Saturday, February 10, 2007

February 10, 2007

I really appreciate the work of the Consumerist and Digg in getting the word out about Comcasts practice of terminating HSI service.

I've been accused of many things these last few weeks. Let's be clear. The reason my HSI service was terminated was because I violated a monthly download limitation which Comcast is not willing to disclose. People online have mentioned they were happy to see me gone as I was a "bandwidth hog". Those same people however have been unwilling to post what they believe a internet user should be using monthly. In my research I've found people terminated for downloading anywhere from 60-100 Gigs. The number seems to change depending which state they live.

When I signed up, here is the advertisement I saw on Comcast's web site. They stated they were offering "Unlimited Use for a flat monthly fee". This was many years ago. If you speak with someone from their abuse department, they will tell you "it's not unlimited use, it's unlimited access. "It's true they currently don't advertise unlimited use anymore and I'm ok with that. If there is some limit I am required to obey then they should state what it is. Other companies are not afraid to disclose the limitations. It should be noted that Cox Communications fought for some time to hide the limits until consumers forced them to disclose.

I've been asked why not fire Comcast and go with another provider (like DSL or utopianet). I'd love to. Unfortunately it's either Comcast HSI or a 28.8 dial up connection. Comcast has 90% coverage of the Salt Lake Valley and Qwest keeps pushing DSL availability back month after month. In my research I've learned that Comcast isn't Clark Howard's favorite company. I found an article here and here which clearly shows how he feels about them. The issue he has seems to be their "very strange and unprofessional way to let customers know." For those who don't know who is he, Clark Howard is a self made millionare who is involved in consumer advocacy. I've been listening to him for years on KSL radio 1160.

So here we are. According to Jackie and Sara of Comcast's escalation department (did you guys know they had one?), we don't qualify for a residential OR a business account. Our only option now is to sign up for a Commercial account. For only $1700 and $1000 monthly we can have Comcast HSI back to our home. Of course I've been asking for a quote for the last week and am still waiting. In all fairness, the one guy who could provide the quote was away most of last week. I'll be following up with him on Monday.

44 comments:

Alan said...

One idea to consider if Comcast is your only option: Buy Comcast Internet for a neighbor on the condition that they allow you wireless access. That way, they get free Internet, and you can sidestep the block on your account. The wireless wouldn't be a bottleneck since 802.11g has more bandwidth than the Comcast pipe.

It's not a great solution, but it's better than dial-up.

David said...

Hi. Just read about your situation from reddit.

Have you considered talking to a lawyer? If they told you something and you acted in good faith based on what they said, then they shouldn't be able to cancel your service.

Also, if Comcast has 90% of the HSI in the area, there may be some monopoly regulations that come into play.

Good luck with your situation.

adam said...

Here's the question I have HOW MUCH were you using?

Chad said...

Well u235sentinel I am on your side. I first saw your postings to the SLLUG mailing list and was very concerned and have followed your blog closely. I have been researching their shady business practices as well for the last month.

THOUGHT: If HSI is sold as unlimited usage, then how do you measure usage by something other than bandwidth if all you are paying for is bandwidth?

In my mind usage = bandwidth.

I too live in Salt Lake City and just got my call last week. You can read my blog post all about it here, http://www.chadmayfield.com/blog/
including the very ambiguous and vague conversation I had with their rep. If you need more people for your Gephart interview let me know and I would be happy to give you any information you need.

Luckily for me I am not cut off. Though I have been looking into Speakeasy/Xmission and I am only 13 blocks away from Utopia.

Have you thought about having your wife sign up in her name (maiden name that is) with a new modem (mac address change) to see if that can get you back in the pipe.

Note to other bloggers: flame me if you must for being a "hog" too, but he who is without, ummm, bandwidth, let him cast the first stone.

I will be more than willing to be called a bandwidth hog...which to me is an oxymoron since I have paid well over $5000.00 to Comcast for said bandwidth.

Look at their 2006 revenue in HSI alone... a 20+% increase to well over $10 billion USD. So much for fair business practices.

Chad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chad said...

I understand you VPN alot but there are some satellite based solutions that may work for you, at least in the interim until something better comes along. You may also want to look into Sprint or Verizon EVDO.

Some providers:
WildBlue
HughesNet
StarBand
iDirect
Tachyon
And some info on EVDO

u235sentinel said...

