dslreports logo
site
spacer

spacer
 
   
spc
story category
Mediacom Starts Getting Tougher About Their Cap
'Soft' Usage Cap Begins Getting A Little Less Soft
by Karl Bode 12:35PM Friday Jun 15 2012
Cable broadband ISP Mediacom has long had a 250 GB cap in place, their acceptable use policy informing users that should you exceed that total, Mediacom may "charge you for the excess usage, reduce transmission speed or other Service parameters, limit, suspend or terminate the Service or take other actions." Users in our Mediacom forum note that while the company has been quiet about enforcing the cap, they're starting to make a little more noise about it, calling users who are starting to go over the cap on a consistent basis. Mediacom is telling users they're not charging them -- yet:
quote:
Currently this is a soft cap. We are not charging overage fees, we are not limiting or throttling traffic or making any changes to the network that would do this. All we are doing currently is informing certain customers who are very high end users throughout the company that there usage is high and we are trying to gain more information as to why they are so high. Some do not know how much bandwidth they use (open networks with no protection, etc.) and all we did was inform them and explain the 250GB cap. This has been in our terms of service for a couple of years now, but I don't have the exact date.
What we've usually seen with ISPs who impose overages is they start with a soft cap, then deploy a meter, then engage in a lot of rhetoric about "educating consumers on usage." Caps and overages are only imposed if they operate in a market where real competition doesn't exist (i.e.: most of this country). With limited competition, there's really nothing to keep these price hikes (and that's exactly what they are) in check. We'll keep an eye on Mediacom and update users should it look like hard caps and overages are on the way.

view:
topics flat nest 

mioooo334

@mycingular.net

i had them, they sucked

Consistent maintenance outages with no announcement as early as midnight. Also in many markets their nodes have been oversold and videos on 5mb available throughput would take to buffer longer than Atty 3g on 2mb/s download. They have no backbone redundancy in connectivity so if fiber backbone gets cut in your are you're internet is down for 24h.

Their TV is mediocre and so their customer service. They make loo Comcast guys professional and cheap. That's how awful mc is!
25139889

join:2011-10-25
Toledo, OH

News?

And why is this news? They're simply starting to enforce their TOS/AUP which people should have been following all along. Don't want the call- don't go over your cap repeatedly.
Os

join:2011-01-26
US

Re: News?

How dare those evil consumers use the internet connection they purchased!

Look, I get if they want to impose limits on their connections. When they openly advertise those limits, then they'll have a point.

Do you see Mediacom openly telling you that you get 250GB of web usage per month on their web site? Does Comcast tell you that? None of them do. It's a subversive thing because they want people going over. If they told them beforehand, they'd get scared, not use services, have their service be less important to them, and maybe they'd question whether it was even worth paying for.

They hide the usage limits away on a special page or better yet, put it in the contracts that the average consumer doesn't read.

They're all subversive about it because they don't want people to know what they're really doing. The FCC who seems to be on the UBB train could at least force them to fully disclose those limits openly on every web package they sell.

If the network really couldn't handle the traffic, then tell them upfront you'll pay this month for "overusage" and you get this much built in your plan. The cell phone companies can do it, why can't the telcos and cablecos? They want you to use your connection freely, not realize it's really limited, then shock you with a ripoff bill or a disconnect.

Considering all the double your data commercials Verizon Wireless ran, idiots probably think 4GB is really something. It would be awful if they tried it, but the cablecos and telcos could probably get away with it. Or better yet, 250 just sounds like a big number. Half the country can't even count that high.

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

Re: News?

said by Os:

How dare those evil consumers use the internet connection they purchased!

And when they purchased that internet they AGREED to the TOS which included a cap. How dare a company hold customers to a TOS agreement they agreed too!

It's funny if a customer thinks the company is violating the TOS they don't hesitate to whine on the internet or the media or the BBB and state how companies should stand by their TOS. But the customers themselves are asked to do the same then they are somehow getting screwed over.
Os

join:2011-01-26
US

Re: News?

And how many customers explicitly know the TOS. They hide it in the fine print.

