Comcast is known for providing some truly excellent deals for consumers who purchase services. So good are deals on internet, cable, and phone services that customers don’t always look closely at the bill. Apparently someone checked a monthly statement very closely and figured out Comcast was charging customers for things they never ordered. A $2.3 million fine has been levied as a result.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was behind the levying of the fine. The fine was arrived at after the conclusion of an investigation that revealed, in addition to billing for unrequested services, the company also billed for equipment not asked for. Clearly, these actions were a violation of federal law.
At the core of the decision was the assessment that refusal of service did not mean acceptance. In other words, if the company tacked on an extra cost and no one said remove it, the company does not automatically have the right to make any assessment the customer wants the service. Not gaining a direct “yes” from a customer means Comcast cannot add services and charge for them – period.
The monthly bills some customers received were pretty hard to ignore. The amount of money for the charged 30-day service was way beyond what many ever signed up for. Attention about the over-billing eventually reached government regulators. As a result, the process was set in motion to levy the fine. All of this is, honestly, mysterious. Comcast does billions of dollars in business per year. Why bother with such a petty practice? Clearly, someone somewhere in management made a terrible decision. The company is now paying the price, literally, for that decision.
The decision may rattle other entities in the cable industry. Any company that also is utilizing these business practices surely is going to reign them in. Assuming such behavior will go unnoticed would be a false assumption. Things may go unnoticed for a time, but the truth will eventually come out. And a fee is going to end up being paid – a hefty one.
It’s obvious that Comcast is a technology giant that provides cable TV, Internet, and home phone service, so they have millions of customers scattered all over the USA. With the different deals that Comcast offers, many will leave their other service providers to join Comcast because they have high-speed Internet, service bundle prices and access to great TV channels. One of the most remarkable things about Comcast is their Internet service, which has been unlimited up until now.
Comcast decided some time ago that they would test out Internet data caps in certain areas that had high Internet usage, and it seemed to be successful, especially since those who went over their data allotment were charged additional fees. The additional monies that were paid to Comcast for Internet overages helped their bottom line, and now they are extending those data caps to their entire network all over the USA. Many customers are already up in arms about Comcast’s decision to limit data, but this was coming sooner or later.
Comcast initially limited data to 300 GB, which allowed for hundreds of streaming movies each month as well as Internet usage, but those who are gamers or have a 4K TV could easily go over that limit. Even though Comcast has now raised the data cap to 1 TB (1000 GB) of data, those that download games from the Internet or stream anything through a 4K TV will most likely end up over their data limit and will pay additional fees. A 4K TV is much sharper than the traditional high-definition TVs and takes up to three times as much data to stream a movie than a traditional HDTV.
Gamers can download games that take up as much as 50 GB for a single game or more, and that doesn’t include the data they use if they play games online. What Comcast is trying to do is to get people away from streaming movies and to get them to stick with their cable service, which has always been the heart of Comcast’s business. Those who keep their cable as well as their Internet service will be able to stream movies as well as watching movies on their cable box, so the data caps may not affect them as much.