The High-Tech Texan Blog

Friday, September 07, 2007

Comcast Cutting Back Service From Some Customers

Remember a few months back when Sprint told about 1,000 of its customers to hit the road because they were spending too much time complaining to customer service?

Some Sprint customers were tying up its customer service lines with as many as 50 complaint calls a month — often about the same complaint. One look at the cost and revenue equation for these customers, and it’s easy to see why Sprint told the worst offenders to look elsewhere for their cell service.

But is this worse?

Comcast has recently cut Internet service to bandwidth hogs. The cable company stated that customers who consistently download music and video are hogging capacity and slowing down the network for other customers.

Like Sprint did with its complaining customers last June, Comcast sent letters to its heavy Internet users warning them they were using too much bandwidth. Some customers reported that after cutting back usage they were still cut off from service.

So how much Internet usage is too much? Comcast declined to reveal specific bandwidth limits nor would they say how many customers have had the plug pulled.

This actually is an issue that could effect cable companies as a whole. Cable companies like Comcast, Time Warner and Cox have basically acted as monopolies in their respective markets. But now that telephone companies like AT&T and Verizon have entered the picture and installed lines that can carry more Internet traffic, cable companies are facing pressure - and bandwidth issues.

On cable networks, several hundred subscribers often share an Internet connection, so one high-traffic user could slow the rest of a neighborhood's connections. Phone lines are run directly to each home, so a single bandwidth hog will not slow other connections.

Comcast said it gives customers a month to fix problems or upgrade to business accounts before shutting off their Internet service. Its recent announcement of rate increases in Houston have already triggered outbursts from customers. The first report of a customer's cable service being shut off here should cause even more fireworks.

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7 Comments:

  • Whoa! Comcast continues to tick off customers. I moved to Houston last year from another Comcast area. Customers here will soon see how bad their service can be.

    By Anonymous Bill Simon, at 8:29 AM  

  • Jesus. that's it. I'm sick of cable and their high rates.

    I live on the west side of Houston, what other options do I have for tv and Internet???

    By Anonymous Jay Fidelman, at 8:43 AM  

  • Ha! I just moved out of Houston and I guess just in time.

    We have Cox Cable here but AT&T is offering a new TV service and we are exploring that.

    Have fun getting jerked around H-town.

    By Anonymous Wes, at 8:58 AM  

  • Customer service isn't what it used to be, huh? We just had to make the switch from RR to Comcast email and that was a pain the ass.

    Then our bill went up. I may just download 10 movies a day to see if they yank my service off.

    By Anonymous Jesse C, at 9:45 AM  

  • Some Sprint customers were tying up its customer service lines with as many as 50 complaint calls a month — often about the same complaint. One look at the cost and revenue equation for these customers, and it’s easy to see why Sprint told the worst offenders to look elsewhere for their cell service.

    Sprint's side of that story hasn't gotten much press attention, but Consumerist had an interesting post a while back:

    http://consumerist.com/consumer/exclusives/sprint-customers-terminated-for-complaining-too-much-were-scamming-sprint-for-free-service-277026.php

    By Blogger Kevin Whited, at 1:15 PM  

  • I think everyone should join Florida's lawsuit against Comcast about their sorry On Demand service. New Movies are often not there as advertised or will come out for one day and then get yanked. In addition, they go for weeks without updating the anime channel although they supposedly made a deal with the anime network to offer more and better service.

    In addition, Comcast uses the old bait and switch when it comes to advertisement for services that include hidden fees like a $99 installation fee for phone service for their 33+33+33 for internet/phone/cable service.

    Was I the only one charged $99 for an installation fee. If so why? How do I correct this.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:30 PM  

  • Comcast Sucks! I went with Comcast for about a month some thing told me to keep my att Service just in cast. The internet service was slow; The Cable service was always interrupted. Costumer service is lousy. And the guy that sold me the service never told me about all the hidden fees. If I ever see him in the street his got a &**)# coming. F Comcast. I don't normally talk like this but I am so pissed.

    By Blogger plumberx, at 2:34 PM  

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