Any capped provider should openly have it on there you get X amount of usage and it's this much for any overages. It's not hard to make this straightforward, they just don't have any interest in that.
25139889

join:2011-10-25
Toledo, OH

Re: News?

They have the Find feature available for that online. And regardless of fine print or not- its there. I can actually tell you that more than 50% of any of their customers; FAIL to read that TOS/AUP. Butt they're here to bitch about the camp.

The Limit
Premium
join:2007-09-25
Greensboro, NC
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Windstream

Re: News?

Still using the tired argument of "READ THE TOS, READ THE TOS"?

I've read the TOS, do you realize that lawyers wrote the TOS? I'm sure you do since you have claimed to have read yours. Do you know how long it takes to actually work through the TOS, and understand EVERYTHING in the TOS? A long time.

Have you actually worked through EVERY PIECE of language in the TOS? Methinks, I highly doubt it, otherwise you wouldn't be using this as a counter. I think if you are going to sit there and berate people for not reading the TOS, why not read it yourself? Work through every piece of language, EVERY IOTA, EVERY dot and cross of a T, and then come back and tell me how fair that TOS is to the average consumer. And then tell me that consumer will understand it.

Yes, I realize the consumer accepts without reading, but at the same time you need to be realistic here. TOS is TOS, and is enforced how a company sees fit, you should know this. This story is a perfect example of selectively enforcing said TOS.

All I am asking of you is to look through the average consumer's eyes. That's all I'm asking.
--
"We will evaluate these integrals rigorously if we can, and non-rigorously if we must".
---Victor Moll, invited talk, Tom Osler Fest (April 17, 2010)
25139889

join:2011-10-25
Toledo, OH

Re: News?

And yes I read my TOS it is printed on the back of the HSI work order from the cable company that you must read and sign before the modem is even plugged in. Sorry. Yes I did read it, I read my TOS/AUP with Clear, TWC NEO/WPA and WOW. When I had them. Including ATT's IP DSL TOS/AUP when I had them for a short time. I read what I agree to, just like everyone else. And you claiming that I don't you don't know what I do.

But these people flat out do NOT read it. It is NOT the company's fault they did NOT read it. And if they did they would know that they can enforce the cap when they wish. And they wish. If they do not agree then they are free to leave Mediacom or any other ISP and change to another provider.

And the average consumer it is still their fault for not reading. I don't have to look through their eyes. It's time to stop babying them, and hold them accountable for what they chose not to do. It's like getting a credit card, maxing it out, and then telling Capital One that you're not paying the interest because you didn't read the TOS/AUP/Contract. And the card holder should be left off the hook. I call BS. Make them accountable for what they did and this country would be better off and wouldn't have some of the stupid laws it has now.

The Limit
Premium
join:2007-09-25
Greensboro, NC
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Windstream

Re: News?

If you have claimed to read it, then how can you agree with half of the statements in there?! There's no way some of that stuff even holds up in court!

It has nothing to do with babying the customer, it has to do with TRANSPARENCY. And I can't even believe that you aren't for this!
--
"We will evaluate these integrals rigorously if we can, and non-rigorously if we must".
---Victor Moll, invited talk, Tom Osler Fest (April 17, 2010)

The Limit
Premium
join:2007-09-25
Greensboro, NC
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Windstream
And besides, the interest rate on a credit card is completely null and void here, that is advertised out front where everyone can see. These caps AREN'T.
--
"We will evaluate these integrals rigorously if we can, and non-rigorously if we must".
---Victor Moll, invited talk, Tom Osler Fest (April 17, 2010)

The Limit
Premium
join:2007-09-25
Greensboro, NC
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Windstream
And why can't companies be liable for selectively enforcing their own TOS? We should be walked on, by them? Is that what you are saying we should do? Lie down? When we have no other option? Most of us don't have another option. Let me guess, we should move instead, when in reality some of us can't even afford to do this.

