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Misaki

join:2012-05-17
Seattle, WA

[Rant] Caution if getting Business class for residential use

This is a warning to read the fine print. Doing so would have saved me from my current situation, which is being stuck with a business class subscription of $67/mo but unable to use it.

So about two years ago, less a few months, I received a call from Comcast that my bandwidth usage for residential internet was excessive. I had, in large part due to torrenting Japanese drama shows, gradually been creeping up from 700GB to almost 1TB of bandwidth per month, which I admit is very excessive.

After this call I tried to limit usage, but despite trying to ration bandwidth could not avoid approaching the 250GB/mo cap, so I switched to business class. The sales representative I was in contact with assured me that I could cancel the subscription if I moved outside the coverage area of Comcast (such as going overseas which was a possibility for me at the time). I carefully read the contract, and the acceptable use policy that it linked to... but what I did not notice, or read, was a third document — the actual ToS — which the acceptable use policy linked to.

Several months after that I ended up moving to a location which already had Comcast service and provided free internet to residents but I was already locked into a contract. The (somewhat amusing) result was that after an hour on the phone trying to get my service location changed, I was informed that I would have to pay a $50 service fee to do that even though my business router was already working due to the existing service for the location, so I left the service address unchanged.

About 16 months after signing the business contract, I was no longer in a location where I could use Comcast's service. (actually I was living in a hotel.) Eventually when I called to try to cancel service, I learned that my one-year subscription was, in fact, a renewing one-year subscription and I would have to pay a 75% cancellation fee for the remainder of the second year of service. This is when I was directed to this clause which was not in my actual contract, but in the ToS which was in effect in the time that was linked not from the contract, but from a small link in the page the contract linked to. Me being silly, I thought I only needed to read the contract and what was on the webpage the contract linked to (»web.archive.org/web/201012250205···dex.aspx).

The exact contract terms:

"This Agreement shall commence and become a legally binding agreement upon Customer's execution of the SOA. The Agreement shall terminate as set forth in the Terms and Conditions (http://business.comcast.com/terms-conditions/index.aspx)..."

Service Term (Months): 12
Sort of like a cell phone plan which goes month-to-month after the initial period, I naively assumed. About a year into the agreement an additional monthly charge of $7 was announced on my bill, which I never saw because I was on autopay. No notice of this new monthly charge was sent to my email, and in fact when tried to cancel my account later on I found out that my Comcast customer account associated with my business subscription had been completely deleted and I had to make a new one, which was probably why I had stopped getting billing notifications.

Now, I am homeless with no income (most of my belongings, including business-class modem, stored elsewhere) but this is not valid grounds to cancel a business subscription without the early termination fee of 75% of the remaining subscription cost until the end of the service period. I have not been able to use the internet service I am paying for in over three and a half months. If I had read the fine print I would be much better off!

Just a warning, for those who think getting Comcast business class is the easy answer to bandwidth caps.

Months of Comcast business service paid for: 20
Months of Comcast business service used: 14.5
Early termination fee if I cancel now, 4 months before end of service period: about $200

keason
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Ann Arbor, MI

You should let them know that you are cancelling due to the $7/mo equipment fee they started charging recently (assuming you use their equipment and had it free before). You do not accept the changes in the contract.

Otherwise you are stuck.


medbuyer

join:2003-11-20
kudos:4
reply to Misaki

did you sign a 2 year or 3 year contract?

was there any clauses for easy termination?



JohnInSJ
Premium
join:2003-09-22
San Jose, CA
reply to keason

said by keason:

You should let them know that you are cancelling due to the $7/mo equipment fee they started charging recently (assuming you use their equipment and had it free before). You do not accept the changes in the contract.

Otherwise you are stuck.

Nope, he was notified a month in advance. THAT was when he could have cancelled. Once he paid one bill, he accepted the new terms, which legally were covered anyway as not a change in the contract price (which indeed stayed the same. FEES can change, not base price.) Not now.
--
My place : »www.schettino.us


JohnInSJ
Premium
join:2003-09-22
San Jose, CA
reply to Misaki

It is actually pretty well known that you are always in a minimum 1 year term on business class.

I knew it. It's mentioned here. It's likely mentioned somewhere in you contract.

The upside is your ETF is only for the remaining part of your current year, should you need to cancel.

If you're cancelling because of financial hardship you might be able to get them to waive the ETF. Maybe.

Your service terms

»business.comcast.com/smb/terms-conditions

include this:

"ARTICLE 4. TERM
4.1 Agreement Term. This Agreement shall terminate
upon the expiration or other termination of the final existing
Service Order entered into under this Agreement. The term of a
Service Order shall commence on the Service Commencement
Date and shall terminate at the end of the stated Service Term of
such Service. If a Service Order does not specify a term of
service, the Service Term shall be one (1) year from the Service
Commencement Date.
4.2 Service Order Renewal. Upon the expiration of the
Service Term, this Agreement and each applicable Service
Order shall automatically renew for successive periods of one
(1) year each (“Renewal Term(s)”), unless prior notice of nonrenewal
is delivered by either Party to the other at least thirty
(30) days before the expiration of the Service Term or the then
current Renewal Term.
Effective at any time after the end of the
initial Service Term and from time to time thereafter, Comcast
may, modify the charges for Internet and/or Video Services
subject to thirty (30) days prior notice to Customer. Customer
will have thirty (30) days from receipt of such notice to cancel
the applicable Service without further liability. Should
Customer fail to cancel within this timeframe, Customer will be
deemed to have accepted the modified Service pricing."

So anyone who wants to terminate at the end of their current yearly term simply notifies comcast they wish to terminate any time prior to the last 30 days of the current term.
--
My place : »www.schettino.us



DrDeke

join:2004-05-18
Ypsilanti, MI

Yep. That year-at-a-time contract renewal clause sucks (imo), but I guess that's the price you pay if you want the "business class" service. I sure wish there was reasonable competition in my area.


obckilroy

join:2011-11-16
reply to Misaki

said by Misaki:

stuck with a business class subscription of $67/mo but unable to use it.

Months of Comcast business service paid for: 20
Months of Comcast business service used: 14.5
Early termination fee if I cancel now, 4 months before end of service period: about $200

If you can't get the ETF waived you might as well pay it and save the $70
Expand your moderator at work

Misaki

join:2012-05-17
Seattle, WA
reply to keason

Re: [Rant] Caution if getting Business class for residential use

>You should let them know that you are cancelling due to the $7/mo equipment fee they started charging recently (assuming you use their equipment and had it free before). You do not accept the changes in the contract.

Apparently, Comcast can change the contract at any time and the changes automatically become legally binding if not rejected within thirty days. The fact that the change was included in the billing statement, and I had autopay and Comcast wasn't even sending me emails about the bill anymore because my customer account had accidentally been deleted, does not change anything.

So since learning this I have been making sure to read my billing statements in case they sneak in any more charges.