Comcast User’s Bot Tweets At Comcast Whenever His Internet Speed Gets Too Slow

(Consumerist)

(Consumerist)

Just because you pay for a certain internet speed doesn’t mean you get it all the time. That’s just a sad fact of life: those speeds are an “up to” promise, not a “minimum guarantee” promise. But just how often is a lapse below a certain threshold acceptable? And given that internet speeds are variable, how would you make sure your provider knows?

One Comcast customer, fed up with his own internet speeds dropping below the 150 Mbps he pays for, set up a bot to help draw attention to these lapses. As he described in a post on Reddit, the bot, @a_comcast_user, automatically sends a tweet to Comcast’s official handle whenever his speed drops too far.

A_Comcast_User_Bot

As he describes it, he’s got a Raspberry Pi — a small, cheap, customizable computer, basically — hooked up to his connection. Every hour, it runs a series of speed tests and stores that data. When the speed is below 50 Mbps, his setup activates a Twitter bot that tweets at Comcast: “Hey @Comcast, why is my internet speed [speed] when I pay for 150down/10up in Washington DC? @ComcastCares @Xfinity #comcast #speedtest”

As he writes in his Reddit post, “Comcast has noticed and every time I tweet they will reply asking for my account number and address… usually hours after the speeds have returned to normal values.” The customer has declined to identify himself to Comcast, however, saying that, “I do not want to be singled out as a customer; all their customers deserve the speeds they advertise.”

Looking at a long-term graph of the data the consumer has collected, it seems that on the whole, his speeds are pretty consistent… but when they drop, they drop far, leading to the spikes that trigger his bot to annoy Comcast on his behalf.

Depending on which section of Washington, DC the Reddit user lives in, he may or may not have any non-Comcast competition to switch to at his address. RCN does offer a 155 Mbps option inside of DC, but they don’t serve all residents.

Did you enjoy this? We’re a non-profit! You can get more stories like this in our twice weekly ad-free newsletter! Click here to sign up.

I set up my Raspberry Pi to automatically tweet at Comcast… [Reddit via Motherboard]

Read Comments1

Edit Your Comment

  1. ReverendTed57 says:

    It’d probably be interesting to see how long the dips last, perhaps by having the script run several more speed tests on an accelerated interval (every few minutes, perhaps) whenever there’s a “tweetable” drop.
    I’m also curious if the fact that his speeds are consistently in the 80s is noteworthy, or if there’s a technical explanation for that discrepancy. (And not just “up to” 150.)