Get 1 year of free community web site hosting from Community123.com!
Monday, October 18, 2021











HOATalk is a free service of Community123.com:

Easy to use website tools to help your board
Only members have access to all features.
Click here to join HOATalk for Free! Members click here to login and access all features.
Subject: Comcast Cable Bulk Rate Contracts - Good or Bad?
Prev Next
Please login to post a reply (click Member Login on the menu).
Author Messages
BillK11
(Texas)

Posts:1


10/18/2011 2:45 PM  
Our HOA was under a bulk rate contract for many years with Comcast Cable here in Houston TX., that contract came up for renewal in June of this year at which time we received a letter which did not state what the new bulk rate contract would consist of, but asked that we contact Comcast MDU Dept. Our management company called and spoke with Comcast and we were presented with a 10 year contract which reflects a 6% year over year increase in our rates per unit (we have 30 total units) starting with the 1st year through the 10th year -- that said, we are now paying $690.00 a month for bulk service ($23 per unit) and come year #10 we would be paying $1,165.50 per month ($38,85 per unit). If we chose not to sign the new contract then we are month to month and rates can be increased at anytime, we are told usually quarterly. As of now, mid October our rate has not changed and we have not signed the contract. I, as board president, have told the board that I felt it was not in our best interest to jump into a 10 year contract that depicts such an increase, but rather to wait it out a bit and see if perhaps another option might present itself or we in fact see an increase. When we asked Comcast for a shorter term contract we were told that we could enter into a 5 or 7 year contract but that that would be at yet a higher rate of increase year over year, so once again my take on this was "not a good deal". Bottom line is we are really forced into a corner with Comcast and unless we opt to go with another provider like AT&T or such, we will eventually need to come to an agreement and sign a contract with Comcast.

I was hoping that perhaps some other HOA's have had similar dealings with Comcast and contracts like this and that you could offer me some insight as to what the situation and outcome was for your HOA. I have been told that Comcast is negotiable, and I am usually a great negotiator, but so far we have not had any success .. but I have not given up yet! There simply has to be a better option then signing on the dotted line for a guaranteed increase each year for 10 years -- after all, there is no telling what the cable market will be like a year from now, let alone 10!

Your comments, suggestions, insight is most appreciated!
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:17766


10/18/2011 3:15 PM  
Always go to other companies and see what they offer.

Let Comcast know that you are looking to other vendors for bids and ask if they want their current bid to stand or submit a new one.

Other vendors can include:
Satellite companies (Dish network, direct tv, etc.)
Cable companies (comcast, etc.)
Others (Verizon Fios, etc.)


PetunkaM
(Florida)

Posts:1009


10/18/2011 5:44 PM  
‘a 10 year contract which reflects a 6% year over year increase in our rates per unit (we have 30 total units)’

Please do NOT do that. Our By-laws allow a max 3 years for any contract. We just went thru a nightmare negotiating such contract with Comcast and let me tell you it was not easy even though we invited the Comcast rep to give a presentation to the Board and the membership and some of us understand ‘contracts’.
Their packages are confusing and negotiable and if you do not understand their offerings in any detail and/or are not experienced in the contract negotiations please let an attorney do it. Do not let the MC do it, would be my advice. There are some attorneys who actually specialize in Comcast contract negotiations for condos and HOAs. Anyway, you may want to look into it.
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3615


10/18/2011 8:42 PM  
It seems like a waste to spend so much time and energy on these deals if you avoid it. If they are single family homes, just see if you can switch to billing the user directly. Each house would deal with the cable company individually to purchase cable tv. Cities have paid staff to deal with stuff at this level, its a bit much for volunteers to be expected to run an HOA at the same service level as a city.

With delinquencies, foreclosures, etc. on the rise I would hate for my HOA to be stuck with a contracted $1200 month cable bill and no money coming in to pay for it. If homeowners want cable, let them deal with the cable company directly. Keep it simple.
LawrenceC1
(Georgia)

Posts:480


10/19/2011 4:59 AM  
Bill,

How was it that the bulk contract was accepted by the homeowners originally. Here in our HOA any idea of the Association negotiating on behalf of the homeowners has met with severe resistance -- even when it would save money.

Do your CC&Rs give the board unilateral authority to impose a bulk contract?
BradP
(Kansas)

Posts:2640


10/19/2011 10:10 AM  
Bill

I don't have a pony in this fight but here are my 2 cents. I absolutely hate long term contracts unless the benefits of doing so are tilted in my favor so much that it would be stupid not to. In this case not being an expert on the situation a 6% increase per year to me is too much.

