dslreports logo
site
spacer

spacer
 
   
spc
story category
CenturyLink 'Fires' Customers For Excessive Use...
But Doesn't Provide Tools to Track Consumption
by Karl Bode 11:02AM Thursday Mar 28 2013
Earlier this month CenturyLink confirmed to us that the company now imposes usage caps of 150 GB for 1.5 Mbps lines, and caps of 300 GB for anything faster. Users who exceed those caps get on-screen warnings and are urged to upgrade to faster tiers or business-class service. However, some other users in our forums say they are being kicked from the network entirely for excessive use. One user, who freely admits he uses a lot of bandwidth, states that not only did he not receive one of the warnings before being disconnected, but that CenturyLink provides no tool to track usage:
quote:
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).
Yes, users can use their own measurement tools and/or router firmware to track usage, but this very frequently doesn't match up with the ISP's own usage logs or data collection methodology. Traditionally the tools ISPs provide for their users haven't been particularly reliable either, though that's a larger problem for companies that are trying to charge users overage fees per gigabyte, something CenturyLink tells us they're not doing -- yet.

Still, if you're going to the lengths of actually kicking people off of your network, perhaps making it clear how much data they're using is a good idea.

view:
topics flat nest 
page: 1 · 2

itsme

@nks.net

caps

No surprise here, users want to get as much out of the 'net as they can. Isp's want to get as much money out it's users as it can, you see..

cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7

Re: caps

said by itsme :

No surprise here, users want to get as much out of the 'net as they can. Isp's want to get as much money out it's users as it can, you see..

No, consumers want as much as they can get. ISPs want to minimize bandwidth usage while maximizing revenue. If ISPs only wanted as much money as possible, they would implement caps with overages or per-byte billing. If it was only about the money, they wouldn't get rid of bandwidth hogs as no revenue is worse than limited profitability. The only exception to this is if a person consumes more bandwidth then what their monthly rate actually pays for. Possible, but I bet not very likely.
ArizonaSteve

join:2004-01-31
Apache Junction, AZ
Reviews:
·voip.ms
·CenturyLink
·T-Mobile US
In that regard I don't understand why a company would "fire" it's best customers? If they are selling data access and customers want to use more data why don't they just charge a little more for the extra data and it's a win-win? It's a lot like record companies trying to sue music lovers who download the most music even though they are the ones who spend the most on music, makes no sense business wise or any other way!
billcows
Premium
join:2011-07-01

2 edits

Comcast on the other hand

Comcast has temporally removed the cap in my area. Plus the upped the speeds for free. CenturyLink should take notice.

ArrayList
netbus developer
Premium
join:2005-03-19
Evanston, IL

Re: Comcast on the other hand

just wait. overages are coming.

tc1uscg

join:2005-03-09
Saint Clair Shores, MI

Re: Comcast on the other hand

said by ArrayList:

just wait. overages are coming.

How so? Comcast has not enforced it's cap since EARLY last year (think it was around Feb 2012). Big reason I was told (by a field tech so take this info with a grain of salt), was CC wants people to "stream" from it's xfinity service. Maybe CC internet ONLY users might see a cap/overages. Therefore I doubt CC will impose the 250gb cap on those who have their tv service too. Just a hunch.

ArrayList
netbus developer
Premium
join:2005-03-19
Evanston, IL

Re: Comcast on the other hand

No, there were several blog posts last summer from people who had their service disconnected. They were enforcing as of last october IIRC.

tc1uscg

join:2005-03-09
Saint Clair Shores, MI

Re: Comcast on the other hand

said by ArrayList:

No, there were several blog posts last summer from people who had their service disconnected. They were enforcing as of last october IIRC.

Maybe in your area but my cap enforcement has been "suspended" since early last year. I did see where they were upping caps though in some markets. Right now, with my service, my cap would go from 250 to 450gb per month. During mid Dec of 2012, my max used was 268gpb and mind you, I have 3 ROKU's and 1 BD player with internet access and the kids were home for almost 3 weeks with laptops, Roku access and phones using the net.

