Comcast Responds To Disconnecting "Unlimited" Customer For "Excessive" Use

Comcast issued The Consumerist a statement regarding, “Comcast Customer Uses “Unlimited Service” Excessively, Gets Disconnected For A Year“:


Comcast writes:

We have reached out to this customer to attempt to directly resolve the issue. In an effort to provide the best possible service to all of our customers, Comcast maintains an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP), which is outlined in our user agreement. Generally speaking, 99.99% of our customers use the service as intended, which includes using it to download and share video, photos and other rich-media.

Customers who are notified of excessive usage typically consume more than 100 times the average national Comcast bandwidth usage. Illustrative examples of such usage on a monthly basis would include: sending or receiving 256,000 photos, downloading 30,000 songs, sending or receiving 13 million e-mails. In the rare instance that a customer violates this policy, Comcast proactively contacts the customer via phone to work with them and address the issue, or select a more appropriate Comcast product.

Comcast values the business of all of our high-speed Internet customers and we continuously strive to maintain the integrity of our network. We apologize for any miscommunication that this customer may have received about this process.

That’s well and good, but fails to address:

• Why the warning about the possible disconnection was unclear in the first place
• Why Frank gets “banned” from Comcast service for a year
• Why even though he’s banned, Comcast still sent him a bill for the new business account, which he can’t use
• How you can advertise a service as unlimited, then have an asterisk that says oops, there’s a limit to how much unlimited you can use

— BEN POPKEN

Previously: Comcast Customer Uses “Unlimited Service” Excessively, Gets Disconnected For A Year

Comments

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  1. TheUpMyAssPlayers says:

    Comcast sucks ass! I miss Time Warner. God did I just say that?

  2. BMR says:

    some data on how many customers have been cut off for using too much unlimited service would be interesting.

    the simple answer here is that Comcast is too big, as are many other companies. they are too big to provide well trained reps and well written policies. they are also too big to care about one customer and their “inconvenience” (you know how inconvenient it is to lose you source of income and to be billed for something you cant use…).

  3. Bye says:

    Comcast lost our business permanently last year. And nobody there seemed to mind – in fact, they practically challenged me to drop our high-speed Internet and digital cable. So I did and we’re much happier. When I went to drop off my equipment, there was a line out the door and everybody just kind of grinned at each other as the people at the counter took back cable box after cable box.

  4. Pelagius says:

    The root of the problem is that in many area these companies have a virtual monopoly on providing high-speed internet connections. In our instance, living in densely populated Northern Virginia, we had two companies to choose from: Verizon if we wanted DSL, or Comcast if we wanted a cable hookup. We had to drop our previous ISP because Verizon wouldn’t let them use Verizon lines to provide us with a DSL link.

  5. crackerguy says:

    So by those numbers I’m figuring that Comcast’s “Magic” use number is about 90 GB’s a month in downloads.

    Which is something that can add up quick if you download movies to watch on your computer or home media setup.

  6. yetiwisdom says:

    Have to agree with the seeming consensus that Comcast sux. After multiple annoyances that pass for “customer service” there I made the decision to get rid of as much Comcast as I can and I’ve pared down my cable to barebones.

    I can’t wait for IPTV!

  7. It also doesn’t address exactly what their limit on bandwidth is, so customers who can monitor their use make sure they stay under the cap.

  8. FLConsumer says:

    Time Wanker’s RoadRunner is rather unreliable, not that Comcrap’s any better. Running Verizon DSL here for the past 3 years with very little trouble and at half the cost of RR.

    As far as 256,000 pics… let’s do the math:
    31 days in a month, so that’s only 8258 pics/day
    24 hrs in a day, so ~344 pics/hr.
    60 mins in an hr, so ~5 pics/minute.
    1 new pr0n pic every 12 seconds? Plausible.

  9. Falconfire says:

    It was a bunch of whitewash. A whole lot o “statements” while the truth (ie the fact that they advertise unlimited service then refuse it to you) was hidden.

    Deceptive advertising through and through.