You have had some great advice, I agree with the one that says look at competitors. Dish Network for example has proclaimed a price freeze through 2013. With the way the economy is and has been struggling 6% increase a year is too much in my humble opinion.
BruceF1
(Connecticut)

Posts:2535


10/19/2011 2:17 PM  
BillK,

I don't believe bulk rate cable contracts are a good deal for your association members, primarily because it can limit competition and freedom of choice.

More than likely, if you have a bulk rate contract, a portion of each unit owner's assessment will likely include payment for some form of basic cable service. Now, suppose a unit owner is not able to receive all the programming he or she desires with the basic cable service that is provided, even with the addition of enhanced services from that cable provider. Suppose the only way a unit owner can receive the desired programming is through a satellite provider? Or, suppose the desired programming can be received by a unit owner by purchasing additional services from the cable provider, but the cost for the enhanced service is greater than the cost would be by purchasing the desired programming from a satellite or other entertainment provider? If the unit owner decides to purchase television programming from a different provider, he/she would still be required to pay an assessment for the basic cable service provided with the bulk rate contract, even though the unit owner decides not to use that service. Hardly a good deal.

Also, contracts longer than three years are not generally a good idea.

A 10-year bulk rate contract is a good deal for Comcast; not for you.
PetunkaM
(Florida)

Posts:1009


10/19/2011 2:31 PM  
Bruce,

this is what I said about this in one of the posts. Florida laws are taking the owners’ rights away.

‘One example is the latest Florida law permitting the Board to contract for communications services (TV, internet and phones) without the members' consent. So, the owners have to pay hundreds of dollars per year for private services (not maintenance) they may not use because they do not have computers or land phone lines or do not live here 8 months out of the year. Is this law fair?’

PS: Yes, Comcast has a very agressive sales force.
DebraR4
(Texas)

Posts:2


11/29/2011 10:07 PM  
Bill,

Just wanted to know if you've made any decisions or found some options. Our complex's comcast contract is up in January, so we are going to be in the same situation. We have 35 units, though some of us have ATT uverse and don't even use comcast. I did throw out to discontinue the bulk service and let everyone get there own individual service but the fear is that some people will be stringing up satellite dishes all over. I did call comcast to see how much credit a resident would get if they wanted an upgraded package and I was surprised it was $50 - more than the per unit HOA cost for basic.

Any additional insight would be appreciated. thx!
DebraR4
(Texas)

Posts:2


11/29/2011 10:07 PM  
Bill,

Just wanted to know if you've made any decisions or found some options. Our complex's comcast contract is up in January, so we are going to be in the same situation. We have 35 units, though some of us have ATT uverse and don't even use comcast. I did throw out to discontinue the bulk service and let everyone get there own individual service but the fear is that some people will be stringing up satellite dishes all over. I did call comcast to see how much credit a resident would get if they wanted an upgraded package and I was surprised it was $50 - more than the per unit HOA cost for basic.

Any additional insight would be appreciated. thx!
ChailaiB
(Florida)

Posts:9


02/25/2013 9:52 AM  
Our Homeowners' Association has a 5-year contract which is set to expire early next year. The Board wants to renew the contract but did not try very hard to inform residents. They only provided a very minimum notice by the mail box for no more than a week or so; one would need to pay close attention to see it.

I want them to cancel the contract and have created a website with intention to inform my neighbors: http://www.pleatocancelcomcastcable.org/

Any tips I could get would be greatly appreciated.
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3615


02/25/2013 10:47 AM  
You should be able to choose. Fios is a far superior service. With digital cable, your HOA does not need to be in the cable business. The cable boxes now have serial numbers and activation codes so individual billing is no longer an issue.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10521


02/25/2013 11:40 AM  
This is an old post. It is best to create a new one. I also don't understand why it's your concern about how the HOA informed the neighbors and if it was good enough. What else were they supposed to do besides send a letter? Which cost money to do by the way. It is the members responsibility to inform themselves by being active in the HOA. If not, then they get what they get.

Former HOA President
BruceF1
(Connecticut)

Posts:2535


02/25/2013 2:58 PM  
Just a FYI -

The FCC frowns on bulk cable contracts. If they don't think they are a good idea, should anyone else?
ChailaiB
(Florida)

Posts:9


02/26/2013 4:23 AM  
The topic may be old, but the problem is very current. I'm forced to pay the cable bills that I don't need or want, and if I don't do anything, the problem will remain at higher price (with annual increase). A few people (the Board of Directors) will decide for all of us 172 residents. HOA has so much power, and they can spend a lot of money without consent from residents. I have created a website and will soon send letter out to members. It costs money to do this, my personal money.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10521


02/26/2013 6:22 AM  
Making this a NEW topic will put more attention on it. That is why we suggest that you post it as a NEW topic. Otherwise we will view it as an OLD post and ignore it.

