Thursday, May 20, 2010

Comcast Took Our Internet Away

Yes, you read that right. Comcast took our internet away. We still aren't exactly sure what we did. They say we used some ungodly amount of bandwidth in February. They called us with a warning in March, and said that if we did it again, we would lose our connection. For a year.

Well, first of all, we didn't know there was a bandwidth limit. Did you? You know all of those fabulous commercials touting all you can do with XFINITY? You know...streaming video, online gaming...yeah, well, there is a limit of 250 gigabytes per month. According to Comcast, we used over 850gb in the month of February. How this is possible is beyond our ken. So when they called in mid-March, we were shocked. Appalled. And said, okay, how do we keep that from happening again?

They suggested a new router, password protected. We did that. It took a few days (and two different routers) to find one that worked - ie, we could get it properly protected and still allow the computers in the house to talk to each other and access the internet. Well, close enough. They won't talk to each other anymore, but at least they can access the net. With the first new router, they couldn't even do that.

All hooked up, the spousal unit found a bandwidth monitoring program. He also found a place on Comcast's site that listed what they said we were using. By the time he found that, it was in to April. On April 25, their records showed that we had used 600g in March, and 242 for the first 25 days in April. The first full month with the new router, and we were under their arbitrary limit. We did some calculations, and figured out that whatever was going on, we were already over that 250 mark by the time they called us in March.

On April 26, I was participating in Unity's 2nd Anniversary. In the middle of a chat, our internet service was cut off. After speaking with Comcast, I was informed that we had violated the terms of service and we would be unable to regain service for an entire year. The spousal unit was told the same thing.

The next day, he tried calling them again and asked to speak with a supervisor. He was told he could not speak with a supervisor because "if we let customers speak with supervisors, then supervisors would spend their whole days doing nothing but speaking to customers." Seriously? You've got to be kidding me.

Now, you may be wondering why we didn't just suck it up and go with Verizon FIOS. Well, you see, we live on a military installation and Comcast has an exclusive contract to provide broadband service to Fort Meade. They're the only game in town. With 5 children and the 2 of us, some of us taking online college courses, dial-up is not an option (although we did actually try it. Nothing loads.)

I am posting this from what has become my usual seat at the Starbucks about 4 miles down the street. I'm singularly unhappy.

The woman who is working with base housing and "communications" also tried to talk to Comcast. She got no further than we did. She did inform us that Comcast's exclusive contract is up for review "soon" and that she was flabbergasted (her actual word) that Comcast would treat one of their customers that way. I tend to wonder if there are others on Ft. Meade who have been treated the same way and if it will impact Comcast's contract with the Fort. If so, they could lose the contract, which could cost them thousands of dollars, if not millions.

Karma's a bitch.

13 comments:

Astrid said...

I am sooo sorry this is happening! We do not have internet service via a cable provider. We contract separately with an internet provider (surfcity.net) and they contract through our phone provder (verizon). It is NOT fios. We still maintain a regular phone connection. This way if we have a problem we can go through both our internet and phone providers to find a solution. And if our electricity or internet is out, our phones still run.

Astrid said...

oh, and I posted your post to FB hoping it will spread so as to impact Comcast as much as possible. slimeballs.

Cat said...

How terrible! Is there a trouble shooting person at your local newspaper or TV station who helps people having difficulties with companies? If there is, and you contact them, you would probably get your problem solved. Companies don't like adverse publicity, and usually become very helpful when a newspaper or TV station becomes involved. Good luck!

jeni t. said...

Oh wow! That really sucks. I am sorry to hear about your unpleasant experience! Ever since the FCC lost the case against Comcast, they have been total pricks. Of course, they weren't that great to start with. If anyone needs more info on the case and what happened:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/posttech/2010/04/fcc_loses_comcasts_court_chall.html

Bandeau said...

Call the newspaper and local news station. They LOVE hitting companies with news like this and that seems to be the only time anything ever gets done about it. Otherwise the company figures no one else will ever hear about it. Make sure you tell them the comment about the supervisors, that outta hurt.

jan farnworth said...

wow we have charter and i am sure that we would well over what comcast is saying. we run 4 computers and 3 xboxs and not to mention the hubby ipod. how crazy. hope it all get resolved soon.

knitbyheidi said...

that's terrible!!!

I really hope it will be resolved soon. or, if not, that they will lose their exclusive contract to someone else!

Rona said...

This is Crazy!! I am so sorry Carole - I will think twice before using Comcast

Sam said...

Sometimes you need more than just a password on your router to secure your home connection. http://www.practicallynetworked.com/support/wireless_secure.htm

Mandy said...

What in the WORLD?!?! I have never heard of a limit...and it is RIDICULOUS that they won't allow you to resolve it, especially after you made attempts. I am GLAD we don't have Comcast!

Momma Shine said...

I live in Ohio and Have Comcast and I never knew that. I think I will take a quick little trip to the Comcast Office tomorrow when I pay my bill and see what they have to say for themselves. I wish you all the luck when it comes time for their evaluation. There going to be the ones bending over back words next.

Shelly Schmidt said...

What a pain! We have Comcast, and if we have problems, we can usually get through the red tape and get it resolved.....wow!

Cheri Howard said...

Yuck. I hate it when companies with a monopoly in an area think they can do whatever they want to customers. And the general lack of customer service I see too often. I hope it gets corrected soon. =(