Tag Archives: Comcast

Comcast Responds To The Million Dollar Question… And Lies Again!

I received an email from a reader who did a little social engineering and was able to obtain a bulletin sent out to Comcast employees.  It has a FAQ section which answers for people who specifically read the AP article, which answers some of the million dollar questions I asked during my chat with them.

This Comcast BitTorrent filtering issue is getting more and more attention in traditional media, congress, etc.  We’ve got to keep blogging about it, keep the negative buzz going and tell Comcast to take it and shove it.  If you want to save some money and still stick it to the man, read down below for my tip on saving $50 or more with a 10 minute phone call.

the read, it’s misleading, confusing and infuriates me as a customer who have a legitimate problem.

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Customer Account Executive Talking Points
Peer to Peer
Comcast High-Speed Internet Customer Access to Peer to Peer

Summary/ Overview of Topic
* An in-depth AP story ran on Friday, October 19, 2007 that suggests Comcast is hindering its customers’ ability to use BitTorrent, a peer to peer file sharing application.

Specifics

  1. Comcast is committed to providing all of our customers with an excellent Internet experience.
    We do not block access to any Web site or applications, including peer-to-peer (P2P) services like BitTorrent.
  2. We never prevent P2P activity, or block access to any P2P applications, but rather manage the network in such a way that this activity does not degrade the broadband experience for other users.
  3. Network management is absolutely essential to provide a good Internet experience for our customers. All major ISPs manage their traffic in some way and many use similar tools.
  4. Network management helps us perform critical work that protects our customers from things like spam, viruses, the negative effects of network congestion, or attacks to their PCs. As threats on the Internet continue to grow, our network management tools will continue to evolve and keep pace so that we can maintain a good, reliable online experience for all of our customers. 
  5. We have posted a new FAQ on our website making clear to our customers the steps we are taking to protect the customer experience for all of our customers. (Note: FAQs are located in the “Connection” category of Comcast.net)

Impact to Comcast
* Due to this article, customers may call in to inquire about limited or blocked access to BitTorrent and other peer-to-peer applications.

Customer Q&A
Listed below are some anticipated Customer Questions with suggested responses. Use Verbatim Use as Guidance

IF Customers asks…  THEN respond…

Do you block access to peer-to-peer applications like BitTorrent?
* No. We do not block access to any Web site or applications, including BitTorrent. Our customers use the Internet for downloading and uploading files, watching movies and videos, streaming music, sharing digital photos, accessing numerous peer-to-peer sites, VOIP applications like Vonage, and thousands of other applications online.

Is my peer-to-peer activity going to be impacted by Comcast?
* We never prevent P2P activity, or block access to any P2P applications, but rather manage the network in such a way that this activity does not degrade the broadband experience for other users.

* We have a responsibility to provide all of our customers with a good Internet experience and we use the latest technologies to manage our network so that you can continue to enjoy these applications. Peer-to-peer activity consumes a disproportionately large amount of network resources, and therefore poses the biggest challenge to maintaining a good broadband experience for all users – including the overwhelming majority of our customers who don’t use P2P applications.

What do you mean when you say you manage your network?
* Network management is absolutely essential to provide a good Internet experience for our customers. All major ISPs manage their traffic in some way and many use similar tools.

* Network management helps us perform critical work that protects our customers from things like spam, viruses, the negative effects of network congestion, or attacks to their PCs. As threats on the Internet continue to grow, our network management tools will continue to evolve and keep pace so that we can maintain an excellent, reliable online experience for all of our customers.

Do you discriminate against particular types of online content?
* No. There is no discrimination based on the type of content. Our customers enjoy unfettered access to all the content, services, and applications that the Internet has to offer. We respect our customers’ privacy and we don’t monitor specific customer activities on the Internet or track individual online behavior, such as which Web sites they visit. Therefore, we do not know whether any individual user is visiting BitTorrent or any other site.

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Thanks to cizzop, your social engineering skills are pretty amazing.  That said, that’s one hell of a response from Comcast.  Technical support is going to be following this document to the letter and will never admit that anything is wrong.

Now, here’s my tip to save some money, don’t even bother talking to Technical Support, you’re just wasting your (and secondly their) time.

Instead, call their cancellation department.  This always works!  I’ve never had them deny me a credit or reduction in price when I had a problem and complained about it.  Thankfully, cancellations is far more helpful than technical support.

  1. Call their cancellations department.
  2. Remember the name of the person who answers.
  3. The conversation should be something like this:
    1. I’ve read the Associated Press article on filtering and have a problem with it.
    2. I’ve gotten a quote from another ISP and it would save me <number> dollars a year to switch.
    3. I enjoy the service and would like to keep it, but….
    4. Is there is anything Comcast can do to make up for the inconvenience?
    5. If they refuse, insist on speaking to a supervisor.
  4. When they give you a huge discount for the next few months or even a month free…
    Thank the person by name and tell them you appreciate their time and personal attention.
  5. Feel free to buy me a beer.

Remember:  The Cancellations Department for Comcast is like any other large company, and we can exploit this very easily.  Comcast pays people to do whatever you want to retain you as a customer.

By allowing them to ‘save’ the account, you’re actually helping out the cancellations agent get better stats and maybe even get a bonus.  They’ll be happy to talk to you as long as you’re courteous, and above all, don’t yell or use profanity.  Be assertive, not aggressive.

Dear Comcast, Here’s The Million Dollar Question: Is You Is, Or Is You Ain’t Blocking My Torrents?

Dear Comcast,

I like your commercials. They’re funny. You poke at DSL, and rightfully so – your service is significantly superior to anything but fiber to the home.

Here’s the million dollar question: Is you is, or is you ain’t blocking my torrents?

Prior to reading the article by TorrentFreak on Comcast BitTorrent filtering, I had noticed a significant decrease in my seeding ability. I thought it might have something to do with my Linux firewall that I had changed from IPCop to Smoothwall that same week, so I paid little attention. Continue reading

The REAL Fix For Comcast BitTorrent Throttling

First, a little explanation may be needed as to what is happening in between our computers, Comcast and the Internet.
Comcast is using a packet filtering platform called Sandvine. This platform is a at its core, a Quality of Service system that has legitimate uses, such as giving high priority to Xbox Live communications and VOIP packets. 

Unfortunately, Comcast has decided to use Sandvine (some say illegally) to impersonate us and send a reset packet (known as an RST flag), which is exactly like the Chinese goverment filters the internet!  (PDF)

TorrentFreak hinted on August 22nd, is that someone was working on a fix for Comcast users.

“…we know that at least two BitTorrent client developers are including this fix in their next update.” -TorrentFreak 

It’s two weeks later, where is the fix!?  And just exactly how do you find out if you’re being throttled by Comcast?  And how can we figure out how to avoid this traffic shaping? Continue reading