  10. kcskater says:

    Here’s what I HATE about what they’re doing: They’re treating them like criminals. I’m sure that they track usage and can break down the total monthly/daily/annual throughput. If they’re going to cut someone off, I see absolutely no reason Comcast can’t look at the monthly data, see abnormal patterns, and think, ‘OH! You’re sending 13 million emails a month! You must be infected with a spam trojan that OUR PROVIDED SPYWARE SOFTWARE doesn’t detect! We’ll limit your bandwidth for X days while you fix the problem.’

  11. chimmike says:

    My area is finally getting Verizon Vios DSL and optical television. People are dropping comcast like flies to get away from their crappy service, limited options, and high bills.

  12. comedian says:

    Given the growth of Web 2.0, today’s “excessive user” is tomorrow’s core customer.

    I wonder if they offer rebates to the bottom 1% of users for having overpaid?

    /sarcasm

  13. dbox says:

    I wonder how acurate the 99.99% number is…

  14. Mike_ says:

    Not to defend Comcast, but …

    300GB means downloading at roughly 972 kbps continuously (24×7) for 30 days. It’s possible that his use was legitimate, but I’d have a hard time imagining how. Perhaps Frank could tell us exactly what he did to achieve this feat.

    It would be nice if Comcast gave him an opportunity to appeal. If he has a reasonable explanation for why his usage is on their radar, they should note it in his account and leave him alone. Perhaps he is bedridden, and likes to download high definition movies on his XBox 360 (~50 of them per month).

  15. Crim Law Geek says:

    IMHO the reason Comcast won’t tell you what the magic number is is because if they did, everyone would try and get as close to that cap as possible (without going over), and Comcast’s overall use would increase. It might not actually happen, but I can see why they are scared it would.

    Also, despite what you might think, the bandwidth you use is not free to Comcast. Comcast has to pay their upstream providers for the bandwidth its customers use. The more its customers use, the more Comcast has to pay.

  16. bokononist says:

    If they won’t say what the cap is, the word ‘unlimited’ should never, ever be uttered. If the point is to stop people from getting ‘close to that cap,’ so Comcast can be cheap, they shouldn’t also be allowed to be misleading at the same time.

  17. bokononist says:

    Also, I think Comcrap completely fails to understand the point of this site. That’s a weasel-worded non-apology, and it will bring them more ridicule.

    The non-apology spends three paragraphs implying that the customer they screwed sucks before it gets to a weak hypothetical apology (‘may have received’)

  18. SHUDUPAHYOFACE says:

    Being a long time DirecTV customer, I’ve always been against Comcast Cable. They overcharge, and unless you purchase their ‘premium’ stations that go past channell 275 (in our area), it’s actually not being broadcast in digital quality! However, we gave in and got our Broadband modem through them last year. Verizon was not available in our area at the time. HOWEVER, their service has been GREAT, surprisingly. Excellent connection speed and great customer service. We’re one of those households that keeps their Mac G5 on 24/7, always running torrents and downloading, etc. … either we’re lucky as hell or the enforcement of ‘unlimited usage’ is a regional issue. We even added digital voice to our service and are satisfied. At least the messages go through their server and not just any connection (as is the case with Vonage).

    Also, Verizon makes you sign a year long contract. Comcast does not, at least with the two services we have.

  19. formergr says:

    Mike, I think Frank said yesterday that there’s no way they were downloading too much, and that their “high usage” coincides with having some problems that Comcast tried to resolve with a new modem– so basically he suspected he was infected with spyware or something that accounted for the big usage.

  20. Karmakin says:

    In a proper world, as Comcast has marketed it as unlimited, subscribers who are already with them shouldn’t be subject to any caps. Comcast, however has the option of changing their marketing to let people know what the future limits are for new customers, and they can set those rates at whatever they want. Local governments can decided then to cancel their contracts with Comcast then go with a different company.

  21. Rahnee says:

    WOW, I wish I had a 90GB/mnth limit. My server limits me to 1G per rolling 7 days. They were up front about it and it was in plain writing. I have StarBand and it is the ONLY option in my rural area. At $70 a month it is steep but no other options are out there.