I think my market may be lest strict because there is AT&T and WOW in my area. WOW does not have a cap, at least on the 50mbps service. I do recall not having a cap early last spring (that's march in my book )

gordoco

join:2004-06-05
Boulder, CO

Unreliable

My CenturyLink 1.5 Mbps service was so pathetically unreliable the past year that 150 GB/month would have been totally impossible to achieve. It finally improved a couple of months ago. CenturyLink does not have competent customer service, and they'll just piss off more customers if they don't offer a way to monitor usage and don't offer reliable upgrades. Faster tier? I'm not holding my breath.

RRedline
Rated R
Premium
join:2002-05-15
Attleboro, MA

I just don't understand...

...why companies don't use a tiered throttling approach to dealing with "abusers?" After so much data is used in a given period, throttle the connection by a certain percentage like 50%. After another block of data is used, throttle it again...repeat that until you are down to the defined minimum speed (one that is not too unreasonably slow).

Or they could just upgrade their networks.
--
One nation, under Zod!
silbaco
Premium
join:2009-08-03
USA

Centurylink

Centurylink is simply a crappy company. And competition doesn't make an ounce of difference to them. They compete with two cable companies in a city close to me, but they have no desire to compete.
jjeffeory

join:2002-12-04
USA

Re: Centurylink

There too busy trying to grow and become the third largest phone company instead of provide their current users will world class service.
me1212

join:2008-11-20
Pleasant Hill, MO

Is business class uncapped?

Earlier this month CenturyLink confirmed to us that the company now imposes usage caps of 150 GB for 1.5 Mbps lines, and caps of 300 GB for anything faster. Users who exceed those caps get on-screen warnings and are urged to upgrade to faster tiers or business-class service.

If the customer is already on the 300GB line and has say a 10m line and using 350GB, and get asked to upgrade business class, would that mean a larger or no cap on them?
silbaco
Premium
join:2009-08-03
USA

Re: Is business class uncapped?

Business lines are uncapped.
me1212

join:2008-11-20
Pleasant Hill, MO

Re: Is business class uncapped?

said by silbaco:

Business lines are uncapped.

Well at least they know businesses need bandwidth, unlike TW.

CrazyFingers

join:2003-10-01
Columbia, MO
For now...
silbaco
Premium
join:2009-08-03
USA

Re: Is business class uncapped?

I wouldn't look for it to change. Their business DSL is terrible as is. They wouldn't want to upset their revenue source even further.
whoyourdaddy

join:2013-02-20
Honey Brook, PA

well then centrerlink

well then centerlink customers will then fire you too if they can go with another provider like Verizon fios
dynodb
Premium,VIP
join:2004-04-21
Minneapolis, MN

Correction- user was warned

One user, who freely admits he uses a lot of bandwidth, states that not only did he not receive one of the warnings before being disconnected, but that CenturyLink provides no tool to track usage:
You might want to read his post again- he said they were warned via browser redirect, but didn't pay particular attention to it.
Ravynmagi7

join:2002-07-12
Gilbert, AZ

Re: Correction- user was warned

Centurylink doesn't provide a good method for sending the warnings. They say they had sent me two warnings before, but I only saw one and I was lucky to even see that one (it showed up on someone else's computer screen, they are computer illiterate and didn't even know Centurylink was our ISP so was confused and thought it was some fake message).

For some reason nobody ever saw the second warning Centurylink claims to have sent.

I mostly just wished Centurylink had done a better job communicating these warnings to me. An email at the very least seems would have been more reasonable. But I never got any emails or letters. Just that one odd browser redirect. Which seems like a poor method to communicate the warning.
TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·MegaPath
He also states that he was AWARE of the cap, but ASSUMED they did not enforce it only due to his old ISP did not. This is totally the user's problem and not the company's. This is a lesson learned about assuming something. But as always the company is to blame for the customer's fault and next, he'll be calling for regulation due to the fact that he assumes and does NOT read nor ask questions.

NormanS
I gave her time to steal my mind away
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-14
San Jose, CA
kudos:11
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET
·Pacific Bell - SBC

Re: Correction- user was warned

said by TBBroadband:

He also states that he was AWARE of the cap, but ASSUMED they did not enforce it only due to his old ISP did not.

