They did it again. In January of 2020, Comcast Xfinity raised their modem rental fee to $14, up from $13 previously. This makes Xfinity’s annual modem rental fee $168! If you have opted for the “Xfinity xFi”, as of late 2020, your cost is now $25/month ($300 per year)!
The new modem rental price increases quietly hit customer’s bills, with notification buried deep on pages 4 and 5 of the prior month’s bill. Can Comcast raise modem rental and other fees, even if you have a contracted package price?
It turns out, they can. Xfinity states the following on a Xfinity price changes page:
If you have a promotional price or minimum-term agreement for specific services, prices for those services won’t change until that period is over. However, taxes and fees such as equipment charges, the Broadcast TV Fee and Regional Sports Network Fee, and service to additional TVs may change as needed. View your billing statement in My Account to see your plan, charges, and fees anytime.
Bolded emphasis on “equipment charges”, e.g. gateway/modem/router devices.
What can you do to fight this injustice? It turns out, a lot.
Cutting your Comcast Modem Rental Fee to Nothing is Easy
$168 per year ($14 x 12 months) is a steep price to pay to simply borrow an Xfinity modem. And while Comcast’s modem rental prices keep going up, the actual price for you to purchase equipment that is at least as equally as functional as Comcast’s has steeply declined.
This makes the prospect of ditching your rented Comcast Xfinity modem/router for your own even more lucrative than it has been in the past.
I’ve previously written about how to replace your Xfinity modem with your own as the most efficient way to get rid of your Xfinity modem rental fee and cut your Comcast bill (without having to negotiate with Comcast). The process is the same as replacing any ISP’s modem with your own, so this lesson is applicable to any ISP that allows you to do so:
- Buy a compatible modem and router (see links and recommendations below)
- Call your ISP’s tech support to activate your new modem (if it does not activate online at xfinity.com/activate when you plug it in). Xfinity’s customer service # is 1 (800) 934-6489.
- Connect your devices.
- Return your leased ISP modem – and get a receipt in case they try to charge you! Here is a list of Xfinity’s store locations where you can return your device.
- Contact customer service to make sure they remove the modem rental fee. And double-check your next billing statement.
What Should I Replace my Comcast Modem/Router with?
Comcast touts their gateways (a modem + router combo housed in 1 device) as something special. They aren’t. Any of the following Comcast-supported modem/router combinations will have similar function at today’s (and the foreseeable future’s) connection speeds:
All are priced around $90 and under, compatible with Xfinity Comcast (& many other ISP’s), and are top sellers on Amazon.
- ARRIS SURFboard SB6190 (32×8) – up to 859 Mbps
- NETGEAR CM700 (32×8) – up to 935 Mbps
- Motorola MB7621 (24×8) – up to 845 Mbps
All handle speeds of at least 300 Mbps + 900 Mbps with dual band (2.4 & 5 GHz, respectively), strong WiFi range, & are highly rated Amazon best sellers, under $75.
It is cheaper to purchase them both separately versus a 2-in-1 gateway unit, has the same functionality, and it protects you in the future if you want to upgrade either the modem or router functionality (versus having to replace the entire high cost unit).
With most of these modem and router combos, you will pay less than the $168 or $300 annually that Xfinity will charge and then save that amount for many years to come. Why wouldn’t you make the switch?
Update: you can now also replace your Xfinity DVR & TV Box with your own compatible streaming device like a Roku or Smart TV, saving at least another $7.50 per month, per device!