  22. shoegazer says:

    Mike and everyone else. I don’t care how “legit” his 300GB monthly allowance is – we have the same problem here in the UK with the word “unlimited” being bandied about by Shitheads in Marketing without understanding that it actually means no limits.

    What makes it worse is that they trumpet Unlimited Broadband here by comparing it with similarly priced plans with 40GB download caps, but then in fine print the “fair use” limit for “unlimited” is 30GB.

    So not only is it Limited, it actually means you get less than you would have had you signed on to one of the capped plans.

  23. u235sentinel says:

    “We have reached out to this customer to attempt to directly resolve the issue.”

    Hi, I’m the guy who Comcast claims they contacted directly. One phone call to my wife and multiple calls to their CS to find out what the heck was going on. I’ll post the live chat I captured in December. Should be on my blog tonight. They clearly gave us incorrect information.

    “. . . Illustrative examples of such usage on a monthly basis would include: sending or receiving 256,000 photos, downloading 30,000 songs, sending or receiving 13 million e-mails. In the rare instance that a customer violates this policy, Comcast proactively contacts the customer via phone to work with them and address the issue, or select a more appropriate Comcast product.

    I don’t know anyone describes their usage in terms of 30,000 songs or sending 13 million emails. A more realistic answer would be how much bandwidth does the average customer use? 30 Gigs a month. 40? 100? Cox Communications has a 40/60 Gig plan which is clearly posted on their web site. Something like that would certainly benefit Comcast and it’s customers. Besides, all I know is I paid for a 6 meg unlimited use connection.

    Proactively contacting and working with the customer? When I spoke with Geovanny I was told you get one phone call then you are gone. Despite the fact I offered to throttle my firewall and meter it. He wasn’t easy to converse with (very abrasive). Unlike Scott (another dude in their Abuse department) who was very pleasant and actually sounded sympathetic to my plight.

    I was ready to reduce traffic to whatever I agreed to in the contract for a business account. It’s really hard when they say “We cannot divulge this to customers”.

    “Comcast values the business of all of our high-speed Internet customers and we continuously strive to maintain the integrity of our network. We apologize for any miscommunication that this customer may have received about this process.”

    (::sigh::), I can understand the need to maintain the integrity of a network. As a Sr. Systems Engineer It’s my responsibility to proactively monitor and deal with performance problems of our AIX or Linux servers. I’m fully aware of their responsibilty there. The miscommunication is how this mess started.

    I understand they are now in damage control mode. This whole thing would be a lot simpler if they would have simply worked with me a month ago rather than have me running in circles from one CSR to another.

    I really appreciate the communities support and the Consumerist for their extraordinary help in trying to resolve this. Thank You!!!

  24. u235sentinel says:

    “300GB means downloading at roughly 972 kbps continuously (24×7) for 30 days. It’s possible that his use was legitimate, but I’d have a hard time imagining how. Perhaps Frank could tell us exactly what he did to achieve this feat.”

    With 8 people in my family all wanting to use the computer I could only guess this is the reason. I didn’t think I needed to keep track of my traffic with an Unlimited Use account. Now that I know better I’ve added tools (such as rrdtool) to keep track of this. Been using it for years and I recommend it or dumeter.com’s product for a Windows system.

    “It would be nice if Comcast gave him an opportunity to appeal. If he has a reasonable explanation for why his usage is on their radar, they should note it in his account and leave him alone. Perhaps he is bedridden, and likes to download high definition movies on his XBox 360 (~50 of them per month).”

    There is no appeal (according to both Scott and Geovanny). Geovanny said their decision is final and the CEO would only bounce anything I send him back to the Abuse department.

    Bedridden? LOL! Funny :-)

  25. “And nobody there seemed to mind – in fact, they practically challenged me to drop our high-speed Internet and digital cable.”

    Dude, I had the same experience. Like “Good riddance!” The woman was actually like, “Well you just go see if the phone company wants you!”

  26. royal72 says:

    uh comcast, go fuck yourself and i mean that in the sweetest way… unless you start sharing the profits you rape from customers and disclose just how much bullshit you’re full of… wait, that won’t work ’cause nobody’s gonna use your service.