We all pay for stuff we don't want or use in a HOA. If it's part of the dues, that is the price you all pay. Can't exempt out of it. However, you can work with your board to find cheaper options to help lower the costs. BTW the stamps to send those notices out to your membership came from your dues money. Were you displeased about that also?

Former HOA President
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11507


02/26/2013 6:35 AM  
Part of my dues went to the pool and tennis courts which I never used.

Accociation living is not one from Column A, two from Column B and nothing from Column C.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:17766


02/26/2013 6:50 AM  
Chailai,

I agree with you that Associations should not utilize contracts for unnecessary services (like cable, internet, etc.). However, sometimes these services are tied to other services the Association provides (security comes to mind).

You are going about it the right way, informing the membership. Yes, this does cost time and money but it works.

Are you against all bulk contracts or just the service provider?
ChailaiB
(Florida)

Posts:9


02/26/2013 3:05 PM  
Melissa,

Thanks for your input. I paid my dues, all of them. The HOA can put a lien or foreclose on my property if I don't pay the Association fees. I like my neighborhood, I like the convenience of the lawn service, I like how the neighborhood looks overall, and I even like the bulk cable service back in 1997 when I bought this house. The difference is that Comcast was the only TV service in the area, but that is no longer the case, and my issue with HOA is limited to this proposed renewal of the contract, nothing more.

I offered the help, but they are not interested. My impression is that, for whatever reason, they want to renew the contract, and the law is in their favor.
ChailaiB
(Florida)

Posts:9


02/26/2013 3:15 PM  
Tim,

There is no other benefit associated with Comcast cable, no security. I am against bulk contracts with any providers, not just Comcast. I'm pretty sure that, out of 172 units, there are some people who are just happy with Comcast. I bet they don't want to pay for my Verizon Fios. My thought is that like what you like, just don't expect other people to pay for it. Comcast budget for 2013 is $73,000, divide that by 172, that is my share (not a joke).
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10521


02/26/2013 3:15 PM  
My area due to competition agreements with the cable companies limit our ability to get certain cable companies. I am not in the "comcast" zone. So it may be similar to your area. It depends on who owns the equipment who provides it. Keep in mind we have multiple other cable options. Such as AT&T, Charter, Direct TV, and satellite. It is that the cables that were dug and hooked up to the homes belong to that one cable supplier. Which could mean them digging up all their equipment if we were to change.
Ever consider that angle?

Former HOA President
ChailaiB
(Florida)

Posts:9


02/26/2013 4:29 PM  
I don't believe any of them will dig up or pull out their equipments; there is no financial advantage for them to do so. We live in the city, so easy to plug in with any system. MY home has two active providers servicing me, Verizon Fios and Comcast.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10521


02/26/2013 4:54 PM  
There could be some money to allow the other company to hook up. I know I would charge a transfer fee of some sort if my equipment was going to be taken over by another company. It is a business and like I stated it is owned by them. It may not be that simple as just signing a new contract. Equipment costs money and either installed or not, someone is going to ask money to use it.
We could not have high speed internet because it would cost the cable company 6 million dollars and have to hire a special technician to service it. There had to be enough customers in the area to sign up for them to install the equipment. Plus it could not work with the existing cable installed. Think they needed to install fiber optic cabling.
So I have been through this before and learned it is not always a factor of signing paperwork. New equipment may be involved which the company will somehow pass onto you the customer. Plus in our situation it take a vote of the membership to allow them to dig up and install the new cable. Could you imagine undertaking that?

Former HOA President
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3615


02/26/2013 9:46 PM  
Yes, I can imagine it. VerizonFiOS ran fiber optic through my entire city. I imagine that cost way more than $6 million. If the company can make money, they will do it. Getting an easement agreement from the HOA is pretty simple stuff, they do it all the time, and do all the paperwork for you. Digging is done with a trenching machine and sometimes they just pull fiber lines through other conduits.