Here's the question I have HOW MUCH were you using?

Adam, my firewall running ifconfig -a shows 40 gigs and some change for December. This is why I find it Suspicious Comcast is unwilling to allow HSI customers to view their totals. The company can say whatever it wants and most people wouldn't have a clue.

BTW, the real question here is "why is Comcast hiding their bandwidth limits if they really exist?". What we have here is a one sided contracted with undisclosed terms. What Judge would accept such a contract?

u235sentinel said...

Have you considered talking to a lawyer? If they told you something and you acted in good faith based on what they said, then they shouldn't be able to cancel your service.

I've spoken offline with a couple of lawyers. It doesn't sound like there is much they can do from the sound of it. I'm keeping an open mind however. I find it troubling if this is legal.

u235sentinel said...

I too live in Salt Lake City and just got my call last week. You can read my blog post all about it here,

Even if you drop your usage you will be gone in a month. I can almost promise you this. I've spoken with a couple people in the Salt Lake Valley who complied and were terminated for 12 months. Saw your blog. Very unfortunate Comcast choose an unprofessional way of treating their customers. If you can I'd move as quickly as possible to one of the other providers.

Drax said...

Being Irish our first reaction is always to fight, why not use some information guerilla tactics. People could enter this fight and contact the following;-

Comcast Press Room: Press and Analyst Contacts
http://www.cmcsk.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=147565&p=irol-contact

This page lists contacts by region so it is best to write to the rep in your region complaining about the treatement of this couple. It would be nice also to copy that email or letter to your local politico, tv, radio and newspaper, plus upload to hubpages, reddit, digg, your blog...

Stephen B. Burke is the President of Comcast Cable Communications. He lives in a small village called Haverford, PA. There are three Burkes in Haverford, one or all of them are probably related to him;-

M Burke (610) 649-4746
3300 Darby Rd,Haverford, PA 19041
T Burke (610) 789-1276
12 Shawnee Rd,Haverford, PA 19041
Frank Burke -(610) 520-9926
7 Barrister Ct,Haverford, PA 19041

He serves on the Board of Directors for JP Morgan and The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. You can be sure he will not like this issue bleeding into his home town or either of these organisations;-

the Hospital Public Relations and Communications Dept are on 267-426-6050

JP Morgan are a much more juicier target, here is their extensive media contact page
http://www.jpmorganchase.com/cm/cs?pagename=Chase/Href&urlname=jpmc/about/newsroom/media

or if anyone owns stock, the investor info pg..
http://investor.shareholder.com/jpmorganchase/

..one could take the approach as a shareholder that Burke's presence on the Board is bringing JP Morgan into disrepute, it is almost worth buying some stock for this purpose..

Change comes at a price, if you want change things you have to fight, if other posters would like to take 30 minutes of their time like I have and add some more intelligence to this then a fully blown campaign could be in existence in 48 hours...

I would bet that a small group of people could force a retraction from Comcast in about 10 days. Contact me directly at
com.or.con.cast@gmail.com if you like a fight :-)

Net said...

The term "bandwidth hog" has a major downside. However, it only means something to the few and far between that actually use their Internet connection for something other than sporadic surfing and email.

Most people use their HSI for surfing once in a while, checking their email, and maybe downloading a movie trailer now and then. Some use it a little more aggressively and download movies, play online games, and download music. A very small number of users actually run any sort of service from their home connections such as a web site or illegal file sharing.

IMHO, the biggest "bandwidth hogs" are the idiots that are infested with spyware and viruses making them part of botnets to do the bidding of the evil spammers.

Which raises the question: What is Comcast doing about them? Is Comcast taking a hard look at the data coming from these "bandwidth hog" machines and figuring out that their machines have been compromised because their owners are ignorant fools? And if they did, is Comcast willing to cut THEM off? It strikes me as a terrible injustice that idiots are allowed to keep their Comcast connections alive and continue to spam the world as long as they stay under their secret bandwidth cap but the few people that actually make REAL use of their connections are cut off.

I personally use AT&T 6Mbps/1Mbps DSL and I run a website and video streaming services from home-based servers. I routinely upload 500GB+ per month and have never heard a WORD from AT&T. Meanwhile, I game online, I watch movies online at Netflix, and between my wife, my son, and myself, we all download almost a terabyte of data per month. Again, all without a word from AT&T. Am I lucky that they haven't discovered it? Is AT&T just not watching or waiting for reports of trouble in my area before they get wind of it? Is there a mysterious bandwidth cap that I am violating every month? Who knows.

