Comcast It’s Time To Rethink Your 300GB Data Cap

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Hey Comcast, it’s almost 2015! We’re deep into the Netflix and online gaming age. While I appreciate my high speed Xfinity service and the relatively low down time, the 300GB per month data cap seems to be a bit archaic. I moved at the beginning of September and when I did I signed up for your fastest (and most expensive) consumer internet plan. I get a nice 105Mbps download speed and a good 20Mbps upload speed. Once it was finally installed properly (that’s another post), the service has been very speedy and stable. No complaints there. However, in about 2 weeks after I got connected I started getting the emails and automated phone calls alerting me that I was nearing my 300GB data cap and then eventually that I had passed it. Many of my readers here probably don’t realize that most internet providers have a data cap. Whether it’s enforced or not is another story. In the case of Comcast Xfinity it’s 300GB per month for years, but not really enforced until 2012. That sounds like a lot! However, in today’s world of streaming media, cloud storage, online gaming and cloud backups it’s really not a lot at all. I would imagine that there is a need for data caps. If they let everyone do anything they wanted there would likely be some abuse that would slow down other customers. The fact that there’s a data cap is not my issue. My issue is that Comcast has one data cap for ALL customers (except Comcast Business customers). So if you’re on their cheapest plan or their most expensive plan the data cap is the same. That’s the part that I have an issue with. It’s like punishing your best customers who chose your fastest speed because they’ll be more than likely to hit the cap sooner!

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What happens when you go over?

A few years ago I hit the cap and I got a very threatening call from Comcast. They actually gave me a warning that If I went over 2 more times they would actually cancel my service. Back then I thought “how stupid is that?” You have a customer that’s using a lot of your service. Find a way to give them what they need and charge them for it. Well it seems that Comcast realized they were missing out and now they give you 3 overage grace months before they start charging you $10 for 50GB units. As you near your 300GB limit you get the warning emails/phone calls. Once you use 300GBs of bandwidth they add on another 50GB of data for $10. Go over 350GB and they add on another $10/50GB unit (this time without warning).

Actually the extra $10 charges (while annoying) aren’t the real issue. It gives us the ability to either stick to the 300GB limit or a way to pay extra for the extra bandwidth that we need. There is one problem though. Let’s say it’s the last day of the month and you hit the 300GB limit. No problem Comcast doesn’t interrupt your service, they just tack on another $10/50GB unit. However, chances are you won’t use that 50GB in one day. Let’s say you only use 5GB of the 50GB unit and you technically have 45GB left. On the first of the month the meter starts over again and you lose that extra bandwidth that you paid extra for. At a minimum you should at least get to carry any extra bandwidth that you paid for over to the next month.

Let’s get back to the main issue though. Not only is 300GB really too small in today’s high speed world, it’s also just not reasonable to have one limit for ALL consumer customers. Comcast I ask that you either raise the cap for all or offer higher caps for those of us on your higher plans. My average appears to be under 500GB so let’s start there!

A little Q&A

Q. Terry can’t you just go with Comcast Business since you use more data than the average person?

A. Sure and as a matter of fact I had it in my studio. However, there are some other limits like NO premium channels and you have to sign a contract with steep penalties for early termination (which is why I’m still on the hook for paying for it until March 2015).

Q. Terry can’t you just pay for the overages? That way you only pay for the amount you use over the cap?

A. Yes and I do. However, since I’m already paying for their most expensive/fastest plan it would seem that their should be a larger cap. Also the unused portion of the overage units is lost at the end of the month.

Q. Why not go with a different provider?

A. When it comes to high speed internet I need the fast available and in my area it’s Comcast. If there was a competitor that offered comparable speeds I’d consider a switch.

