At my new home in Silicon Valley, I signed up for Comcast. Now, you might be asking why, especially in light of those painful-to-watch new TV ads that they’re running (seriously, who came up with those? I want to know so he/she/they can be on my list of people that I Hope They Fail).
The reason is simple. If everyone just drops Comcast in protest of the 250 GB bandwidth cap, Comcast can easily use statistics to say that the cap is only affecting .1% of their customer base. Thus, I am tweaking my advice a little, and suggesting that customers leave Comcast (like I did before), but only after they get kicked off by the 250 GB bandwidth cap. And yes, that means I’m encouraging you to use as much bandwidth as your content demands… all HD, all the time, all over the web.
So, I locked in a $19.99/month rate for the first 3 months at 12 mbps down and 1 mbps up (not including PowerBoost). We’ll see if I can hit it starting next week.
Oh, and I also locked in $10/month for limited basic cable (for one year), thanks to their barely-promoted DTV Transition offer. But, the installer forgot to insert the filter, and I’m getting expanded basic cable for free. That won’t last, as my market is going to be digitally rebanded for all analog cable channels, but it is a nice perk while it lasts. Keeping with my goal to not watch anything but over-the-air stuff, I’m giving my TiVo HD strict instructions to only look at OTA channels for the rest of the 30 days.
when you get internet from comcast it will automaticall give you limited basic for free, and they put a green filter to block the upper channels. But 9 times out of 10 like you experienced the green filter didn’t get put on. Why would they so infrequently do this you may ask? Because the filter causes problems and tech calls on internet. If the internet goes out they have to do another truck roll only to take off the green filter. Only n00b installers will ever filter an internet only account meaning you can get basic cable for dirt cheap.
Yes, but that’s also why after the teaser rates go away… it’s usually cheaper to pay for Limited Basic service, in order to get a discount on the regularly-priced internet service.
Unless you’re a business customer… then you get no discounts at all!
Anyways, I do think this is a major reason why Comcast wants to digitally reband basic cable. Enough people have figured out that they’re getting full basic cable for next to nothing, and Comcast can easily blame bandwidth limitations to prompt the reband. They’re doing it in my area right now.
well. i have comcast ultra high speed. I have 30gb left from my 250gb limit! it sucks when you are grabbing big blue ray. In size are over 8gb!!!!
I thought i had nothing to worry about. Being 250gb is alot.
I was contacted in Early January by Comcast with a warning saying they’d shut down my service for up to a year if I exceded the cap, but I’m pretty sure I’ve gone over a few more times, in fact I’m downloading 40GB of data as we speak, I read there User Policy and it seems very vague, in my legal opinion I don’t think the freedom of free information act as well as net neutrality gives them the right to pull service in certain areas of the country, specificially ones where only Comast is offered.
Lazarus, Comcast is in their rights… as per the latest upheld decisions from the federal government.
The FCC does allow Comcast to measure how much bandwidth you are using. The FOIA does not apply here, as they are not looking at what you are accessing on the internet.
In fact, that is why Comcast got in trouble originally… because they were intercepting and interfering with BitTorrent traffic. Under the current Network Management Policy, they do not inspect your internet traffic.
The most Comcast does in terms of inspecting traffic (without a federal warrant) is block certain ports that are commonly abused (like port 25). This is transparent and not montored/logged by anyone.
While I certainly do not like Comcast capping and throttling customers (and have suggested switching to AT&T or others in protest), they are within their legal rights. I just think it’s bad business to anger the most tech-savvy customers.
I believe Comcast is very, very shortsighted here.
I used to love comcast and their service until they decided to start enforcing their 250GB limit.
They may succeed in keeping some 1% (damn lie) of us from consuming “too much” of their bandwidth and at the same time protecting (possilbe anti-trust issue) their revenue stream.
There are so many OTHER choices out there for content, XBOX HD VIDEO (5-10GB) alone for HD video alone, but it looks and sounds just like blue-ray.
Of course there’s hulu, netflix,,, many others to choose from.
