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Old 08-19-2013, 01:26 PM   #1
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Default MediaCom Cable - Introducing a data cap mid-contract

So, I get this amazing letter today:

Quote:
We are writing to inform you about changes Mediacom is making to its Internet terms of service. Although these changes won’t affect the way about 98% of our customers use the Internet or how much the service costs, we want you to understand the changes and tell you how to see if they will affect you.

Effective 9/18/2013, your monthly data usage allowance will be 250GB. The changes will only affect you if you use more than 250GB during your monthly billing cycle. Mediacom's Always Faster Internet customers' median monthly data usage is currently under 14 GB per month. You can easily check to see how much data you have used by going to http://mediacomtoday.com/usagemeter. Your login credentials are your Mediacom email address and password. If you use less than 250GB, these changes won’t affect you unless you increase your usage.

For your convenience, we will notify you if you are approaching your usage allowance at 75%, 85% and 95% and when you have exceeded it. If you exceed your allowance during a monthly billing cycle, you will automatically be billed for additional above-allowance usage in 50 GB blocks at $10 per block.

You can control the amount of data you use by how you use your service. The amount of data you use is largely impacted by your online activities, not just the amount of time you spend online. For example, you could spend hours on Facebook®, checking e-mails, or surfing the Web, and use less than 1 GB of data. On the other hand, you could spend 30 minutes downloading a movie and use 2 GB. Put simply, it's what you do with the Internet that affects your usage, not the time you spend on it.

If you want to have a higher data allowance, the Mediacom Online service plans are now scaled for various levels of use, ranging from lower cost options with slower speeds and smaller data usage allowances (e.g., 150 GB) for the light users of the Internet, to premium service levels with very fast speeds and data usage allowances of 350 GB and 999 GB.

If you want to change your level of service, if you are concerned about these changes or want to cancel your service, please call us at 866-746-7314 or visit us online at http://mediacomcable.com/customersupport. By continuing to use the service, you agree to these changes.

We appreciate your business, and thank you for choosing Mediacom to be your Internet service provider.
I'm under contract until Feb 2014. I called up MediaCom and told them that I do not accept the change in service and that I wish to cancel effective 9/17/2013 (the day before the changes take place).

I am told that I will still have to pay an ETF. I ask them where in my contract does it say that they can impose a data cap? They read from the new contract that new customers sign (not the one I signed, when there were no data caps. The updated contract had pricing information on the data tiers and everything).

They didn't have my original contract on file, yet they still tell me I have to pay an ETF. I talked to retentions twice and did an online chat, all say the same thing.

What the heck? Any tips from anyone out there on how to handle this?
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Old 08-19-2013, 01:38 PM   #2
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They need a proofreader, reads like a semi intelligent 12 year old wrote that.

If they don't have a contract, they can suck it. I had a similar ETF situation with Sprint, where I canceled while no longer on contract and was charged a fee. They couldn't produce a signed contract, so after some back and forth email with their dan@sprint dept (corporate), the fee was removed.
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Old 08-19-2013, 01:48 PM   #3
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Sue sue sue
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Old 08-19-2013, 02:01 PM   #4
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If you signed a contract, they cannot change the provisions of it. That is unless there's some sneaky fine print clause in there. If there isn't, just cancel and go with another provider. If they want to charge you a termination fee, tell them to piss off as they were the ones who breached the contract.
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Old 08-19-2013, 02:03 PM   #5
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That is unless there's some sneaky fine print clause in there.
There almost always is.
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Old 08-19-2013, 02:18 PM   #6
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Threaten to sue.
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Old 08-19-2013, 02:19 PM   #7
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My cable Internet provider has a monthly data usage cap, but they don't charge, throttle or anything if you over shoot it. They just send you an e-mail saying you've overshot it.
I think there is language in the contract that they reserve the right to actually enforce the cap.
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Old 08-19-2013, 02:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedShirt View Post
So, I get this amazing letter today:



I'm under contract until Feb 2014. I called up MediaCom and told them that I do not accept the change in service and that I wish to cancel effective 9/17/2013 (the day before the changes take place).