But I do know this. If it ever becomes a problem and they tell me that I need to pay $10 more per month to keep doing what I do, I would just do it. $10 a month is not that much and although I agree with your philosophy, I think there is some truth to the "unlimited access does not mean unlimited use" argument. I started the first ISP in a rural area of California in the early 90s. The vast majority of people were on and off like normal. But, there were always the few people that had to make an issue of it and try to maintain their connections 24x7 because the contract said "unlimited Internet." Back then, there were a limited number of dialup ports and users hanging on to one endlessly was a real problem. Now, with "always on" connections, that isn't an issue. Now, the issue is bandwidth usage. And considering how few people actually make use of every drop of available bandwidth, I think the real problem lies in the idiocy of the corporate executives that are so far removed from what users actually do and rely on their old habits of capping usage. If you take an actual look at bandwidth usage, I think you will find that there is more than enough bandwidth available for everyone as long as you don't have 50 geeks in one neighborhood. THEN you have a problem.

Good luck in your fight but if you can, pay the $10. And if they still won't let you on, the other idea about getting Internet access for a neighbor and using wireless is an EXCELLENT idea.

James said...

Frank, First, I would like to say how repentant I am that you are going through this ordeal with such a imprudent company such as Comcast.

Second, I wanted to disclose to you something, SO INTERESTING, that is going to start to make you feel better.

I NEVER let any company push me around. I believe that the customer is always right, and companies shouldn’t push their customers around because they are bigger and have more resources than them. I have talked to CEOs of DirecTV, Cingular, AT&T, Garmin, and many many more, because I don’t back down and I do my research.

The FCC has nice laws regarding to recording phones calls. It based on your STATE law, and it is non-disputable. Your state, Utah, is a ‘single-party’ disclosure when recording phone calls. What this means to you is that you can record your phone calls and NOT tell people that you are recording them. I do this with EVERY phone call I make to asinine customer service people. I make sure to get the “Welcome to Comcast....” in the beginning and the name of the agent before they start acting like a senseless jerk-offs. www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/recordcalls.html

The key to recording your phones is that EVEN though you might not get your way in the end, you can always use the calls to talk to the BIG WIGS and tell them your issue. Plus, if you are brave enough you can pose a nice CIVIL lawsuit (no lawyer) against the company for harassment, false disclosure of policies, lying, loss of business time, and many many many more. I have won many of those, and I am just a “stupid engineer”, one of the companies said.

If they try and come back and SUE you for NOT disclosing that you were recording the calls, they have to come to your HOME state (where you called from) to take you to court. Which means that the judge will throw it out since it is single party disclosure in your state, even though you were calling Arizona (or wherever) when you were talking to customer service.

Right now I have UNLIMITED (the real kind) calling on SprintPCS because I talked to Andrew Sukawaty and proved to him what kind of BS his customers go through to have service with them.
Just buy an 8 dollar microphone for your computer, download Audacity recorder for free, and put your phone on Speaker when you are talking to customer service. I even play an MP3 in the background that makes a faint BEEP once every 60 seconds. (This helped me in a suit against a company because they said I didn’t disclose I was recording, but the beep was there every 60 seconds)

Anyways, I WANT you to defend yourself and make a mockery and an example of COMCAST. They are the reason we are behind Korea, China, and Japan on internet bandwidth and availability, and also for reason why 100% of the country doesn’t have internet in their homes. It should be cheap, readily available, and without ANY strings attached.

Take Care!

Rhyzim
Rhyzim@gmail.com

easternblocparty said...

Hi.

Keep up the good fight. I live in Toronto, Canada and, obviously, have no experience with Comcast since they, to my knowledge, do not operate here. However, this has had an impact on myself as well. I've actually gone ahead, as a result of your experience, and checked the usage guidelines of my DSL provider. In my case, Bell Canada. They have, on their website, a clearly defined limit on how much you can download: 30 Gb / month. Furthermore, they also list what it would cost you should you exceed that limit.

I believe all DSL/Cable companies should have this usage limit listed and also provide an option to pay a little extra should that limit be exceeded.