The real issue here is going to come from the technically elite, those who the general populous go to in order to get word of mouth opion.
By the way this is the most effective advertising there is. Is word of mouth.
You can run a bazillion ads, but when someone actually tellse you what their experience is/has been with a brand or service, people listen.
Especially when you are a trusted advisor to the less technical.
I advise voting with your pocketbook, and the advice you give others when they ask you.
When someone asks you about your comcast experience tell them exactly what you feel and why.
When they make the decision to shut you off, take ALL your business somewhere else.
I plan on taking my $2,500 a year somewhere else.
When they decide to take action by cutting me off, i’ll take that as a sign that what they really want is someone in the world who hates their brand and service and will most assuredly inform others of that fact. I simply will no longer continue to contribute $2,500 a year to their bottom line.
It is my opion that Comcast has become too big and is starting to act like a government.
If enough people have enough conscience and do exactly that they can give other ISP businesses their money, perhaps comcast will get the picture.
I work from home 2-3 days a week since the company I work for embraces the green concept. My “Usage” therefore easily exceeds “their” arbitrary and accepted limits.
I talked to one of their “security representatives” today since they have implemented their gestapo policy in my area.
When i talked to the comcast representative, he would not specify where the data was coming from that they are basing their usage statistic from.
The comcast rep. also so if i try to and independantly verify “their” usage statistic my findings would not be accepted or taken into account.
I am already being proactive and going to find a suitable replacement for comcast in all respects.
Comcast can be in their “rights”
Perhaps there is a business out there that will appreciate my $200/month that it appears that i’m currently wasting on comcast.
I whole heartedly agree about switching to another ISP and the bad business to anger the most tech-savvy customers
I constantly worry at the last week that i will go past my limit. 250gb isnt alot i can hit that in 20 days. I have 22/5 Ultra. I dont believe that its only a 1% of customers who hits this limit.
I just got a call about this, didn’t know they had a limit let alone enforced it. Guy say I’ve used 1222gb last month and they will ban me for a year if I go over again.
Unfortunately, normally i would agree that leaving Comcast would be a great idea. Telling me how much I can do online, that’s why I have high speed internet to use the sh*t out of it. But in my area it’s that or DSL and the hell with that, way to slow. My buddy get speeds of 3x Dial-up with verizon DSL. So sad to watch him DL something.
You may be interested to know Comcast Business has no limit and is the same price with more extras. I’m just going to switch, I told them why they don’t even care. That’s my suggestion to people.
(Also, anyone know the traffic for VPN connections. I used to leave my computer remoted into work 24hr a day. Worked from home nights and many days. If they had this meter then I bet I was way the F over the 250gb then too.)
This whole limiting concept is really stupid… wonder what kind of speed I could get out of a Verizon cell phone, I have no limit on that. (probably faster than my friends DSL)
I evidently exceeded their 250 GB limit. They called, and let me know. I thanked them and asked for a meter of some sort where they measure my usage. They said they didn’t have one. By the time I could have reduced usage, I evidently went over the limit again and was shut off.
Ha Ha, funny story here.
I called customer support because my modem wasn’t picking up a signal. It was the third time calling in 3 weeks, and the other calls were regarding TV service. (certain channels didn’t work, so they sent someone out to fix that, and give me a credit for days missed).
Customer Support couldn’t fix the modem issue remotely, so they scheduled a technician. I thanked them but then remembered I wanted to talk to billing about my credit.
Billing confirmed my credit, but also saw a flag on my account and gave me a number to call. (The Comcast “Security” that called me earlier about my usage).
Now, wouldn’t you think that the FIRST time I called the support person could have seen the flag on my account instead of scheduling a technician? When I called back to cancel the technician, an automated message told me I had a technician scheduled and could press 2 to cancel (which I did). Now, why couldn’t the FIRST time I call have a message saying “If your modem cannot connect, press 2”???
Well, not so funny ending as I got internet shut off. With no recourse or way to appeal. No way to confirm I actually used that much bandwidth since they give no way to measure usage to their customers.
