All posts by craig

Disrespectfully, fuck you Comcast.

This 1TB data cap is not working out well for me. AT&T Fiber is almost available at my house, I saw their crew pulling up lines last week. I almost got out of my car to hug the service technicians.

I will be buying 1GB Fiber from AT&T for $80/mo, which comes with unlimited data usage. Full disclosure, they note that this is typically an additional $30 but can be locked in with a 12mo contract. Fine. I’m so sick of Comcast, and their prices for the same speed is almost double. They can go fuck themselves, I’ll do everything to avoid their business for as long as I can in the future.

Comcast 1TB Data Cap

Comcast advertises the following about their data caps and what you can do with 1TB of data. Beware, watching the video on ‘what you can do with your data’…uses data.

  • Stream between 600 and 700 hours of HD video
  • Play online games for more than 12,000 hours
  • Stream more than 15,000 hours of music
  • Upload or download more than 60,000 hi-res photos

The details they provide is true – to an extent. While 1080P video is currently the norm, the shift of 4K content is almost entirely streaming, and HD video is not the same as 4K. Gaming with the latest Xbox and Playstation consoles gears towards higher definition content and many of the games we are used to buying in a store now come as a convenient (massive) download. Software updates are usually in the GB’s for those consoles too.

While I have been evaluating my data usage, noting that multiple household members each consume their own data, I forgot about the always-on Dropcam(s) I use for home security. I have three in total and they all stream a 24 hour HD stream of video to the cloud.

Another development is that I’m half way through my first month of ‘cord cutting’ and anticipate hitting the 1TB data cap quite easily.

Data usage half way through January

where’s the detail in this detail view?

 

Here’s a more interesting comparison. I purchased a 4K tv in late October, and dropped my traditional cable tv service in early January. The influx of streaming 4K shows seems to have made a huge impact.

3 month comparison

only half way through January

What this seemingly comes down to, is that while Comcast claims that most of their users only use ~60GB per month, those are not users likely to be streaming 4K content (which Comcast does not offer through their cable boxes), nor are they users who have cut traditional cable for a tailored solution that meets their needs via streaming services. Their data cap aims to discourage cord cutters, and rationalize the need to stay with their traditional TV service.

If Comcast spent more time leveraging their position as a TV provider to meet the needs of their consumers, they would be offering faster internet and a-la-carte television to compete against services like Sling or Playstation Vue. They might offer HD only content instead of packing 100’s of duplicate SD channels into your already crowded guide, or even offering 4K content as a part of their lineup.

Comcast knows they are behind, and they’re probably too large to make fast impactful changes. The only thing I can say they have improved recently is their customer service, but not the service they supply their customers.

Comcast Chris

I have a good group of friends at Comcast named Chris. Here’s how we all met.

This first meeting was disconnected and not fully captured.

Chris: Wonderful! In our internet plans, it is recommended to lease our XFINITY Wireless Gateway which includes a router, and cable modem. It allows multiple devices in the house to access the Internet at the same time with reliably fast speeds!

Chris: To recommend the best cable plan, may I ask what particular channels are you looking to have?

You: I do not want to lease a router

You: I have a very good router already

Chris: How much are you paying for your current services?

You: I don’t need phone service, I have a cell phone.

You: My services are $89.99 + tax

You: somewhere around $102 after the fees and taxes

Chris: I understand completely that and thank you for the information.

Chris: Please give me a minute or two as I check the perfect package for you

Chris: Thank you for waiting. Based on the information that you have provided earlier, I highly recommend the Preferred XF Double Play Bundle.

You: right, that’s the one I have open in my window right now

You: the one that I asked you how to add another receiver

You: What happens if I change service within the 24 months? Is there a fee or a penalty?

Chris: I understand that. You will not going to pay a cancellation fee after the 2 year agreement.

Chris: Do you have any questions before we proceed with the order process?

You: you did not answer my question

You: at all

You: you answered a different question

The second meeting had a little bit more to it and dropped at the final button click.