Best of luck.

I'm_not_anonymous said...

You say, or rather your wife mentioned, that you were running a business from the account. Were you aware that running a business on a residential account is against the ToS? I realize it's too late now to get even a business account, but your ignorance of the ToS is really no excuse. They had every right to cut you off. You're lucky you even got that warning. They can by rights charge you for the overage too and probably even for the difference in cost between a residential account and business account for all the time you were running your business.

Between the bittorrent talk, the mention of spyware, and everything else, it really sounds to me like you're trying to make excuses.

I realize I could be wrong, and admit I haven't read every single comment, but I truely believe (based on what I have read) that you are in the wrong.

Please publish this reply with an answer if you believe you are not wrong in this matter. If you do not, I guess we'll know the truth.

JTRockville said...

Frank,

When you contact your City Council, you might ask them to request information regarding the manufacturer make and model number of Comcast's cable modem termination systems (CMTS), the number of modems on the line card, and number of modems on the upstream receiver. Compare this to the manufacturer recommendations. When making the comparison, be sure to adjust the manufacturer's assumptions to coincide with the advertised data rate (speed) of Comcast's service. If Comcast's system is so overloaded that they need to terminate customers, have they stopped signing up new customers until they can upgrade?

What on earth was your City Council thinking/smoking when they turned down Utopia?

btw - you also got mentioned in Europe's Inquirer: http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=37565

Good luck,
JTRockville

Mondonico said...

File a complaint at the FCC: http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/complaints_general.html

Lord Nazh said...

I was going to suggest satellite (WildBlue is who I use, it's the ONLY option heh) but with your VPN usage I'd say no. Wild Blue stated to me that they cannot handle VPN (I've never actually tried it to see after they said that though).

I would recommend what commenter #2 stated, the lawyer angle. When business screws up, they should fix said screw up.

Stephen said...

I think you should talk to more lawyers. If Comcast has a monopoly on broadband in the area then they have a higher responsibility than if there were multiple providers. Also, in many just having an attorney contact a company on your behalf is much more effective.

Also, have you looked at contacting the cable regulatory body in your area?

M. Rice said...

I live in Bountiful where we managed to get DSL, but only after wrangling with Quest for a full month to remove a phone line splitter from our house that was preventing service. My husband was threatening to remove it himself, but they said they'd hold us liable for damaging their equipment even though the stupid thing was located on our property and we never gave them permission to put it there! We finally managed to find a local Quest service person to remove the box--he said it was easier to get forgiveness than permission in those situations.

Mondonico said...

What Alan suggested -- piggy backing on your neighbor's wireless Comcast line -- would almost certainly violate the service agreement that the neighbor would have to sign. It also would place you in a non-sympathetic light in any future attempt to resolve your dispute. Comcast could even argue that it was theft of services/fraudulent. Try satellite--it's a poor substitute but it beats dial up. Another idea is Verizon EVDO--it's a very poor substitute, but, again, better than dial up.

Mondonico said...

Lawyers are expensive, and nobody wins in litigation. An FCC complaint is virtually free to file--you can represent yourself.

In the end the best leverage you have is what you're doing--exposing the unfairness. Having Glenn Reynolds (the BlogFather) link to a description of your problem is worth 100 lawyers.

Darryl said...

Hello from Australia. Just read about your predicament at The Inquirer.

This is absolutely absurd. I would have gone very mad with the tone of the service desk on the phone. The use of words like "you should have been dealt with" is just plain unacceptable.

IMHO suspension of service from an ISP should only take effect if illegal activities have been conducted. The pain would have been less severe if capping is activated as per the Acceptable Usage Policy (AUP), if there was any.

There should not be any breach involved in this situation. After all, the main purpose of an ISP is to provide internet access. I am very certain you're not their first client who downloaded few hundred gigs a month. If bandwidth was expensive, the ISP of Comcast' size would have known better - to introduce caps... but doesn't seem like they do. Even small Australian DSL ISPs know what cap is.

Anyhow, good luck.

Tom Carter said...

Try calling natioanlly syndicated consumer advocate Clark Howard.

www.clarkhoward.com

Will said...

