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Cox Will Begin Charging Overages
At Least According to Their Own Website
by Karl Bode 04:35PM Tuesday Mar 27 2012
As we recently noted, Cox Communications appears to be the latest ISP to prepare for metered billing as they slowly deploy a new usage meter across markets. While they've made nothing official yet, a user offers up the screenshot below from the company's own usage tool that indicates Cox will ultimately begin billing users for passing their cap. Customers are informed that the allowance portion of the meter website "shows the amount of data usage included in your plan each billing cycle," and that users can consume more, but "will be billed for any amount you use over your allowance."

Click for full size
We've been unable to get an official confirmation from Cox, but unless it's some kind of error the Cox website speaks for itself. Since the overages aren't official yet there's no word on specific per-byte prices, or whether overages will be billed in all markets. Cox currently imposes caps on their service but it varies by local market competition, regional congestion and tier -- all broken down here.

ISPs give numerous justifications for imposing new overage fees. Sometimes they'll insist the moves are about congestion (not really an issue on well managed modern landline networks), while other times they'll insist it's a move forged out of financial necessity (despite flat rate broadband being very profitable). If they're lazy and eager to insult their customers' intelligence, they'll insist it's about "improving the customer experience" while pretending billing you $5 per gigabyte in the age of HD streaming video is about "fairness."

What's actually happening is ISPs are taking full advantage of dismal US broadband market competition to dramatically raise prices while artificially constricting the pipe, charging prices utterly detached from any real-world provisioning costs. It's a tactic that not only allows them to overcharge for a service that costs increasingly-less to provide (investors certainly love that), but it comes with the added benefit of protecting TV revenues from Internet video.

With Cox competitor AT&T also pushing toward overages, there's absolutely no organic market force in place to prevent ISPs from increasingly over-billing subscribers for bandwidth once overages are in place. Meanwhile, ISPs have consistently struggled to meter usage accurately -- but there's not a regulator in North America that has shown the slightest interest in ensuring consumers are billed fairly.

Updated: Cox claims the language was included in "error," and we've added an updated post with their statement here.

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Bill Neilson
Premium
join:2009-07-08
Arlington, VA

And with more and more using video services

at home, it is only time before more and more start hitting their caps.

To which I will love to see how slowly the ISP's actually raise their caps.
Max Greene

join:2000-12-22
Bayonne, NJ
Reviews:
·Boost Mobile

Re: And with more and more using video services

said by Bill Neilson:

at home, it is only time before more and more start hitting their caps.

To which I will love to see how slowly the ISP's actually raise their caps.

After a few hundred million robbed from customers who have no choice in who they do business with they will raise them.

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK
No need to raise them at all.

They can just charge more, what are people going to do, give up the Internet? They'll just have to keep cutting back on using video.
--
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

dvd536
as Mr. Pink as they come
Premium
join:2001-04-27
Phoenix, AZ
kudos:4

Re: And with more and more using video services

said by KrK:

No need to raise them at all.

They can just charge more, what are people going to do, give up the Internet? They'll just have to keep cutting back on using video.

Drop TV and go to the next higher package on the hsi.
caps are all about protecting legacy video revenues.

dvd536
as Mr. Pink as they come
Premium
join:2001-04-27
Phoenix, AZ
kudos:4
said by Bill Neilson:

at home, it is only time before more and more start hitting their caps.

To which I will love to see how slowly the ISP's actually raise their caps.

Actually the caps are more likely to be reduced[ala robbers] when the caps aren't generating as much overages as the company expected.

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

2 edits

Where did $5/GB come from? Can't find anything says that

And where did the claim they will charge $5/GB come from. Links in the BBR story don't lead to anything that says that.

This link lays out the caps, but not any prices for overages:
»ww2.cox.com/aboutus/policies/limitations.cox

Here is an example(San Diego) of the caps on different tiers:
»ww2.cox.com/aboutus/sandiego/pol···ions.cox

Cox says they do not charge for exceeding cap, but can drop you if you keep doing it and don't upgrade to a plan with a higher cap:
»ww2.cox.com/residential/sandiego···00000%7D

tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast

1 recommendation

Re: Where did $5/GB come from? Can't find anything says that

said by FFH:

And where did the claim they will charge $5/GB come from. Links in the BBR story don't lead to anything that says that.

Well it wouldn't be very exciting/inciting if it was just facts would it?
You gotta give Karl a little Artistic freedom in his news stories or they might have the wrong spin.

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

1 recommendation

I agree Karl needs to provide a link to the $5 per GB overages. At least at&t charges $10 for 50 GB which is more reasonable. Well except for the fact if you don't use the entire 50 GB. Charging $1 per 5 GB or $5 for 25 GB would be better.

dvd536
as Mr. Pink as they come
Premium
join:2001-04-27
Phoenix, AZ
kudos:4
said by FFH:

And where did the claim they will charge $5/GB come from. Links in the BBR story don't lead to anything that says that.

This link lays out the caps, but not any prices for overages:
»ww2.cox.com/aboutus/policies/limitations.cox

Here is an example(San Diego) of the caps on different tiers:
»ww2.cox.com/aboutus/sandiego/pol···ions.cox

Cox says they do not charge for exceeding cap, but can drop you if you keep doing it and don't upgrade to a plan with a higher cap:
»ww2.cox.com/residential/sandiego···00000%7D

Well the cox website is known for being at least 6 months out of date.

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

Re: Where did $5/GB come from? Can't find anything says that

said by dvd536:

Well the cox website is known for being at least 6 months out of date.

Could be but until karl provides a link to where someone said Cox is going to charge $5 per GB I call bullshit.
daake07

join:2011-06-28
Kearney, NE

New billing idea

How about we turn the cable market upside down and change the billing entirely. Obviously investors would not like this, but it would be fairest way to do it.

