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I_H8_Spam

join:2004-03-10
St Catharines, ON
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[Niagara] 40gb of "usage" while the modem is unplugged

So I have some friends that are experiencing a problem with Cogeco's usage billing, and so far are getting a "well investigate" response from the company.

For the past two months they have been getting usage billed for the last two billing cycles, about 10$-15$ in overages each time. They are not tech savvy people, using facebook, hotmail and youtube, no major multimedia, torrents, ect.

I've scanned their computer/network trying to plug the "leak" and I'm certain the usage is not originating from their computer nor network.

This month it really got strange, the account owners somehow have hit 85% of usage for the month (August 29 - Sept 7). Interesting is that they have been out of the home, have killed the power to the modem/router before they left, and if it wasn't for the automated email they would have been clueless.

I'm suspecting their modem was cloned, it seems the only logical solution. They've suspended the account for the time being until they return and can spend more time disputing this.

Has anyone experienced this before. If the owners remain with Cogeco (and I'm pushing Start on them hard), I'm assuming a simple modem swap should temporarily fix the solution until the cloner is/if able to obtain the mac again.
--
AFK: Attack, fight, kill!! The healer is telling you to go pull mobs.
WTF: Way to fight! The healer is applauding your tactical genius



dillyhammer
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2 edits

Re: [Niagara] 40gb of "usage" while the modem is unplu

I can't imagine how they can continue to do business with Cogeco any longer. What are they waiting for? The $1500 bill? FWIW, not that long ago I engaged in an argument here where I asserted that an account could incur usage charges while the modem was off. A Cogeco employee said that was impossible. I later gave in.

Guess I was sort of right.

Move them off Cogeco, internet, TV, everything, as fast as possible. They should be telling everyone they know about this neat little scam.

When oh when is IC/W&M going to get involved and put an end to these horrible scams and fraudulent billing practices.

Mike
--
Cogeco - The New UBB Devil -»[Burloak] Usage Based Billing Nightmare
Make The Switch - »openmedia.ca/switch



I_H8_Spam

join:2004-03-10
St Catharines, ON
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They are sheeple, true to the word.

Bell for home phone, Bev for Sat, Cogeco unbundled for internet. I can lead them to greener pastures, but they have to graze on their own.
--
AFK: Attack, fight, kill!! The healer is telling you to go pull mobs.
WTF: Way to fight! The healer is applauding your tactical genius



I_H8_Spam

join:2004-03-10
St Catharines, ON
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2 edits
reply to dillyhammer

My friends were aware of the options but are very much "sheeple" and remain with legacy carriers.

I can lead them to greener pastures, but I cannot force them to graze.
--
AFK: Attack, fight, kill!! The healer is telling you to go pull mobs.
WTF: Way to fight! The healer is applauding your tactical genius



dillyhammer
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said by I_H8_Spam:

Originally I posed that my friends were aware of the options but "sheeple" and remain with legacy carriers.

I can lead them to greener pastures, but I cannot force them to graze.

It's unfortunate, but many folks are like this. Cogeco makes bank on it every day, as does Bell , Rogers, and so on.

If they don't mind paying big bucks for services they are not getting... not much you can do about that. Making them aware is about all a friend can do.

Mike
--
Cogeco - The New UBB Devil -»[Burloak] Usage Based Billing Nightmare
Make The Switch - »openmedia.ca/switch


I_H8_Spam

join:2004-03-10
St Catharines, ON
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said by dillyhammer:

Making them aware is about all a friend can do.

Mike

Exactly, the only reason they have been actively watching Cogeco is I basically told them someone is stealing from them. That spurned action and interest in the cause from them.

I'd like to know how Mac's are being cloned, is this an inside job maybe provisioning has a leak? Or is someone on the node sniffing for mac addresses?
--
AFK: Attack, fight, kill!! The healer is telling you to go pull mobs.
WTF: Way to fight! The healer is applauding your tactical genius


dillyhammer
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said by I_H8_Spam:

I'd like to know how Mac's are being cloned, is this an inside job maybe provisioning has a leak? Or is someone on the node sniffing for mac addresses?

Frankly, I don't think it was a cloned MAC address. Two interfaces with the same MAC on the same network? All hell would break loose. Cogeco would know about that in a heartbeat.

I think the account's usage numbers got fudged, willfully or otherwise, and Cogeco got caught.

I would strongly urge your friends to start kicking this up the Cogeco customer service food chain (I'm thinking Quebec), and get the media involved.

This is newsworthy.

Perhaps Karl would consider posting this on the DSLr homepage. I mean, inaccurate meter horror stories are becoming commonplace, but usage on a powered down modem? Wow. I know how I spell it.

F.R.A.U.D.

