Seattle Man Gets Disconnected by Comcast

A report details the plight of a Seattle Washington man who no longer has access to the internet, thanks to a Comcast decision to disconnect him after he went over monthly data caps two months in a row. Andre Vrignaud, a 39-year-old gaming consultant in Seattle (and a former Microsoft technology evangelist for Xbox 360 and Xbox live), had his broadband connection cut by Comcast on Monday for using too much data. Vrignaud used more than 250 GB of data (the monthly limit) on his Comcast broadband connection two months in a row, triggering the company’s overage policy that results in a one-year long ban from the service.

While Vrignaud admits that his shared Wi-Fi (with his entire house), cloud-based data transfers, online gaming, and video streaming usage such as Pandora, YouTube, and Netflix, were at times heavy, he did not know that his upload activity was being counted by Comcast. This is important because Vrignaud was transferring large amounts of data including a massive music connection to a cloud based storage service.

Vrignaud is now looking into other connectivity options, but true broadband connections are only available from Comcast in the Seattle area, leaving him to juggle between using friends’ Wi-Fi (who are Comcast customers) and  Internet cafes, until he chooses a DSL or Clearwire 4G plan for his home.

While Vrignaud is down, he’s not out. He has vowed to plead his case to politicians and regulators.

"I struggle when I watch Comcast raising broadband speeds, and at same time, saying they can’t afford all this internet usage, without doing deep packet inspection and other invasive things," Vrignaud told "They haven’t laid new cable in 15 years. I’m pretty much a non-regulation guy, and I’d just rather let the market be competitive. But I get really frustrated in situations like this where what is truly a bad company is not being forced to improve because it doesn’t have to. I really don’t have any choices here."

For its part, Comcast says that it was justified in disconnecting Vrignaud’s account because he clearly went over the standard 250GB monthly data cap as dictated in its "excessive use policy." 

"The excessive use policy we have in place exists in a few different places – in our Terms of Service and Acceptable Use Policy (LINK), which customers agree to when they sign up, as well as in numerous FAQs we have online (LINK)," Comcast Senior Director of Corporate Communications Charlie Douglas told GamePolitics. "In addition, we launched a bandwidth meter nationally for every customer so they have tools they can use to manage their data usage. You can read more about that on our Corporate blog (LINK)."

Douglas also pointed out that Vrignaud’s situation is an exception, with less than 1 percent of users ever going past the data cap.

"It is extremely rare that a customer would ever hear from us," Douglas continued. "It’s far less than 1% of our customer base. However, if a customer exceeds the 250 GB monthly usage threshold, then we have a process where we call the account holder’s phone number of record (and we keep contacting them until we get them live on the phone). During that phone call, we inform them that they have exceeded the monthly allotment and we ask them to curb usage. We also tell them that if they exceed the threshold for a second time within six months of that phone call, then we reserve the right to suspend their account."

"The overwhelming supermajority of customers we call voluntarily curb their usage and so it becomes a non-issue," he added.

We’ll leave it up to our readers to decide whether Comcast’s policy is unfair and heavy-handed, or Vrignaud is simply a bandwidth hog who stayed at the trough too long and paid a heavy price.

Source: Wired

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  1. 0
    Kojiro says:

    I really don’t understand why they have to ban these users.  Any fool can see this is just an opportunity to sell these users a premium broadband service.  500 GB cap for an extra $30, done. 

  2. 0
    Grif says:

    "Thank you for choosing Comcast. But now that we’ve menstruated all over you, you are no longer needed and/or desired. Please choose another provider now."

    "…Oh, wait, that’s right. You can’t! Gah ha ha ha ha ha!!!"



    "And though we may pledge fanboy allegiances to different flags, deep down inside we all serve one master, one king. And his name… is GAMING! FOREVER MAY HE REIGN!"

  3. 0
    Left4Dead says:

    Grif said it best:  "So Comcast’s logic: Customers = Tampons."

    I laughed when I read that.  Then I cried because it was so true that it hurt.

    – Left4Dead

    Why are zombies always eating brains? I want to see zombies that eat toes for a living. Undead-related pun intended.

    -- Left4Dead --

  4. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    Well, this was in the United States, where ISPs are allowed ot set up a local monopoly and keep competition out, making it so you can do whatever the hell you want because your vic… er, customers have no other choice.

  5. 0
    Yammo says:

    An internet provider trying something like that in Sweden would surely be out of customers very quickly…

    I have 100/100Mbit for 100 SEK (~$15US) per month… no caps apply.

  6. 0
    greevar says:

    You missed my meaning. There’s an upper limit to how much data you can download just by merit of the technology limits, but it’s stupid to impose even stricter limits given the vast capacity the network provides each customer.


    "Paste superficially profound, but utterly meaningless quotation here."

  7. 0
    Erik says:

    The problem still remains that he was punished for using their service.  I can see having a fine, or making him pay for a "premium service".  But to punish someone for using your service instead of seeing you as a potential "VIP customer" is just all kinds of wrong.

    This is like renting a car, and instead of charging you per mile you are carjacked after driving a set amount of miles and left stranded in the middle of nowherer.

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  8. 0
    Grif says:

    Long story short: It isn’t that the cap is only 250 GB a month, it’s that there’s a cap at all. Even if they doubled or quadrupled it to 500 GB or 1 TB a month. A lot of internet fanatics feel that placing data caps is infringing on their right to information.