I am told that I will still have to pay an ETF. I ask them where in my contract does it say that they can impose a data cap? They read from the new contract that new customers sign (not the one I signed, when there were no data caps. The updated contract had pricing information on the data tiers and everything).

They didn't have my original contract on file, yet they still tell me I have to pay an ETF. I talked to retentions twice and did an online chat, all say the same thing.

What the heck? Any tips from anyone out there on how to handle this?
They legally cannot charge you ETF for terminating early for a change of contract.
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Old 08-19-2013, 02:24 PM   #9
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This is the kind of logic I'm trying to argue against:

"...current customers plans do not change at all unless they call in and make the changes to it. The only thing that is being done is all residential customers are being migrated to usage based billing."

So, according to MediaCom, my plan isn't changing at all.... yeah, right. When I try to argue saying "Yes it is!" they don't agree. It's like I'm talking to a robot.

I've asked to talk to a supervisor twice. They keep telling me that they will call me as soon as possible, we'll see if that happens.
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Old 08-19-2013, 02:27 PM   #10
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You are fighting a losing battle.

They changed their ToS and possibly EULA, not your contract. Your contract is still valid.

PS: if you go over or anywhere near 250GB a month, you are a dirty pirate hooker.
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Old 08-19-2013, 02:39 PM   #11
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There are many legal ways to go over 250GB. Examples include:

Having a hard drive crash and needing to re-download a Steam library (Yes, I'll have to back my library up often now, as many games are 10+ gigs in size).

Watching Netflix HD often (I've seen where people say 2 HD movies a day could put you over 250GB, I haven't done the math myself).

Purchasing HD content (Itune, Amazon, etc).

Downloading Isos (Linux nerds will attest that tinkering around with OS images can take quite a lot of bandwidth).

Any combination of these things could put you over 250GB easily.
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Old 08-19-2013, 02:51 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by RedShirt View Post
There are many legal ways to go over 250GB. Examples include:

Having a hard drive crash and needing to re-download a Steam library (Yes, I'll have to back my library up often now, as many games are 10+ gigs in size).

I'd rather restore from a backup than wait 4 days for Steam to do it for me

Watching Netflix HD often (I've seen where people say 2 HD movies a day could put you over 250GB, I haven't done the math myself). On full HD settings, Netflix would use roughly 1 GB per hour. So no, that would not put you close

Purchasing HD content (Itune, Amazon, etc).see above

Downloading Isos (Linux nerds will attest that tinkering around with OS images can take quite a lot of bandwidth).You are going to download 250 ISOs in one month? I highly doubt that

Any combination of these things could put you over 250GB easily.
No.

I worked in the industry for years. The only people I ever saw go over the cap just so happened to also have DMCA notices. You can try to pretend that the cap doesn't only affects thieves but the data proves you wrong.
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Old 08-19-2013, 02:59 PM   #13
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MediaCrap has you "sign" a contract by accepting it over the phone when you order service. You never sign any paperwork.

You more than likely can't sue either, since they likely have a binding arbitration clause in their "contract" that you verbally agreed to.

MediaCrap doesn't give a shit.
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Old 08-19-2013, 03:02 PM   #14
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I'd rather not have to put burnt DVDs in to restore all my old games. It doesn't take very long to restore your most played games. I'd also rather not create backups when I can just download them again.

According to this site:
http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/how-...dth-doe-136401

A 2 hour Netflix Movie is 3.6GB.
3.6 x 2 x 30 = 216GB

As for the ISOs, I was just pointing out files that could be large in size. Sure you wouldn't download 250GB of them in a month, but a substantial portion of the 250GB could be taken by iso downloads.

What I'm trying to say is, a combination of these items can easily be used to hit 250GB with ease.

Take a family of 4, each with their own computer/tablet/game console/whatever. It is easily possible to hit the limit. This is not a far fetched claim.

Just think about it, 250GB for one person sounds like a lot, but when we are talking about a little over 60GB per person, suddenly your argument starts to fall apart.

