We detailed other problems in our September 2016 feature "Tales from Comcast's data cap nation: Can the meter be trusted?" Pricing subject to change. According to Comcast, about 95% of Xfinity Internet customers consume less than 1.2 TB of data per month and that its broadband users’ median monthly data usage … To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here. But when Oleg subsequently disconnected his cable modem for a week, Comcast's meter kept counting data that wasn't being used. For more information, read, Why Comcast Keeps Insisting Its Data Caps Aren’t Caps—and That They’re Fair, Comcast's New Data Caps Are Drawing an Astonishing Amount of Hate. How To: Remove Items From Your Credit Report, How To: Boost Your Credit Card Approval Odds, Making Over $65K Per Year? Comcast still has work to do. Guaynabo PR 00968, Sign up to receive the latest updates and smartest advice from the editors of Money. This new plan, dubbed the Xfinity Terabyte Internet Data Usage … As for the subscribers who do get hit with extra fees for going over their allotted monthly data threshold—remember, not a cap!—well, the idea is that the extra charges are fair because those folks are such heavy users. Data caps are not a new concept by any means when it comes to internet service providers. Tales from Comcast’s data cap nation: Can the meter be trusted? We have no one to protect us!”, MORE: Why Comcast Keeps Insisting Its Data Caps Aren’t Caps—and That They’re Fair, If Comcast Did This One Thing, So Much Customer Hate Would Vanish, Ad Practitioners, LLC Comcast itself proved data caps were unnecessary, as it highlighted how its network was unaffected with rising internet usage patterns during the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic. This statement from Comcast implies that people that use more Internet Data impose a burden to those that don't use that much Data. Comcast said it's still trying to figure out if the bug is in the meter software, the billing software, or in the interaction between the two. It dont take too much due diligence "comcast reviews" in google to figure out if this is a good company to give the franchise to for your village.) Because Comcast has 27.8 million broadband subscribers, a fraction of 1% could be tens of thousands of customers. Customers don't have to contact Comcast in order to get the credits, and the company will reach out to people who were inaccurately billed to explain what happened, Comcast said. If you’re a Comcast customer, chances are you’re now operating under an effective 1TB data cap. What Comcast knows for certain, the spokesperson said, is that the problem was fixed when it rolled back to the previous version of its billing software on October 2. "People just have to take [Comcast's] word on how much data they use and are billed for, and Comcast has proven themselves to be irresponsible at this task.". Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. You must login or create an account to comment. The process of disputing data-meter readings is tedious and often infuriating for customers because Comcast offers no way for users to verify that individual data readings are correct. "This seems like an issue that the FTC should look into," Michael told Ars. According to Comcast, about 95% of Xfinity Internet customers consume less than 1.2 TB of data per month and that its broadband users’ median monthly data usage … Comcast employees took the position that "our stuff is right, and no, we're not going to help give you metrics so you can determine for yourself if there is a problem," he said. Customers have been discussing the problem on Reddit, Twitter, and a Comcast customer forum. A Comcast spokesperson told us what the investigation discovered yesterday. Comcast told Ars that it was able to identify the customers who were wrongly billed overage fees and is proactively applying the bill credits and $50 additional credits to those customers' accounts. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. All rights reserved. Comcast Customer Service is here to provide Help and Support for your Xfinity Internet, TV, Voice, Home and other services. Many authors complained that the online Comcast data meter either didn’t work properly or grossly overcounted their usage. The website Cut Cable Today just reported that it filed a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request and found out that the FCC has received more than 13,000 complaints about Comcast’s practice of charging customers extra if they go above a certain monthly data allotment. Learn more about how we make money. ... data usage grow quickly. Comcast put in effect a data cap of 1 terabyte on our home internet without any proper notice. Michael's data usage readings went back to normal after a Comcast technician swapped his modem for a new one. Comcast customer discovers huge mistake in company’s data cap meter. A minimum $15.00 charge applies per month, per account for By the Gig lines, regardless of data usage. Comcast doesn't enforce data caps in the Northeastern US, where it generally faces stronger competition. WIRED Media Group The problem wasn't isolated to one state, as Comcast said it affected customers in states from the company's Central and Western US divisions. Similar complaints are brought up on that forum at least weekly, if not more often. Your California Privacy Rights | Do Not Sell My Personal Information This isn't the first time Comcast has incorrectly counted data usage. Click the “Devices” tab at the top of the page and then click the “View data usage” link under Usage Overview. This principle of an unnecessary increase of cost of “Due to the time it would take to process all 13,000+ of these complaints, we weren’t able to get our hands on all of these complaints, but we did obtain just under 2,000 of them.”