Comcast New Customer Free Installation

Comcast is making it difficult for many new customers to avoid paying installation fees—even if they purchase their own modems and are willing to set them up themselves.

  1. Comcast New Customer Free Installation Service
  2. Comcast New Customer Free Installation Codes
  3. Comcast Installation Appointment
  4. Comcast Installation Customer Service

Comcast provided a long statement explaining when it will waive the installation fee: For internet-only customers, we offer two options that do not require an in-home tech visit. Bloomberg photo by Charles Mostoller. Comcast said Thursday it would extend its offer of 60 days of free service for new customers of Internet Essentials, the company's program aimed at low-income.

Based on our tests, signing up for standalone Internet or TV service on Comcast.com often requires payment of a $59.99 or $89.99 installation fee, depending on where you live. (The fee was $60 in two Massachusetts suburbs and $90 at homes in Houston, Texas, and Seattle, Washington.) In cases where the $60 or $90 fee is charged, the fee is required whether you purchase your own modem or rent one from Comcast for another $11 a month.

The installation fee might be charged even if the home you're buying service at has existing Comcast service, and even if you order Internet speeds lower than those purchased by the current occupant. That means the fee is charged even when Comcast doesn't have to make any upgrades at the house or apartment you're moving into. Internet speed makes no difference, as the fee may be charged whether you purchase 15Mbps downloads or gigabit service.

'We can't offer self-install kits for residences that we already serve with an existing customer,' a Comcast spokesperson told us. Comcast said it requires professional installations for 'complex' cases.

Comcast New Customer Free Installation Service

Bundle up to avoid the fee

You can avoid the installation fee by purchasing certain bundles that include both TV and Internet, but the fee is often mandatory if you buy only TV service or broadband individually. The $60 or $90 fee is also charged when you buy phone service only or a 'double-play' package of phone service and broadband.

We tested this by entering addresses into Comcast's online sign-up system and going through most of the process of signing up for service. In cases where Comcast requires the fee, we were unable to get to the 'Submit Order' page unless we scheduled a 'professional installation' and submitted credit card information. Getting one of Comcast's self-install kits wasn't even an option in these cases.

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The fee isn't always required. A Comcast spokesperson provided us with five addresses in different states where Comcast's online system offers the option of a free self-install kit:

When asked why free self-install kits are available for these addresses, Comcast told us, 'These are all homes for sale in our footprint that previously had Comcast services.'

But our tests of Ars staff addresses indicate there are at least two common scenarios in which you'd have to pay the fee. If you live in a house in Comcast's territory but currently subscribe to something else, like Verizon FiOS, our tests indicate that you have to agree to pay the installation fee in order to switch to Comcast.

Secondly, if you're moving into a home that's still occupied and the current resident has Comcast service, you'd have to pay the installation fee. This would occur if you sign up for service in advance when you're planning to move into a new home or apartment almost immediately after the current resident leaves.

Comcast's fees vary so much by geographic location and bundle that we can't be sure that these general guidelines will hold true in every case. But it's clear that there are multiple circumstances in which Comcast will not allow new customers to order service online unless they agree to a pricey installation, even when they have their own modem and could plug it in themselves.

Please complete your order!

A Comcast spokesperson initially disputed our findings—even though they were based entirely on the results provided by Comcast's website. The Comcast spokesperson told us that a new customer can't sign up for service online at an address that currently has a paying Comcast customer, because its system has a business rule in place to automatically flag such an address. Comcast told us that in these cases, a new customer would be required to talk to a Comcast agent, who would presumably ensure that the current resident is actually moving out before allowing the new customer to hook up to Comcast's network. Because of that, Comcast told us that we shouldn't assume that the installation fee listed on its website would actually be charged.

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But that doesn't appear to be true. I was able to schedule installation appointments and enter credit card numbers in order to sign up for service at homes where the current resident subscribes to Comcast. Hitting the 'Submit Order' button would have charged my card $50 immediately, enough to cover the first monthly payment of $30 and part of the installation fee.

I didn't actually click the 'Submit Order' button because I wanted to avoid credit card charges and a confusing situation with Comcast installers. But once I pointed this out to the Comcast spokesperson, the company stopped denying that it would be impossible to sign up for service at these homes without talking to a Comcast agent.

In the ensuing days, Comcast's automated system sent me two followup emails urging me to complete my order before I unsubscribed from the messages—I was never told that I had to talk to a Comcast agent in order to set up service.

The Comcast spokesperson told us that installation fees vary by market and on whether the company has a promotion running.