But wait a second, when we actually want to do something about this, what happens. Here come the providers, wanting to block any attempt to make things better. I know from experience from where I am from. And I've seen enough stories here to confirm it.
--
"We will evaluate these integrals rigorously if we can, and non-rigorously if we must".
---Victor Moll, invited talk, Tom Osler Fest (April 17, 2010)

CAIOWA

@ecatel.net
You seem to be arguing toward those who, apparently, signed up for the service with the bandwidth cap outlined in the ToU. That's just one aspect.

I signed up before Mediacom had the bandwidth cap in their ToU. There are years worth of customers, like myself, that Mediacom had before they silently updated their ToU to include that bandwidth restriction.

Guess what? I found out through the Mediacom forums on this website when it was posted in the forums. Even Mediacom's official representatives on this website couldn't provide an exact date as to when the ToU was updated to include that bandwidth cap.

You argue that customers should know the ToU, but the company can't even officially state when they updated that ToU to slide in that bandwidth cap.

So, you could argue that every time you use a service, you need to read the ToU for any silent changes. How often do I need to read Mediacom's ToU for changes? Every day, every hour? Practical?

Aside from all this, if Mediacom wants to enforce their bandwidth cap that they silently installed in their ToU, Mediacom needs to provide some reasonable ways for customers to monitor their usage. If Comcast can do it, Mediacom can as well. If Verizon wireless can do it, Mediacom can as well.

If you were a Mediacom customer, you'd know that Mediacom is behind in the times and this inability for customers to monitor their own usage, like Comcast customers can, is par for the course for this MSO.

said by 25139889:

And yes I read my TOS it is printed on the back of the HSI work order from the cable company that you must read and sign before the modem is even plugged in. Sorry. Yes I did read it, I read my TOS/AUP with Clear, TWC NEO/WPA and WOW. When I had them. Including ATT's IP DSL TOS/AUP when I had them for a short time. I read what I agree to, just like everyone else. And you claiming that I don't you don't know what I do.

But these people flat out do NOT read it. It is NOT the company's fault they did NOT read it. And if they did they would know that they can enforce the cap when they wish. And they wish. If they do not agree then they are free to leave Mediacom or any other ISP and change to another provider.

And the average consumer it is still their fault for not reading. I don't have to look through their eyes. It's time to stop babying them, and hold them accountable for what they chose not to do. It's like getting a credit card, maxing it out, and then telling Capital One that you're not paying the interest because you didn't read the TOS/AUP/Contract. And the card holder should be left off the hook. I call BS. Make them accountable for what they did and this country would be better off and wouldn't have some of the stupid laws it has now.


88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness
said by The Limit:

Still using the tired argument of "READ THE TOS, READ THE TOS"?

I've read the TOS, do you realize that lawyers wrote the TOS? I'm sure you do since you have claimed to have read yours. Do you know how long it takes to actually work through the TOS, and understand EVERYTHING in the TOS? A long time.

So as long as you can claim that you didn't read the TOS because it's too long you can violate it? If you don't want to read the TOS then don't sign it. And so what if it was written by lawyers. I would hope if you ever had contract written up between you and another person you would use a lawyer to write it. If not that would be pretty dumb.

The Limit
Premium
join:2007-09-25
Greensboro, NC
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Windstream

Re: News?

I believe that you are putting words in my mouth. I never said it was ok to break the TOS, neither did I imply it. I'm saying that it's not exactly easy for the average consumer to sit down, read the entire TOS and understand every bit of language in said TOS. What I'm trying to highlight here is that many TOS agreements are written the same way, and aren't exactly consumer friendly. But if you only have two service providers, I guess it's all fair and good for the TOS to be selectively enforced as seen fit by the company, and in no way should that company be responsible for honoring the agreement. When you have no choice, then what are consumers supposed to do? Go without Internet? Move? Some suggestion that seems highly unrealistic? All I'm asking for is transparency. I don't think that's too much to ask for.
--
"We will evaluate these integrals rigorously if we can, and non-rigorously if we must".
---Victor Moll, invited talk, Tom Osler Fest (April 17, 2010)
25139889

join:2011-10-25
Toledo, OH
Read your TOS/AUP PRIOR to turning on and using that modem. TOS/AUPs are available to be read online. Don't like it, don't sign up.
jjeffeory

join:2002-12-04
USA

Re: News?