Mike
--
Cogeco - The New UBB Devil -»[Burloak] Usage Based Billing Nightmare
Make The Switch - »openmedia.ca/switch


Gone
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said by dillyhammer:

Frankly, I don't think it was a cloned MAC address. Two interfaces with the same MAC on the same network? All hell would break loose. Cogeco would know about that in a heartbeat.

I believe it only becomes an issue if those two macs are on the same node.


dillyhammer
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said by Gone:

I believe it only becomes an issue if those two macs are on the same node.

Yes apparently so.

And according to Cogeco a CMTS polls cable modems for usage information.

I'm trying to understand how a CMTS polls a modem with a MAC address, and then polls a different modem with the same MAC address on a different node, then reconciles those 2 distinct usage reports to one user's bill.

Or conversely, a CMTS polls a modem with a MAC address, a different CMTS polls a different modem on a different node with the same MAC address, how would those two usage reports from two different CMTS's, two different nodes, two different modems with the same MAC address be reconciled to one user's bill.

Mike
--
Cogeco - The New UBB Devil -»[Burloak] Usage Based Billing Nightmare
Make The Switch - »openmedia.ca/switch


Gone
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The data is most likely combined. A MAC is a MAC. There's no way to identify the modem beyond that.


cog_biz_user
i ruin threads apparently

join:2011-04-19
Hamilton, ON
reply to I_H8_Spam

i've heard of people being able to upload their own provisioning modes to modems, so this doesn't surprise me much. i've been a cogeco customer pretty much since they started doing DOCSIS1 in hamilton, and i haven't had a problem with massive overages. yet. if it happens to me, i'll foot the $500 it takes to switch to teksavvy's MLPPP.



I_H8_Spam

join:2004-03-10
St Catharines, ON
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1 edit
reply to I_H8_Spam

said by dillyhammer:

I'm trying to understand how a CMTS polls a modem with a MAC address, and then polls a different modem with the same MAC address on a different node, then reconciles those 2 distinct usage reports to one user's bill.

This mirrors what I've been reading as a problem on other providers as well, hijacked mac's leading to erroneous billing.

However Cogeco has some fault here in my opinion, this internet offering is not meant to be transient, so maybe a preventative like locking the mac to a node can prevent this.

In this case there is usage from the POI closest to Secord Woods the HO address, then (as an example) Burloak POI strangely serves the same mac; wouldn't that be an open and closed case for Cogeco?

Why the run around for your end user to recoup past and present losses.

Which also leads to how the mac address is being obtained. It is known to "any" renter/owner of the decide, Cogeco, and the manufacturer. So if it is physically collected you need to investigate the chain of overage, the only other consideration is trash maybe Cogeco throws out all the OEM packaging with he mac's printed on the side.

Digital collection, someone hooks into a node and harvests valid mac addresses for later use.

--
AFK: Attack, fight, kill!! The healer is telling you to go pull mobs.
WTF: Way to fight! The healer is applauding your tactical genius

MaynardKrebs
Heave Steve, for the good of the country
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reply to I_H8_Spam

said by I_H8_Spam:

So I have some friends that are experiencing a problem with Cogeco's usage billing, and so far are getting a "well investigate" response from the company.

Get the press involved.

Try Ellen Roseman @ Toronto Star. She might be interested in a new story.


I_H8_Spam

join:2004-03-10
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said by MaynardKrebs:

said by I_H8_Spam:

So I have some friends that are experiencing a problem with Cogeco's usage billing, and so far are getting a "well investigate" response from the company.

Get the press involved.

Try Ellen Roseman @ Toronto Star. She might be interested in a new story.

Going to be suggested, but I'm a third party to the case. My friends return tomorrow so there may be some new developments after they speak to Cogeco again.
--
AFK: Attack, fight, kill!! The healer is telling you to go pull mobs.
WTF: Way to fight! The healer is applauding your tactical genius

MaynardKrebs
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said by I_H8_Spam:

said by MaynardKrebs:

said by I_H8_Spam:

So I have some friends that are experiencing a problem with Cogeco's usage billing, and so far are getting a "well investigate" response from the company.

Get the press involved.

Try Ellen Roseman @ Toronto Star. She might be interested in a new story.

Going to be suggested, but I'm a third party to the case. My friends return tomorrow so there may be some new developments after they speak to Cogeco again.

Ellen would need some 'background' material that your friends may not be conversant with, ie. that there is NO standard for metering set by IC, CRTC or any branch of any government, that there are no provincial consumer protection laws for this either. Hard to fathom that not being the case when most Canadian households have an internet connection which can be subjected to this kind of 'hosing' by incumbents.

How do you spell "in bed with"???

Then there's the whole issue of falsely introduced RSET packets and or legitimate retransmissions which inflate traffic numbers, and all the other stuff we got into with the UBB discussions here and in CRTC filings.