I also have been hit with Comcast's abuse policy. Of course I was running Majestic-12 (http://www.majestic12.co.uk) at the time, and was running my connection for all it was worth. Pulling in excess of 50gb per day. The only info I got from their abuse peeps was that I wasn't the biggest hog in the area. And that Unlimited access didn't mean unlimited use (all the adverts I've seen from them say "Enjoy Unlimited I-net access"). O.K., but they wouldn't give me any info as to how they enforce the policy. That info I got from the local office.
What I was told...
Comcast tries to keep the accounts as unlimited as possible, and only start watching a node when other customers start gripping about a lack of speed.Then they take the top %1 hogs and cut them off. No messages, or nothing, they just kill the connection (annoying). Anyway, the thing that affects how unlimited the connection is just how many other customers are on the node with you, and weather or not they start gripping when us hogs start trying to eat up all the available bandwidth. Now the guy at the abuse office was pleasant to me and at first showed concern about my system having been turned in to a zombie until I told him what I was doing. I had my connection back less than 5min after calling him. (I just don't run MJ-12 any more) I still do a buttload of traffic at times, just not 24/7. In a nutshell, I got cut off due to me and a few others pissing off the neighbors by hogging up all the bandwidth on the node. And yes, I am still a Comcast customer.

The said...

If you have a clear view of the southern sky, why not give Hughes-net a try. They are not good for things like gaming or VoIP but for the regular use like VPN or daily surfing, it should be fine. And they are nowhere as expensive as the friggen comcastic enterprise account, something like $400 upfront and $60/mo or something like it.

t said...

Both Sprint and Verizon wireless have EVDO (metro areas but expanding) or 1xRTT service (elsewhere). The former is 500Kbps with antenna if you are far from the tower or faster - I've gotten T1 speeds (see evdoforums.com for info). 1xRTT is still 15kbps. Verizon is capped at 5Gb, but Sprint is supposedly unlimited.

Also T-Mobile and ATT/Cingular also have the GSM equivalents, but I'm not as familiar with them.

They might at least get you better than your dial-up depending on your area. All services have coverage maps

Chad said...

Frank, my information has been sent to you for Gephart. Also I was sent another link by an associate about Comcast. See it here here.

Bryon said...

My brother lived in the Salt Lake area and used a Wireless ISP for internet connectivity. If you are in the Valley and can see the foothills from your house you can usually get a connection. I know the wireless guys publish their limits. Barring this I would consult with a Lawyer. This is crap.

RickyF said...

I thought I was a heavy user. My average daily download is about 1.6GB, and upload is about 0.35GB.

What were you doing to get your numbers? Were you running an internet server at home?

Bill McGonigle said...

You might be able to file a breach-of-contract suit in an effort to have the download caps disclosed during the discovery process. You might also want to talk to somebody at a law school for more creative legal ideas. Google says this one is near you and the pages there say they have folks interested in contract law, telecommunications law, public advocacy, etc. If only you could sit down at the lunch table and say, "so, Comcast operates as a monopoly utility and says they have the right to terminate my contract based on undisclosed criteria." It might be likened to the electric company shutting you off for using too much power. Fortunately they're smart enough to just charge you by the unit.

Alan has the most pragmatic idea.

PC said...

Here is the account of the trouble I had with comcast:

http://pradeepc.wordpress.com/2007/02/13/comcast-should-be-outcast/

grunts said...

You're not the only one to get this treatment, not only me but my uncle who lives in one town over has gotten the warning call. Neither of us have been cut off, however, they said it'd be our only warning and the next step would be termination. Neither of us could get guidelines either for usage, they just said we had to cut way way down. His usage was a something like 350gb for the past month, mine was under 300 but approaching it. I've downloaded tons of content for many years and this is the very first time I ever got such a warning so I feel this is something new for certain. Good luck fighting it, I truly hope you get some satisfaction. Here in Spotswood NJ we can get 3mbit dsl so we are very fortunate. I'm going to vote with my wallet and soon as I'm back from vacation, get the dsl hooked up and working, then get dish network for our tv service and after all that is up and running terminate comcast. What's very ironic about this entire thing is I was just saying less than a week ago that we've been pretty happy with comcast and when FIOS arrives, I'd not see any reason to switch. Things change, now I have no reservations and welcome the new service to our area.

Ryan said...

I feel for ya. This is absolutely unexcusable for ANY company. However, you are sorely mistaken in saying that there are NO OTHER providers other than Comcast. There are many existing and emerging technologies available to you today. There's wireless techs, such as Evdo and "clearblue", not to mention Satellite if you're really desperate.