ChailaiB
(Florida)

Posts:9


02/27/2013 2:13 AM  
Same goes in my neighborhood, Verizon Fios has already been established in the area. I'm paying for both right now. Comcast has been enjoying this bulk billing since 1993, at whatever costs they put in, the gains were tremendous. I stop asking about breaking the contract, only to let it expire without renewal. I asked the President of the Board to give notice to residents about what going on so that they can be sufficiently prepared for the transfer.
ChailaiB
(Florida)

Posts:9


03/12/2013 3:25 PM  
I did it. I sent out postcards to everyone in my neighborhood trying to convince members to vote against the renewal of Comcast bulk cable TV service. It landed on everyone's mailbox yesterday, and I already got a nasty letter from the President of the Association as well as a few of his supporters. I must read into the governing documents again to see if the Board really have the authority to do this. I heard about a case law in Pennsylvania that the court ruled against HOA for lack of authority to plug this in as "operating expense". In River Park House Owners Association v. Crumley, 47 A.3d 870 (Pa.App. 2012), the court examined the governing documents and found language authorizing the board to incur expenses related to "operation, health, maintenance and safety decisions." Judge found that cable tv did not fit into any of those categories.

I sure wish I find something like that in our documents.
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3615


03/12/2013 8:23 PM  
I did it. I sent out postcards to everyone in my neighborhood trying to convince members to vote against the renewal of Comcast bulk cable TV service. It landed on everyone's mailbox yesterday, and I already got a nasty letter from the President of the Association as well as a few of his supporters.


Good job! If no one does anything, nothing gets done. It only takes one person to start the ball rolling. Dont worry about the president, have a thick skin and brush it off.
ChailaiB
(Florida)

Posts:9


03/13/2013 4:21 AM  
Thanks, Steve. One curious fact though, the people who actually wrote to me are on the same street, not my street. I wonder if everyone has received postcard yet. I thought they did; now I'm not so sure. Perhaps people of that street are more aggressive than others? This is like taking on a second job, but it is necessary. Thanks again for your support.
ChailaiB
(Florida)

Posts:9


03/13/2013 9:33 AM  
Below is another ridicule from one of the board members.

"This is what I got: Your attitude is the most selfish I have seen in many years. I am absolutely appalled.You would have known the situation re Comcast when you bought in Beekman Place so should not try to change the situation now particularly as it would adversely affect all other residents. Perhaps you would be happier living in a community that does not provide a bulk cable program.
Mike

In a message dated 3/12/2013 8:07:53 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, chailai writes:
No Sir. I am NOT ashamed of myself or my decision in doing this. I firmly believe it is the right thing to do. While this bulk tv service might be of benefit to some people, it causes financial hardship to some (myself included). It is not right to ask someone else to subsidize someone’s luxury or unnecessary item. I don’t ask other people to pay my bills, and I don’t want to pay theirs. It costs me a lot of time and money, not to mention subjecting myself to ridicule in the process, but it is necessary.

My position with regard Comcast is no secret however, out of 172 units, I only have one vote as I should. I have no power to rule or to dictate anyone or anything, and I don’t want to. If I can get most people to vote or at least to understand what’s going on, that is good enough for me. The contract is about to expire, the time to talk about it is now.

From: Mike
Let me see if I understand this.
You do not want Comcast so you want the board to terminate the cable contract with them so that you can save money by not paying for the service with your Condo dues.
Terminating the contract would mean that all residents would have to buy their own service individually which would cost them at least twice as much as they are paying now just so that you can have your own way.
Many of the residents are retirees on limited incomes so this would be hardship for them.
Your action is very selfish indeed. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Mike"
Please login to post a reply (click Member Login on the menu).
Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > Comcast Cable Bulk Rate Contracts - Good or Bad?



Only members have access to all features.
Click here to join HOATalk for Free! Members click here to login and access all features.







General Legal Notice:  The content of forum messages are from the posting member and have not been reviewed nor endorsed by HOATalk.com.  Messages posted by HOATalk or other members are for informational purposes only, are not legal or professional advice and do not constitute an attorney-client relationship.  Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.  HOATalk is not a licensed attorney, CPA, tax advisor, financial advisor or any other licensed professional.  HOATalk accepts ads from sponsors but does not verify sponsor qualifications nor endorse/guarantee any sponsor's product or service.
Legal Notice For Messages Posted by Sponsoring Attorneys: This message has been prepared by the sponsoring attorney for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Readers of HOATalk.com should not act on this information without seeking professional counsel. Please do not send any sponsoring attorney confidential information unless you speak with the sponsoring attorney or an attorney from the sponsoring attorney’s firm and get authorization to send that information to them. If you wish to initiate possible representation, please contact an attorney in the firm of the sponsoring attorney. Sponsoring attorneys that post messages here are licensed to practice law in a specific state or states as indicated in their message signature or sponsor’s profile page. (NOTE: A ‘sponsoring attorney’ is an attorney that is a HOATalk.com official sponsor and is identified as such in the posted message or on our sponsor page.)

Copyright HOA Talk.com, A Service of Community123 LLC ( Homeowners Association Discussions )   Terms Of Use  Privacy Statement