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According to Comcast, consumers get a "real benefit" from helping Comcast

Comcast is facing a lawsuit for failing to get the users consent before this Wi-Fi sharing functionality went live.
By
December 12, 2014
ComcastWifiSharing

Ever since Comcast announced their merger with Time Warner Cable, they have tried to tell everyone how much they want to improve their atrocious customer service. Comcast’s CEO even admitted to being “embarrassed” by his companies customer service.

Yet, ever since they promised to improve, Comcast has been embarrassed by countless stories from around the country of customers struggling with all aspects of being a Comcast customer. Although the horror stories from Comcast customers is endless, I thought I would pick out some of the most recent stories.

  • A newspaper writer recently called Comcast’s customer service an “oxymoron” and described his nightmare experience in simply wanting a different TV package.
  • A Philly TV station recently did a story on Comcast charging customers $9.50 for no reason and then only refunding customers if they saw the charge and called Comcast to complain.
  • Recently, a California newspaper wrote a story about a number of different Comcast customers who frequently see service outages and receive no help from so-called Comcast technicians. Then the writer described her own experience in dealing with Comcast after they flat-out lied to her about the how much the monthly rate would be in the second year of her contract.

But now, Comcast is being sued in a class action lawsuit over their push to turn customers routers into publicly available Xfinity hotspots. Last year, Comcast began sending new firmware to routers that allowed the routers to offer two signals: one for the customer who has the router and another being a “xfinitywifi” network that offers free Wi-Fi for other Comcast customers near the area.

Comcast offered users the ability to disable this Wi-Fi sharing but decided to make this feature enabled by default. Therefore, Comcast customers would have to opt-out if they didn’t want to share a router. The problem though was that the opt-out option for this feature was not working for many. Some have even noted that after they opted out and the router was updated with new firmware, the router would go back to sharing enabled.

“My ability to turn Wi-Fi off via the ‘Users & Preferences’ page (does) not exist. Calling the 800 number and going to internet support gave me someone who only suggested trying to disable & re-enable bridge mode (which didn’t eliminate ‘xfinitywifi’). He then suggested I (get this!) read up on the Comcast customer forums on their website as ‘there are constantly updates to the firmware in our modems and this is probably just an update that has an issue at the moment.’” – Comcast Customer, DSLReports (per RT.com)

According to the lawsuit, Comcast “has externalized the costs of its national wi-fi network onto its customers” and that Comcast’s “business practices result in higher electricity costs, slower internet connections and increased security vulnerabilities for customers.” Additionally, the lawsuit claims that Comcast failed to get users consent before this functionality went live.

Comcast answered the lawsuit today in such a Comcastic way. Comcast claims that the Wi-Fi program “provides real benefits to our customers.” What are the real benefits? They didn’t say.

ComcastMockingPic

But as Daniel Kline wrote for the Motley Fool (per FastCOLabs): “Very few companies are brazen enough to sell customers a service then piggyback its own product on top of it. But Comcast has not become one of the more disliked companies in the country by always playing nice.”