Now, I wonder how quickly someone would hit that 250 GB limit just using Comcast’s advertised throughput?
At their website: “Compare how much faster you can go online with amazing download speeds up to 50 Mbps.”
At 50 Mbps = 50 megabits per second =6.25 MegaBytes per second. (yeah, most people don’t know the difference)
So, if I divide 250 GB = 256000 MB (generously using 1024 MB per GB) by 6.25 MegaBytes per second, I get 40960 seconds.
Which is 682 minutes and 40 seconds.
Which is 11 hours 22 minutes and 40 seconds.
So basically, they allow you less than 12 hours per month at their advertised speeds!!!!!
Good luck keeping under that limit!
Whoever you spoke with was misinformed. You can now monitor your bandwidth usage from your Comcast.net account.
Actually, it isn’t 12 hours, it is 97 hours (4 days) at 6 Mbps, but since they have SpeedBoost technology you will actually hit the cap sooner than that.
I am from a family of nine and we all come home for the weekend. And with in 4 months since the 250gb was enforced we were shut off. We got calls but we thought they were trying to sell something because that would be the only reason why they would call before the 250gb cap. We tried to find other services but there aren’t any in our area so we got a broadband card from a wireless company.
I see clearly a conflict interests, one big part of Comcast is TV, and other is high-speed internet. If people would start streaming more, it’ll cause leaving fat accounts on TV. Besides data usage increase a lot. I wanted to switch to Comcast and combine TV/Streaming, now I’m not so sure. The problem is that in SFO Bay Area no other providers who can give 12Mb/s. Uverse gives high-speed internet only high-end packaged TV. I think it should be a law preventing combining businesses of the internet and TV.
Vlad, you can actually cancel U-Verse TV and just use Internet service without any early termination fees or penalties. If U-Verse is in your area, that may be a better option for you.
I’m currently living with 4 other girls, totally of 5 girls in Davis (central California), and we spent a lot of time at home. Comcast is the only broadband offered in our area, the next best thing is DSL from AT&T.
A week ago, the whole Comcast network went down for our area for a day or two (second time in one month), but our internet was gone for almost 5 days and we were frustrated because other people had got their internet. For hours, my housemates stayed on the phone to get to a representative. They said we had hit our cap of 250GB and they just cut off our internet, without a warning call. They finally decided that we can get our internet back, even though, during those 5 days, our new billing cycle started, we started at 70% and left with 75GB for the whole month. We tried calling but the customer service people said they cannot do anything about it. My housemate strongly believe that it is protocall, to start the month at 70% as penalizing us for exceeding the 250GB cap. Is this common?
I’ve never heard of a “penalty” like that. My advice would be to reach out to the Comcast Cares team on Twitter. Even if you don’t use Twitter, they have an ombudsman team that can work to resolve these kind of issues.
Please note that bandwidth is determined based on calendar month though. Odds are your bandwidth will reset on the 1st or 2nd, so you might want to just monitor things on your Comcast account until then.
RE: Post [SamJ on July 19th, 2010, 7:41 pm]
1. Assume: 1″GB” = 1,073,741,824 bytes (I’m being very generous to Comcast here); also client can sustain avg download of 6MBpS = 6,000,000 bytes (My plan claims 12MBps, but I upgraded to the 18/20MBPs, so again, I’m being very generous to Comcast)
2. So, 250″GB” allowance / month would be 268,435,456,000 bytes (monthly balance)
3. By downloading 6,000,000 every second that gives us 44739.242666666666667 seconds of total download time (6MBps avg, no power boost) until we get abruptly cut off.
4. 44739.242666666666667 seconds is 745.654044444444444 minutes is 12.427567407407407 hours
5. Now, not being generous to Comcast, thus changing values in step #1 and keeping #2,#3,#4 unchanged (this time we are just using their own words/policy): (250GB per month) / (16MB per second) / (60 seconds per minute) / (60 minutes per hour), we are only allocated 3 hours and 51.48 minutes of our policy given internet time for an entire month.