    Data caps are kinda like putting a dog on a mile-long leash. Sure, it FEELS like enough space to most, but sooner or later, he’s gonna reach the end of his rope, and a lot sooner than anyone expects.


    "And though we may pledge fanboy allegiances to different flags, deep down inside we all serve one master, one king. And his name… is GAMING! FOREVER MAY HE REIGN!"

  9. 0
    greevar says:

    If you believe any sort of data cap is reasonable, you’re daft. It has never been necessary to cap data usage because the people whom use more data aren’t harming those that use less. Comcast admits that only 1% of their customers exceed the cap and 1% is not enough people to have a measureable effect on the network efficiency. It’s a bullshit excuse to degrade the usefulness of their network so they can sell you cable TV and VoIP services rather than giving you the option to use competing services. It has nothing to do with people "using too much" and everything to do with keeping people dependent on obsolete services that have a high profit margin for them.

    It’s comletely stupid to try to curb your usage rather than expand capacity unless you’re trying to block competition.

    "If you somehow HAVE to burn through 250 GB of data in a month, the fault isn’t in the company."

    That’s complete bullshit. There is nothing wrong with downloading large amounts of data. Data caps are like renting out an apartment and being told you can’t spend more than 12 hours in it per day or you will be evicted. You’re paying for the space, you should be able to use it as much as you like. This policy is designed to discourage use of competing services and has nothing to do with traffic congestion, end of story.

    Most people with Comcast have their 12Mbps internet service (I used to have Comcast before I moved). That’s roughly 1.5 MB per second. That provides the potential of downloading 3.7 TB if you put a serious effort into doing it. That’s over 15 times the 250 GB cap. So how is it the customer’s fault if they provide a service that easily exceeds what they think is "too much"?


    "Paste superficially profound, but utterly meaningless quotation here."

  10. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    I’ve actually read the original blog post, and he relies on the net for his work as a music industry consultant. Sounds to me like he would have ot move large amounts of data.


    By that logic World of Warcraft should be able to operate on just that amount.

  11. 0
    Pierre-Olivier says:

    Big corporation are the best scapegoat, it seems.

    The cap was perfectly reasonable. I mean, it’s 250 GB. Mine is 50 GB (including upload). I exceed a few times, but at least I only have to pay some fees. That’s reasonable for a 50 GB cap. But for a 250 GB cap, this guy has no excuses.

    Seriously. The company provided the service and he overused it. If you somehow HAVE to burn through 250 GB of data in a month, the fault isn’t in the company.

  12. 0
    greevar says:

    "You really don’t have a clue how contract law works, do you?"

    Apparently, you don’t get the point.

    "Put another way, let’s say the speed limit on a road is 60 mph when you get your license. They then lower it to 30 mph. Would you argue that when you got your license it was 60 therefore you should still be able to go 60?"

    That’s a completely absurd and inapplicable analogy. A driver’s license is not a service nor a contract, it is a certificate that proves you are qualified to operate motor vehicles on public roads.

    If my state government lowers the speed limit from 60 to 30 for no good reason, I’d get together with my neighbors and start a petition to our reps to get that change repealed.

    "His continued use of the service is implicit acceptance of the terms."

    Right, that’s basically the same as, "If you agree to these terms, please fart now." The bar for what is considered "acceptance" of terms has been set unjustifiably low lately and that needs to be changed.


    "Paste superficially profound, but utterly meaningless quotation here."

  13. 0
    SpiralGray says:

    You really don’t have a clue how contract law works, do you?

    He paid for a service that provides 250 GB per month. He exceeded that, thus breaking the contract.

    Whether the contract terms were put in place when he originally signed up or not is irrelevant. His continued use of the service is implicit acceptance of the terms. I don’t like that providers can change the terms any time they feel like it, but that’s the way of the world. Stop whining about government regulations then.

    Put another way, let’s say the speed limit on a road is 60 mph when you get your license. They then lower it to 30 mph. Would you argue that when you got your license it was 60 therefore you should still be able to go 60? That’s ridiculous, but that’s what you’re arguing here.


  14. 0
    Conejo says:

    Doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, though.

    I mean, by your logic, we shouldn’t talk about how slavery was bad since it’s already over.

    Here are we — and yonder yawns the universe.

  15. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    Yet another example of a corporation weaseling out of providing a service their cusomter pays for.

    As for the guy above preaching that the man broke his contract, whose to say he even agree to this portion? For all we know he signed up with the service and they changed the contract some time later, meaning not only did he not agree to it, he literally had no choice. Too many online services, especially providers, lobby to make sure that they can have fine print clauses that state they can change your terms without warning or notifcation, whic needs to end.

    Coumpound that with the fact that as stated as of the writing of his story there are or at least were no meaningful competitors in the area, meaning he also literally had no choice.

  16. 0
    greevar says:

    "While it may be a valid supposition, in practice it’s still dumb because I can’t think any landlords or housing companies that would be so dumb"

    That’s exactly the point. It is dumb and Comcast is doing the same thing, but they get away with it.


    "Paste superficially profound, but utterly meaningless quotation here."

  17. 0
    Grif says:

    While it may be a valid supposition, in practice it’s still dumb because I can’t think any landlords or housing companies that would be so dumb as to evict people for spending too much time in their apartments/houses. As stated several times in the comments section of this article, it would make more sense to charge more for more use, than to ban/evict someone and stop getting money from them.