  27. velocipenguin says:

    @blythedesign:

    ‘Digital quality’ is something of a misnomer – digital cable systems use so much compression that the signal quality is actually significantly lower than that of analog. Time Warner’s digital cable looks more like a 320×240 internet stream than broadcast television. It’s lousy, but the cable companies love it because it lets them cram more channels into the same amount of bandwidth and charge you more for it.

    With regard to the subject at hand, wouldn’t marketing a limited service as unlimited constitute fraud? This seems flagrantly illegal to me.

  28. I would say that this story is doing a good job of bumping Comcast up in the “Worst Company in America” contest…

  29. formergr says:

    @velocipenguin: do the satellite providers (i.e. DirecTV) do the same thing? Because when I switched over from “digital” cable to DirecTV a couple of years ago I noticed a *significant* improvement in picture quality.

  30. Mike_ says:

    Again, not to defend Comcast, but …

    I still don’t understand how you managed to use that much bandwidth without violating their TOS. 300GB is exponentially more than an average household’s casual web browsing, email, gaming, software updates, VoIP, movie downloads and so-forth. I’m sure there are residential users who can legitimately use that much bandwidth, but even with 8 people, it would take some serious effort to keep a connection that active. I have a network with >30 users that is lighter on its Internet connection.

    You shouldn’t have to worry about metering your connection. If you’re not sharing with your neighbors (secure your wireless AP), and you’re not doing anything shady, you’re not going to show up on Comcast’s radar.

    If you’re maintaining that your usage was completely ordinary, and you still went over their abuse threshold, there’s got to be something wrong with your equipment — modem, router or PC. If this is the case, Comcast should be more forgiving, and you should be more proactive about fixing whatever it is that is unnecessarily eating up more than your fair share of resources.

    “Unlimited” doesn’t mean “no terms of service — go nuts”. I used to work for a dial-up ISP that advertised “Unlimited Internet Access”. We had a number of customers who would artificially keep their connection active in order to defeat the idle timer, treating the service as a dedicated dial-up account. We’d ask them to stop a few times, and then shut off their account. This was explained in the Acceptable Use Policy. “Unlimited does not mean dedicated.”

    If it says “Unlimited”, you should have a reasonable expectation that your ordinary use of the connection is permitted. You can’t send spam. You can’t share service with your neighbors. You can’t do anything that disrupts other customers’ service. You can do what home users should reasonably expect to be able to do.

    If you didn’t do anything wrong, Comcast needs to help you get back on their network. Whatever caused them to single you out and pull the plug, it wasn’t your fault. It’s not fair for them to hold you responsible unless you are actually responsible.

  31. kimsama says:

    This has been bothering me…but isn’t the name spelled “Giovanni”? Every time I see “Geovanny” a little piece of my Italian soul dies.

  32. Papa K says:

    Wait, they wnat to find a plan that suits him better than an unlimited plan that they say isn’t unlimited.

    How long until he gets screwed on the new plan, that probably isn’t unlimited?

    Hell, I remember when Cingular didn’t have unlimited nights and weekends, and just had a large pool – that made it easy. If Comcast was clear, there wouldn’t be issues.

  33. LAGirl says:

    posted earlier on consumerist, under Morning Deals:

    “Comcast: Upgrade to Comcast Digital Cable Free for One Year. Call 1-888-367-2830 and ask for code “ST.” You may need to call Comcast first and downgrade your service to basic cable first.”

    contextual advertising, anyone?

  34. silenuswise says:

    I’m also very irritated by Comcast’s shady and manipulative use of the word “unlimited”. Obviously, no one is claiming that this implies customers can violate TOS–assuming this customer did not, then unlimited should mean unlimited. Period. Otherwise, Comcast needs to stop claiming that this is what they offer. I have no sympathy for companies who lie. None. And they have just lost a future customer.

