Broadband subscriber finds out the hard way that the “unlimited usage for a flat, monthly fee” sentence printed in his Comcast brochure should really read “limited usage for a flat, monthly fee.”
I mentioned back in late 2008 how Comcast announced it was going to amend its Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) and establish a specific monthly data cap of 250GB p/mo for all its residential customers. The plan was partly in response to a ruling by the FCC ordering it to halt a previous scheme at managing network traffic that involved throttling BitTorrent traffic.
From its Acceptable Use Policy (AUP):
The Service is for personal and non-commercial residential use only. Therefore, Comcast reserves the right to suspend or terminate Service accounts where data consumption is not characteristic of a typical residential user of the Service as determined by the company in its sole discretion. Comcast has established a monthly data consumption threshold per Comcast High-Speed Internet account of 250 Gigabytes (“GB”). Use of the Service in excess of 250GB per month is excessive use and is a violation of the Policy.
That’s fine and dandy if customers are being told beforehand, but apparently Comcast has been trying to have it both ways, telling customers they have unlimited usage while quietly limiting it to 250GB p/mo.
One customer, in a letter to the Consumerist, tells of a back and forth conversation he had with a Comcast employee who insisted that he read “unlimited access” and not “usage.”
I was told I used more data than they allow (250GB). I do not argue that I used over 250GB, in fact I went quite a bit over. Though I did want to ask for proof that affected their network, I figured it wasn’t the nicest way to start the interaction. I informed them that I used this because it was sold as “Unlimited usage for a flat, monthly rate.” He then told me it said “access.” The employee responded by blaming it on a local franchise of the company that had “overstepped its bounds.”
That may be so, but it makes you wonder just how many people, at least in this location (Charleston,SC) have been enticed to sign up with Comcast under the premise they offered unlimited monthly usage.]
There really has to be some sort of redress made available to users for promises made by ISPs, or their agents, that are not fulfilled.