    "And though we may pledge fanboy allegiances to different flags, deep down inside we all serve one master, one king. And his name… is GAMING! FOREVER MAY HE REIGN!"

  18. 0
    greevar says:

    "Your analogy about not paying rent is awful, because the guy was paying for the service."

    I can actually find a use for a housing analogy. For example:

    Your landlord kicks you out for spending too much time in your apartment even though you have been keeping up with your rent. That’s what Comcast is doing. To put their model into housing would be saying "You can only live in your apartment for up to 12 hours a day. Staying for longer will be considered excessive use and you will be subject to punitive action."


    "Paste superficially profound, but utterly meaningless quotation here."

  19. 0
    Cavalier says:

    Given that Comcast is a local monopoly, known for using that power to, among other things, hawk their cable TV service and throttle streaming?


    Yes, they’re the bad guy here.  They write this shitty contract this way for a reason, to produce profits for Comcast by not allowing customers to alternative streaming media methodologies.

  20. 0
    Thomas Riordan says:

    It’s Comcast. From my experience with them nothing surprises me coming from them.

    This is a company that has turned off all my services for a past due balance of 5 cents.  No lie they actually turned everything off because we paid all but a nickel of the bill one morning because that was all the funds that were available on the credit card.

    This is a company that when we cancelled the appointment for their techs to come out and install a service that was already installed in the house thus no reason for us to pay $40 for them to come out for no reason. Instead of cancelling the appointment their dumb rep cancelled the whole account.

    Then after getting a new account they swore it was disconnected from the house and they had to come out. Which we explained nothing had been disconnected from the house. They turned the service off at the office, nothing was ever disconnected from the house. In order for it to be disconnected from the house someone from Comcast would have to come out and physically disconnect the wire. No one came out to disconnect it. The moron cancelled the account instead of the appointment. After arguing with them for awhile we called back and got the rep that had the brain for the day and explained nothing was disconnected from the house. All they have to do is put the serial number for the equipment on the new account and everything will work. Did that and all but one cable box worked and that was due to the girl not putting it in right. But you basically have to scream at these people to get them to understand how to do their own tech support. Ocasionally, you’ll get a rep that has some clue what they’re doing but most of them are halfwits.

    So half-cocked business pretty much sums up Comcast. The unfortunate thing is there really isn’t an alternative in some areas so Comcast has a monoply when it comes to internet. Fios isn’t availible here, and Direct TV/Dish Network use Comcast for their internet service so either way you’re still dealing with Comcast.

  21. 0
    katiekat says:

    ATT also has deta caps on there internet 150gb for DSL and 250 for u-vers if you go over its $10 per 50gb.


    and i would just like to point out that comcast has now one the werst corparasion aword 2 years runing  .


    am dyslexic and have a learning disablement from when i died as a baby and sustained brain damage do to lack of oxygen pleas pardon my bad spelling and grammar

  22. 0
    GrimCW says:


    if you consider an alternative to your presumably working vehicle another vehicle with 1 missing wheel, and hole in the gas tank, then yes, he had alternatives.

    otherwise the choices are

    1. comcast with highspeed broadband

    2. crappy DSL that’ll crawl during peak hours

    3. 3g/4g service thats often spotty and somewhat unreliable as well as slow.

    4. back to the basics of 56k! nuff said.

    and given the price gap between 1-3 is barely $10, if that.. gee… what a choice.. service that works, or service that doesn’t… i dunno man… thats tough..


  23. 0
    Erik says:

    Yes, Comcast is the bad guy.  They are using shady business practices to fuck over their customers.  They are punishing people for using their service.  That very much makes them the bad guy.  As far as other options, if you would have read the article you would have seen that there aren’t any.

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  24. 0
    GrimCW says:

    chances are though he didn’t agree to the cap at all, it was forced upon him in a contract change he was never privvy to directly.

    companies like comcast have a standard clause that allows them to modify the agreement WITHOUT warning to the consumer (Sony used this in the removal of OtherOS not to long ago) the terms in which this little tidbit is written can vary, and often be hidden among a ton of other standard mumbo jumbo.

    if anything thats what consumer groups need be fighting, those little bits in the fine print that allow the companies to brutaly step on our toes without any warning or reason other than to be dicks when they want to be.

    to boot, it still doesn’t answer why comcast would kick a paying customer off their service, charge him more! Overuse fee’s, like late fees, would completely solve the issue and possibly convince him to curb his use faster than an easily forgettable phone call, as well as serve as additional warning before throwing away a good customer (assuming he was paying his bills on time)

    topping it all though IMO having a crazy contract that’d need a lawyer present just to understand is BS overall.

    just spell out the terms in plain language and skip the garbage, but doing so would make it hard for companies to bully the consumers legally wouldn’t it?


  25. 0
    Boilermaker says:

    So he willingly signed a shitty contract and Comcast is the bad guy? How exactly does that work? By the sounds of it, he had alternatives and still chose to go with Comcast. If I sign a car/home loan that’s stacked heavily against me, well shame on me. The bank isn’t ‘evil’ for writing a loan contract that benefits themselves and ‘butt rapes’ me. They ARE greedy, they ARE asshats, but I don’t HAVE to sign the loan papers.

