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Old 07-13-2011, 09:30 PM
Jason Dunn
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 29,160
Default Comcast's Two-Strike-And-You're-Dead Policy is Terrifying

"Today I came home to find my 15 MB down/3 MB up Comcast broadband service had been shut off due to exceeding their 250 GB/month data cap policy. This had happened the month before, and I called and had a polite but irritated conversation with Comcast's "Customer Security" department (since the regular customer service folks could not help.) According to them I had exceeded their 250 GB monthly cap, and they asked how that might have happened."

Whoa boy. I read this story with a grimace on my face. On the one hand, you have Comcast's completely over-the-top reaction to a customer blowing his data usage cap two months in a row: total account termination. That's just insane. That's the sort of extreme measure you take if your customer was doing something illegal or unethical. Going over a data usage cap? Bill the customer extra, but don't terminate his account.

My current ISP, Shaw, will automatically bump you to the next plan which has a larger data cap if you go over - and that's a lot less expensive than per GB data charges, and it's a reasonable action. Shaw has also greatly bumped the data caps recently; I now have 500 GB of usage, which is plenty in my books. Comcast, on the other hand, still has the same 250 GB data cap they had in 2008 (despite speculation by a VP of Comcast that they'd increase it over time).

Now as much as I dislike the way Comcast treated this guy, I have to admit he's shirking his own responsibility in all this. If you know you have a 250 GB data usage cap, you should be aware of what you can and can't do with it. He says he didn't think uploads counted against the total cap. If my mom said that, I'd believe her - but this guy sounds pretty technical, so I find it hard to believe he was so ignorant. And once he got cut off the first time, why didn't he immediately start using the Comcast data usage monitoring tool that came out in 2009? Yeah, data caps suck, but being wilfully ignorant and proceeding to do bandwidth intensive things - like upload all your raw photos and lossless music collection - is just dumb. If you don't work the system, the system will work you.

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