You need to say to her that without proper scientific analysis and appropriate resulting legislation, current ISP "meters" are the equivalent of the butcher holding his hand on the scale while weighing your purchase - and THAT is NOT acceptable to Industry Canada for ANY other business which touches consumers in Canada.


dillyhammer
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Telecommunications Act
S.C. 1993, c. 38

“telecommunications service” means a service provided by means of telecommunications facilities and includes the provision in whole or in part of telecommunications facilities and any related equipment, whether by sale, lease or otherwise;

“Canadian carrier” means a telecommunications common carrier that is subject to the legislative authority of Parliament;

27. (1) Every rate charged by a Canadian carrier for a telecommunications service shall be just and reasonable.

Mike
--
Cogeco - The New UBB Devil -»[Burloak] Usage Based Billing Nightmare
Make The Switch - »openmedia.ca/switch



anonuser1

@lambtonfinancial.ca
reply to I_H8_Spam

said by I_H8_Spam See Profile
I'd like to know how Mac's are being cloned, is this an inside job maybe provisioning has a leak? Or is someone on the node sniffing for mac addresses?
[/BQUOTE :

You want to know how this works? You heard it here first:

There is a network of people who are cloning Cogeco MAC addresses.

Technicians working for or contracted by Cogeco are in on the game and are making money off this.

This in a inter-city operation and, last I heard, the MACs from one city are only ever cloned in a different city. The information I received indicated that this was because the authentication system would only allow one MAC per city. This would indicate that the CMTS is not solely authenticating the MAC but another device or server is also. This would be located in the "head office" of each city. This was what was explained to me - I don't know whether it's accurate.

The techs copy the MAC of a subscriber they feel either won't use all their allocated Internet transit or won't notice and they advertise it on the "forum" of people who are looking to acquire a Cogeco MAC for a specific city. Again, the MAC will always be cloned in a different city than it originated in.

And that's pretty much it. Scripts for the modems are readily available. While they're at it, they uncap the upstream and downstream limits. The MAC gets cloned and whoever the lucky winner is had better hope that the usage doesn't exceed their allotment. Generally, the rule is to not exceed 80% of the person's allotted transfer. MACs are aplenty and exceeding too many people's transfer allotment will only expose the scheme quicker. Cogeco's tracking and billing software obviously doesn't have the capability of knowing where the modems are or even if there are duplicates.

Not that I care but I'll just point out that I do not, nor have I ever participated in this scheme. I know several people who work for Cogeco, none of whom participate in this scheme to my knowledge. I do know people who do participate in this scheme.

There you go. That is how a modem can accrue usage even when disconnected from the network and powered off.



brian5

@cgocable.net

said by anonuser1 :

said by I_H8_Spam See Profile
I'd like to know how Mac's are being cloned, is this an inside job maybe provisioning has a leak? Or is someone on the node sniffing for mac addresses?
[/BQUOTE :

You want to know how this works? You heard it here first:

There is a network of people who are cloning Cogeco MAC addresses.

Technicians working for or contracted by Cogeco are in on the game and are making money off this.

This in a inter-city operation and, last I heard, the MACs from one city are only ever cloned in a different city. The information I received indicated that this was because the authentication system would only allow one MAC per city. This would indicate that the CMTS is not solely authenticating the MAC but another device or server is also. This would be located in the "head office" of each city. This was what was explained to me - I don't know whether it's accurate.

The techs copy the MAC of a subscriber they feel either won't use all their allocated Internet transit or won't notice and they advertise it on the "forum" of people who are looking to acquire a Cogeco MAC for a specific city. Again, the MAC will always be cloned in a different city than it originated in.

And that's pretty much it. Scripts for the modems are readily available. While they're at it, they uncap the upstream and downstream limits. The MAC gets cloned and whoever the lucky winner is had better hope that the usage doesn't exceed their allotment. Generally, the rule is to not exceed 80% of the person's allotted transfer. MACs are aplenty and exceeding too many people's transfer allotment will only expose the scheme quicker. Cogeco's tracking and billing software obviously doesn't have the capability of knowing where the modems are or even if there are duplicates.

Not that I care but I'll just point out that I do not, nor have I ever participated in this scheme. I know several people who work for Cogeco, none of whom participate in this scheme to my knowledge. I do know people who do participate in this scheme.

There you go. That is how a modem can accrue usage even when disconnected from the network and powered off.

Hi, I found a web forum with some guy(in 2009) explaining how he collects MAC addresses for his "cogeco sb5100 fercsa" modem and changes them often.(that is, if I understand what he's explaining)
This would be a huge problem with bandwidth usage for anyone if people are doing this! Is this possible on Cogeco network? Can they stop it, that's kind of scary.

EdmundGerber

join:2010-01-04
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reply to I_H8_Spam

I look forward to seeing how cogego spins this...



dillyhammer
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said by EdmundGerber:

I look forward to seeing how cogego spins this...

