Johkal: a couple of those edits were just for typos, and the big one was to clarify earlier in the post (because many people simply will stop reading after one or two paragraphs in our "MMS culture") what I was receiving as a service level. People seemed to think I was getting FiOS or a total of 4Mbps, so I clarified to avoid further problems.
BACK TO BASICS:
This is about:
1) Perpetually increasing prices
without even periodic increases in service quality. Only 1 minor speed bump in the last 4 years and one other bump a few years prior to that -- but my rates were much lower then. I think around $49 if I remember right, so I didn't have a problem with it back then.
Today, stuck at the same bandwidth and paying $70+ (climbing yearly), I have a problem with it -- it's unethical.
2) Dishonest billing practices
where they claim to "meet you half way" by giving you a one-time credit (which I was willing to live with), and then the very next month pull the underhanded CHARGE BACK for that same credited amount! And on top of that charging me a "late fee" because I paid the "credit adjusted monthly fee" instead of my regular "full" fee.
3) Customer Service agents who routinely dodged my questions
about the simple math of how my bill got so screwed up, and ultimately "leaving me on 'chat hold'" instead of doing the right thing and helping me resolve what should've been a simple situation to address, since no service level changes were involved or anything like that.
Sorry guys but there is no rationalizing or excuse-making for any of this stuff with respect to someone who has been a loyal customer for over 10 years.
It's a generational thing. Younger people find it acceptable when companies use shady billing practices because it's all they've ever known. Phone companies do it, insurance companies do it, internet companies do it and they all give you the run-around until you get tired of asking for help.
To some of you it's just "normal business". To those of us who remember not so long ago when customers were not treated with bait-and-switch-like tactics, double-speak from reps, and even reps who can't properly speak or understand English... it's not normal or acceptable.
All they have to do, is keep the increases down to a minimum, OR provide addition (incremental) service boosts every couple years, to keep someone like me happy. But they don't do that. They try to have their cake and eat it too.
FiOS: the deal IS... in markets where FiOS is starting up and competing with Comcast service levels, Comcast is taking the 25 Mbps customers (who pay around $72 like I do now), and giving them 50 Mbps upgrades at no extra cost (over time -- it may take a year or two for it to all shake out).
Of course, once they get that 50 Mbps I'm sure they'll start up with the $3-5 annual increases just like always and claim "it's necessary to pay for all these facility upgrades", but of course those upgrades happened a long time ago. Those customers getting a boost to 50 Mbps... it has nothing to do with a structural upgrade of Comcast's systems. They're simply "turning up the water pressure" and allowing customers to enjoy more bandwidth, that has been available in their area for many years (just not "turned on").