On 3/9/09 my boyfriend was contacted on his personal cell phone by comcast about his high speed internet account. They called to issue a warning. They said our upload and download amount for the month of February, had exceeded our allotted usage, which was stated as being 250gb a month. Glenn explained that he never knew that the account had a limit. The customer service rep could only suggest that we get a bandwidth monitor to keep this from happening again, as the penalty for a repeat offense is 12 months of service suspension. They also stated that their first contact was 3/5 by voicemail. Problem is the automated voice mail starts before your personal message ends, so by the time it starts recording, you get the end of the comcast message.
I (Heather) are the primary user of the internet bandwidth, so Glenn called me immediately to let me know about the bandwidth monitor.
When I got home later that day on 3/9, I googled bandwidth monitor to find out what it was exactly. I found it was a free program I could download to keep track of the amount of uploading and downloading. I downloaded it, installed it and verified that it was working. From that point, I limited my bandwidth usage. As my name was not listed on his comcast account as of 3/9, I asked him to call comcast and find out how much we had already uploaded/downloaded from the beginning of the billing cycle (3/1) until the point they called on 3/9. The bandwidth monitor could only keep track from the day I first downloaded it.
He finally got around to calling today (3/19). After being transferred to different departments about five times, he was finally given to the correct department (Abuse). The service rep told him that they are unable to tell us how much we have downloaded in a particular billing cycle, until the end of the billing cycle is reached. Glenn explained that we got the bandwidth monitor right after we got their warning call, but it does us no good because we had no way of knowing how much we had downloaded before we got the call. He asked if he could be pardoned for the offense if the account went over the allotted usage again this month, since we were doing what they asked of us. Glenn was told that it didn't matter if we went over again because of them not being able to give us a usage number. His account would be terminated no matter what.
I felt bad because I am the primary user. Not Glenn. Before we bought a house together in May 2008, we lived separate. He's been a comcast customer for years and I had been an SBC Yahoo DSL customer for years. I've never had this issue with Yahoo. Glenn convinced me to transfer his comcast service to our new house. It made more sense for us since we didn't plan on having a house phone. After settling in, I began to download like I usually would with my previous service. This is the reason for the usage spike. I asked Glenn to call comcast back and have my name put on his account so I could call them personally and explain the circumstances.
He was told that we needed to visit the nearest comcast service center with my valid ID to do this. We immediately drove to Pittsburg and had my name added to their permanent notation for Glenn's account. We asked the rep if she could help us with this issue, but after talking to her supervisor, she said we had to call the Abuse department back for help.
When we got home, I called personally and tried to explain the situation to their Abuse department. I spoke to Joe, their service rep. He listened to what I had to say but refused to help. He said their policy was set in stone and he could not change it. I asked to speak to a supervisor and he said he and the other techs of the department are the only ones authorized to deal with this situation. He told me that they changed their user agreement 6 months ago and mailed a notice through the regular post, email and this info is included with our monthly bill. Glenn never got an email or letter about this. At the point that they changed the agreement and posted it, our mail was still being forwarded from our old addresses.
As far as the notice in our monthly bill, the bill amount is always the same. We've been using my Bank of America free bill pay service to pay our bills for months. We open our comcast bill every once in a while, but only to verify that our service fee has not increased, then the bill is shredded. As I am writing this complaint, I have no bill to verify that what Joe said, is true.
We have no other options. Just logging on to the internet to file this complaint could have just put us over our monthly comcast usage allotment, but we have no way of knowing. What's worse is the only email address Glenn has, is though comcast because he's been their customer since he started using email. If the account gets suspended, he'll lose vital information. We've done our part. Comcast does nothing.
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