Comcast also told us that installation fees may be refunded when it turns out that no special installation was required. But it's clear that the Comcast website often forces customers to schedule a professional installation and agree to the fee in order to complete an order.

Once you've agreed to the fee and paid a deposit, actually getting a refund could be tricky. Because the default setting is a required payment, customers may not even realize it's possible to get a refund.

Comcast provided a statement for our story:

Comcast new installation phone number

For Internet-only customers, we offer two options that do not require an in-home tech visit. A customer can use an Xfinity self-install kit with a modem leased from Comcast, or purchase his/her own modem. Orders can be completed online, in-person at an Xfinity retail store, or by phone. We've worked hard to make the self-install experience simple and easy and it's a growing and popular way for new customers to connect. When the installation is more complex, we schedule a technician visit. There are reasons that an in-home technician visit may be necessary. For example, if our engineers need to test signal strength and connections in a home that hasn't been serviced in a number of years, or if the installation is more complicated for products like Gigabit Internet or there are multiple services (like home security) being installed. For these situations, we offer competitively priced options, which vary by market.

Judging by that Comcast statement, you'd think there would be no installation fee when you buy your own modem and are moving into a house that already has Comcast service. But as we've shown in this article, the fee is often required in those situations.

Q. My cable TV service with Comcast has been acting up lately, but I am scared to death to call someone out to the home to fix it with the Coronavirus out there. Is there any way to fix it without having to see someone? That’s what scares me the most. What is Comcast doing to protect us? Is it safe to have the cable guy come out to your house? — Kathryn, Arlington, Virginia.

Kathryn, that’s a great question for which I wish I could give you a definitive answer. But as with food delivery, and other at-home service calls now, it’s impossible to know with certainty if there’s a risk or not. Any engagement with a fellow human being right now is fraught with fear and the unknown, which is why health and government officials are urging everyone to practice social distancing.

The anxiety among pay TV subscribers may be particularly high now after the tragic news this week that a Comcast home service technician died from the Coronavirus, just 10 days after he visited several homes in Bloomfield, New Jersey. There’s no evidence that any of the Bloomfield customers caught the virus from the technician, but the possibility can put a scary picture in any customer’s head.

Cable and satellite TV services, including Comcast, are keenly aware of consumer concerns regarding home visits, and have taken steps to try to ensure a safe call as well as soothe anxieties.

The TV Answer Man asked Comcast for its new safety precautions, and you can see them below:

Comcast
The nation’s largest cable operator has decided to end all in-home installations for new customers. Instead, the Comcast technician will perform the outside work required for a new installation, and then leave a package at your door with your equipment and detailed activation instructions on the scheduled installation day.

The self-activation kit will also include access to videos, FAQs and troubleshooting support at xfinity.com/selfinstall. If the new services include Internet, you can download the xFi app ahead of the installation for faster and easier activation.

Comcast’s decision to end new in-home installations is a bold one, considering that many consumers are not tech-savvy and may choose not to order its service without a professional installation. This could diminish Comcast’s new subscriber totals in the coming weeks and months.

But the decision is certainly an understandable one considering the company just lost one of its own.

“We are staying consistent with the advice of our government and public health officials and limiting contact as much as possible, including when technicians entering customer homes,” the cable operator states at its web site.

Comcast says it will also not charge a new customer for a technician appointment.

For existing customers, Comcast says most issues can be resolved digitally using the company’s support tools. You can find technical support information at Xfinity.com by searching for ‘How to Get Help.’

However, if your services are still not working, Comcast sends it will send a technician into your home to resolve the issue. Before the technician comes inside, Comcast’s customer service will ask you the following questions to protect his or her safety:

* Are you under quarantine for the Coronavirus?
* Are you experiencing flu-like symptoms?
* Have you been exposed to someone with the Coronavirus or flu-like symptoms over the last 14 days?

If the answer to any of those questions is yes, Comcast will ask that you reschedule the appointment.

To protect your safety, you can request that your technician show you a certification that shows that they:

* Have not traveled to any country that is designated “Level 2” or “Level 3” by the CDC in the last 14 days;
* Are not aware they’ve had direct contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with Coronavirus;
* Are not currently subject to any mandatory quarantine;
* Have not had a fever or flu-like symptoms in the last 14 days.

Comcast New Customer Free Installation Codes

Comcast says the technician will also wash his or her hands before and after every customer visit.

Comcast Installation Appointment

Kathryn, I don’t know if that alleviates your concerns. But I think it’s clear that Comcast is taking the Coronavirus quite seriously, and possibly, more seriously than any other pay TV operator right now, for obvious reasons.

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Comcast Installation Customer Service

— Phillip Swann