  35. kcs says:

    The part that pisses me off is that Comcast refuses to deviate from their “policy” of cutting off service for a year. While I understand the importance of having policies, Comcast should be willing to make an exception to that policy when, as in this case, there are extenuating circumstances. These circumstances include 1) the fact that the CSRs messed up and gave him incorrect information, 2) they have essentially no internet alternative, 3) they have shown a willingness to fix the problem with the excessive use and make sure it doesn’t happen again.

    Good customer service entails considering the policy in conjunction with each individual’s situation and deciding whether it makes sense to apply that policy. Comcast needs to empower its CSRs to be able to excercise judgment in these situation rather than just spew the company line.

    But that would, you know, probably involve, like training and stuff, and maybe paying higher wages for employees that can actually, you know, think. So basically it’s never going to happen.

  36. u235sentinel says:

    “Again, not to defend Comcast, but …

    I still don’t understand how you managed to use that much bandwidth without violating their TOS. “

    Mike. I understand and wish I can give you an explanation. As I wasn’t paying attention I wish I could give you an answer. Now that I am aware, I have squid for proxy services, rrdtool for monitoring traffic along with other things via snmp, cacti to help in reporting it all, a perl program I wrote to grab the rrdtool logs and provide me with daily, weekly and monthly traffic totals… I think I’m covered when I choose my next broadband internet provider.

    “You shouldn’t have to worry about metering your connection. If you’re not sharing with your neighbors (secure your wireless AP), and you’re not doing anything shady, you’re not going to show up on Comcast’s radar.”

    Thanks but I wish I could believe that after this experience.

    “If you’re maintaining that your usage was completely ordinary, and you still went over their abuse threshold, there’s got to be something wrong with your equipment — modem, router or PC.”

    My Cable modem was replaced in November. It seems that’s when the problems began. I also had a linksys wireless/cable router which I’ve retired. I thought the wireless portion was disabled (I’m an idiot and didn’t check to make sure this was the case). It’s the only thing I could think of that would cause this mess. I have no explanation otherwise. BTW, I did mention the wireless to Comcast’s CSR. He recorded in my record we had an unsecured wireless. It seems it didn’t matter according to the Abuse department as all terminations are final.

    ” “Unlimited” doesn’t mean “no terms of service — go nuts”. I used to work for a dial-up ISP that advertised “Unlimited Internet Access”. We had a number of customers who would artificially keep their connection active in order to defeat the idle timer,…”

    Xmission.com dial up account clearly says you can’t keep the connection active like that. It’s clearly posted on their web site’s TOS/AUP. I use them as an example of an ISP I’ve been happy with for years prior to Comcast. They have very clear requirements posted.

    “If it says “Unlimited”, you should have a reasonable expectation that your ordinary use of the connection is permitted. “

    I agree. What’s interesting is after speaking with my neighbors who signed up the same year we did with Comcast, they all have the same interpretation I did and thought it was like Sizzlers all you can eat shrimp. All you can eat is pretty easy to understand :-)

    “You can’t do anything that disrupts other customers’ service. You can do what home users should reasonably expect to be able to do.”

    I understand. Problem with that statement is what if we’re all techies? :-) Not to belittle your comment, but that’s all I’ve been asking is what should we consider reasonable? One company considers reasonable use is up to 100 Gigs. Another 10 or 12 Gigs. I’ve examined a lot of companies TOS/AUP these last few weeks.

    Sprint Broadband (for example) is an example of a company I won’t consider after speaking with them. I’m told “Unlimited use” but when I pressed them giving some numbers of traffic they wigged and said it’s unlimited use but we would be disconnected (I said 30-40 Gigs monthly btw).

    “If you didn’t do anything wrong, Comcast needs to help you get back on their network. Whatever caused them to single you out and pull the plug, it wasn’t your fault. It’s not fair for them to hold you responsible unless you are actually responsible.”

    Agreed. But we’ve already been down this path and my time is limited in dealing with the endless CSR’s I’ve had to speak with. After Geovanny’s phone call and having my Business Account terminated after 10 minutes of activity I figured the left hand wasn’t speaking to the right hand. There must be a great deal of confusion going on here.

