Whether you are an unfortunate Comcast XFinity victim, er… customer or not, this article should still be of interest, because Comcast isn’t the only ISP with a history of erroneous (incorrect) modem rental fees.
In the past, I have provided guidance on how to replace a Comcast XFinity modem with your own, which is the best way to get rid of your Comcast XFinity modem rental fee. If you haven’t yet done this with Comcast (or your ISP), don’t hesitate. Comcast raised modem rental fees to $13 per month ($156 per year) in late 2018 ($15/month if you want the “xFi Advantage”), which means we’re about due for another modem rental fee increase sometime soon. Comcast is already making an estimated $1B+ per year from these fees – and you shouldn’t be a victim that adds to that ridiculous windfall.
Additionally, I recently discovered that Comcast is using your leased modem as a public WiFi hotspot (at your expense)! Here is how to opt out of Comcast using your modem as a public WiFi hotspot.
Replacing a Comcast owned and leased modem with your own is incredibly easy (I bought an ARRIS SB6190 cable modem (you may also want to check out the Motorola MB7621) and paired it with a NetGear AC1200 router. Doing the same will save you $156 per year. Not to mention, it is immensely satisfying to deny Comcast that extra $156 per year. Doing so requires a relatively small up-front investment and minimal technological know-how. And getting rid of one less fee gives you more leverage to negotiate your Comcast bill lower in other areas.
However, even if you’ve made the wise move to your own modem to avoid Comcast’s sting, it turns out Comcast might make a sneak attack on you anyways.
Many Comcast customers (myself included) sign up for autopay and might be completely missing unjustified fees. At the same time, trying to break down a Comcast billing statement is like reading a foreign language. It’s so difficult that they created an in-depth guide to understanding their bill.
Side note: it’s funny what happens when a little competition (or even the threat of it) is injected into a market that Comcast has a virtual monopoly in. Recently, AT&T U-Verse moved in to my neighborhood, and Comcast offered me new customer pricing on a contract renewal in order to compete on price.
Whether you have a viable alternative or not, you should get rid of your Comcast-leased modem and frequently check your bills to make sure you don’t have any erroneous modem rental fee charges for a modem you own.
Update: you can now also replace your XFinity DVR & TV Box with your own compatible streaming device like a Roku or Smart TV, saving $5 per month, per device.