  26. 0
    Grif says:

    What kind of half-cocked business bans users for using the service too much? And if he wanted internet, he had to sign the contract from Comcast, because, if you bothered to read the article, it says that Comcast is the only choice for Broadband in the Seattle area. And I’d like to see you try and justify the cost of moving to another location just to go with a different provider. So his hands were essentially tied.

    Your analogy about not paying rent is awful, because the guy was paying for the service. I can’t find anywhere that says he defaulted on his payments at all. And I don’t know of any restaurants offhand with dessert carts, who also do not offer all-you-can-eat, so that’s not much better.

    I can’t speak for greevar or Erik, but I’m not arguing that the guy should get off scott-free. I’m saying the concept of data caps is stupid to begin with, and if someone does go past the data cap, you charge them extra, you don’t freaking ban them. That’s counter-productive to making money, which is the sole purpose of businesses. I’ll even go out on a limb and say the guy would be willing to pay extra for a higher or eliminated data cap.

    And no matter how you sugar-coat it or try to defend it as "breaking the rules", being banned for using the service too much is STILL being banned for using the service.



    "And though we may pledge fanboy allegiances to different flags, deep down inside we all serve one master, one king. And his name… is GAMING! FOREVER MAY HE REIGN!"

  27. 0
    Boilermaker says:

    You’re right, the house example is a little flawed. You’re also right in that he paid for a service, a service which he used. He wasn’t ‘cutoff’ until AFTER he exceeded the cap. How is that so hard to understand? Does the cap suck? Yes, of course it does. Is the cap unnecessary? Unless his use of the service adversely affected another user’s fair use, the cap is arbitrary and stupid. The fact is, however, he agreed to the cap when he signed the contract. He was fully aware and he ignored it. That’s what it all boils down to. Comcast isn’t ‘evil’ for enforcing the contract. They’re just greedy asshats to begin with.

  28. 0
    Erik says:

    He used the service according to his needs.  Due to that he was banned for using the service that he paid for.  Though again, if he unplugged everything and didn’t use the service he paid for, he wouldn’t have ost the service he woudn’t be using.

    Here is what you don’t understand:

    Everyone here understands the contract.  The contract, everyone here understands it.  The contract is understood by everyone here.  What peope are saying is that Comcast penned a shitty contract.  The genera consensus here is that the contract from Comcast is total bull.  The Comcast contract, by a vast majority here, is a complete and total butt rape.  Do you understand?  Is this understood by you?  Do you understand yet?

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  29. 0
    GrimCW says:

    differance there in your example.

    you live in the house and don’t pay for it, your booted.

    just like for his service, if he didn’t pay, obviously he’d get booted.

    however, its more like he PAYED for a service and was cutoff.


    using your example, would it be right to pay your mortgage/rent and get kicked out for spending to much time in your home? just because they somehow had a time alotment clause in the contract you had little choice in agreeing to if you wanted a home in an area that only had 2 places to get them, 1 with a roof and the other not?

    he payed for a service they exessively limited, he wasted a lot of it true, but they need to have a way to monitor that (one the customer can use, i dunno if they do or not) but what others are saying is true.

    you don’t kick a customer in the nuts for using your service, they should just charge him for overuse, much like a cell company would.

  30. 0
    Boilermaker says:

    I’m impressed you both can talk with your heads so far up your own butts. He didn’t get banned "for using the service". He got banned for exceeding the maximum transfer amount – to which he agreed to in a legal contract. Not once, but twice. He wasn’t forced to sign the contract. He could have done without the internet or gone with another – admittedly slower – provider.

    How about this: don’t pay your rent or mortgage for two consecutive months and see what happens. By all rights, the landlord or bank has the right to begin proceedings to have you ‘banned’ from the residence (i.e. evict you). Go out to eat, some place they don’t offer all you can eat. Finish your meal, walk over to the dessert cart, grab two or three plates. See what happens when you get caught. And no, I’m not trying to make a case for stealing and I’m not talking about the legality of it.

    I hate Comcast as much as the next guy. I switched to U-Verse as soon as it was possible and I had a great deal of fun telling the Comcast rep exactly why I was cancelling my service with them. I’m not defending them, their policies suck and their service is god awful. Good on this guy for using as much of their service as possible. But he ‘got caught’ and he’s paying the consequences.

  31. 0
    Grif says:

    Not only that, but if he had unplugged all his devices, and not used the service, he wouldn’t have needed to pay for it in the first place.

    Let’s recap.

    Pay for service = use service = banned = no more money from customer.

    Don’t pay for service = don’t use service = don’t get banned in the first place = no money from customer.

    Sounds to me like Comcast is saying their customers are only good once.

    So Comcast’s logic: Customers = Tampons.



    "And though we may pledge fanboy allegiances to different flags, deep down inside we all serve one master, one king. And his name… is GAMING! FOREVER MAY HE REIGN!"

  32. 0
    Erik says:

    The "breach" being using the service.  If he had just unplugged all devices, and not used the service that he was paying for he woudn’t have gotten into this "problem".

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  33. 0
    Conejo says:

    Being as blindingly one-sided as you are, and riding the company line so hard it may have to point out on a doll in front of the jury where exactly you touched it.  That’s what makes you an obvious shill.

    "He had a contract" is perfectly acceptable until you start reading into the contract and realize that it’s nowhere near based on common sense and is obviously only punitive towards customers because who are they going to go to afterwards?  Certainly not another company that offers the same service for the same prices. 

    Comcast runs near-monopolies everywhere they operate, and instilling such measures only increases the jackassery.

