Two months ago I received a call from Comcast’s High Speed Internet Security Assurance Center telling me to reduce my bandwidth consumption. My thoughts from that call can be found here. Yesterday, I came home to disconnected internet service. I tried the usual power reset, which resulted in a full connection, and shortly after completely offline. I then called the regular help line at 888-824-8103, and they told me to call the network abuse department at 856-317-7272. This was a different number from my past experience, but I decided to call it anyway.
That New Jersey number presented me with a lengthy answering machine service, which talked alot about email blacklisting. It also mentioned that because of large call volume, they wouldn’t be able to return my call the same day. Eventually I was able to leave a message, but because I had no internet connection, I decided to call the general help line again. This time I tried to get status information of my account, but they redirected me to 856-324-2025, which was the number I had from my first experience with the network abuse department, so I left a message with them as well.
They called me back today, around 3pm, and told me that my account has been terminated, not suspended. Asking for the reason, he stated that I used 333gb of bandwidth last month, and in return I asked if there was an actual limit. He sarcastically said ‘333gb is apparently over the threshold.’ He also stated how all that traffic takes away from other people’s internet experience. At this time I didn’t want to argue, so I asked why my account was terminated rather than suspended. He said because this was my second instance, I am banned for 12 months. I was shocked because I nothing was said to me about this during my first instance with them. I questioned it, but he and even his manager couldn’t do anything for me. I stated that I have been a customer from the very start, from @home to ATT to Comcast, which is probably over eight years of service. I even posed a question of if I guaranteed bandwidth usage of 1gb/day, would I be let back in. I had no plan of actually doing that, but I wanted to see if I could get back in. He said none of that matters, and that this was your second abuse instance according to the system, and that I am out. Period. I laughed, and said that if this is the way you treat customers then good luck.
I was pretty mad at this point, mainly because I was without internet connectivity, and I had alot of work to do. I also knew other people were having similar problems from threads like this one. So I decided to put together a small argument list, and this is what I came up with:
- You were abusing the network by using too much bandwidth.
- Do you have a limit?
- They say no limit is set because it varies per region, and only the top 1% get flagged
- Do they notify users of this regional / variable limit?
- Do they notify users when they are getting close to the limit?
- Do they have anything to back up this claim? Statistics or graphs ?
- Why don’t they throttle bandwidth?
- IPTV, VOIP, downloadable dvds, streaming radio, web services, etc are all legit services.
- More and more network based services are becoming available, and soon your limits will have to be raised. I know this isn’t an argument point, but its more of a statement to them that they need to wake up.
- How do you define a consumer?
- I am guessing that they would say average consumer is 1gb/day.
- This was all personal use, I am not in a business.
- For an individual person, what makes the difference between residential and business accounts?
Later on in the day I received another call, and because I know the final outcome, I decided to discuss about the above points with him. He understood all the things I was talking about, and agreed that there needs to be changes done. He mentioned tiered service and posting of limits, but it wont happen because of the market. Current marketing technique gets more customers, and it is easier to just take out the top 1%. I talked with this person for around an hour, and he actually said ‘its getting late, I have to get going’ to me! Now that is funny.
In the end, they have a clause in the Terms of Service (TOS) that says they can disconnect anyone for whatever reason they feel like. I will be getting DSL service within the week. Anyone have suggestions?