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bait+switch? Pondering alternate service

A bit back -- around December of last year, I got a notice that my "promotional  period" had ended and that I was going to be charged another $6-7 for an internet management "app" to manage my domain (which I've had for about 20 years, though transferred to comcast about 10 years ago).  Originally it included equipment and a /29 subnet for 5 static IP's.    Speed was about 7up/30down.  About 6 years ago, they started charging me an equipment fee of $6, which I pointed out was supposed to be included, but they countered with an offer to give me 10up/30down for same price+the $6 modem rental.

 

I was hit with another price raise for some lame DNS app to manage my domain (previously had been done with settings on a website, not that I had that many changes).  They said I had to take it or have my domain email and such cancelled.  They also mentioned that my equipment fee would be going up to $15 and my service up another $20, bringing it up to $150 (starting out it was $80).  Calling in again I was sent to retention where a person told me that they could offer me 20up and 300 down for the same price -- but that first I should take advantage of a few month, then call back to get on new plan.

When I called back in a month, was told that there'd been a price hike and now the faster service would cost me about $200 more, while just to maintain my current service on a contract would be almost the same if I signed up for a 2yr agreement.

WHAT?  So you had me wait a month until prices went up to finalize my my new agreement?  You are kidding.  Nope.

 

Meanwhile, comcast's has 35MB down (unknown up) service starting at 65 (w/phone) or 70 w/o). 

 

Comparatively AT&T is offering gigabit fiber (already installed to my location), for $40 (w/phone) and $50 (w/o), also with no data usage caps.  So how did Comcast get to be so bad in my area (Santa Cruz, CA).  And when where their sales people pushing better service out with a free month to take advantage of a price hike?

 

Needless to say, it looks like comcast is wanting to force us to change to as their prices appear to no longer be competitive.    It this really the state of comcast's small business offerings these days?  I've yet to do due diligence and get competitive offers in writing, but if that is done, Comcast is going to be losing more than just this customer if they don't follow world trends to lower IP-connectivity costs.

 

 

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Official Employee

Re: bait+switch? Pondering alternate service

Hello, how are you? I hope overall your day has been a good one! Thank you for being a long-time customer. It’s great to know you have been with us this long. It is impossible to be with us this long and not have seen some pretty significant changes over the years. I have seen many myself. When is the last time you were in contact with our business sales team? 

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Re: bait+switch? Pondering alternate service

After we had a few-days long power outage last fall when I called about comcast's ISP service failing after about 3-4 days -- about 1-2 days before power came back on.  It became evident that comcast didn't provide power generation at the local site where their equipment was located.  They, apparently, did have battery backup of their equipment, but weren't prepared for an extended power outage.  I called them to find out why they didn't provide more reliable service to businesses and homes -- especially since more customers are being encouraged to move their voice service to an internet based service that would be unavailable for emergencies if the internet went out. 

 

Businesses that provide critical infrastructure, like phone companies provide for uninterrupted service during power outages by supplementing battery backup with generators when power is out for an extended period.  My landline phone has never gone dead during a power outage, but it is clear comcast doesn't provide the same level of reliability. 

 

To provide service continuity during outages, the sales person wanted to sell me an expensive supplementary service using fixed radio towers that cover my area.  I expressed concerns about being able to test such a service as such long interrupts are rare, but felt that comcast really needed to supply its equipment sites with supplemental power during extended power outages.  My business isn't supplying critical infrastructure services, but I've had UPS backup supplying a few hours service with that backed up by manually started & switched generators.  I was unhappily surprised to learn that my ISP didn't have the same protections for their network as I did for my home equipment.

 

Anyway, she called me back 2-3 more times to try to follow-up and get me to add on that service (that I really didn't feel should be necessary).  We didn't make contact, but it was coincidentally shortly after that (she had noticed noticed that I had a  grandfathered special rates but that I was no longer under a 2 year contract -- something that has never been the norm for landline phone service, that I received a "notice" that my "introductory rate" for my internet services has ended and I'd be billed for their new domain-services App.  Note: I never had an introductory rate.  When I signed up there were none in effect, and the rate I had was the normal full rate at the time as subsequently verified by a cust. serv. rep looking at my account history.  The ending of my ~8 year "introductory rate" was followed by a 20% price increase on my service and a 33% price increase for my equipment rental that they won't let me buy (supposedly because I have a static IP -- even though other companies provide such service w/o charging for equipment). 

 

I don't know if an individual sales person is the same as your business sales team -- I have the impression that they are, but given the experience of being told to wait a month before signing up for another 2 years of service at my old rate for a 10x increase in speed, only to find the offer gone after a month with more rate increases across the board. 

 

While comcast provided a consistent and reasonable service for several years, I think their cable-TV  people have started moving into networking division and are bringing the same  "profit at any cost" attitude to their new jobs.  Telecom and networking costs have gone down year by year with improvements in data carrying capacity and technology improvements -- with associated improvements being seen in other countries, like  10-30 dollar, gigabit connections through much of Europe and 10-40Gig symmetric fiber to the home in S.Korea for less than what I've been paying for less than 1/100th the speed. at 10x the latency (they get <10ms latency to most of their services, while I get 80-110ms latency for similar services.

 

That's getting worse recently.  A few weeks ago, comcast took down our internet service for supposed service improvements.  Now, I find my network path to several tried services has increased by 6-8 hops.  Google used to be about 5 hops away averaging in the low teens.  Now it is 10 hops away with an average 20ms.  What is going on?

 

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Official Employee

Re: bait+switch? Pondering alternate service

Thanks so much for taking the time to reach out to us regarding your billing & service concerns. I very much appreciate your patience and greatly apologize for the delay in our response. I know how important the services are to your business and we want to do all that we can to assist. We always have offers and options, available for our current customers I would love to get you set up with an account review. I would also like to get to the bottom of the connection issues. I rely on my connection for business purposes and I know how impactful and frustrating any service issue can be. Can you please reach out through private message with your first and last name, business service address and account number or phone number? 

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