Anyway, enough with the math drivel, onto the more “fun” and “interesting” points…
So, why the heck do I pay more to get higher bandwidth (side effect of higher quality / larger movies) just so I can use the internet less. I am paying more to use less service and be stressed about my quota. Also, why is Comcast being so harsh to their long-time and loyal on-time paying customers given that they have a:
***1*** Hard, un-wavering line cemented in the sand of this policy;
***2*** not quite real-time monitoring of usage (from the customer’s perspective);
***3*** Extremely strict adherence to its terms (e.g. user kicked off current plan and _banned_ for an entire year…really…wow?);
***4*** Inadequate process (user has to remember to periodically log on multiple times every month, while finding access to a computer, and to a public wireless network);
***5*** Inadequate tool (user has to go through too many steps just to access a single number; no break-down of data/process consumption; data is simply aggregated, not fine-grained enough (no day/time/process/file/program/KB usage));
***6*** Usage Cycle is completely different than billing cycle, with no way for customer to rectify;
***7*** MOST IMPORTANTLY, there is no (it would be nice if customer could configure this) courtesy warning (email/call/text) in the case throughput limit is being reached or breached. This seems super obvious and silly this solution does not exist. (e.g. send email if breached 75% capacity, send email if breached 90% capacity, send email/text if breached 95% capacity)
***7*** No customer options, how about: a) Pay a certain rate/GB when usage > 250GB for a particular billing cycle; or b) Offer different throughput plans/rates/tiers; or c) Allow customer’s to limit their download throughput; OR (my favorite) d) All the above. Customers pay for total throughput (or pay for different tier, or pay extra, or whatever, no one would really care) AND customer can update speed whenever they want (e.g. customer chooses to watch 50 crappy movies/month, or customer chooses to watch 20 super-hi-fi-hd movies/month as most online movie/show/clip/streaming services, even YouTube auto-majically adjust quality, even though very few actually allow quality to be set). If customer wants super fast connection to play games online or browse/email/chat/what-have-you the client will be okay with paying for content, they just want it fast (as it will be the same amount of content whether they get it slow or fast).
The way I see it is Comcast needs to charge for latency (speed in MBpS) and total throughput (250GB monthly limit). Ultimately, if they charge for one or the other, they are going to alienate a very large population of their customers. They need to allow customer’s to pay for the option of latency and throughput so people are being charged fairly (based upon their usage) and those with internet connections that simply do some browsing and emailing don’t get charged much.
I get close to the 250GB limit every month and would break it if it wasn’t there, so personally I feel like I am getting a great deal and passing off all my costs to sporadic internet users.
Another way to put Comcast’s foot in their mouth: “more than 99% – of our customers will not be impacted by a 250 GB monthly data usage threshold” [translated by me to be]: “more than 99% – of our customers will pay much more than they should for internet service due to users who reach or breach the 250 GB monthly data usage threshold”. In reality, these number’s that Comcast gives is crap, I’d like to see mean and median (although that will not be all that helpful as I am sure this distribution is bi-modal). So, in reality the comment is much close to this: “more than 99% – of our customers will pay much more than they should for internet service due to users who reach or breach the 250 GB monthly data usage threshold”
So much for my faith in XFinity. Great company, customer service, awesome routing and technology. I’m just sad the Finance and Marketing team turned a great service into a crappy experience. If I can’t keep under my 250GB limit without logging on an checking constantly and turning off the damn modem every month, I’m going to switch from a great service to a small company (which incidentally runs on Comcast’s fiber optics anyhow) that just happens to understand what XFinity has and how to present it to customers.
Comcast finds ways to **** **** there customers 9 times out of ten they all can suck my hairy ****
I once downloaded+uploaded about 1.6TB of data, I got a phone call.
I then proceeded to download almost as much the next month, and then I canceled them because my promotional money saving period was over.
Now, I have a new envelope I got in the mail for the $19.99 deal for 6 months.. I’ll wait until I get a new 3TB external drive and then I’ll go to town for 2 months again!