    BTW, Geovanny is properly spelled. I asked the guy to spell it for me :-)

  37. Mike_ says:

    Yeah, it doesn’t sound like you did anything wrong, Frank. If you know enough to implement Squid and RRDTool, you probably know enough to identify whatever is sucking down that much bandwidth. If nothing comes to mind, it’s got to be a hardware issue or a security breach. Neither of these are causes for termination of your service, unless you refuse to correct them.

    I wrote this in a previous post:

    Depending on how cable franchising works in your state, your local government may have an individual who is in charge of coordinating your municipality’s relationship with your cable service provider. Their job includes ensuring the cable company is meeting its obligations to the community, including prompt installation and reasonable customer service. (They also supervise the Community Access channels.)

    … the path of least resistance might be your local government’s Cable TV Liaison. They almost definitely have direct access to management at your cable company’s local office. At the very least, it’s another ignition source to light a fire under their ass.

    See if your local government can help you. Tell them Comcast pulled the plug on your broadband access for reasons beyond your control, and you need their help getting reconnected.

    Good luck.

  38. velocipenguin says:

    @formergr:

    Yes. Digital cable and direct-to-home satellite systems both use MPEG-2 compression. The difference in quality is probably due to variations in bandwidth and differing decoder implementations.

  39. DutchFlat says:

    Well, ComCast is kind of weird. A year ago, my internet service died every time it rained (like sixty times). They sent out god-only-knows how many guys to fix it. But, they always worked on my house. I said: “It’s somewhere down the line, on a pole. Something’s shorting out.” No success. Then, Spring came, it stopped raining, and all was well… Until this fall, when it started all over again. I complained again. Next thing I know, there are three huge trucks with booms outside my house, and about five guys are working all over the neighborhood.
    They worked on it for two days and fixed whatever it was. No more problems.
    Any technology problem can be fixed. The problem: It has to be fixed.

  40. jwissick says:

    They should contact the consumer protection dept of the local DA or state Attorney General and file a complaint for FALSE advertising. Unlimited means UNLIMITED. Unless they disclose the cap, unlimited is unlimited.

  41. Kat says:
  42. bolobolo says:

    Clearly, these are the actions of a monopolist engaged in abuse of their monopoly power. Moreover, their tone and content imply answerability to no one.

    Time to get their attention.

    For those who can, vote with your feet – switch to DSL and tell Comcast why you left them; for those wedded to Comcast because they’re the only highspeed game in town, keep Comcast’s feet to the fire:

    Call or write your local, State and Federal authorities, (The FCC comes to mind) your newspaper, favorite computer magazines, the EFF, your blogger friends and anyone else who will listen, and demand Comcast publicize their capping and termination policy.

    Heck, band together and class action the arrogant %&#$%$$!!

    And don’t forget to digg all this so many times your mouse gets blisters.

    Through efforts like this, enough light will shine on Comcast to force the controlling agencies into curtailing Comcast’s power.

    I see no reason why other highspeed providers can’t be granted access (with appropriate financial recompense)to monopoly abusers’ lines.
    Time for some competiton, and with it, accountability to the customer.

  43. FLConsumer says:

    The reason Comcast’s picture quality is shittier than DirecTVs is that they’re still running analog for the main channels. Anything under channel 100 is analog, which is where the most-watched channels are located. With all of the bandwidth available, I’m still ticked the cable cos won’t broadcast these in digital as well.

    As far as 200-300GB in a month, that’d take quite a bit of work to accomplish. Just going back through my own personal router logs, I’m looking at about 300GB over the period of 6-7 months and I’d consider myself a bit of a heavy user.

    Maybe the poster had an unsecured wireless AP that his neighbors were abusing? I run a linux router with squid over here and have caught neighbors downloading plenty o’porn off my wireless. I usually will triangulate the signal then give them a visit one evening with logs… and the abuse usually stops.

  44. r3m0t says:

    ‘Mike and everyone else. I don’t care how “legit” his 300GB monthly allowance is – we have the same problem here in the UK with the word “unlimited” being bandied about by Shitheads in Marketing without understanding that it actually means no limits.