I currently live outside of my local area. I can't even get Cable television, much less internet or DSL, however, tomorrow, I'm driving an hour to pick up my 3 MBps wireless modem from http://www.speednetllc.com. The point is, you have more options available to you, get out and talk to some people.

Jered said...

Hey u235sentinel

So sorry to hear that you are having these issues. Let me shed some light on what I know of the issues.

So back when Comcast first bought the front end of the AT&T wired side they had services that basically had unlimited (no tiers) and people used what they paid for.

Now they have become a bit smarter by tiering and basically lowly limiting their upload so their networks will not feel the effects of the so called "hogs".

Now with the advent of huge P2P networks, pay for media sites, etc. the download stability of their old antequated system is becoming a problem.

From technicians I have had out to my place they tell me that Comcast is basically unwilling to repair lines and routers/servers unless the repair is dire. This is sad when your CEO and Chair make a combined 120 million last year.

O well I am one of those hogs. I dont know what I would do without the internet, or my downloads. It is the only way I watch TV, it is basically my DVR. I also download less reputable material which I do not hid if asked, by all but Comcast.

If you read their EULA it use to not state the following: In the Customer Terms of Use 5b - "Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the Service is for personal and non-commercial use only and you agree not to use the Service for operation as an Internet service provider, a server site for ftp, telnet, rlogin, e-mail hosting, "web hosting" or other similar applications, for any business enterprise, or as an end-point on a non-Comcast local area network or wide area network."

This basically says that all server type aplications are prohibited due to them not being for "Entertainment/Hobby Use". Now I have argued with them on this and feel I would win. As long as the server is not commercial, and I am not using it for profit, nor deseminating stolen material...I should and DO run servers for my hobbies.

But again the thing that Comcast is dealing with is downloaders (I am about 20-40+gb a month).

For your situation I would do a few of the following:

1) Have your wifes mother or father start an account at your residence. They only need a name and SN to check your credit. Anyone over 18 can sign for the installation.

2) Get your own modem.

3) Once you have an account find a good program that logs all traffic over your modem so you can tell Comcast exactly how much you have downloaded.

4) Run PeerGaurdian2 to stop all sinffer programs out there. You might find it combersum if you connect to educational computers, but you can manually add blocked IP's to the allow list. You have to run this on all of your computers.

5) Run Lavasoft Adaware and SpyBot Search and Destroy on all your computers.

6) I would download PingPlotter Pro and grab some data about my connection for a baseline of what they are providing me.

7) I would run a spead test every day and log this information.

8) I would grab a program to determine the configuation on my cable modem. They are out there, but Comcast deems them as a breach of their contract due to the potential of you being able to adjust your cfg file.

9) Lastly I would also make sure I reset my router, change its password, and make sure if you are using WiFi to enable a WAP-PK and but in something very long as the key...

This last advice is to protect yourself from your neighbors or a person driving by. Imagine that your problem could be due to your router being open and a malicious person downloading hundreds of gigabits of information (porn, pirated software, music, etc.) without your knowledge.

This is all to protect yourself from Comcast. It is very sad that one has to do such things, but this is the Comcast world we live in.

I hope you take my suggestions to heart and use another person to get you back up and running. It sounds like Salt Lake needs a new provider, to bad Comcast signs an legal contract with cites giving them a legal monopoly that we the tax payer really had no say in.

O this just came to thought, find out when this contract is up with the city and go to the town meeting about who to sign the new contract to. This might give you an arena to make complaints or bring a petition.

Hope all gets better

Chris said...

I have had a very similar experience recently. If you would like, you are welcome to read about what happened with me on my blog: http://elvendude.livejournal.com/188443.html?view=874523#t874523

simonlenton said...

Hey all you American Folks.

I've never had a run in with Comcast seeing as I'm based in the UK. Unfortunately we have the same problem here too.

We're with TalkTalk, who offer Unlimited (cough, yeah right, cough) internet access. However, in the UK, the Law says that a company must issue all customers with terms and conditions, be it in electronic or paperback format.

So here in my heavy chunk of tree from talktalk it says, and I quote:

"We apply a fair usage policy to our inclusive and unlimited internet packages in that we expect our customer's usage to be commensurate with standard residential internet usage patterns.

