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Customer Review

482 of 512 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comcast won't activate! EDIT: Use Chat Support to Activate!, January 8, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: ARRIS / Motorola SURFboard SB5101U DOCSIS 2.0 Cable Modem (Personal Computers)
After being placed on hold for 10 minutes with technical support, I was informed that Comcast wouldn't activate it because I didn't buy it from an "authorized retailer". The interesting part is that Best Buy is the ONLY authorized retailer. I asked the tech support rep if it's an issue of trust with the Motorola brand (counterfeiting, shoddy equipment, etc...) and he just towed the company line and said, "sir, I'm sorry, but you need to purchase this from Best Buy and not Amazon.com". I was flabbergasted.

As of the writing of this review, Best Buy is offering this same modem for $30 more than Amazon, and Comcast just raised their modem rental fees from $5 to $6.61 in my area. I can't help but wonder what kind of profit sharing setup they've got behind the scenes. This feels like marketplace manipulation, collusion, or some other anti-trust lawsuit waiting to happen.

I'll probably try to call back in another day or two and claim that I bought it from Best Buy. Maybe I caught a tech support rep on a bad day. If not, this modem is getting returned. I just wish Comcast didn't have a monopoly over my cable/internet service -- I'd drop them in a heartbeat.

EDIT: As posted below, I was able to successfully activate the modem via Comcast's Online Chat Support.
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Tracked by 17 customers

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Showing 11-20 of 46 posts in this discussion
Posted on Jun 12, 2011 9:30:41 PM PDT
While Comcast's support really sucked in your situation, you're suppose to review the modem, not Comcast. Taking two stars off because of Comcast isn't fair.

Posted on Jun 13, 2011 12:57:21 PM PDT
I currently rent my computer modem from Comcast--it is a Motorola SB5101, Surfboard Cable Modem. I want to buy my own modem and get away from the $7 per month rental Comcast charges. A Comcast Repr. told me to be sure and buy a Docsis 3.0. Amazon list a SB5101U, 2.0 (not 3.0). I am thinking this model should work, but still haunted by the Comcast Repr. telling me to buy a 3.0. Any thought by anyone if the 2.0 would work as opposed to 3.0? thanks

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 13, 2011 2:20:17 PM PDT
Jorge Gomez says:
First u must understand what Docsis 3.0 is and whether or not u are gonna have any advantage what so ever in buying one as apposed to buying the 2.0 model.. yes it will get u a faster connection speed but only if u pay for a faster connection.. if ur connection is not over 10 mb ... then u will not see any better speed at all.. save the money and buy this one and a few boxes of diapers for the kids or whatever u understand.. if you do have a faster than 10 mb speed then for sure u will see a speed difference possibly double or more.. like my connection is actually the 15.. and with the 2.0 i get no more than 12 with the 3.0 i get over 21 always... So figure out what u have before u buy.. i do suggest always go with a new one from Amazon directly dont buy refurbished or from another seller because u dont know what ur getting and if u buy refurbished u wont have Motorolas warranty.. aslso make sure to get the U model which is their latest there are 2 other models which are discontinued that have a different letter at the end or non what so ever.. I called motorola and found that out... Hope this helps any other questions send me a message.. later

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 13, 2011 3:01:07 PM PDT
AnybodyHome says:
I still highly recommend this modem. Have no had it for months and has given me no problems. I did have problems with my Belkin wireless router, but now switched to Linksys and my wireless network is fast, stable, and secure.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 13, 2011 3:17:51 PM PDT
Jorge Gomez says:
i never said this modem was bad in anyway.. hes asking about the difference between this one which is docsis 2.0 and the more expensive docsis 3.0...

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2011 10:09:54 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 23, 2011 10:13:21 PM PDT
Amy Russell says:
I'm getting this because my modem rental rates just went up again. Glad you solved the connection problem, as that would have been a deal-breaker for me.

I also have the Ooma, and I love it. I pay the $3.47 monthly in taxes, but I saved a bundle on the device by buying it online and then canceling my phone service. I can't beat Comcast for internet, but the phone stuff just got way too expensive. Plus, the Ooma has some cool features (listen to messages on your computer, easily block phone numbers, known telemarketers' numbers won't ring the phone, etc.) that I really enjoy.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2011 8:00:41 PM PDT
bt says:
That is nonsense... what does the activation has to do with judging the product itself? VERY IRRELEVANT !@?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2011 9:20:26 PM PDT
Jorge Gomez says:
Well thats what these post are for to receive hopefully advice.. if later because of advice everything works out u can go back and change the review..

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 16, 2011 4:29:08 AM PDT
Ron Mexico says:
What good is a cable modem if you can't activate it? That seems VERY RELEVANT !@?

I'm glad to see others having less difficulty than I did. When I wrote my review, the Comcast (Portland) phone reps made it sound like Motorola and Comcast were trying to work an exclusive deal to prevent us from saving a few bucks. Glad the good folks on Chat Support in India were able to help me out.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 16, 2011 8:15:42 AM PDT
Jorge Gomez says:
I purchased 3 of these types of modems to install in my house and also in family members homes the issue is as I probably stated in other ADVICE in this thread is.. make sure not to buy used from 2nd hand parties.. if ur going to buy used then buy from someone that is fulfilled by amazon.. u ask why.. if the modem u receive's MAC Address pulls up an old customer that didnt pay his bill.. guess what ur gonna have issues activating it.. but if u purchased fulfilled by Amazon if that where to happen u call amazon and they will ship u out another and not charge u again and send u a label to ship back the old one.. and by the way all the modems i purchased of this model where all used and fulfilled by Amazon and thats probably why I myself with crappy Comcast had no issues..