    Yet you obliviously try to rules lawyer the situation into a black and white debate over whether or not a contract existed, rather than the more important question of SHOULD that contract exist in that form.

    Here are we — and yonder yawns the universe.

  34. 0
    greevar says:

    You need to remember that Comcast doesn’t just provide access to content, they own NBC, which makes the content. So cutting off "hogs" and "pirates" has become their two-fold incentive now.


    "Paste superficially profound, but utterly meaningless quotation here."

  35. 0
    Grif says:

    And as I stated earlier, anybody with the smallest bit of business sense would simply charge an overage fee for exceeding the data cap, like most cell phone carriers. It’s still stupid, but it’s far more sensible to make more money off of someone who’s using more product than to cut them off and not get any money at all.



    "And though we may pledge fanboy allegiances to different flags, deep down inside we all serve one master, one king. And his name… is GAMING! FOREVER MAY HE REIGN!"

  36. 0
    Erik says:

    No one is trying to say the contract doesn’t exist.  People are saying that the contract is crap.  And with there not being any alternatives in the Seattle area it puts it on the level of some kind of mafioso extortion.  They can get away with whatever they want with a lack of competition, leaving consumers with very limited rights.

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  37. 0
    Boilermaker says:

    I don’t disagree! Unless the guy’s usage interfered with another user’s usage, he should have been allowed to do whatever. Data caps are crap. I can’t see anyone here arguing for them. My problem is people railing against Comcast for not doing anything wrong after the service contract was signed. Hate Comcast all you want, I do. They wrote a contract that heavily favored them and eff the user, shame on them. The guy agreed to the contract – including the data cap, however, then exceeded it, shame on him.

  38. 0
    Erik says:

    The allotment is bull.  Comcast needs to be called out on their fuckwittery, end of story.

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  39. 0
    Monte says:

    Ok i don’t know anything about their SOHO service, but is Comcast’s SOHO service what customers can use if they want to use more than 250gb? because if it is then it does seem somewhat fair that he should be cut off (though maybe not for a whole year)… i mean comcast warned him he was going over the limit, and has the tools for users to check their usage… if he was still going over the 250gb limit, feeling that 250gb was not enough for him then he should pay for the higher service and be done with the limit.

    Though i will still agree that the lack of competition does make things more difficult since you don’t have other options than just that

  40. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    Downloading a Steam game can eat a huge chunk of that alone since some of those games exceed that.

    Hmm, won’t be surprised if Comcast tries a games on demand service.

  41. 0
    faefrost says:

    Yeah, but here’s the thing that you may not realize about Comcast, seeing as you are not US. In the US cable companies are government authorized monopolies licensed by the local governments. So it is not simply a contract between Comcast and the user. Comcast also has a contract with the city/county/state giving them monopoly control of the region with no direct competition. There are a few caveats that come with that protective monopoly license. The biggest is that they are answerable to the local government. While Comcasts contracts with the locality probably do not address internet services, their treatment of customers and the requirements to provide services to all are typically pretty clearly spelled out. And a complaint like this, with this level of publicity is enough for the municipality to either cancel or opt not to renew Comcasts local operating license and transfer it to a competitor such as Charter or Time Warner.

    So yeah it is a little more complicated than simply "he didn’t read his contract". While Comcast has the option of canceling the one heavy bandwidth customer. At that customers urging half the state can then turn around and dump Comcast. 

  42. 0
    GrimCW says:

    to this i agree :)

    also its only sexist when its half naked women running around, its 100% A-OK if its half naked men (or only a rear view of a man) …

    kinda one sided really.

  43. 0
    greevar says:

    Ok maybe I didn’t make my point as well as I could? Let’s try again. People are ashamed of sex. They go to great lengths to hide the fact that they have sexual ambitions at all. People who publicly express their interest in sex are considered perverts and shunned. We make a huge effort to keep our sexuality hidden. We have a much lower threshold for shame when it comes to violence. We even idolize some forms of violence (UFC, wrestling, political conflict) Granted, we have different standards for sex depending on the context, but violence is part of who we are no matter our age or maturity. We find it more acceptable to be violent than sexual. Adults don’t hold a social monopoly on violence, but sex is generally our domain. It’s absurd when you think about it, but there it is. Nevertheless, it doesn’t justify or excuse it, but it may explain it.


    "Paste superficially profound, but utterly meaningless quotation here."

  44. 0
    GrimCW says:

    SEX is a private matter, nudity and other "sexual" bits or innudendo are the often beat down culprit over actual sex.

    everything but the act is a commonplace, and hardly a private matter in most instances, nudity included (ever been to a public pool or locker room?)

    and nudity is a helluva lot less deadly or "degrading" than excessive violence or pretty much anything else thats given about freely stateside.

    the only reason its deemed totally innaporpriate is by the low self esteem group, and religion. They’ll advocate violence anytime, but nudity… NOOO way…. thats dangerous even in private! think of the damage it could do!

  45. 0
    greevar says:

    A hog? Do you know what 250 GB a month is? ~8 GB a day. Roughly the capacity of two DVDs. One person might find it a challenge to maintain this amount of throughput, but if you have a family or roomates that share the connection with you, it’s a whole new ball of wax.


    "Paste superficially profound, but utterly meaningless quotation here."