Regardless, this doesn't even matter. What matters is they are changing how I'm billed mid-contract. It doesn't matter what I'm doing with the connection, that is irrelevant.
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Old 08-19-2013, 03:03 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedShirt View Post
There are many legal ways to go over 250GB. Examples include:

Having a hard drive crash and needing to re-download a Steam library (Yes, I'll have to back my library up often now, as many games are 10+ gigs in size).

Watching Netflix HD often (I've seen where people say 2 HD movies a day could put you over 250GB, I haven't done the math myself).

Purchasing HD content (Itune, Amazon, etc).

Downloading Isos (Linux nerds will attest that tinkering around with OS images can take quite a lot of bandwidth).

Any combination of these things could put you over 250GB easily.
99.99% of the people who go over 250gb/mo are pirates.

and yes that number is 100% pulled out of my ass.

and their median is under 14gb/mo, so if you think there are many people legally hitting over 250gb/mo then you are just being dense.
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Old 08-19-2013, 03:09 PM   #16
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99.99% of the people who go over 250gb/mo are pirates.

and yes that number is 100% pulled out of my ass.

and their median is under 14gb/mo, so if you think there are many people legally hitting over 250gb/mo then you are just being dense.
I work for an ISP, and unfortunately we don't service the area where I live. I have seen all sorts of valid and perfectly legal ways to use tons of bandwidth.

One person was a professional photographer. They kept on going over the cap and the swear they hardly downloaded anything. Turns out it was all their photo uploads! The uploads and downloads all come out of the same bucket.

It doesn't matter. This is totally irrelevant to the issue. The issue is not what the connection is being used for, it's the change in billing mid-contract.
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Old 08-19-2013, 03:14 PM   #17
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Yea, sorry Rudeguy, but WHEN did you work in the industry? That is a very oldschool view of it.

We stream EVERYTHING NOW. Everything is headed to being stored offsite (you know..not on your pc). Times are changing and things are larger than they were 5 years ago even. These caps are preparation by internet providers to rape their customers when EVERYTHING is digital.

I say fight back. There is no valuation of "data transfer". It means nothing to a company if you do 5 Mbytes or 1TB. It impacts them zero. It's all about getting extra profit to sit on.
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Old 08-19-2013, 03:15 PM   #18
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I work for an ISP, and unfortunately we don't service the area where I live. I have seen all sorts of valid and perfectly legal ways to use tons of bandwidth.

One person was a professional photographer. They kept on going over the cap and the swear they hardly downloaded anything. Turns out it was all their photo uploads! The uploads and downloads all come out of the same bucket.

It doesn't matter. This is totally irrelevant to the issue. The issue is not what the connection is being used for, it's the change in billing mid-contract.
then they should be using a business account. Caps are set up for 2 reasons: to keep people from using residential service for commercial use and to stop thieves.

As hard as you are arguing, I already know what side of the spectrum you fit into.
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Old 08-19-2013, 03:17 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by rudeguy View Post
You are fighting a losing battle.

They changed their ToS and possibly EULA, not your contract. Your contract is still valid.

PS: if you go over or anywhere near 250GB a month, you are a dirty pirate hooker.
Wrong. Well not the dirty hooker part.
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Old 08-19-2013, 03:19 PM   #20
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No.

I worked in the industry for years. The only people I ever saw go over the cap just so happened to also have DMCA notices. You can try to pretend that the cap doesn't only affects thieves but the data proves you wrong.
Your anecdotal data doesn't prove anyone wrong or right, sorry. I'd bet at some point not too long ago people hitting 10GB were also considered dirty pirates and now their median usage is 14GB.
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Old 08-19-2013, 03:19 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedShirt View Post
I work for an ISP, and unfortunately we don't service the area where I live. I have seen all sorts of valid and perfectly legal ways to use tons of bandwidth.

One person was a professional photographer. They kept on going over the cap and the swear they hardly downloaded anything. Turns out it was all their photo uploads! The uploads and downloads all come out of the same bucket.

It doesn't matter. This is totally irrelevant to the issue. The issue is not what the connection is being used for, it's the change in billing mid-contract.
wow 1 example out of all the clients, you have changed my mind!
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Old 08-19-2013, 03:20 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by ImpulsE69 View Post
Yea, sorry Rudeguy, but WHEN did you work in the industry?