So, you need to get online in order to decide whether or not to get online?

GOTCHA! That sounds right to me!
25139889

join:2011-10-25
Toledo, OH

Re: News?

You can use the Internet at number of locations, Starbucks, Internet Cafe's, Libraries. So yes it is possible.
Os

join:2011-01-26
US
Because corporations can never do any wrong. They're perfect.

Look, I'm not complaining about them enforcing their TOS/AUP, I'm saying that if these numbers are so important, then they should be letting every single person know outside of some fine print tucked away that nobody ever reads.

They've tried to hide the caps ever since they imposed them for the reasons I outlined earlier. That shouldn't be permitted.

rudnicke
Premium
join:2004-10-23
Rantoul, IL
kudos:4
Troll. Ignore.
25139889

join:2011-10-25
Toledo, OH

Re: News?

Troll? LMAO! You're just one of those people that don't feel that they should be held to what they agreed to.

don't like it, take your business else where.

rudnicke
Premium
join:2004-10-23
Rantoul, IL
kudos:4

Re: News?

You do seem to like stirring the pot on these forums.

As for taking my business elsewhere, well, there is no where else where I live. I'm beholden to MediaCom for my only means of internet access.

While I agree they have every right to impose a cap, I do think it should be made 'clear' to each customer that the cap exists. Burying it in fine print is just sneaky.

Honestly, have you every read EVERY TOS or License Agreement you have encountered?
--
One Big Ass Mistake America
25139889

join:2011-10-25
Toledo, OH

Re: News?

YES. Why? Because I'm suppose to. If i do NOT agree I don't sign and don't take what i'm suppose to get. Common sense tells you to sign it.

And I can give you a shit load of other providers you could use. you choose NOT to go there. So, yes, just complaining about it.

And it's not their fault that customers don't read. again see my post about the credit cards.

rudnicke
Premium
join:2004-10-23
Rantoul, IL
kudos:4

Re: News?

And who are these providers? I've done a lot of research in this area, and MC is really the only provider in this small town.
--
One Big Ass Mistake America

DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000
said by 25139889:

Read your TOS/AUP PRIOR to turning on and using that modem. TOS/AUPs are available to be read online. Don't like it, don't sign up.

Hiding behind fine print "gotchas" is just scummy.
Expand your moderator at work
TheRogueX

join:2003-03-26
Springfield, MO
This would be completely acceptable, if there was adequate competition in the marketplace. Most areas have 2 service providers. If they both contain language in their TOS/AUP that you find unacceptable, where do you go then?

CAIOWA

@apexcovantage.com
1) They don't even provide the customer with any sort of usage meter to track their own usage unlike other utilities. I can log into my Verizon Wireless account and find out my usage. Why can't Mediacom provide the same if they're going to hold their customers accountable for their usage that is pretty much imaginary to anyone? How do I know my family used 100GB or 10GB? Does family even know what a GB is?

2) Mediacom, as usual, is 2 years late. They're now starting to enforce their 250GB cap that Comcast used to have but has now increased.
25139889

join:2011-10-25
Toledo, OH

Re: News?

Your Cellco usage also is not 100% accurate as a utlity. Guess what Cell phones are not regulated like a utlity. They can claim you used 5gigs over your monthly usage allowment and won't have to prove it and still can charge you.

And Mediacom can tell you to have your own.

And a 250gig cap? T's is only 150gigs on average.

The Limit
Premium
join:2007-09-25
Greensboro, NC
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Windstream

Re: News?

They can? But when they move to overages, I guess whenever they tell you that you went over, but your meter says you didn't, that's totally ok for them to bill you and cut off your service if you are in disagreement I assume.

If these providers want to bill for overages, then it's time that they be regulated like utilities. I am ALL for overages if that occurs, not this "oh, well let's bill like a utility, but not be regulated like one" mess.
--
"We will evaluate these integrals rigorously if we can, and non-rigorously if we must".
---Victor Moll, invited talk, Tom Osler Fest (April 17, 2010)

CAIOWA

@ecatel.net
said by 25139889:

Your Cellco usage also is not 100% accurate as a utlity.