 

  • Sevenfeet

    Terry, you’re not the only one frustrated at Comcast for this. Like you, I have the highest level of service (105/20). Like you, I do a lot of work from home (in my case, if I’m not traveling, everything is out of my home office). So I’m frequently doing WebEx conferences, trading Powerpoint presentations, etc. And my wife and daughter are Netflix users who are into their shows. This hasn’t been a real problem until December when it’s vacation time and our family is home more days that usual instead of work or school. So sure enough, I got the notice on December 27th that I was coming up to the limit for the month, my 4th month in 2 years this has happened which means I’m now into paying Comcast extra. Really guys? I’m already paying you for your best service. And in previous overage months, I’ve gotten hit by Apple upgrade seasons, where Mac OS X upgrade and iOS upgrades send my usage skyrocketing (5 Macs and 4 iOS devices in my house). But none of this usage should get me on Comcast’s naughty list. This has to change.

  • Cyndi

    I have Comcast in the Bay Area and just tested my connection speed.

    You must have the next level of service because I’ve never seen 20 Mbps upload speeds on mine.

    There is a message on my account that says this:
    Note: Enforcement of the 250GB data consumption threshold is currently suspended.

    Maybe they heard you.

    Happy New Year.
    I love your blog.
    I own your app for my iPad.
    I subscribe to your YouTube Channel and watch most of them.

    At the risk of sounding like a 70-year-old groupie, I think you are the bee’s knees.

    Thank you for all your hard work.
    Cyndi

    • Thanks Cyndi! I really appreciate you!

      • Charlotte Salcedo

        I live in Florida and they are doing data caps 350 cap over here in fort myers. I game and i am building websites uploading and downloading so i cant get the services i had to go with a slower internet provider… business cost to much … where is the bay area?

    • YEs, and that is country wide and hasnt changed , there currently is NO data cap for any Concast/X-Finity customer.

      • Cherch

        This has changed.

        “We’re writing to remind you that we will be trialing a new XFINITY Internet data plan in your area. Starting December 1, 2015, your monthly data plan will include 300 GB. We’ll also trial a new “Unlimited Data” option that will give you the choice to purchase unlimited data for $35 per month in addition to your monthly Internet service fee.”
        I think it is total BS that they can change my internet service 3 months into my 2 year contract. Essentially they just want to jack up the internet service by $35. And figured this loophole will allow it, while not allowing my to cancel my contract.

  • Mel Gross

    You don’t have FIOS there? If not, that’s a shame. I’m getting 150/150 with them. My highest month was almost 600GB download, and I’m not even a pirate!

    For $169 a month, I get that speed, plus phone service, Tv service at their highest level, which includes Showtime, HBO (all channels for both), plus a number of other pay channels included. Also, many sports channels, which I wish I could give back.

    The pricing includes a $5 a month discount as we also use their cell service, and a $10 discount as we just reached 65.

    I think it’s too bad that Verizon isn’t interested in expanding into more areas of the country. If enough people call them and request it, perhaps they will change their minds.

    Best wishes for the new year kiddo, keep up the great work you’re doing.

  • DOCSISHAX

    So you can only download at full speed for a day before hitting your cap. I did the math.

    • Absolutely no on does that. Unless they are direction sharing and uploading a video stream – shit, got to go…. (comcast does that – if you upload to your full upload capacity, your download will be cut by that much)

  • Jason

    Great post! I am in the Atlanta area with NO alternatives to their data capped service all because we’re in a trial test market. Total BS. As a technology-driven house with 2 adults working on the internet, no cable and streaming our content online, we ALWAYS go over on our data. It is a costly expense. The only possible choice I have is to switch to Comcast Business internet, which for the same level of service is $50 more than my current plan, but still less with the overages.

    GET. IT. TOGETHER. COMCAST…

  • Karen Leigh Burton

    Actually I was informed the other day that the data cap for the 105 Mbps device is actually 500 gb and we are ALL OWED BACK MONEY

    • Informed by who? What area do you live in? Any details?