We stream EVERYTHING NOW. Everything is headed to being stored offsite (you know..not on your pc). Times are changing and things are larger than they were 5 years ago even. These caps are preparation by internet providers to rape their customers when EVERYTHING is digital.

I say fight back.
umm..I quit like 2 months ago. Maybe 3 now?

The reason I am so firm is because I went to bat when my old company introduced caps. I mean as high up the food chain as you can go. I argued that caps were pointless and only hurt the company.

Then I actually got to see the numbers. Out of the 4 million customers we had on our internet, less than 3% of them ever went over 100 GB per month. Less than .5% ever went over 250 GB and nearly every one of those accounts had DMCA notices.

In my household we stream Netflix and Youtube nearly 24/7. lil rudeguy downloads a ton of Steam games and I download a ton of random files and ISO's for work. We don't come anywhere close to 250 GB.

You can argue the point all you want but the data is against you. Only thieves need that much data.
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Old 08-19-2013, 03:21 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ImpulsE69 View Post
Yea, sorry Rudeguy, but WHEN did you work in the industry? That is a very oldschool view of it.

We stream EVERYTHING NOW. Everything is headed to being stored offsite (you know..not on your pc). Times are changing and things are larger than they were 5 years ago even. These caps are preparation by internet providers to rape their customers when EVERYTHING is digital.

I say fight back. There is no valuation of "data transfer". It means nothing to a company if you do 5 Mbytes or 1TB. It impacts them zero. It's all about getting extra profit to sit on.
Same. Looking at netflix's site, here's what it says:

Quote:
  • Good quality (uses up to 0.3 GB per hour)
  • Better quality (uses up to 0.7 GB per hour)
  • Best quality (uses up to 1 GB per hour, up to 2.8 GB per hour if watching HD, or up to 4.7 GB per hour if watching 3D)
Just with netflix, watching 3 hours a day of HD streaming, you'll hit 252 gig in one month. During baseball season, I'm streaming my Rangers games via mlb.tv every day. Each game goes for an average of 3.5 hours. 250 gig is nothing in this day and age.
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Old 08-19-2013, 03:22 PM   #24
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then they should be using a business account. Caps are set up for 2 reasons: to keep people from using residential service for commercial use and to stop thieves.

As hard as you are arguing, I already know what side of the spectrum you fit into.
I think you just assume that I want to cancel my service because I go over the cap. This is not the reason why I want to cancel without ETF.

I want to ditch cable TV and switch to cheaper DSL (which also happens to have a cap of 250GB a month where I live). I have no options of a capless service here, so there would be no point in canceling if I were going over. I'd have no alternative.

I'd save about $100 a month doing this. So, feel free to assume whatever you want to assume. Again, it's irrelevant to the original question.

I see this as a way to get out of my contract without a ETF. That is all. Feel free to assume whatever the heck you want.
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Old 08-19-2013, 03:25 PM   #25
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umm..I quit like 2 months ago. Maybe 3 now?

The reason I am so firm is because I went to bat when my old company introduced caps. I mean as high up the food chain as you can go. I argued that caps were pointless and only hurt the company.

Then I actually got to see the numbers. Out of the 4 million customers we had on our internet, less than 3% of them ever went over 100 GB per month. Less than .5% ever went over 250 GB and nearly every one of those accounts had DMCA notices.

In my household we stream Netflix and Youtube nearly 24/7. lil rudeguy downloads a ton of Steam games and I download a ton of random files and ISO's for work. We don't come anywhere close to 250 GB.

You can argue the point all you want but the data is against you. Only thieves need that much data.
It's painfully obvious that your data is plain wrong.

More numbers @ http://sogrady.org/2011/05/01/mlb-tv...-data-pricing/

Quote:
  • According to MLB.tv, the high quality feed is streamed between 800kbps and 3Mbps.
  • At 800kbps that’s a gigabyte per 167 minutes; at 3Mbps, it’s a gig every 44.
  • A four hour Sox/Yankee contest, then, can be expected to run you between 1.43 GB and 5.45 GB.
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