Cables companies should charge $15 - 20 per month plus an additional $0.15 per GB. Give users unlimited data, but make them pay for it. This is how electric and gas bills are....why should the internet be any different.

With this sort of model there would be a lot of people who would pay considerably less, I being one of them.
gworkman7

join:2005-10-18
Laveen, AZ
Reviews:
·PHONE POWER

Re: New billing idea

Very naive. While they will entertain the idea of per GB charges, they will not lower the base rate. Check the history on unlimted data from AT&T. $30/month for the iPhone plan, and today, it is $30 for 3 GB. If you think the pricing is going to, in any way, benefit the consumer, you are living in a dream world.
daake07

join:2011-06-28
Kearney, NE

Re: New billing idea

I agree with you, its not going to happen, but it is the only fair way. On as side note, I thought AT&T did offer a budget $15-20 plan last year or the year before, it only had 1GB cap I believe.

Also there is potential that the wireless industry could change this year when shared data is introduced. I think it would be wiser for Verizon to offer cheaper shared plans, this would likely increase the number of non-phone devices with 3G/4G which they could charge an additional access fee on.

How many users with iPads would like to be able to use 3G/4G, but are deterred by the $30/month charge...what if that was only $10 - 15....they would have thousands of more customers simply because of a slight price drop.
Joe12345678

join:2003-07-22
Des Plaines, IL
then replace the $15 - 20 per month with a line fee (comes with basic cable) or as part of a cable tv package so you can add internet for as low $0.XX pre GB (maybe have a min level of data say 5-10GB with roll over)

skeechan
Ai Otsukaholic
Premium
join:2012-01-26
AA169|170
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Clear Wireless
·Cox HSI
·Verizon FiOS

4 edits

I'll vote with my feet

said by Cox :
Cox does not currently charge you additional fees if you exceed your allowance. If you determine that your Internet data usage will continue to exceed your allowance, we recommend that you consider a Cox High Speed Internet package that more closely matches your use of the service. If you are consistently going over your data usage allowance, you will also benefit from the faster speeds that come with a higher Internet package.
Operative words, does not currently

I have gone over my limits twice in the last 7 or 8 months and typically run at around the cap of 250GB/mo thanks to Netflix, Hulu and Crunchyroll. But if I end up getting charged overages I'll be leaving Cox after having their HSI, CATV and VoCABLE telephony service since the @Home days, taking my $210/mo with me.

DirecTV, VOIPO and DSL Extreme would be more than willing to take my money. And DSLx in my area offers 6Mb service via AT&T for $20/mo and from my understanding isn't subject to AT&T's caps. With a 6Mb sync actual throughput may be in the low 5Mb range? Good enough for Netflix, Hulu and Crunchyroll...

norbert26
Premium
join:2010-08-10
Warwick, RI

Re: I'll vote with my feet

said by skeechan:

said by Cox :

DirecTV, VOIPO and DSL Extreme would be more than willing to take my money. And DSLx in my area offers 6Mb service via AT&T for $20/mo and from my understanding isn't subject to AT&T's caps. With a 6Mb sync actual throughput may be in the low 5Mb range? Good enough for Netflix, Hulu and Crunchyroll...

Just keep in mind in AT&T service areas you can NOT get dry loop (stand alone) DSL Extreme service. You will have to get a minimal AT&T local phone plan with that. Also even though they OFFER 6 Mb in your area your line must be able to support it. Your neighbor may get it fine but you could be on a long loop and only get 2 or 3 depending your line / distance from CO.

skeechan
Ai Otsukaholic
Premium
join:2012-01-26
AA169|170
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Clear Wireless
·Cox HSI
·Verizon FiOS

Re: I'll vote with my feet

I'm close to the RT and AT&T basic phone service even with taxes is cheap. Both combined are still cheaper than a low tier HSI alone from Cox and while my phone service from Cox was originally pretty cheap back in 1999 when I got it, it is now $40/mo with no calling plan (I pay .15/min for in state LD calls, ouch) and just basic features like Caller ID. So I could use a featureless AT&T POTS for my house alarm and HO fax machine and VOIPo for everything else and still come out way ahead.

My point is I could EASILY continue on my way without Cox for less than the $210 I'm paying and so could just about everyone else. Cox at least in my area doesn't have really good triple play deals like TWC does, where you can get $70-$90 for a year or more. Any promos here are only 3 month intro offers and even then the deals aren't very good.

jgkolt
Premium
join:2004-02-21
Avon, OH

prices

They just increased prices but i havent been notified of this change yet. keeps getting better all the time.
TechWhiz

join:2004-10-30
Phoenix, AZ

Left Cox just in time

Now for the blissful time before CenturyLink does anything like this.
looser

join:2001-02-04
La Mesa, CA

New it was coming!

Thats why I got rid of my TV Cable after 15 yrs. with them, got the notice of 250 gigs a month awhile back here in SD. They said in the email that it was just a warning and they were not going to charge, but my GLP kick in and knew it was only a matter of time before the X-tra fee's would be coming, so to prepare kept the Internet and booted the TV cable.

spincel

@cox.net

Did they just revert the overage charge statement?

Today I check my my account. The interesting thing that I found out is they remove everything that said about the overage charge. You won't be able to see it. Now, they're just saying that allowance is the amount that included in a plan. To be honest, I am not sure they gonna do the charge because people would complain and they would have to remove it. Also, I don't like the way they treat customer like they can drop us our if we exceed so many times in the past.

skeechan
Ai Otsukaholic
Premium
join:2012-01-26
AA169|170
kudos:2

Re: Did they just revert the overage charge statement?

Ditto for me. I just checked my Cox meter and saw the same thing. Any reference to charging for overages has been removed.