      • Karen Leigh Burton

        I live in the Nashville region, and I just called comcrap last week about my crappy ass service, (which I’ve been hesitant to do because each time they charge me a small fortune), and I was informed by every rep (and there where 5 that I spoke to) that I’ve been being overcharged for more than a year, that since the 105 mbps with speed boost was put in place (when I upgraded over a year ago) I should have automatically been upgraded to the 500gb plan seeing as I was constantly going over the 250GB limit (yes 250GB not 300GB), so the first rep put a service plan on my account – and a $15 credit to offset the charge of the service plan, then setup an internet specialist to come out to my house next week. (A) to figure out WHY my WIFI doesn’t freaking work and I have to have cords running all over my house, (B) to figure out WHY and WHAT is eating ALL the data cause based on what I’ve told them and how many people live in our house and what we do and use, we should NOT cap the 250, as XBOX doesn’t even get counted as they have a contract with XBOX… didn’t know that one did you…. so you can literally play XBOX all day everyday and not one KB of data should get used on your account ever, and anything done through an XBOX device (including Youtube, Skype, Netflix, etc, still doesn’t count against you because of their contract) I was told that in order to cap it I would have to be downloading 10-15 HD movies on peer to peer networks a DAY all month in order to cap the 250 GB…. and we certainly are NOT doing that – I’ve had to raise my cell phone data plan to ungodly data rates to cover devices like my ipad just because I can’t hook wires to those devices and my wifi is CRAP – I’ve bought wifi range extenders – and still NOTHING — 50ft cords EVERYWHERE I am so OVER comcrap. I can’t wait for googlefiber.

        BUT yes, I was told by 5 reps (and recorded the call just in case I had any issues when I call back to get my credits) as I have to call a diffferent department AFTER the internet specialist comes out on Wednesday, that those with the 105mbps with speed boost have a data cap of 500GB (600 in the Atlanta and Tuscan areas). AND if you are a business customer you have NO cap at ALL. Cause I was seriously considering a swap to business internet and dropping all other comcrap services and signing up for stuff like just the independent showtime, hbo, apple TV, etc – all commercial free television stuff. I personally don’t watch anything that has commercials myself — my husband is the ONLY one who actually watches the actual TV in the house – SPORTS… and I think I can subscribe to them individually too. so what the heck do I need cable for…

  • poundness

    I just find a step by step guide on how to download videos from xfinity
    at allavsoft.

  • Krali

    Actually, you’re wrong about the need for the data cap. You using your pipe fully doesn’t impact the network at all. The cap is simply a tool used by ISPs to make money.

  • Cherch

    Saw the email talking about a 300gb data usage. Didn’t pay much mind to it, as when I signed up with Comcast 3 months ago. I signed up for unlimited internet. But then while looking at this month’s bill I noticed the data usage bar. So I called them up, and they told me under the contract they were allowed to change it. 300GB ?!?!?! IN 2015 HOME INTERNET?!?!?! Between desktop, laptops, cell phones, gaming systems. And between streaming movies, video conference calls, sending large files to work and online gaming. My family tore thru nearly 500GB last month!
    No matter how much you argue, they simply say “It’s is Comcast’s right to change this policy, per the contract you signed.” Oh don’t bother threatening to cancel your contract. “Well there will be an early termination fee. Because what Comcast is doing is allowed by the contract.”
    THIS IS SOOOO MUCH BS! Then they mention, “well you can upgrade to the new unlimited account for $35 more a month.” That’s what I signed up for! “No sir, we didn’t have an unlimited before.”
    Basically it comes down to, they want to jack up the price for the internet by $35. And they figured they could use this loop hole in the contract to do it.

    • Where are you located?

      • Cherch

        South Louisiana. Got an e-mail stating “We’re writing to remind you that we will be trialing a new XFINITY Internet data plan in your area. Starting December 1, 2015, your monthly data plan will include 300 GB. We’ll also trial a new “Unlimited Data” option that will give you the choice to purchase unlimited data for $35 per month in addition to your monthly Internet service fee.”