate documenting in detail the issues. That was after second-level support people said they couldn't help me. I should ask for refunds for service not provided. Much thanks for this suggestion.
 

AgrFan

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Comcast could have chosen to tell the set top box makers that they wanted a new rev of a box for local storage.

Xfinity X1 DVR service is cloud based. Nothing is stored locally. This allows you to watch your recordings on any of your devices.

Basic X1 service includes 20 hours of cloud storage. 150 hours is $10 more. 300 hours is $20 more. I'm not sure how much storage you currently have on your current box. I'm guessing it's more than 20 hours. It appears you are uncomfortable paying extra for similar storage on X1.

X1 gives you more features and capabilities than what you have now. Negotiating a new X1 package via Retentions that includes 300 hours of cloud storage may get you close to what you are paying now. It's in their best interest to get you upgraded. I would definitely call them. You have nothing to lose.

Here's a few Xfinity reviews ...
https://www.reviews.org/tv-service/comcast-xfinity-x1-review/
https://www.reviews.org/tv-service/comcast-xfinity-review/
 
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philb2

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Xfinity X1 DVR service is cloud based. Nothing is stored locally. This allows you to watch your recordings on any of your devices.

Basic X1 service includes 20 hours of cloud storage. 150 hours is $10 more. 300 hours is $20 more. I'm not sure how much storage you currently have on your current box. I'm guessing it's more than 20 hours. It appears you are uncomfortable paying extra for similar storage on X1.

X1 gives you more features and capabilities than what you have now. Negotiating a new X1 package via Retentions that includes 300 hours of cloud storage may get you close to what you are paying now. It's in their best interest to get you upgraded. I would definitely call them. You have nothing to lose.

Here's a few Xfinity reviews ...
https://www.reviews.org/tv-service/comcast-xfinity-x1-review/
https://www.reviews.org/tv-service/comcast-xfinity-review/
Thanks, but I try to keep Comcast's claws out of my side as much as possible. Ha ha. I have cable, internet, VoIP phone and home security. I feel trapped, but I don't have to like it.
 

SamirD

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In an ideal world, some provider could do that. But the world, at least in the USA, is not exactly idea. [As an aside, whenever I'm traveling on business to Europe, I'm amazed at how cheap cellphone service is there, compared to the USA.]

These damn almost monopoly companies spend a lot of money hiring fancy lobbyists to snooker the FCC and other agencies into promoting anti-consumer policies. Comcast, Verizon, AT&T,. they are all greedy.
It's actually quite easy for a provider to do it as they used to not have draconian terms of service agreements.

Yeah, the whole concept of a lobbyist is practically criminal--a person you pay to 'influence' government officials?!?! Why should this be legal, again??
 

SamirD

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Supporting outdated technology is costly. Their goal is to have all of their customers on a single platform. Eventually your outdated equipment will stop working and they will no longer support it. This is how technology works.



Have you contacted the Comcast Retention Department yet to review your bill for any cost savings?
No, that's not how it works. The newer tech helps the company and the company forces the consumer to move to that tech for their own benefit. Because I can tell you from experience, there's not real difference in a docsis 1/2/3 modem from a consumer standpoint as bandwidth is bandwidth when it is working correctly.

Ah the game of calling the retention department to get a temporary discount until you call them again? Why not just have pricing without the games?
 

SamirD

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Thanks, but I try to keep Comcast's claws out of my side as much as possible. Ha ha. I have cable, internet, VoIP phone and home security. I feel trapped, but I don't have to like it.
There's ways to get away from that by moving to your own security system at least. Wireless cameras controlled by some company with no real interest in making sure it works right is pretty much useless since anyone with a wifi jammer can bypass them instantly.
 

AgrFan

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No, that's not how it works. The newer tech helps the company and the company forces the consumer to move to that tech for their own benefit. Because I can tell you from experience, there's not real difference in a docsis 1/2/3 modem from a consumer standpoint as bandwidth is bandwidth when it is working correctly.

No real differences between docsis 1/2/3 modems? You may want to read this -> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DOCSIS.

From a customer standpoint I would think it's important to have technology that works. Comcast stopped supporting docsis 1/2 modems years ago. This required upgrading to Docsis 3 modems. If your devices are no longer supported it's time to upgrade.

https://www.xfinity.com/support/articles/end-of-life-devices
 
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SamirD

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No real differences between docsis 1/2/3 modems? You may want to read this -> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DOCSIS.

From a customer standpoint I would think it's important to have technology that works. Comcast stopped supporting docsis 1/2 modems years ago. This required upgrading to Docsis 3 modems. If your devices are no longer supported it's time to upgrade.

https://www.xfinity.com/support/articles/end-of-life-devices
I don't need to read crap on the Internet, I remember the experiences with all those modems and the first cable modem ever that was completely pre-docsis--nothing docsis changed anything about how any of them worked from a user standpoint--bandwidth was bandwidth.

I'm not upgrading stuff until I determine that it needs upgrading, not some company who has self-serving interests that want to reach in my wallet. F that.
 