User's assumptions aside, he also states that there are multiple users in the house, and the browser redirects went to other users who weren't involved in the bill-paying, and had no idea what they were seeing. Any communications about the account usage should be positively directed to the party responsible for the account. A browser redirect is not sufficient for this purpose.
--
Norman
~Oh Lord, why have you come
~To Konnyu, with the Lion and the Drum
joe_h

join:2010-05-26
Las Cruces, NM

250Gb or 300Gb?

So the first line reads "300GB for anything faster", yet the prior article linked in this one states that 250GB is the cap. Which is it?
DarnellP

join:2004-10-12
Las Vegas, NV

Re: 250Gb or 300Gb?

I was wondering the same thing. Karl...?
Ravynmagi7

join:2002-07-12
Gilbert, AZ
It's 250GB...
»qwest.centurylink.com/internethelp/eup.html
Technicholas

join:2010-11-11
Winterset, IA
Reviews:
·Mediacom
·CenturyLink

I called into tech support before...

If you call into tech support they can pull up how much you use!
I called in and just was wondering why speeds were too slow. And I asked how much bandwidth I am using and they told me was surprised! I can ONLY get Centurylink in my area that is the only in my neighborhood.

Probitas

@teksavvy.com

access is already limited by speed

What difference how much you download? You could use half your allotment, and you don't see refunds..so why the fuss from ISP's for overages. At least avg it out, and if the total over a year is higher, then maybe they have a case, but allowing for usage at a specified rate does not congest the network, unless they already over booked the area as though they were sellling too many 1st class tickets.

viperpa33s
Why Me?
Premium
join:2002-12-20
Bradenton, FL

Hi Roger

I really feel sorry for the people who have CenturyLink. CenturyLink is one of the worse companies around. They bought other companies so they can play with the big dogs but did little for the company itself. My parents use to have Embarq until CenturyLink rolled in and bought them out. Now my parents have more problems then they know what to do with.

As for the caps, all I have to say is, "Hi Roger"
--
Obama can kiss my butt
Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
Eustis, FL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
·Embarq Now Centu..
·Comcast
·CenturyLink

Were customers dropped for excessive use in Prism areas.

I wonder if CenturyLink is getting rid of high usage broadband customers to protect their Prism TV service customers. Here in Central Florida CenturyLink is pushing Prism Television service. A friend of mine signed up for Prism about a year ago and has seen the quality of Prism service deteriorate with increased pixelation and dropouts over the last year. They were so dissatisfied with Prism they went back to cable TV. Of course rather than correcting the problem CenturyLink charged the customer an outrageous ETF. If I had a customer that was impacting Prism customers by downloading a lot of movies from Netflix I would drop them like a hand full of hot wet mixed fertilizer.
TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·MegaPath

Re: Were customers dropped for excessive use in Prism areas.

Customer should read to see if there was a clause about the ETF. Just because you have crappy service, doesn't give you the right to get out of your contract in most cases. Companies protect themselves and customer should read.

But other companies do just as you say. if TWC had a customer killing an entire node and people started complaining about it (which they do but takes someone to actually locate that user) they will in fact disconnect them. They're AUP/TOS for both TWC and RoadRunner state they they will and have a cap. But do not state what the usage limit is.
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA

Warned, not fired

The option exists to buy out the cap, via business-class service.

What's the problem here?

Should the rest of us pay more so a few can prove to the world how much they can download?

Do we have to share a DSLAM with a data hog?

•••••

Probitas

@teksavvy.com

access is already limited by speed

What difference how much you download? You could use half your allotment, and you don't see refunds..so why the fuss from ISP's for overages. At least avg it out, and if the total over a year is higher, then maybe they have a case, but allowing for usage at a specified rate does not congest the network, unless they already over booked the area as though they were sellling too many 1st class tickets.
WIheadbanger

join:2009-12-30
Greenleaf, WI

postal notice today..

from CL said my family is "EXTREME TECHIE" based on our usage compared to the average user at our speed (3M). They urge us to move to a faster $peed. Haven't figured out where that would help us. Our cap would stay the same. Amazon movies will still play at the same speed. Not many are HD. Our usage will actually rise since the speed bottleneck forces the kids to prioritize and share the bandwidth. Knocks out some other simultaneous video streams. Will have to stay atop this. Actually went over cap earlier this winter I think. Wife had a popup that sounded like it but she didn't understand it. This must be the followup.
djcrazy
Premium
join:2009-08-05
Minneapolis, MN
Reviews:
·Comcast
·T-Mobile US

1 edit

heh

I really don't understand how Centurylink can even be relevant in today's world. They are way behind the curve and I just don't see any value with the services they provide. I am less than 10 miles from Downtown Minneapolis and in this western inner ring suburb the best they can offer in my area is 1.5 Mbps. What a freaking joke. It is 2013, not 1998. Meanwhile Comcast just upgraded my Blast tier to 50/10.