    What makes it worse is that they trumpet Unlimited Broadband here by comparing it with similarly priced plans with 40GB download caps, but then in fine print the “fair use” limit for “unlimited” is 30GB.

    So not only is it Limited, it actually means you get less than you would have had you signed on to one of the capped plans.’

    They know exactly what it means. They just don’t mind lying.

  45. Zenta1 says:

    Okay, I understand the need for rules – fine.
    However when the rules are not clearly posted, you should have fair warning about breaking said rules, before action is taken.
    I had my service shut down, last week for a few days with absolutely no notice.
    I had just moved a few months back, have had comcast to my new place a few times for the initial setup and even rewiring just a few weeks ago.
    They have my new billing adress, they have my new phone number, they have my email address which they provide.
    I never heard anything from them.
    I had no idea why my internet was shut down.

    When you call they give you a run around and can’t tell you anything except that you have to call another number and leave a voicemail and wait for them to call you back.

    They give the same speech as everyone has posted about but say they did try to call me.
    I asked what number they called and they gave me all the old information and said that they are a different department for “abuse” and they did not have updated info.

    Now this company could have contacted me any number of ways but failed to do so and shut me down.

    It’s not so much why they are shutting people down, it’s how they are handling the process.

    People deserve some warning if unknown limits are being violated and a chance to cool it down and make amends.

    I would think that what they are doing some how violates peoples’ rights because of this.

    My family is practically scared to death to use a service we depend upon, and pay for, for fear of being turned off.

    That’s some way to treat a customer.

    Something must be done

  46. chunky-monkey says:

    I used to work for @home Network in the late 1990′s. There is some back ground on AUP’s and why they are structured in such a way. There are reasons, some around technology and other reasons around greed, for this. The later of the 2 is the main factor.
    The “commercial use” of your cable internet service is prohibited because at the inception of the industry we had no way to rate limit the Motorola or LAN-city modems. It was common for a person to turn up a bunch of machines serving rich content like .mov or large amounts of images, a porn site basically, to adversely affect the user experience of their neighbor. This coupled with a real public IP that rarely changed (we used IP’s as account identifiers as well as for routing purposes) made it possible to get a very high speed connection for $40.00 and the abusers came in droves.

    This changed in 1997/1998 with the advent of CAR. Basically CAR is the ability to choke some of the bandwidth upstream or down to help limit the ability of one modem to soak up all the available bandwidth (QOS).

    I began to advocate that not only should we allow “servers” on our network but we should be charging for different levels of upstream and downstream bandwidth. Due to being able to cap the upstream and down stream of a connection, I advocated allowing servers because “THAT IS WHAT THE INTERNET IS ALL ABOUT! SHARING INFORMATION”. I got beat down not only by the AUP group (the director was very homo and I think my arguments were met by his attraction yet his repulsion that I was NOT GAY) but also by the biz dev guys who wanted the “@Work” division to succeed.

    So the AUP is about not allowing you to consume large amounts of band width, host any type of content that is accessible by the general internet, have any thing other then a dumb terminal to download other rich content and be a target of script kiddies.

    GET DSL! You’ll rarely run into this type is issue. 300 gig of traffic is one thing that I don’t know how they would deal with but the AUP is much nicer to power users

  47. synergy says:

    The unlimited bit reminds me of the people complaining about the so-called unlimited use of Netflix when in fact they “throttle” their customers. Which I’m a-ok with since they ARE a business and do need to make money, but they shouldn’t say “unlimited” either.

  48. TuxRug says:

    These jackasses don’t do a thing about a SINGLE (business account) IP on their network trying to hack into my home server for hours at a time about once a week, even with banning the IP in my firewall, it still lags my connection, because a whole ****load of packets flood into my modem at once (so far not quite enough to crash anything), but they ban for a year someone who uses their connection under the belief that their unlimited connection had no usage limit.

    Either they ignored my email outright because my IP traces back to Qwest and they’re willing to aid a criminal because they can’t handle any ****ing competition, or their definition of abuse is “anything reduces Comcast’s revenue from a customer to <98%”.