Cogeco won't touch this with a 10 foot pole. Not in this forum anyway.

If there were any items discussed so far in this thread that could be readily confirmed or denied and made Cogeco look good, or at least made Cogeco not look bad, that would have been done by now.

But IMHO, billing a customer for usage based on a modem that was powered down and could not possibly have been responsible for the usage is downright FRAUD.

Mike
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Cogeco - The New UBB Devil -»[Burloak] Usage Based Billing Nightmare
Make The Switch - »openmedia.ca/switch


dillyhammer
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reply to anonuser1

said by anonuser1 :

Not that I care but I'll just point out that I do not, nor have I ever participated in this scheme.

If you're not part of the solution..... well... you know....

said by anonuser1 :

I do know people who do participate in this scheme.

I don't know what makes me sick more, that people do this, that people do it so openly that you know about it, or that people do this, do it openly, and you know about it and say nothing.

Pretty much a tie, I think.

Myself, I'd be setting those fuckers up and ratting their scumbag asses out faster than you could clone a MAC.

Mike
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Cogeco - The New UBB Devil -»[Burloak] Usage Based Billing Nightmare
Make The Switch - »openmedia.ca/switch


Cogeco_Aaron
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reply to I_H8_Spam

said by I_H8_Spam:

So I have some friends that are experiencing a problem with Cogeco's usage billing, and so far are getting a "well investigate" response from the company.

Could you possibly ask your friends if it's OK that I contact them and provide me with info so I can look into this?


ancaster

@cgocable.net

I have been also hit by a charge of 82 GB in just one day*. I was with Teksavvy for over two years, with barely going over 20 GB a month.

*That day happened to be 'meter maintenance day'. The day before I was at 0.9 GB (one week into the month), the day after 83 GB!



theboxjoe

@blink.ca

I used to be with Cogeco, always exceeded my monthly limits or came quite close since day one. With the exact same usage now on Bell Fibe I rarely go over 40GB a month and I would probably say it is used more now! This kinda concerns me that I may have fallen victim to this crap without even realising. My parents conostantly pay 50+ I think it is due to overage. I hope Cogeco fixes this issue on their network, I can see the lawsuits happening now as how can you bill someone when techs etc are selling or giving away MAC addresses for others to use. Kinda scary especially since Cogeco's network would let this happen.



I_H8_Spam

join:2004-03-10
St Catharines, ON
reply to Cogeco_Aaron

PM me your Cogeco contact information, I'll forward it to them to contact you if this hasn't been resolved.

Expand your moderator at work

Eunectesboy

join:2012-05-24
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reply to theboxjoe

Re: [Niagara] 40gb of "usage" while the modem is unplu

Somethings isn't sitting right with me...I was just billed for 257GB of usage (given I am on the Ultimate 30 residential - that amounts to 82GB of overage!!!! Yikes. had a $180 bill when taxes factored in.

Problem is - we have consistently be using around 120GB per month for a long time...so how the heck (with same usage pattern) can it literally more than double. We actually moved from the Business to Residential Ultimate 30 because we were consistently around 120 for the past year+. Guess I should have stayed on the Business account!

Yes we are heavy Netflix users and download/stream quite a bit...hence the 120GB or so we used on average per month...but our download/streaming patterns have not changed to any marked degree and I am stumped as to why it would be so high.

Since we typically have been so far from going over the 175 'cap' I have been lazy in proactively checking usage meter (or the usage 'guess-to-meter') so me bad on that one - I have no one to blame there...but 257 GB???? Wow - I guess our family (2 adults one teen) are one of those bandwidth hogs and we didn't even realize. I also never frequent the cogeco mail system and don't have it forwarded to my gmail account so (again) me bad there as well.

Unless my wife/daughter are lying to me about their usage the past month...I am lost on this one...

Another reason to consider Start.ca I guess. I was holding out because of the faster speed with Cogeco Ultimate 30...but I am beginning to think I can live with the extra few download minutes...


thingfish

join:2012-09-14
St Catharines, ON
kudos:1
reply to I_H8_Spam

For those that are getting what you feel to be higher than expected usage amounts, are you seeing occasional spikes in your daily usages, or consistently higher usage every day?


Eunectesboy

join:2012-05-24
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I noticed weird spikes on some days and virtually silent on others...

One day 648MB...another 50GB...yep 50GB

Almost as though I was pulling an all nighter with rapidshare downloads...but it has been a looooong time since I did that...so most days should be fairly consistent (IMHO).

Again - has me stumped. Perhaps I am just truly out of tune with what we are using...or is that simply what 'they' want me to think?



FKharper

@bell.ca

It maybe time to get some lawyer's involved with the Cap business and get class action lawsuit going, won't do anything to customers but maybe, just maybe will get Robellus attention.