In parts of the Minneapolis proper, they may offer 40 Mbps, but US Internet is offering 1000/1000 symmetrical for $99.90 in some areas. I would say Comcast and US Internet have left Centurylink in the dust.

Boulder

@comcast.net

CenturyLink's Own Prism service is exempt from the limit

From »qwest.centurylink.com/internethe···EUP.pdf:

Q: Are CenturyLink PRISM TV customers included in the EUP policy?
A: Traffic associated with Prism TV service will not be subject to the new EUP policy

So, CenturyLink doesn't impose download limits for its own TV service but does for competitors such as Netflix, Amazon, and others.

Aren't/shouldn't there be regulations concerning this? Oh yeah, I forgot that our FCC is toothless, that we have a broadband duopoly (monopoly in some areas in this country), that we pay far more for broadband than most other countries, yet receive much lower speeds. Ain't America great?

divamaus

@qwest.net

CenturyLink Fires Customers for Excessive Use

I am on my computer alot. /However/ in my area, which was previously a qwest area, purchased by CL, the maximum plan I can obtain is 1.5 mbps, anything higher is physically unavailable to me (I live in a rural area).

So recently I started having severe problems with being able to be online. I went through troubleshooting where they assured me everything was absolutely fine with my router... only it completely stopped working today. So they said they are sending me a new router, but then, I got home at midnight and noticed my other machine which I simply left attached to the modem via ethernet amazingly was able to access websites and such. Then I read this article and I'm thinking "how the heck would I know how much data I've used during the past month?" Like the other poster... couldn't find any tool to get that information. Nor did I receive any notification from CL regarding "excessive use."

But when I called up the tech support regarding the suddenly and seemingly working modem, well, um... they started talking about severe congestion in this area (which was rather a similar phrase they used for people using a lot of bandwidth) and they said that they didn't have the other tools to switch things over to "even things out" and said that it'll likely be a "problem" over the next few weeks to a month.

So, this is starting to make me think that I might be one of those they've decided to arbitrarily throttle, (although if the only plan you offer is 1.5, this hardly seems fair to me). Not to mention in terms of customer service, they have to to be second to the worst I've ever had to deal with (not because of the techs, necessarily, but because they can never find my account, one office doesn't communicate with the other, etc.) I told a friend of mine who lives in Italy of my difficulties with them and he said "Hey, it sounds like what it's like here in Italy." Niiiice.

I'd pretty well decided that I was going to be switching providers as soon as practicable. If you sell me a plan that has a lower speed (and I cannot physically purchase a higher speed) that was billed as internet on demand, I guess I pretty much expect you to stick with that... especially given that whole 5 year guaranteed pricing schtick they do.
Boulder

join:2013-05-06
Louisville, CO

CenturyLink Wants Me Back

I've posted previously in this forum that CenturyLink "fired" me for excessive downloads. I then "fired" them for plain old telephone service, and moved to Comcast for cable and Oooma for VOIP, both of which I am very pleased with. Comcast's download speed is more than double what I was getting with CenturyLink.

Almost immediately after dropping CenturyLink I started receiving phone calls and postal mailings asking me to come back...with great offers on DSL service. Today, a CenturyLink rep knocked on my front door trying to sell me the service.

Before dropping CenturyLink, no one at the company's call centers were the least bit interested in retaining me as a customer, including the "supervisors" I politely asked to speak to.

Me thinks that CenturyLink may want to invest more money in retaining their existing customers than in trying to win back former customers that they have peeved off. For what it's worth, I had been a customer of CenturyLink and its predecessors (i.e. AT&T, Mountain Bell, US West, Qwest, etc.) with the same phone number for over 35 years.