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Ravynmagi7

join:2002-07-12
Gilbert, AZ

[CenturyTel] Being terminated for excessive usage

I got a termination notice from Centurylink today that my DSL service is being cancelled. The letter said this was my third warning and I would be disconnected on March 27th. I've been a Centurylink customer for 9 months at this point.

I'll start by saying I'm 100% guilty of exceeding the usage policy. I've exceeded it quite a bit every month I've been with Centurylink. I'm a heavy user and I was aware this may be a problem, so I did opt for the fastest speed Internet I could to get the largest data cap available for residential service. I also searched Centurylink for a data monitor tool in my account settings or something and could not find it. I came here and learned there was no such tool (at the time, not sure about today). With my previous ISP they had a data cap, but it was not enforced, I made the assumption that Centurylink is probably not enforcing this as well in light of them not providing the monitoring tool (my last ISP even had this).

About 2 months into my new service with Centurylink someone in the house mentioned they were seeing a strange page in their browser window. They though it might have been some scam or malware. Turned out it was a Centurylink notice warning me I was in violation of the excessive usage policy. This was about 6 months ago and I recall it explaining the policy, but I don't believe it mentioned anything about consequences.

I was a bit worried at first and tried to manage my usage a bit better. Even called Centurylink to find out how they calculate the data usage, is it from billing period to billing period or from the 1st of the month to the end of the month. They told me it's from the 1st to the end of the month. For probably the next couple months I still exceeded the usage policy but not as badly.

I didn't hear from Centurylink again and relaxed and fell back into my normal usage patterns. And then yesterday I got the termination notice.

It said this was my third warning. But I never received a second warning. However if that second warning arrived the same way, via a browser redirect, then it's entirely possible someone else in the house saw and ignored it. I never received a single warning via email to my primary email account or any email account I read. I never got a letter in the mail until the termination notice.

I'm a disappointed Centurylink didn't provide better communication of their concerns about my data usage. The first warning I admit I blew off and was still uncertain if it was a policy they were even enforcing. And the lack of any further communication on the subject just reinforced my belief that this wasn't an issue they were too concerned about. I do believe had I gotten that second warning I would have made a more serious attempt to ration my data usage better.

I called Centurylink yesterday to ask and express my concern about the lack of the second notice. I asked customer service about this and instead of answering the question he just ignored it and instead asked what I was doing to use so much data. That surprised me and I reminded him that it was none of his business (I didn't ask him for help managing my data). Unfortunately I forgot to repeat my question and never got an answer as to why I never saw the second notice or how Centurylink normally handles notifications about excessive usage. I'll probably call them again to find out.

To wrap up. I'm guilty as heck and I understand I violated the rules and have to suffer the consequences. But I think Centurylink needs to do better as well. If they are enforcing this usage policy then I think they absolutely should provide a tool on the account page for customers to check their usage. And I would have really liked to have gotten email and written notification, at least one of them. That browser redirect warning is too easy to miss if it doesn't show up while I'm at home. I do believe this is a situation we might have been able to resolve and they could have kept me as a customer had the communication been better.


TheMayor

join:2002-05-09

If you don't mind me asking, Can I asked how much data you think you used or how much they said you used in the past few months?


ArizonaSteve

join:2004-01-31
Apache Junction, AZ
reply to Ravynmagi7

This makes no sense. How do you know what the "rules" are, how much you are allowed or how much you used?


TheMayor

join:2002-05-09

There is an Excessive use policy posted for people to look at. I would have to assume that since he mentioned having the service for 9 months, that it would be mentioned in the AUP.

»qwest.centurylink.com/internethelp/eup.html

said by ArizonaSteve:

This makes no sense. How do you know what the "rules" are, how much you are allowed or how much you used?



chd176

join:2003-01-10
Winfield, AL
Reviews:
·CenturyLink

said by TheMayor:

There is an Excessive use policy posted for people to look at. I would have to assume that since he mentioned having the service for 9 months, that it would be mentioned in the AUP.

»qwest.centurylink.com/internethelp/eup.html

That still doesn't give a way of monitoring usage. I don't see how CenturyLink can implement caps and give the end user no way of checking their usage.
--
10,000/768 CenturyTel PPPoE DSL line (for real this time)

ArizonaSteve

join:2004-01-31
Apache Junction, AZ

Yeah it's all meaningless since there is no way to know how much a Roku uses for instance.


ydoucare

join:2003-03-12
Lafayette, IN
reply to Ravynmagi7

If you're a heavy user, i'd recommend doing yourself a favor and use a router that has traffic logging like DD-WRT. I can go back and see how much bandwidth I used every month for the past 2 years.