GotNoRice

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I don't need to read crap on the Internet, I remember the experiences with all those modems and the first cable modem ever that was completely pre-docsis--nothing docsis changed anything about how any of them worked from a user standpoint--bandwidth was bandwidth.

I'm not upgrading stuff until I determine that it needs upgrading, not some company who has self-serving interests that want to reach in my wallet. F that.

I've also used a lot of different modems going all the way back to the proprietary Motorola CyberSURFR modems back in the 90's. I'd agree that if your current modem is still giving you performance that you are happy with then there is no good reason to get a new modem "just because".

But there is absolutely a difference between modems, and those differences can have a noticeable impact on your service in many cases. One of the biggest differences between modems is the number of downstream and upstream channels that they support.

Channels (DOCSIS 3.0) - Max Theoretical Speed
4x4 - 172 Mbps
8x4 - 343 Mbps
16x4 - 686 Mbps
24x8 - 1000 Mbps
32x8 - 1400 Mbps

You only "need" a modem that has enough channels to support the speed that you subscribe to, but that is not the only benefit of additional channels. Even on a lower-speed tier, having more channels will help prevent slowdowns during peak hours because your bandwidth is spread out over more channels.

To be clear, I'm not suggesting that anyone buy into Comcast/Xfinity marketing regarding some trash new modem they are trying to rent out. People should buy their own modem, it's always the best way to go.
 

SamirD

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I've also used a lot of different modems going all the way back to the proprietary Motorola CyberSURFR modems back in the 90's. I'd agree that if your current modem is still giving you performance that you are happy with then there is no good reason to get a new modem "just because".

But there is absolutely a difference between modems, and those differences can have a noticeable impact on your service in many cases. One of the biggest differences between modems is the number of downstream and upstream channels that they support.

Channels (DOCSIS 3.0) - Max Theoretical Speed
4x4 - 172 Mbps
8x4 - 343 Mbps
16x4 - 686 Mbps
24x8 - 1000 Mbps
32x8 - 1400 Mbps

You only "need" a modem that has enough channels to support the speed that you subscribe to, but that is not the only benefit of additional channels. Even on a lower-speed tier, having more channels will help prevent slowdowns during peak hours because your bandwidth is spread out over more channels.

To be clear, I'm not suggesting that anyone buy into Comcast/Xfinity marketing regarding some trash new modem they are trying to rent out. People should buy their own modem, it's always the best way to go.
Don't disagree with anything you're saying except the part about the more channels being useful. I couldn't tell a difference on my 25/5 plans with the docsis 2 modems that 'needed to be replaced' by docsis 3 modems by the isp. The newer docsis 3 ones were so buggy at the time that I went back and demanded my old docsis 2 ones back and went back to being problem free.

The only other discrepancy is needing only a modem that has the number of channels for your speed--this is no longer true as isps will require modems that have many more channels than are needed 'just because isp'. And generally you can't fight the isp as they simply won't provide other modems a proper config file when connected to their network.

The only benefits of any of the newer docsis standards are for the isps/carriers. Some of these benefits may trickle down to the consumer, but usually it doesn't because as long as you're getting your bandwidth, that's all the isp needs to deliver (and according to the latest terms of service agreements, they don't even have to do that).
 

GotNoRice

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Don't disagree with anything you're saying except the part about the more channels being useful.

It depends on your node. More specifically, how many other people are on your same node and how much bandwidth they are using. Like I said, it mainly comes into play during peak hours. Just like when driving, a 2-lane freeway is the same speed as an 8-lane freeway if you are the only car on the freeway, but during rush-hour you will notice the difference...

There are plenty of areas where nodes are over-subscribed and this really comes into play. But even an under-subscribed node can have issues if a large percentage of the people on that node are heavy users. This is something that should be judged on a case-by-case basis, and just because you "couldn't tell a difference" doesn't mean that will also be true for someone else on a different node.
 

SamirD

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It depends on your node. More specifically, how many other people are on your same node and how much bandwidth they are using. Like I said, it mainly comes into play during peak hours. Just like when driving, a 2-lane freeway is the same speed as an 8-lane freeway if you are the only car on the freeway, but during rush-hour you will notice the difference...

There are plenty of areas where nodes are over-subscribed and this really comes into play. But even an under-subscribed node can have issues if a large percentage of the people on that node are heavy users. This is something that should be judged on a case-by-case basis, and just because you "couldn't tell a difference" doesn't mean that will also be true for someone else on a different node.
I think the node congestion conjecture is only when the isp hasn't done their job. I have dealt with literally dozens of cable isps and the only time when there has been an issue (who knows the real root cause besides 'signal issue'), it has been an isp issue and once they came and fixed the line all was well.

I am that heavy user since I've got 24x7 connections between many of the modems sending continuous data back and forth. If the number of channels would have made a difference more than bandwidth itself, it's going to be akin to a dog whistle for a human.