  46. 0
    Mr.Tastix says:

    As said above, my country does suck in regards to our ISPs but that’s still completely unrelated to my main post, it was a sidenote in something that really shouldn’t be an issue.

    This man is looking at taking legal action because he signed a contract that it seems he didn’t like. Tough shit. If he didn’t like their excessive use terms then he should have read them more carefully and chose a different provider.

    Whilst I may not be a fan of the way many ISPs work (especially the ones in New Zealand, since every one of them is fairly obvious about hating network neutrality) that doesn’t mean I have to be a fan of an idiot who breaks contract.

    Comcast might or might not be draconian on some of their policies. They might change them at a moments notice but I’m pretty sure there’s a clause saying they’re allowed to do that. Here’s a piece of advice: If you don’t like their terms, then don’t use their service. It’s your fault if you’re continuing to use a shitty service, not theirs.

    Your wallet says more than your mouth.

  47. 0
    Boilermaker says:

    Conejo, do you even know what the phrase "sour grapes" means? I’d wager not because you’re using in a very wrong fashion. In the end, however, I agree with Tastix… The guy was using a crap ton of bandwidth, knew it, knew the policy HE AGREED TO, and now he’s suffering the consequences. Non-issue.

  48. 0
    Conejo says:

    It’s a bit of both.

    One, he’s being a damn hog, it’s obvious.  Should buy a T1 line and be done with it.

    Two, Comcast is being Comcast: which is to say a greedy company that thrives on punishing its customers as much as possible while taking their money.  Comcast regularly throttles bandwith, changes policy, and is 100% supportive of paid tiers of access and the removal of net neutrality.

    The bigger problem is this: Comcast has no serious competition for their product where this guy is, that lets them do whatever they want, to include stupid bandwith rules.

    and Mr. Tastix? QQ more. the US is far from tops in the internet business.  just because your country sucks doesn’t mean you need to sour grapes all over ours.

    Here are we — and yonder yawns the universe.

  49. 0
    Neeneko says:

    I think the question would be did they inform him of the first infraction?  Did they give him tools to monitor is usage? Did they explain that it applied to upload and download amounts?

    I know when I was on comcast, they did none of these things.  When I talked to a customer service person they just kept repeating ‘there is no legal use for going over your cap, if you are going over your cap then you are either pirating content or running a buisness’.   I canceled that day… but the rep kept trying to tell me I must be a criminal (it was actually Netflix streaming that ate up my bandwidth).

    That cuts the whole ‘fairness’ thing.  The caps were originally put in place to hurt Netflix… the caps only apply to OTHER people’s streaming services, not their own.. so you have a local monopoly using their monopoly status to cut out competition for a bundled service.

  50. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    My guess is that he was a customer for a long time before this data cap crap, possibly before they started adding all of this, meaning he probably didn’t even know about his part of the contract, meaning he likely didn’t agree to it, and it’s been shown corporations can get away with arbitrarily sneaking in terms like this.

  51. 0
    greevar says:

    It’s not a fair contract and the fact that he agreed to it doesn’t mean that he deserves it. It was unfair circumstances that forced him into such a one-sided contract. It’s the fact that there are few or zero alternate options for service that gives Comcast power to foist such abusive contracts on their customers in the first place. He may have violated the contract (twice), but the contract is far from right or fair.


    "Paste superficially profound, but utterly meaningless quotation here."

  52. 0
    Mr.Tastix says:

    Get over myself? How about you learn to read.

    I never said data caps were justified (newsflash: clearly I don’t think they are when I have to put up with 10gb of it yet "unlimited data" plans exist), I merely said that it’s not "unfair" for his service to be cut when he broke the terms and regulations of his contract.

    Did you even read my example? He broke the terms of his contract not once but twice and you think he deserves not to have his service cut for that? It’s hardly because of the data he used but because, as I just said, he broke his contract again after being warned the previous month that he had gone over his limit.

    How justified data caps has nothing to do with someone breaching the terms of their contract.

  53. 0
    Kajex says:

    Exactly. It’s like saying that internet service is like water, and that 1 out of 100 people use a little too much more water than usual. Is it REALLY that easy to believe that somehow, 1% out of an entire population of consumers is somehow causing a strain on (non-existant, mind you) resources?

  54. 0
    Neeneko says:

    What I find odd is that they cut him off rather then forcing him to thier SOHO service which it sounds like he probably should have been on in the first place given how much of his usage was upload.

    But this is a good example of where *gasp* competition would even things out, and what happens when you only have a single provider option.  You don’t like the rules.. well.. nothing you can do.

  55. 0
    CyberSkull says:

    I think Comcast’s policy is heavy handed. Banning a customer for using too much of your product? That is just plain dumb. From the description of the fellow, he is into a lot of sophisticated internet activities that require a large amount of bandwidth just to get going. I bet this wouldn’t have been a problem from Comcast’s point of view if he was using their OnDemand service instead of (the superior IMHO) Netflix streaming service.

    In short: It’s stupid policy to punish your customers for using a lot of your product.

  56. 0
    Grif says:

    Wait, what?

    Again, are you even reading the entire comment, before you find a word that offends you and go off on a tangent? I’ll say it again:

    I’m surprised nobody’s tried pressing racketeering charges on them yet.

    What I AM saying is that with our society as litigious as it is, it’s surprising that someone doesn’t take this off the deep end and try to push racketeering charges on Comcast. Like the McDonald’s Hot Coffee incidents where customers spilled coffee on themselves and sued for it.

