They did it again. Just 1 year after raising their already ridiculous modem rental fee by 10% (from $10 to $11), Comcast XFinity has now raised their modem rental fee to $13 – an 18% year-over-year price increase.
The new modem rental price increase quietly hit customer’s bills in December, 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 “Service Price and Fee Changes” page:
If you are currently receiving Xfinity services with a promotion or a minimum-term agreement associated with a specific rate, or in the guaranteed period of one of our SurePrice plans*, the prices for those specific services will not change during the applicable period. However, the following may change at any time during the promotion period:
- Taxes and fees
- The Broadcast TV Fee and the Regional Sports Network Fee
- Equipment charges
- Charges for service to additional TVs
- Other additional services
Bolded emphasis on “Equipment charges”, i.e. gateway/modem/router.
What can you do to fight this injustice? It turns out, a lot.
Cutting your Comcast Modem Rental Fee to Nothing is Easy
$156 per year ($13 x 12 months) is a steep price to pay to simply borrow an XFinity modem (would you pay a friend or neighbor to do the same? Probably not). 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 for your home has actually 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. 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 automatically 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 unit) 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:
The below models can handle speeds up to 686 Mbps – which means they will be compatible with XFinity speeds for many years. All are priced at around $60 and under and are top sellers on Amazon.
- ARRIS SURFboard SB6183 (16×4)
- Motorola MB7420 (16×4)
- NETGEAR CM500-1AZNAS (16×4)
- TP-Link TC-7620 (16×4)
The below models handle speeds of at least 300 Mbps + 900 Mbps with dual band (2.4 & 5 GHz), and have strong wifi range – which will make them current and forward compatible for many years. All are highly rated Amazon best sellers and under $60.
With these prices, this means you will pay AT MOST $120 for the modem and router combo of your choice, pocket at least $36 in savings within the first year, and then save at least $156 annually for many years to come. Why wouldn’t you make the switch?