I am sure the first thought that goes through the mind of many when reading this headline is "of course Comcast is ripping me off!" Comcast is one of the most hated service providers in the U.S. They have some of the lowest customer satisfaction possible, their pricing tactics outrageous, service unreliable, and your relationship with them hard to cancel.
Now I believe I've figured out another way Comcast is ripping off their customers, and this one is blatant. I believe Comcast is selling you internet speeds that they know you won't achieve with the equipment they charge you to use.
See, twice now in the last two years, in two different Comcast markets, I've swapped out the standard Xfinity internet modem/router that Comcast rents to its customers, for my own equipment. Before each of these swaps, I was experiencing internet speeds much slower than Comcast advertised and that I paid for. After each of these swaps, I experienced the internet speeds that Comcast advertised and that I had paid for.
Last month, I decided to swap out the rented Comcast internet hardware for my own. Over the past 2 years at my girlfriend's apartment in San Francisco, I had been getting internet speeds of about 30mbps at best, with pretty poor coverage around the apartment. Instead of the Xfinity equipment that Comcast rents to us, I plugged in an old and inexpensive Motorola modem, and attached a Google Wifi router to that. Our internet speed went from 30Mbps at best, to just shy of 120Mbps, reliably. We pay for 120Mbps.
So why did it go from 30Mbps to 120Mbps? The only difference is that we stopped using the Comcast Xfinity equipment and used our own.
Same thing happened to me in Portland in early 2015. I paid for 120Mbps but experienced 40Mbps-60Mbps on the Xfinity equipment rented to me. Then I switched to a cheap Motorola modem, and a cheap Western Digital router, immediately increasing my internet speeds to a reliable 120Mbps.
The only conclusion I can come to is that the Xfinity modem/router doesn't support the Xfinity speeds we pay for. If this is the case, this has to be a known truth at Comcast. If both of my conclusions are true, then this is fraud pure and simple.
Sure, I am only one person with two experiences, so thats not enough to conclude wrongdoing, but the technical side of this would be pretty easy to test and document. Then the only question is if Comcast knew it was doing this. I bet the average lawyer could prove this in court with ease.
What do you say, do we have a nice class-action on our hands?