    What I am NOT saying is that what Comcast is doing is akin to racketeering, or even close. I think it’s stupid, like many of us here do, but I am not personally saying that I believe it’s anywhere near racketeering.

    If you’re wondering why I posted the definition, it’s because there are many people (nobody here, I hope) who would read that EXACT same thing and say "Hey, I can put Comcast in court for racketeering for this!". Which goes back to our over-litigious society.

    Again, make sure you read and understand what someone is trying to convey before trying to pick apart every little word they say.




    "And though we may pledge fanboy allegiances to different flags, deep down inside we all serve one master, one king. And his name… is GAMING! FOREVER MAY HE REIGN!"

  57. 0
    Boilermaker says:

    Let’s sum up here shall we Grif. You don’t like Comcast, none of us here seem to, but you wanted to sounds important and use big words. You decided ‘racketeering’ sounded pretty good and just evil enough, without going overboard, and threw it out there. Nevermind that it doesn’t apply in any way, shape, or form. That’s okay, though, cause you’ll just invent a new definition for the word and shoehorn it on in there. Bravo, well done, sir.

  58. 0
    greevar says:

    If 1% of your customer base can bog down your network by using more than 250GB in 30 days (that’s 8 GB a day, which is about 2 DVDs), then your service is the problem, not the customers. Rule No. 1 of business: Don’t turn away paying customers.


    "Paste superficially profound, but utterly meaningless quotation here."

  59. 0
    Grif says:

    Obvious shill is obvious.

    Do YOU know what a racket is? Let Wikipedia help.

    "Traditionally, the word racket is used to describe a business (or syndicate) that is based on the example of the protection racket and indicates a belief that it is engaged in the sale of a solution to a problem that the institution itself creates or perpetuates, with the specific intent to engender continual patronage."

    However, I realize there are differences between classic racketeering and this.

    Firstly, the proposed problem is finite bandwidth. The companies justify this by placing data caps. Meaning they get paid more for what they already have, instead of investing in improving their product and/or service into something that people would actually WANT to pay for instead of superior products like Netflix or Hulu.

    Is this racketeering? Probably not in the traditional sense. Is it retarded and under/heavy-handed? Definitely.

    BUUUUT, that’s the long version. And we journalists do love to hear ourselves talk.

    You just failed to read what I said correctly. I said I’m surprised that nobody’s TRIED. I never said that I think they should be brought up on racketeering charges.

    Take your ADD somewhere else.



    "And though we may pledge fanboy allegiances to different flags, deep down inside we all serve one master, one king. And his name… is GAMING! FOREVER MAY HE REIGN!"

  60. 0
    Boilermaker says:

    Grif…do you even know what ‘racketeering’ is? No, I didn’t thinkn so. The reason they haven’t been charged with it yet is, well, they aren’t running a racket…

  61. 0
    Cavalier says:

    That’s actually -really- tough to do, since they’d almost certainly have to either 1) run their own cable network, or 2) use the existing infrastructure, and cut a deal with Comcast to compete with them.

     Granted, Comcast would, in fact, have to allow the competition (they don’t have to like it, but legally they HAVE to. Funny world).  That doesn’t mean their deal will be easy, nice, fair, or particularly easy.

  62. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    No cap at all would make even more sense, or jsut stop whining and upgrade their infrastructure already, but I guess they enjoy using it to bully their customers too much.

  63. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    No cap at all would make even more sense, or jsut stop whining and upgrade their infrastructure already, but I guess they enjoy using it to bully their customers too much.

  64. 0
    lordlundar says:

    That’s the real stupidity of the bandwidth caps. They keep arguing about the strain on the system but that’s all throughput which they keep increasing, often times without the infrastructure to support it. So in response instead of throttling the throughput which we all know they are capable of and would actually be an effective resolution to their arguments, they instead softcap the capacity.

    Even a hardcap, though arguably would be more problematic that a throughput throttle would make more sense.

  65. 0
    greevar says:

    Well, with a 250GB cap, your maximum speed would be 800Kbps if you want it impossible to exceed the cap.


    "Paste superficially profound, but utterly meaningless quotation here."

  66. 0
    Grif says:

    Porn. You forgot to mention online porn.

    Also, I don’t see this as taking away freedom, I see it as taking away value from a product.

    But just you wait. Sooner or later a provider is going to come to Seattle offering a higher or nonexistant data cap, and such is the business that puts Comcast out the door.



    "And though we may pledge fanboy allegiances to different flags, deep down inside we all serve one master, one king. And his name… is GAMING! FOREVER MAY HE REIGN!"

  67. 0
    F__ked up says:

    But but Bandwidth hogs create Jobs. He is using the internet therefore he must be supporting online business. 250 GB is a lot of Internet Business to do be supporting. He needs a price cut for his internet usage so he can create more Internet jobs. It will trickle down to everyone, he buys a new online game, buys stuff from Amazon, watching streaming content from Netflix, this man deserves a internet price cut. I dont know why Comcast is punishing a person that is supporting the internet, thus supporting Comcast. This is Corporate regulation at its finest people They are taking away our Freedoms, OUR FREEDOM. 