ArizonaSteve

join:2004-01-31
Apache Junction, AZ

I might try a DD-WRT router just to see how much I'm using but it shouldn't be necessary for most people since it's almost impossible for anyone to ever use that much data.



dondude

join:2005-09-15
Lehigh Acres, FL
reply to Ravynmagi7

I'm using DD-WRT linksys router and have used 24.5gb so far this month. 3 computers 2 tablets and 3 kids streaming Youtube constantly.


joe_h

join:2010-05-26
Las Cruces, NM
reply to Ravynmagi7

Just curious, but were you under any type of contract? Are they just straight up cancelling you, or if you're under contract still, are you getting charged any type of ETF?


TheMayor

join:2002-05-09
reply to ArizonaSteve

In my house it's quite easy, especially when having Netflix set to high quality. Yes we like to watch lots of Netflix

said by ArizonaSteve:

I might try a DD-WRT router just to see how much I'm using but it shouldn't be necessary for most people since it's almost impossible for anyone to ever use that much data.


ArizonaSteve

join:2004-01-31
Apache Junction, AZ

You'd have to download 8 HD movies a day every day of the month to use that much! If I had kids I'd turn off Youtube and Netflix and switch to PBS instead and send them outside to play instead of sitting in front of the TV all day.


ArizonaSteve

join:2004-01-31
Apache Junction, AZ
reply to Ravynmagi7

Ravynmagi7, do you have any alternatives like Cox to use there in Gilbert? Here it's CL or nothing, there is no other internet service available except the wi-fi at McDonalds.


joe_h

join:2010-05-26
Las Cruces, NM
reply to ArizonaSteve

An average HD movie is around 6Gb. If one person watched one HD movie a day, you'd hit around 180Gb a month. Now expand to more than one a day, or more than one person in the household at any given time.

Parenting advice notwithstanding (and really not needed in the thread), you're a bit off on your calculations.


ArizonaSteve

join:2004-01-31
Apache Junction, AZ
Reviews:
·voip.ms
·CenturyLink
·T-Mobile US
·Sipgate VOIP

Depends on what you are watching I guess. The ones I've checked were 800Mb-1.2Gb for HD movies using Navi-X or Netflix and Youtube is even less since it's mostly SD. Where did you find one that's 6Gb anyway? That would be a data rate too large for most people to even watch unless they have fiber. We aren't talking about the size it would be on a Blu-ray disc since they are highly compressed for downloading.


joe_h

join:2010-05-26
Las Cruces, NM

It may be tied to personal bandwidth of the household. I have Centurylink 40/20 Fiber, and I stream Netflix and Amazon Prime at the highest settings. With MLB.com starting up (which I stream to my HDTV) for baseball, I can hit 200Gb a month pretty easily.

I do think that Netflix and Amazon reduce the bitrate depending on network throughput. I guess my argument is that you can easily brush up against the cap if you have the throughput to do so. If CL is going to disconnect people for exceeding the cap, they really ought to provide a bandwidth meter.


ArizonaSteve

join:2004-01-31
Apache Junction, AZ

Joe, that sounds like a first world problem that only concerns the privileged 1 percent! Most people are complaining about the slow speeds and could never download enough to hit a cap if they let it run 24/7.



toby
Troy Mcclure

join:2001-11-13
Seattle, WA
reply to Ravynmagi7

You should write them a letter telling them that without a way to see how much you're using, its impossible to see if you anywhere near a max amount.

It is similar to getting a speeding ticket from a police officer, when you car doesn't have a speedometer. You have a general idea, but not an exact amount.

There is no reason why CL couldn't have a counter on their website, just like Comcast does. I do know that CL's account access website doesn't work most of the time.

An option for you is to use a third party ISP along with CL as the DSL provider.


GetMoney

join:2010-06-11
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

said by toby:

You should write them a letter telling them that without a way to see how much you're using, its impossible to see if you anywhere near a max amount.

It is similar to getting a speeding ticket from a police officer, when you car doesn't have a speedometer. You have a general idea, but not an exact amount.

There is no reason why CL couldn't have a counter on their website, just like Comcast does. I do know that CL's account access website doesn't work most of the time.

An option for you is to use a third party ISP along with CL as the DSL provider.

I like your direction, but I think a letter is actually the worse way to address the situation. How CL can have data caps, but essentially refuses to provide customers with a tool to track is beyond my comprehension.