I think the more channels has only helped isps throttle better as my speeds used to be right at their stated speeds back in the day on older modems, but today it slowly 'ramps up' to the provided speed--almost as if they're only using a few channels until they have to. The problem with this 'load based' design is that if the system can't judge the load correctly, you'll get slow speeds. So the way to thwart this is to parallel the hell out of anything you download, which a lot things do by default now because of it. Another stupid isp cat and mouse game...
 

philb2

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Well, X1 or not is now a moot issue. Today I had the worst customer experience in many years with Comcast. I had written a 7 page letter directly to the Comcast CEO, with details and many screenshots. I just had call from someone in the Executive Office who was some kind of customer support agent, in the CEO's office. He was one or more of:
  • A total schmuck
  • An idiot, because it appeared that he understood my frustration, but didn't take any steps to really address it. (Although he mostly avoided that point.)
  • A tease, because he said that I would need to talk to the email server engineering team but said he didn't have the authority to set up that call
  • A major BS artist, because he kept on insisting that my issues with with my Outlook desktop client, even though I have the same issues with email on my iPhone/iPad. Even after I explained that theissues were also on my phhone, he kept on insisting that my problems were with Outlook.
  • Didn't take me seriously when I told him I was getting these 400 bad browser requests.
  • Despite his fancy/schmancy job title, has no more authority or training than the typical first-line support agent.
  • Has no motivation to please a 20+ year customer with multiple Comcast services.
  • Was castrated when he started this job. Right up to his shoulders.
In the meantime, I will call Comcast Customer Retention to beat them up for a discount. But I will also research alternatives, in a new thread. I am going to switch providers, even if takes months to sort out the issues.

My wife thinks I shouild write another letter to the Comcast CEO. I don't want to waste the time. Payback time. Instead, if I do anything I will do some twitter posts. (First I have to re-open my account.) Any good hashtags?
 

SamirD

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Well, X1 or not is now a moot issue. Today I had the worst customer experience in many years with Comcast. I had written a 7 page letter directly to the Comcast CEO, with details and many screenshots. I just had call from someone in the Executive Office who was some kind of customer support agent, in the CEO's office. He was one or more of:
  • A total schmuck
  • An idiot, because it appeared that he understood my frustration, but didn't take any steps to really address it. (Although he mostly avoided that point.)
  • A tease, because he said that I would need to talk to the email server engineering team but said he didn't have the authority to set up that call
  • A major BS artist, because he kept on insisting that my issues with with my Outlook desktop client, even though I have the same issues with email on my iPhone/iPad. Even after I explained that theissues were also on my phhone, he kept on insisting that my problems were with Outlook.
  • Didn't take me seriously when I told him I was getting these 400 bad browser requests.
  • Despite his fancy/schmancy job title, has no more authority or training than the typical first-line support agent.
  • Has no motivation to please a 20+ year customer with multiple Comcast services.
  • Was castrated when he started this job. Right up to his shoulders.
In the meantime, I will call Comcast Customer Retention to beat them up for a discount. But I will also research alternatives, in a new thread. I am going to switch providers, even if takes months to sort out the issues.

My wife thinks I shouild write another letter to the Comcast CEO. I don't want to waste the time. Payback time. Instead, if I do anything I will do some twitter posts. (First I have to re-open my account.) Any good hashtags?
So my cousin has had good results when finding the UPS CEO on linkedin and then hitting him up. My wife has had the same thing happen to her in her last job by some saavy customers. I think this is the route that I would take as it is very effective from all the hoops saw I my wife having to jump through to appease the customer. ;)

Oh and clear out the personal data from that 7 page letter and post it here and every forum and on every social media for the meme people to get a hold of it and make it go viral. :D
 

philb2

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Oh and clear out the personal data from that 7 page letter and post it here and every forum and on every social media for the meme people to get a hold of it and make it go viral. :D
Aside from my name and address, there really isn't much personal data. In my screenshots, I blanked out all the personal stuff. The letter is an MS Word docx file. Can I post that here? I would want to include a quick summary of what the Comcast a--hold told me today, as a second letter. (I do not want to engage any more with Comcast by writing another letter.)

I'm not a social media expert. What would be the best sites?
 

SamirD

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Aside from my name and address, there really isn't much personal data. In my screenshots, I blanked out all the personal stuff. The letter is an MS Word docx file. Can I post that here? I would want to include a quick summary of what the Comcast a--hold told me today, as a second letter. (I do not want to engage any more with Comcast by writing another letter.)

I'm not a social media expert. What would be the best sites?
I would convert the docx to pdf (zamzar is a good free site for conversions if you can't do it native) after removing your name and address and there's some sickos on the Internet so make sure there's nothing else that will allow them to trace it back. I'd make another pdf and call it 'reply.pdf'. Maybe the first one as 'dearcomcastceo.pdf'.

I don't know either but someone else will know someone to hand this off to that will get it running in the right circles on social. Any kid would know what to do with it so I would ask any you know.
 

philb2

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philb2, can you post your modem signal levels? Are there timeout messages in the modem logs?
I don't know how to do that, but signal strength has never been an issue for me, judging by the number of rings in my wi-fi indicator. This is typical

1656782833393.png
 

AgrFan

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Follow these instructions ...


Comcast technical support can check your signals levels for you if that makes it easier. If your levels are out of spec they will schedule a tech visit.

What is your modem brand/model?
 
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