Reference Number: ####
DATE/TIME: 2014-03-18 09:46:54
Your chat transcript
This is an automated email. Please do not respond to this email address as it does not accept incoming email.
Chris: Hi, thanks for shopping Comcast my name is Chris . Do you have any questions about our products or services that I can help with?
You: Chris, we were just talking… is this the same Chris?
You: my session timed out because we were talking so long and the page automatically refreshed,
Chris: I am unable to recall as I don’t have any saved chat or copy of our previous conversation. However, I’d still be willing to assist you today and put in my best effort.
Chris: Would it be okay if we start over or recall the conversation that we had?
You: it would have been 5 seconds ago, we had just decided to move on to the next step
Chris: I’d be more than happy to assist you in getting the most cost effective service that suits your needs.
You: you were telling me about adding the x1 in the customize part of my order
Chris: Do you mind if I ask a few questions to make sure we get the ideal package that best suits your needs?
Chris: Thank you. Just to check before we move on, are you a current Comcast customer or have you had Comcast service in your name within the last 120 days?
You: I’m guessing this chat application gives everyone the name Chris huh?
You: because “Chris” and I were talking for almost 20 minutes
Chris: Are you currently a Comcast customer?
You: and because he/she was taking so long to figure out how to tell me the pricing, the session timed out and refreshed the page
Chris: I understand that. Are you a current or new customer?
You: are you actually Chris?
You: was there ever a Chris?
You: I just spent a lot of time talking to someone and don’t want to have to repeat everything all over again
Chris: Yes, I am Chris and I have many clients that have chatted now.
You: so how could you not remember taking to me 10 seconds prior for over 20 minutes?
You: the page refreshed, and then i opened the chat window again
Chris: Just me the information so that I can recall it.
You: #### Milwaukee
Chris: Thank you for providing your street address, may I also have your zip code?
You: ok, I’m starting to think this is a different person
You: the Chris I spoke to would know who this was
Chris: I really can not recall and memorize the address.
You: well the last Chris was very testy with trying to get me to the next step and not answering my questions properly, this could be Chris.
You: #### Milwaukee Ave, Chicago IL ####
Chris: Thank you for providing your complete address. What services are you interested in?
You: well, 5 minutes ago you told me the best service for me was Preferred XF Double Play
You: but then we had a conversation about the contract
You: does this ring a bell?
You: You suggested another plan that had similar services with no contract
Chris: Thank you for that information.
You: but for some reason has no X1 DVR
Chris: The Preferred XF Double Play bundle includes our Digital Digital Preferred plan which includes around 160 channels where you can watch even more Sports and family channels such as Nick Jr at amazing quality and our Performance High-Speed Internet service (download speeds up to 50 Mbps) which will let you check your emails, surf the net and stream videos with ease.
You: Let me just call you New Chris, because we both know you’re not the original Chris.
You: New Chris, how can I get all of that service without a 2 year contract?
You: are you familiar with T-Mobile? They’re revolutionizing the mobile industry with their contract free services, and have shepherded a new way of thinking amongst consumers. It’s with that in mind that I don’t want to succumb to the constraints of a 2 year commitment. I want to be free to change my plan at any time to a new one that suits my needs at any given moment.
Chris: Let me check the packages for you.
Chris: Preferred XF Double Play costs $99.99/month for the first 12 months, $117.15 to $119.99 for months 13-24 and around $130/month thereafter.
Chris: The good thing is that this package is not bounded by a contract, which means you have the freedom and flexibility to terminate or change to any other regular priced option at any time.
Chris: How does that sound?
You: that sounds excellent
You: does it include an X1 HD DVR?
Chris: It does not have the X1 HD DVR.
You: I assume we can upgrade for a nominal fee
You: how shall we proceed?
Chris: Let’s go ahead and get you started!
Chris: Do you have any other questions before we place the order?
You: well, i’d like to know the final costs etc. but let’s go on
You: on my screen i have the Preferred XF Double Play HBO Streampix selected
Chris: We will be able to view that at the Review page.
You: should I click next?
Chris: Sounds awesome! I would be more than happy to assist you through the next few pages of your order!
You: I dont want to lose you like I lost Old Chris
Chris: Please go back to step 1 or your order process.
You: this is step 1
You: “Tv Options”
You: I’m in the “customize my order” page
Chris: Please click on the blue ‘remove’ link in your cart to remove the plan from your cart and go back to previous page. A new window will pop up asking you to confirm the removal of the plan.
You: there we go

 