My suggestion, that's if you're wanting to make a big Fing deal about this (which is the point of DSLR right?). You need to contact one of the big news channels in Phoenix or Seattle or whatever large city is near you. I know both of those cities have large CTL service territories. Go to their consumer investigation team, tell them that CTL is enforcing something that can't prove on your and that your service was disconnected. Say it's some type of life or death situation and I know that they'll listen.

CenturyLink doesn't give two shits about any letters from individual customers, but their panties get all tied up in a wad whenever the news teams come calling. To me, they are more effective that the FCC, PUC, BBB, AGO, DOA etc etc etc.

horseathalt7

join:2012-06-11
Reviews:
·DIRECTV

Not surprised at all.

I totally agree about the illogical rational of having caps but not offering a tool to monitor usage.

Basically they don't want to have a solid way to do this, I think they just want to be able to terminate any customer, at any time, for any reason. Just more baulderdash from the service providers in this country.

It's gotten to the point where these providers charge outrageous sums, apply equally outrageous caps, and have outrageous terms of use, that seem to be whatever they feel like.

The only thing that will change this attitude is when the government starts regulating internet service as a utility, which is EXACTLY what needs to happen.



JustAmazing

@embarqhsd.net
reply to toby

Re: [CenturyTel] Being terminated for excessive usage

said by toby:

It is similar to getting a speeding ticket from a police officer, when you car doesn't have a speedometer. You have a general idea, but not an exact amount.

Jjust like the police officer (Centurylink) couldn't care less if your car (computer) doesn't have a speedometer (bandidth meter). It's your car (computer), so it's your responsibility to obey the speedlimit (usage CAPS).


Hazy Arc

join:2006-04-10
Greenwood, SC

Terrible analogy.

Here's a better one - If you have a question as to your electricity usage, you have an easy way to check your current usage by reading the meter on your house.


firedrakes

join:2009-01-29
Arcadia, FL

have you posted this on their face book page?? always good to do thAt



JustAmazing

@embarqhsd.net
reply to JustAmazing

While I completely agree that centurylink should have some type of way to check your usage I feel that the ultimate responsibility rests on the end user not having some way to determine your usage.

Like Toby's analogy, it's not the cops job to monitor your speed, you should have a speedometer and if you don't it's still not the cops problem.

The same goes here. Yes, CTL should have some way for you to check but until they get off their collective fat a**es and do something you shouldn't sit back and twiddle your thumbs and say it's Centurylinks problem. It takes two to tango. Also how are you going to check/challenge them to make sure they're right


TheMayor

join:2002-05-09

While I know people can get a router that was DD-WRT on it & use that as a guideline, it would be nice to have something to compare it to


GetMoney

join:2010-06-11
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
reply to firedrakes

said by firedrakes:

have you posted this on their face book page?? always good to do thAt

LOL.... have you seen their page these days?? They barely can even give you some wishy washy apology. They used to have a great presence up here and then once the Qwest merger happened things went to shit. Why? I have no idea!!!

PX Eliezer

join:2013-03-10
Outland
kudos:4
Reviews:
·callwithus
·Callcentric
reply to Ravynmagi7

said by Ravynmagi7:

I'll start by saying I'm 100% guilty of exceeding the usage policy. I've exceeded it quite a bit every month I've been with Centurylink. I'm a heavy user and I was aware this may be a problem, so I did opt for the fastest speed Internet I could to get the largest data cap available for residential service.

Curious:

1) Will they let you set up a business-type account?

2) Related: Surely if you want more data, they should be happy to supply it to you as long as you are willing to pay for it! They are foolish businessmen otherwise.

3) Do you have any alternative for ISP? Otherwise they are cutting you off from the world!

4) After the first warning, maybe have installed Networx?
»www.softperfect.com/products/networx/

5) Even in New Jersey we have heard what a poor company is CenturyLink/CenturyTel/Qwest/Embarq!

firedrakes

join:2009-01-29
Arcadia, FL

i seeing it certain areas they dont give a dam and other parts they do.


pwtenny

join:2010-10-11
Danbury, NC
reply to Ravynmagi7

quote:
I'll start by saying I'm 100% guilty of exceeding the usage policy. I've exceeded it quite a bit every month I've been with Centurylink. I'm a heavy user and I was aware this may be a problem, so I did opt for the fastest speed Internet I could to get the largest data cap available for residential service.
Well there you go. The business account/line doesn't have a usage cap. You should have gone with that. They probably won't let you now, but you can always ask them if you can switch.

LFHC

join:2012-11-04
Collinsville, VA
reply to Ravynmagi7

Click for full size
Cable is the way to go for heavy users I have comcast and this is what I have used in the past month