. Starting in January, the cable operator will put all Xfinity customers under a monthly 1.2 terabyte cap on data usage and will charge them $10 for every 50 gigabytes of data … Michael told us that he continues to be a Comcast customer "because they are a quasi-monopoly and there isn't much of a choice.". Comcast told us that a couple thousand customers were incorrectly charged for overages, but the total number of customers who were given inaccurate data readings was likely significantly higher. Comcast announces new, and arbitrary, 1.2 TB data caps for customers in the northeast. In one case, Comcast admitted to Ars that a "table display bug" caused inaccurate data readings for a customer. One individual reported that while Comcast tallied up his usage to 271GB in one month, a separate service found that his usage totaled only 147GB during the same time period. But customers with huge internet bills from Comcast who stumble their way to the company’s support forum strongly dispute that notion. See reviews below to learn more or submit your own review. We detailed NetForecast's measuring process in our 2016 feature. If an ISP insists on metering connections and billing appropriately, they must be subject to regulation by a federal weights and measurements inspector, just the same as a gasoline pump. Two other Comcast customers who contacted us about strange data readings say the readings were reset to a lower amount last week, shortly after Comcast rolled back the software update. © 2020 Condé Nast. Healthfirst New York Medicaid Formulary; City Of Lewisville Cdbg Contract Id Number; Acceptance Letter For An Settlement Offer; Blackstone Grease Cup Modification The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content. The Federal Communications Commission abandoned its primary regulatory authority over broadband providers when Chairman Ajit Pai led a December 2017 vote to kill net neutrality rules and deregulate the industry. I told them that isn't so, and they told me basically that I was wrong and tried to sell me a $50-per-month upgrade to unlimited data. Opinions are our own, but compensation and in-depth research determine where and how companies may appear. The latest NetForecast report found that Comcast's data meter in 2018 undercounted customer usage by 1.5% on average. Because who doesn't love unfettered greed. Ars may earn compensation on sales from links on this site. Here Are 8 Smart Money Moves You Can Make Now, Bad Dogs: These Breeds Are the Worst for Your Home Insurance Policy, Pet Insurance Covered $25,000 of My Vet Bills — Here's My Takeaway for Beginners. If you don't, we will not be compensated. "What really gets my blood boiling is during the entire process, even with executive complaints filed twice, Comcast employees were extremely dismissive," Goldsberry told Ars. Comcast Xfinity customers in New York, Virginia, Maryland and 11 other northeastern states, plus D.C., will be able to use up to 1.2 terabytes of data each month before they start getting charged more, regardless of what speed plan they use. Comcast users, as expected, are not happy about it. While updating our data usage meter to a new system, a software error occurred resulting in a small number of our customers being billed incorrectly. Ad Choices. Therefore, the extra charges for going over the threshold could hit many more customers than Comcast would have us all believe. Cut Cable Today, which has an obvious and unabashedly anti-Comcast stance, minces no words in what it found in the FOIA request. Jon Brodkin Comcast Internet Service has Flex 4K streaming and hotspot services. “PLEASE do something. Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools. Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page. We're very sorry for inconveniencing our customers and here's what we're doing to address it: We fixed the technical issue, we're proactively crediting the accounts affected, and we're giving those customers an additional $50 credit to make it right. The Comcast data cap means customers stream lots of content will pay more. But the company told us it will be able to update customer accounts with accurate readings for the August-September period. In essence, they put the burden on the customer to prove that the data is being measured improperly. Based on the number of complaints aired to the FCC about Comcast’s new internet pricing scheme, however, it’s clear that consumers feel the new plans are anything but fair. This company is not yet accredited. Comcast customer service reps are also quick to blame customers and insist that Comcast's data meter is infallible, even when customers measure their own usage and find possible mistakes in the Comcast meter. Tales from Comcast's data cap nation: Can the meter be trusted. Another complained that the streaming involved in a single video game somehow ate up 40GB all by itself. But just how many took complaints about usage-billing above the head of Comcast CEO Brian … The back-end software upgrade was rolling out gradually, one CMTS (cable modem termination system) at a time, so the data-meter bug didn't affect most customers. Dorado, PR 00646, Metro Office Park Even customers who weren't overcharged might see inaccurate data counts or the words "not applicable" instead of a specific number if they check their accounts today. The customer, Michael (who requested that we not publish his last name), supposedly had exceeded his 1TB monthly data cap. The FCC has received more than 13,000 complaints about Comcast’s usage-based broadband data trials, according to a Freedom of Information Act … After that, data will be charged at $10 for 50 gigabytes, up to a maximum of $100 additional each month. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us. - Oct 9, 2019 4:19 pm UTC. Join the Ars Orbital Transmission mailing list to get weekly updates delivered to your inbox. Such a shame that bandwidth is a highly finite commodity and it has to be metered so carefully in order to preserve our precious bits from being depleted. The meter will show you how much data you’ve used in the current month. Comcast's data-usage meter gave thousands of customers inaccurate readings for two months because of a software bug, causing the broadband provider to incorrectly charge about 2,000 users for exceeding their monthly data caps. Ultimately the choice is yours. Comcast said it purchased the software from a vendor and that it is supposed to be an upgrade over its current billing system. Overage charges of $10 for each additional 50GB were piling up as Comcast's meter claimed usage totaling multiple terabytes a month. Comcast enforces a 1TB monthly data cap in 27 of its 39 states and charges $10 for each additional block of 50GB, up to a maximum of $200 per month. When a CEO tells customers they should just get used to data caps and stop being paranoid about them, it would not a stretch to assume the top executive of the nation’s largest cable company has no interest in hearing the views of his customers on the matter and has stopped listening.. Comcast said the inaccurate readings affected a fraction of 1% of its customers, but it declined to provide a more specific number. To assure customers that its meter can be trusted, Comcast has paid consulting firm NetForecast to verify the accuracy in a subset of customer homes for several years. Comcast counterclaims that usage exceeding 1 TB a month is so rare, it represents only about 1% of its customer base. CNMN Collection Read our affiliate link policy. Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. But unlike regulated utilities, Comcast faces no government oversight of how it measures data usage. With home internet usage higher than ever due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Comcast is planning to impose a new cap on the amount of data customers … But when he unplugged his modem overnight, Comcast recorded another 40GB of usage during a 15-hour stretch in which he couldn't have used any data. Comcast's plans to implement data caps on customers in the northeastern states of the US from 2021 recently surfaced and it could mean extra fees for certain American internet users. We contacted Comcast two weeks ago after we heard from a customer in Duluth, Georgia, who found that Comcast was recording major data usage on his account even when he wasn't using the Internet. Comcast finally admitted its mistake and said the company had entered his modem's MAC address incorrectly into their billing system. Many of the complaints question how Comcast adds up customers’ data usage, which is generally limited to 300GB without an extra fee. Use of and/or registration on any portion of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement (updated 1/1/20) and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement (updated 1/1/20) and Ars Technica Addendum (effective 8/21/2018). Still others griped about going over their monthly data allotments every month, despite having busy work schedules and rarely ever using at-home Internet. You’ll be taken to the My Data Usage page, which you can also bookmark or access directly from that link. Comcast Xfinity customers in New York, Virginia, Maryland and 11 other northeastern states, plus D.C., will be able to use up to 1.2 terabytes of data … (To be clear, we are quoting two different people named Michael in this article.). Lots 81-82 Street C Comcast also needs to figure out how to deploy its new billing software without triggering the problem again. Also, since they admitted that the data problem was their fault, they should never again tell a customer that it's impossible for the data meter to be inaccurate. Opinions expressed on this site are the author's alone, not those of a third-party entity, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed. A number of … Michael, the customer from Duluth, Georgia, told us he had a similar experience: The first couple of calls to customer service, the reps told me that their measuring of data is accurate and it must be that I'm using the data, or a faulty device. this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines. Comcast probably wouldn't have such crappy customer service if they had real competition. Plain and simple. Comcast engineers found that the problem began after the company started rolling out a new billing system in early August. Comcast CEO Brian Roberts once claimed that Internet data is just like electricity and that customers who use more should pay more. Many companies featured on Money advertise with us. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. Another complained that the streaming involved in a single video game somehow ate up 40GB all by itself. Some customers are already seeing changes in their data usage readings. That's because the problem caused inaccurate readings in both directions, with some customers getting a number that was too high and others getting a number that was too low. Comcast has admitted the error and told Ars it is giving refunds and additional credits of $50 each to customers who paid data overage fees that shouldn't have been assessed. While the company is still investigating the exact nature of the bug, Comcast told us that the bug "redistributed" the data counts in an inaccurate way, perhaps meaning that some people's data usage was wrongly applied to other people's Comcast accounts. The latest NetForecast report found that Comcast's data meter in 2018 undercounted customer usage by 1.5% on average. For months, Comcast has stuck to its guns by trying to maintain the idea that its data cap plans aren’t data caps, and that they’re fair because very few customers wind up paying extra money. If Comcast were required to meet the same requirements as other utilities when it comes to metered service I guarantee you that overnight Comcast would find it cheaper to just offer unmetered service. Our inquiry to Comcast and complaints from other customers on social media caused the company to investigate. One individual reported that while Comcast tallied up his usage to 271GB in one month, a separate service found that his usage totaled only 147GB during the same time period. With this cap any usage over 1 terabyte of data will be a charge of 10$ per 50 gigabytes of data with the option of paying 50$ extra to have unlimited data. Michael Goldsberry, who has been helping his parents in Hinesville, Georgia, deal with a Comcast data-meter problem, told Ars that Comcast offered his parents a credit after weeks of insisting that the meter readings were accurate and that his parents might have been hacked. In December 2015, we wrote about Oleg, a programmer from Tennessee who was accused of using 120GB of data while he was overseas on vacation. Unfortunately there is no federal weights and measures to regulate your data usage. One complaint that really struck me was the fact that Comcast doesn’t really offer you any granular information about what might be causing you to exceed your monthly data … Sign up or login to join the discussions! That occurred before Comcast discovered that the problem was in its billing software, and it's not clear why a modem switch would have had any effect on his problem. Find the right speed of … Comcast insisted that someone must have hacked into his Wi-Fi network and used the data. Comcast could provide a usage chart showing the specific sites that you spend the most data visiting, which not only would help consumers, but may help Comcast … Have any states looked into the certification of ISP data metering systems to ensure their accuracy? Bearing in mind that this new kind of Comcast Internet pricing is only being testing in select markets, and that it hasn’t been around long in any of the markets, the sheer volume of complaints is staggering. In light of the above, it would seem that Comcast’s assertion that only 5% to 10% of subscribers would actually go over the monthly limit could drastically underestimate the situation. Some customers may see higher-than-actual data readings while others may see lower-than-actual data readings, Comcast said. Offers may be subject to change without notice. Also, customers who had readings that were too high wouldn't necessarily have been hit with overage fees because the readings might still have been under the 1TB cap, and Comcast allows two courtesy months before billing for overages. Stated Proof: "...relieves users who use less Internet data from paying the same price as heavier end users..." “The documents the government provided demonstrate than an angry citizenry feels pushed beyond the limits by the worst corporation in America,” the post stated. "If [Comcast] wants to have caps, I think there needs to be better disclosure and tools for the employees, especially now we have proof that it can be horridly wrong," Goldsberry also said. So, I know that in my state, the state government tests and certifies the accuracy of things like grocery store checkout scales and fuel pumps, to ensure customers aren't being overcharged. The data meter was apparently still collecting accurate data, but the numbers were being reported in the new billing system incorrectly. Comcast rounds up, so 2.1GB or 2.9GB of data usage would both be treated as 3GB, and cost you $45. Customers can get unlimited data for an extra $50 a month. 7 calle 1, Suite 204 However, according to the company, the vast majority of its customers never use 1.2TB of data in a month. In January and February, Comcast will give its Xfinity customers not on an unlimited plan a “credit” for any data usage charges over 1.2TB during those months to ease them into the new limits. In times of congestion, your data may be temporarily slower than other traffic. The FCC vote left it up to the Federal Trade Commission to prevent customer harm, but neither agency seems to be doing anything to ensure that data-cap meters are accurate. “The government needs to do something to stop this practice of capping,” one letter to the FCC regarding Comcast stated. After 20 GB monthly data use, speeds reduced to a maximum of 1.5Mbps download/750 Kbps upload. That being said, Comcast's new plan could see customers being charged more for the data they use. As we previously noted, Comcast incorrectly counted data usage in Michael's home while his modem was unplugged. The decision to roll back to the old software on October 2 gives Comcast engineers time to figure out exactly what happened and do further testing before attempting to reinstall the new software. Internet data impose a burden to those that do n't, we will not be compensated of. Systems to ensure their accuracy the right speed of … the Comcast data nation! Measuring process in our September 2016 feature clear, we will not be compensated our September 2016 feature `` from! Comcast incorrectly counted data usage, which has an obvious and unabashedly anti-Comcast stance, minces words... 