Updated with response from Comcast at bottom...
For many years, Comcast Communications advertised their broadband service as unlimited, despite the fact that there were obvious limits in place. Those very real limits resulted in users getting letters warning them about excessive consumption and threatening account termination. Our users spent the better part of a decade
complaining that the carrier kept warning them they were using too much bandwidth -- without clearly defining how exactly Comcast defined "too much."
In October of 2008 the company imposed a clear 250 GB monthly cap
for all residential user tiers. We assumed that all older marketing material (like this flyer from 2003
) were no longer being used. But according to The Consumerist
, the carrier is still marketing their service as "unlimited" in some markets. One user in Charleston says he received a flyer advertising unlimited service back in January, then was surprised to run into Comcast's caps:
I was told I used more data than they allow (250GB). I do not argue that I used over 250GB, in fact I went quite a bit over. Though I did want to ask for proof that affected their network, I figured it wasn't the nicest way to start the interaction. I informed them that I used this because it was sold as "Unlimited usage for a flat, monthly rate." He then told me it said "access." I had the brochure right next to me and quoted, "Unlimited usage for a flat, monthly rate." He told me their website says something different, and my local franchise overstepped its bounds.
Given that Comcast has been doing a much better job being direct with consumers
lately, we're guessing the local Charleston franchise in question either napped through an Xfininity meeting or they're using older marketing material, though we dropped a note to Comcast just to double check. We prefer the new, more transparent Comcast, where if there are going to be network limits -- they're at least clear to the consumer. Hopefully this is just a glitch and the company isn't taking a step backward.Update
: Comcast spokesman Charlie Douglas confirms to Broadband Reports
that this isn't standard company procedure, and that something's wrong with Charleston-area marketing:
We had an error in how our Internet service was described in customer notifications in Charleston, SC and Augusta, GA. We are sending a corrected notice to our customers in these markets right away and we apologize for any confusion it may have caused. We believe that this is an isolated incident, but we are conducting a thorough audit of our marketing materials to be certain they are accurate.