Are you getting what you signed up for from Comcast?

By | October 31, 2009

Are you getting what you signed up for from ComcastYesterday I was given a low price of $34/mo for the 16MB Comcast “Blast Package” for 9 months, then $52/mo after that… by a rep at a Comcast  service center.  I wrote it down and confirmed what I was getting as I was standing at the counter. Today they hooked it up. I had 11 MB.

I called Comcast to figure out what was wrong, and my speed cut back as I was talking to the rep to 6 MB/sec.  The rep claimed not to have done anything, but for a good 10 minutes before I called I was getting 11 to 12 MB download speeds, after calling, I had only 5 MB. After I hung up, I was getting only 3 to 5 MB/sec.  I thought perhaps my cell phone was causing interference slowing down my internet connection…

Keep in mind that these tests vary over time depending on network traffic to the particular server you are testing against. But the change in speed happened to the same server.

Test your speed here:

The rep on the phone told me I  signed up for the 6 MB/sec package. Bull feathers. I have the paper right in front of me signed by “BBI” and it says 16MB. How was I getting 11 MB/sec with a 6MB/sec package?

The phone rep claims that I have to go in in person to get what I signed up for. Yes, I will. And if I don’t get what I was promised, I will cancel my service.

Now it is Friday at 5 PM and they are closed. Check your speed.
PS. Happy Halloween! No more posts till Sunday night or so.

PPS. After posting this, my speed went up to 8MB/sec.  What the heck? Are these tests accurate?

4 thoughts on “Are you getting what you signed up for from Comcast?

  1. Silkyray

    These test are not a actual measure of the bandwidth you have available. They are a test of the bandwidth it takes to download a file from a server on the Internet. This speed can be different because the last mile provider(comcast here) can only control the bandwidth of your physical link to them not the link that server is using to connect to the Internet. Your bandwidth would be 1:1 if you where connecting to a server local to your providers network possibly or a peer on your neighborhood pop.

  2. Don

    Last week I got a DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem. Also replaced router. I was getting ~/=6mbps on the speakeasy test with the old configuration, but with the new equipment I am getting in the range of 13-16mbps on the first three test sites in the post. For some reason, I am only getting ~/=2mbps on the 4th site. Comcast tried to upsell me to some of the bigger packages when I called to give them the MAC address of the new modem, but so far I’m happy with what I’m seeing with the upgraded hardware and the standard Comcast service. As I understand it, YMMV depending on how many neighbors are active on the last network segment. Would like to hear from someone with more detailed knowledge on this point.

  3. Xeno Post author

    Update for those using Comcast who like to compare experiences:

    Comcast, when I went in and checked in person today admitted that they had indeed cut me back to a slower plan without telling me. The phone rep said she had not changed my plan, that I signed up for 6 MB, not 16 MB. The in person rep today, the one I signed up for 16 MB with, confirmed that I was set at 6 MB and said, “I’m not sure why they did that” and adjusted me back to the “16MB Blast package” for $34.95/month for the first 9 months. She also told me that the phone rep was wrong, that I do not need to go in in person to get my speed set to the package for which I paid.

    Now, 11 hours later, I’m at 8 MB download speed from the modem direct to my laptop. Should be closer to 16 MB. Best I’ve gotten all night is 11 MB when connecting to Nevada. Technician is coming out to check the equipment. They will charge me up to $50 if the problem is with my equipment and not theirs. Hmm…

    Buyer beware of accidental downgrading after you sign up. Based on calls to two technicians tonight, the problem in my case may be a crummy modem, however…. (on top of the fact that they lowered me to a slower package)…

    1. Nick

      The best speed test I’ve ever done (especially with Comcast and their few seconds of really fast speeds via TurboBoost) is to download a torrent of something that’s very popular using uTorrent. Linux distributions works great. grab 3 or 4 of them and then watch your speed in the uTorrent window. you can watch it ramp up as you connect to people, overshoot the speed that you’re supposed to be getting (because Comcast does that) and then stabilize at your bandwidth limit. Very good for testing actual speeds. Like I said, this is especially good when testing Comcast speed because it gets rid of the effects of TurboBoost. Hope this helps…

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