If we believe that your usage of any "inclusive" and "unlimited' TalkTalk service is more aligned to business telecommunications usage, we will contact you and put you in touch with our Talk Talk business team in order to transfer your service.

In case of continuous excessive consumption, Talk Talk reserves the right to change the terms of your contract or even terminate our service to you.

This Fair Usage Policy is implemented by TalkTalk in order to ensure that our network offers a reliable and quality service for all other TalkTalk customers and to ensure that our customers requirements, be they residential or business, are serviced in the most effective way."

So it looks like the legal folks in the US and here in the UK have got it sussed.

It made me laugh when they put unlimited in quotes, seeing as it's clearly not "unlimited".

Argh, I hate Lawyers, and TalkTalk, and for you american folks, i'll hate comcast a bit for you ;)

SimonL, UK

CARLO said...

i read about someone that was cut off for too many downloadings that is absurd. i tried to get comcast when dsl first came out it was not in my area so i went to another provider that was, i was on dial up for years, and when dsl came into our area i went for it and got msn for free so instead of dial up it went to msn premium the best move i have ever made, it runs great off the high speed without the dial up connection when i read that i am glad i made the change

Marshall said...

Very unfortunate Comcast choose an unprofessional way of treating their customers.

This has been my experience with comcast and now I am looking to buy a new house, I never thought of getting a dish but reading and dealing with the Comcast of Utah has made me think about it. I hope Comcast realizes this, this isn't just about their HSI, this is about all the products they provide.

u235sentinel said...

I've downloaded tons of content for many years and this is the very first time I ever got such a warning so I feel this is something new for certain. Good luck fighting it, I truly hope you get some satisfaction.

I don't plan to fight it. I plan on replacing Comcast as the monopoly in west jordan with something that allows freedome of choice.

If Comcast comes back and plays nice I'll go with their HSI using my new Fedora Core Linux Firewall. That is until I find a solution that's better (like DSL or Utopianet).

u235sentinel said...

What were you doing to get your numbers? Were you running an internet server at home?

I've provided a list in the blog main page. It's not complete but I could add Internet Radio (we ran it frequently), gaming, downloading (this is what comcast was complaining about ... .remember?) and so on. Check the main blog page. It's a fairly complete list.

I'm pretty sure we don't need to get so detailed that it borders on rediculous :-)

u235sentinel said...

Also, have you looked at contacting the cable regulatory body in your area?

Yes. I may be posting how that turns out. It really depends on many factors. The main one is if it goes to litigation then some things can't be discussed publicly at first.

u235sentinel said...

You say, or rather your wife mentioned, that you were running a business from the account. Were you aware that running a business on a residential account is against the ToS?

Let's not forget what Comcast accused us of. They said we downloaded too much. We were not accused of running a business from that account.

If you follow the timeline, we began moving the business to include internet services since we signed up for it. Workplace lite allows 3-5 computers (I believe). My wife has 3 computers. 2 of which render videos and burn DVD's.


I realize it's too late now to get even a business account, but your ignorance of the ToS is really no excuse. They had every right to cut you off. You're lucky you even got that warning.

There is a lot of info here and understand why someone would want to skim. Remember, the timeline shows we were running a home business however it wasn't on the internet. Customers sent us videos and photos via courier for us to create their DVD memories.

Between the bittorrent talk, the mention of spyware, and everything else, it really sounds to me like you're trying to make excuses.

I realize I could be wrong, and admit I haven't read every single comment, but I truely believe (based on what I have read) that you are in the wrong.


I respect your opinion. I OTOH disagree. People have asked questions offline and on the blog. I've been answering them :-)

Please publish this reply with an answer if you believe you are not wrong in this matter. If you do not, I guess we'll know the truth.

All you had to do is say please. The rest was really unnecessary. Also realize I have other responsibilities (wife and 6 kids can keep a guy busy) but I do my best.

stmesser said...

I love Comcast!

u235sentinel said...

stmesser has left a new comment on your post "February 10, 2007":

I love Comcast!


Until this PR embarrasement, so did I :D

Of course I have Comcast to thank for showing me how bad our Internet Infrastructure is here in America and that we need to replace the copper with fiber.

Only way to catch up with everybody else. Presuming this Internet thing is still important :D