I knew where the final encounter was going to end up…

Reference Number: ####
DATE/TIME: 2014-03-18 10:10:50
Your chat transcript
This is an automated email. Please do not respond to this email address as it does not accept incoming email.
Chris: Hi, thanks for shopping Comcast my name is Chris . Do you have any questions about our products or services that I can help with?
You: OH MY GOD, is this OLD Chris, New Chris, or New New Chris?
Chris: We have many Comcast chat representatives at any given time; you might have spoken with a different agent named Chris and we do not have the tools to verify what conversation you have have had with other agent named Chris. However, I’d still be glad to assist you here online.
You: Wow, finally someone who told the truth
You: well, I’ve been disconnected twice now
You: after 20 minutes with each representative
You: both named “Chris”
You: and the second guy tried to convince me he was the first guy
You: and then told me after 20 minutes to click “remove” on my order
You: and I told him I didnt want to lose him again
You: and then it happened
You: LOST EVERYTHING
You: just so you know, clicking remove will close our chat and send me back to the comcast homepage
Chris: I deeply apologize for the inconvenience. I understand how you feel. I would be more than happy to assist you here online and to speed things along.
You: it’s terribly frustrating Other Chris
Chris: I apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused you. Just to check before we move on, are you a current Comcast customer or have you had Comcast service in your name within the last 120 days?
You: no
You: brand new
You: i’m very unhappy now
You: I have spent the past 40 minutes for nothing
You: #### N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago IL ####
Chris: Thank you for considering Comcast!
Chris: Thank you for providing your complete address.
You: I want NO CONTRACT service, X1 DVR, 2 TV’s
You: 1 Tv with DVR, other just a receiver
You: I will buy a modem
You: 50mbps internet
You: I don’t want the gateway you offer
Chris: Thank you for clarifying that for me. What channels are you looking to have?
You: I don’t want to have to pay extra for 160+, but I watch Science channel and am being penalized for my intellect by Comcast, so it seems I HAVE to get 160+ instead of the 80+ to watch one extra channel
You: seems silly to pay for double the channels to watch one extra channel
You: I can see why people cut the cord so often
Chris: I understand. How many devices are you going to connect with the internet?
You: don’t worry about that, I already told you I’m buying a modem and don’t want the gateway.
You: Let’s just focus on the 50mbps
You: remember Other Chris, this is my 3rd rodeo in the past hour
Chris: I understand. Thank you for the information. By the way, I know you are considering our Double Play service; however, right now we have Triple Play Bundles which includes TV, Internet and Phone that may save you even more money and give you the convenience of having all services in just one bill! I’d be happy to give you more information on these.
You: No thanks Other Chris, we could go into detail on this, but as New Chris would tell you, it’s a lost cause on me.
Chris: I apologize for the delay and thank you for your patience.
Chris: I apologize for the inconvenience. As I have checked, we currently do not have the 160+ channels which is the Digital Preferred bundled with an internet without a Contract.
You: wow, this is news to me, New Chris must have been mis-informed
You: why do you guys feel the need to lock people down with contracts?
You: if i wanted to change service to 80+ in a year, then you would fine me right?
Chris: The good thing about having a plan that is under a contract is that you lock in the price for a year which will allow you to save more money. That wold be correct.
You: this is only for one year?
Chris: Depending on when you discontinue the service during your 2 year contract the termination fee will vary. Starting on month 4 it would be $75, on month 7-9 it would be $67.50, on month 10-12 it would be $60, on month 13-15 it would be $52.50, on month 16-18 it would be $45, on month 19-21 it would be $37.50, then on month 22-23 it would be $30.
You: I can do 1 year
You: Thanks for that information, it has been shared with me a few times by men named Chris
Chris: I understand. However, I do apologize for as I have checked here on my system, all our Double Play plans with 160+ channels does have a contract. However, you do have the option to have our 80+ channels and upgrade at a later time.
You: well, I really enjoy watching How It’s Made on Science Channel
You: have you seen that show? it’s quite brilliant.
You: let’s move forward and explore our pricing as we modify the plan to suit my needs
Chris: I understand.
Chris: One moment please as I give you the details of our plan.
Chris: Based on what you’ve told me, our Preferred XF Double Play is definitely best for you. This plan has 160 digital cable channels including National Geographic, Encore, MLB Network and NFL Network, download speeds up to 50 Mbps and an upload speed of 10 Mbps which is perfect for Streaming and Downloading HD Movies, Connecting Multiple devices, Facebook, Netflix, Hulu, Email, Browse at an incredible speed. With this plan, you will also have $50 Visa Prepaid Card, HBO and Streampix, X1 Anyroom DVR which can share its recorded shows.
Chris: This plan costs $109.99 per month for the first 24 months with 2-year agreement and goes around $129.99 per month after 24 months. How does that sound to you?
You: it sounds very expensive
You: because I will also need one additional receiver
Chris: I understand. However, we do have this plan offered for $89.99 per month for the first 12 months with 2-year agreement and goes to $119.99 per month for months 13-24 and would be around $140.95 per month after 24 months and an additional of $17.95 per month for the HD DVR and $9.95 per month for the Cable box you want to add.
Chris: How does that sound to you?
You: so the same service for around $107 (with the dvr only) but not an X1 DVR right
Chris: That would be correct.
You: well Chris, we discussed that I would prefer the X1 DVR, as I currently have TiVo service with my current provider and want something comparable
You: let’s go with the intitial plan and see where it takes us
Chris: That is awesome! What other questions can I answer for you before we proceed with the order process?
You: please excuse my spelling, i’m getting excited to be finally moving along
You: let’s go!
Chris: Let’s add that to your shopping cart! I’ll be happy to stay with you while you complete your order.
You: how do i do that without us getting disconnected like Chris and New Chris?
Chris: One moment please as I look for a solution.
Chris: Kindly press the back button of your browser once and please let me know once you have clicked that button.
You: that will terminate this conversation
You: I assure you
You: your developers at comcast don’t utilize ajax or persistent states
You: their coding is inferior, and as a result it creates TERRIBLE customer service
You: remember at the end of the second Terminator movie, where the Terminator drops down into the lava with his thumb up in the air? He says one thing… do you know what that was?
Chris: I apologize, I do not have any information on what was the one thing he said on the end of the movie.
You: actually, i thought it was “hasta la vista, baby” but he says that before shattering the t-100
You: at the end it’s just sad
You: and quiet
You: so, thumbs up, thanks for the help
Chris: I understand. How you feel. However, please click on the back button since I wouldn’t be lost and I would still be here to further assist you.
You: and for the hell of it, hasta la vista, baby.