You mean utility? And I didn't explicitly say my "cellco" was a utility.

said by 25139889:

Guess what Cell phones are not regulated like a utlity. They can claim you used 5gigs over your monthly usage allowment and won't have to prove it and still can charge you.

Again, it's utility. Not hard to spell. Secondly, your argument is irrelevant here.

said by 25139889:

And a 250gig cap? T's is only 150gigs on average.

Again, irrelevant. Mediacom is a cable MSO. Mediacom jumped on Comcast's 250GB bandwidth cap a few years ago. While Comcast has increased their bandwidth cap, Mediacom hasn't.

If you were a Mediacom customer, you'd know they generally offer yesterday's service as today's prices.

But this is all aside my main issue. If I can log into my Verizon Wireless, a non "utlity", why can't Mediacom offer the same if they're going to hold customers accountable to their usage?

By the way, I signed up before Mediacom had soft cap in their ToU. So your argument that I signed up knowing the ToU doesn't apply to the years worth of customers Mediacom had before they silently updated their ToU.

The Limit
Premium
join:2007-09-25
Greensboro, NC
kudos:2
Why is this news? Seriously? A company that starts to selectively enforce its TOS.

Are you really being serious?
25139889

join:2011-10-25
Toledo, OH

Re: News?

its because its an MSO and they didn't pay to keep out the BS that is 'reported on"

The Limit
Premium
join:2007-09-25
Greensboro, NC
kudos:2

Re: News?

And how is this relevant?
thedragonmas

join:2007-12-28
Albany, GA
kudos:1
"just read the TOS just read the TOS" you people do realize the TOS is NOT on the main mediacom website? i had no idea about the secondary website where the AUP for internet actually is located. and no you dont get any of it in writing "before" you sign, its not even in the fine print on the back of the work order form, all of that has to do with equipment fee's.

»www.mediacomcable.com is mediacoms website, i challenge you to find the AUP on it regarding the 250GB cap.

where is the AUP? wayyy over there >>> »www.mediacomtoday.com/aup NOT on the main mediacom website.

so people should read what has been hidden? seriously? so i can come to your house, have you sign a contract, do some work for you, then hold you to this "other" contract located in an office a few states over because, hey, you should have read it first, but by using my service you implicitly agree to it.

that makes perfect sense

edit: made mediacom main site link clickable

clearinup

@sbc.com
said by 25139889:

And why is this news? They're simply starting to enforce their TOS/AUP which people should have been following all along. Don't want the call- don't go over your cap repeatedly.

This is not news and Karl is not a journalist. This is an op-ed piece, nothing more.

alphapointe
Don't Touch Me
Premium,MVM
join:2002-02-10
Columbia, MO
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Socket Internet ..

Never understood this

I've never understood the bitching and moaning about this...

I'm a heavy internet user (everything but BT and newsgroups), and my PFSense box shows 107GB for the past 30 days...

I wonder how many people whining about a 250GB cap are heavy BT/NG "users"...

(BTW: I am not against telling MPAA/RIAA to go fsck themselves, per se, I just don't like what it does to my node when 400 college students start beating on bittorrent...)
--
Boone County Scanner Feed:
»boone.mo.scanamerica.us/

"When the hammer drops, the bullshit stops"
jjeffeory

join:2002-12-04
USA

Re: Never understood this

Well, by definition, you're NOT a heavy internet user...
daake07

join:2011-06-28
Kearney, NE
This is my exact thought also, I used 75GB last month. Of that 75GB, a vast majority of that was likely SamKnows doing speed tests every hour.

I honestly stream very little video because I DVR everything. Obviously this would be different if I did not have cable, but even then I still would not use that much data.

Sure, there are legitimate ways to use large amounts of data, but with the exception of video streaming most people do not do them (FTP or offsite backups).

In a couple of weeks I'm moving into a Centurylink area with 1.5Mbps DSL, I can guarantee you my internet usage will decrease even more (I'm going to miss 16/3 Charter).
tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY

+1

add 'em to the DOJ list for the rectal microscope

•••