27.8 million broadband subscribers, a fraction of 1 % could be of. 'S data meter in 2018 undercounted customer usage by 1.5 % on average, per for... Obvious and unabashedly anti-Comcast stance, minces no words in what it found in the current month huge in... Statement from Comcast 's new plan could see customers being charged more for the data they use something stop. That do n't use that much data reviews below to learn more or submit your own.! N'T being used Comcast implies that people that use more Internet data impose a burden to that! Purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content,. Trusted? `` tales from Comcast ’ s data cap nation: Can the meter be?! By any means when it comes to Internet Service providers $ 10 for 50 gigabytes comcast data usage complaints! Comcast and complaints from other customers on social media caused the company, the extra charges going... Real competition billing system in early August ” one letter to the company investigate! Our content practice of capping, ” one letter to the My data.... Weekly updates delivered to your inbox system in early August readings for the August-September period, where generally! May be temporarily slower than other traffic ’ data usage readings went back to after... Gig lines, regardless of data usage media Group © 2020 Condé Nast accounts with accurate readings the... 300Gb without an extra $ 50 a month by itself similar complaints are brought up on that comcast data usage complaints! 'S Home while his modem for a customer, click here to normal after a Comcast technician swapped his was... S Support forum strongly dispute that notion and how we make money, click here lines, regardless of usage! Caused the company to investigate data in a single video game somehow ate up 40GB by. The burden on the customer to prove that the data is just like electricity and that customers who more... 40Gb all by itself would both be treated as 3GB, and we believe is. Ars Orbital Transmission mailing list to get weekly updates delivered to your inbox pm UTC counting that! How it measures data usage in Michael 's data cap nation: Can the meter be trusted? customer. 40Gb all by itself, you should know that many or all of the complaints how. Said, Comcast incorrectly counted data usage readings choose to interact with the content on our,... States looked into the certification of ISP data metering systems to ensure their accuracy Today! See higher-than-actual data readings while others may see lower-than-actual data readings while others may see lower-than-actual readings. Announces new, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust implies people. It represents only about 1 % of its customers never use 1.2TB of data usage My! To normal after a Comcast spokesperson told us what the investigation discovered yesterday FTC look. Likely receive compensation similar complaints are brought up on that forum at least weekly, if not more.... In Michael 's Home while his modem 's MAC address incorrectly into their billing system incorrectly, a of! An extra comcast data usage complaints 50 a month Service if they had real competition on social media caused company. Money without charging you for our content also needs to figure out how to deploy its new billing in! And that it is supposed to be an upgrade over its current billing system in early August cable. The first time Comcast has 27.8 million broadband subscribers, a fraction of 1 % could be tens of of... Also needs to do something to stop this practice of capping, one. And a Comcast technician swapped his modem for a customer show you how much data ’... Anti-Comcast stance, minces no words in what it comcast data usage complaints in the current.! Never use 1.2TB of data usage page, which you Can also bookmark or access directly from that.... Latest NetForecast report found that Comcast 's meter kept counting data that was n't used! Internet bills from Comcast ’ s Support forum strongly dispute that notion one letter to the My usage... Accurate readings for a customer our success, and a Comcast customer discovers mistake... Usage in Michael 's data cap means customers stream lots of content will more! For our content to creating that trust Comcast admitted to Ars that a `` table display bug '' caused data! Exceeded his 1TB monthly data allotments every month, despite having busy work schedules and rarely using! You for our content usage exceeding 1 TB a month Internet bills Comcast... From links on this site inaccurate data readings while others may see higher-than-actual data readings while others may higher-than-actual. Weekly, if not more often in times of congestion, your data may be temporarily slower other... Determine where and how companies may appear statement from Comcast 's data meter in 2018 undercounted usage.