  68. 0
    Boilermaker says:

    Ah, I see… I call you out on your BS and I’m a Comcast shill, is that how it works? So if I disagreed with the lady that burned herself with her own coffee, I’d work for McDonalds? If I supported the wars in the Middle East, I’d be an evil conservative lap dog? If I thought national health care was a good idea, I’d be an evil socialist lap dog? Oh I know, if I happen to like Windows 7 over Linux or Mac OS, I must be an employee of Microsoft!!

    You’re a moron. The guy exceeded his alotment, he’s paying the price, end of story.

  69. 0
    greevar says:

    The difference between sex and violence is that sex is a private matter, whereas violence is completely indiscriminate. Violence happens publicly far more than sex. I’m not saying that justifies it, but it might explain it.


    "Paste superficially profound, but utterly meaningless quotation here."

  70. 0
    Dinasis says:

    I saw another article on this or a similar case which surmised that ISPs are getting pretty frustrated that they, by and large, offer unlimited bandwidth to their customers while phone, cellular, and wireless data networks are all monetized by usage.

    It may be a stretch to call this even tangentially related, but the whole violence and sex in video games raised the point that (at least from the Supreme Court’s perspective) we have a traditional tolerance of violence but not sex–which, frankly, irks me to no end (as Blooddove puts it in a thread on GameFAQs for Saints’ Row: The Third, " running nude with your dangling bits all exposed, is far worse then ramming your car into a group of pedestrians, then blowing that car up, killing the last few that some how survived the impact.").

    Either way, tradition begets expectation in a lot of cases. With broadband ISPs, they sort of shot themselves in the foot from the get-go by offering unlimited usage as a way to one-up the time limits a lot of dial-up ISPs offered.

  71. 0
    Boilermaker says:

    No Erik, he got banned for being in breach of contract – twice. He agreed to the terms of service when he signed up for the internet connection. He knew the limits that were imposed (obviously not hard limits as he was allowed to exceed the 250GB cap and repremanded after the fact, rather than stopping all service after the 250GB) and chose to disregard them.

  72. 0
    Erik says:

    He gets banned from the service for using the service.  There is some screwed up logic in there that I’m not quite awake enough this evening to filter through.

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  73. 0
    Grif says:

    This is a rare day, indeed. I actually agree with everything you said.

    Usually, I’m one to stick with the rules and terms of use, but this, I gotta call BS on. Data caps are just ways of "solving" an imaginary problem.

    Sure, overuse may account for less than 1% of the total customer base, but banning your customer for doing something they give you money to do? Customer service at it’s finest, to be sure.

    Using data caps is a lazy and cowardly way to try to force people to use what you have, instead of letting them have their own options. Or even better yet, improving your product or service so that people would actually want to use it over Netflix or Hulu.

    I’m surprised nobody’s tried pressing racketeering charges on them yet.



    "And though we may pledge fanboy allegiances to different flags, deep down inside we all serve one master, one king. And his name… is GAMING! FOREVER MAY HE REIGN!"

  74. 0
    greevar says:

    "It is extremely rare that a customer would ever hear from us, It’s far less than 1% of our customer base."

    If less than 1% of the customers go over the limit, then what’s the problem? Why ban him? He’s one out of one hundred. What does it hurt to let him use the amount of data he is using.

    The answer is obvious, they know heavy bandwidth users are using services that compete with their cable TV service and "On Demand". It’s clearly an anti-competitive scheme to make their internet service less useful so that you need to buy their other services.

    I had service with Comcast in the past. My connection netted me 12 Mbps per second typically. Multiply that by 100 (customers) and you have 1.17 Gigabits per second. To supply 100 people with 12 Mbps, they need 1.17 Gbps. They need barely over a gigabit per 100 customers? Comcast’s is trying to degrade the utility of their internet service to the point where it doesn’t interfere with most internet fuctions of the lowest common denominators (browsing, shopping, email), but makes it unattractive to use it as a primary source of entertainment (streaming TV/Movies, cloud services, downloading games, etc.). The issue is moreso multiplied if you have a multiple user household (i.e. wife, kids, roomates) whom share the connection.


    "Paste superficially profound, but utterly meaningless quotation here."

  75. 0
    greevar says:

    Get over yourself. Bandwidth caps (regardless of what country you live in) are put in place for the same purpose: To keep you from cutting your phone and cable services. End of story. The bandwidth shortages they cry on and on about are complete fabrications born from an aversion to actually investing in new infrastructure to actually serve people what they want. Comcast admits he is 1 out of 100 people that actually use that much, so what’s the problem? One guy out of 100 can’t degrade the entire network single handedly. It’s all bullshit and excuses.


    "Paste superficially profound, but utterly meaningless quotation here."

  76. 0
    Mr.Tastix says:

    I’m sorry, but I refuse to believe this as being "unfair".

    Many of you Americans might not be used to what you call a "small" bandwidth limit but when you live in a country where the average data limit is 10gb then you begin to become unempathetic towards any coutry who has 25x more than you.

    Other than that, just because he didn’t know he was using it doesn’t mean he should get a slap on the wrist (which he didn’t). If I kill a man unintentionally then I still get done for manslaughter. It’s still against the law, regardless of whether I intended to do it or not.

    As far as I’m concerned, it’s his own damn fault. Most ISPs will note their terms and regulations against excessive use (as well as what their definition of "excessive use" actually is) and what happens when you break them. It’s your responsibility to make sure you do not exceed these limits, not the ISPs.

    Do I sound like a douche? Sure, maybe I do. Do you sound greedy? Yeah, maybe you do.

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