This is always a concern to me. I watch a lot of netflix and HD via zune. I’m just waiting for that call.
However why are we just bitching about this. Maybe if people took action, report it to the B.B.B and FCC.
This is antitrust!
Comcast is forcing you to watch on-demand at 6 dollars a shot, yes and that’s crappy 480i (the same price on Zune gives you 1080p). If you use Netflix, Amazon, Blockbuster ….etc. then you’ll hit that cap and get booted. I also use Vonage, I wonder if they count their VOIP against that cap?
I’ve had Comcast since 2002 I never “signed” or accepted anything on data capping when I joined. I will not be happy if they cut me off, I’ll probably seek legal action as well as contacting the b.b.b, fcc, local news and anyone who’d piss them off.
I was also interested if only the people who had the barebones internet package were being targeted here. Or if it was P2P users etc… If anyone has stats this would be good to hear.
It seems like this is happening more and more.
your problems sound wonderful to have for us folks in the boonies. no dsl, no fios/4g, no cable internet…
1-dialup -speaks for itself. thats what they get in hell
2-3g wireless plan – they all cap at 5gb a month or 20 with millenicom…all got crazy overage charges
3-satellite. expensive -useless for real time apps like gaming due to latency and ridicously low caps (200-400mb a day…). Hughes offers a 6 hour night time window which allows you to pull of 3-4gb a night for about 120 a month but you got to get used to using software and rippers to schedule everything for then. they bastardize plans where you supposed to get 200-250KB (1. something megs) downloads to 4-8KB..which is dialup or worse from 4pm-12pm due to heavy usage (my ass it is planned) and if you go over your small daily cap it goes to 800bytes to 2.2kb downloads which is a small fraction of dialup and virtually unusable.
Comcast and att are evil sob’s but keep in mind americans not living incongested areas are getting a far spikier shaft rammed up them then you guys.
They have the right to be as evil as they want -but when tax payer $ goes to them to provide service and infrastructure (and they squander/pocket it) all citizens get a voice. I dont know about you guys but my voice says douse them in gas and off with their heads. Fucking fuckers.
Well I called the local DSL provider who are having a deal $89 for 10Mbps internet, DirectTV in HD with a DVR. I’m paying Comcast ~$150 for less channels in SD, no DVR and my internet speed is averaging 7Mbps.
I called Comcast amazing they gave me the same price with my choice of HBO or Showtime free for a year but no HD nor DVR on a 24 month contract. My wife is hesitant about switching as she wants to keep her comcast email, I know stupid. So I think I’ll accept their offer and see how long it take till they boot me.
I was worried but now I have another option I’ll bump my Netflix back to HD and not worry about my usage.
I understand what all the fuss is about when it comes to Comcast. I once had a choice between FioS and Comcast… then I moved to a rural area and Comcast rules supreme…For 35 bucks I can get their Blast special @ 25Mb down and 4 Mb up. However this is mediocre at best since on any given day i can have less than 1Mb down and even less up.
I hear that there’s a cap, I have even heard of it from one of the techs here locally, yet I know for a fact Ive exceeded it by 750Gb’s at any given time over last 2 years. One of their “Customer service personnel” told me it was surprising i hadn’t been contacted because my cap had been exceeded by almost 800Gb the previous month.
Of course i had to tell the poor rep that it was a good thing Comcast never contacted me about a cap since i have a service tech at my home trying to figure out the issue with the intermittent service in this area at least 3 times a month… In November of 2010 i tried the 50Mb uber speed and it worked for a whopping 10 days then the techs were at my home daily for 3 weeks in December trying to figure out why:
1. The Codes on the account were missing.
2. The Signal to the home was no higher than 3-4 Mbs
3. When they replaced the Modem nothing changed.
I went through this headache for a 200 dollar service that didn’t even work. I went back down to their basic services and ever since i have had nothing but problems with my Comcast internet.
If I have to pay ridiculous prices for crappy service ill risk the cap ever day.