Comcast HSI Abuse – Part 2

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?
  • Advertisement refers to unlimited service.
  • By consuming x amount of bandwidth, you are reducing other people’s internet experience.
    • Do they have anything to back up this claim? Statistics or graphs ?
    • Why don’t they throttle bandwidth?
  • As a consumer, you shouldn’t be using this much 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.
  • If you need all that bandwidth, move to a business account.
    • 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?

    4 Comments

    1. RD   •  

      My purpose of signing up with Comcast was to download the old radio and TV shows. I remember stating this to someone I spoke on the phone, and asked if there were any limitations, and was told that there was none.

      Today I found my Comcast internet service not working. After spending an hour or more going through the usual rountine (disconnecting everything, etc.), I finally called Comcast, and after about a few switches and about 20 minutes, was told that my account was temporarily suspended for abuse.

      My first thoughts were that someone must have complained about something I posted in one of the usenet groups, or a blog, or a forum. After waiting a little while longer, I was told that I had been suspended for using too much bandwidth. I was shocked, since I thought Comcast offered unlimited service, and was even told so when I signed up. So what it is the limit, I asked. The answer: there is no set limit, but my account was flagged and suspended because of excessive usage. What kind of answer is that? I was asked if I understood that I had violated Comcast’s (undisclosed) excessive usgage policy? I kept asking questions, trying to get some answer as to what Comcast deemed excessive usage, but my questions were constantly evaded with something like Comast has not set limit, but my account came up in to certain percentage of usage, when is absolutely and totally useless to me. I was asked if I understand that I violated Comcast policy? I deemed that I would have to answer “yes”, or else my service would not be restored, although I still have no idea what limitations are being set upon my usage, so that I may know when I may be coming close to violating Comcast policy. I was told that if I violate Comcast’s policy again by excessive usage, of which I have no way of knowing that I will be doing so or not, then I my account will be permanently terminated. The peson I spoke said that my account would be restored in about and hour or two. I can now get online, although I cannot access my account as comcast.net, and when I click the “chat” option, I get a page not found error.

      Comcast has a monopoly of this kind of service in my area (no satellite internet), so, unless I want to go back to DSL, I am stuck with Comcast. I have been told that Comcast’s monopoly is political. I am hoping for Verizon to bring FiOS internet to Philadelphia.

      At any rate, I felt a need to protest somewhere concerning this kind of treatment by Comcast.

    2. JS   •  

      I also got a call from comcast today telling me the same thing. The guy stated that i had used 490 gigs this month and this was my 1st warning. I asked the same questions about what is the normal usage and was told the same as you got told. I will be going back to my 6 meg dsl line because i can download 24/7 on bellsouth and never hear anything from them. So i loose 200kbs download speed, not to bad. Comcast had better do something or they are going to end up in a class action law suit for this problem. They tell you unlimited but wont tell you what that means. Maybe they will wake up and learn 1 day but i really doubt they will.

    3. Will   •  

      Just received one of these calls from a Lucas in the HSI Abuse department as well. The representative I spoke with, who did not give me a name, as extremely rude. He made many sarcastic comments, and when I asked to speak with a supervisor, he said, “no, this is not an escalatable issue”. When I persisted, he hung up. I will be switching to ATT, and I recommend that anyone who experiences this issue do the same. Be sure to specifically let them know that THIS is why they lost a customer.

    4. RM   •  

      Got the call yesterday HSI. Stated that I was over the limit of 250GB per month. Are you kidding me! Asked the lady what “unlimited” means then and she stated that it is “unlimited access”, what ever the hell that means. They also had picked up the MAC address from my Vonage router and said that is probably what put me over the limit. So much for privacy. Of course, if I was to switch to their phone service, the bandwidth limit would be waved, what a shock.

      Good Bye Comcast, hello AT&T DSL…

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