Why I’ll never use Comcast (unless I’m forced to)

Published May 5, 2016

This is not a gripe about Comcast service. I’ve never used it. Rather, it’s pointing out two simple reasons Comcast’s business practices tell me it’s not a company you can trust.

Occasionally I’ll receive a letter with no return address (or a generic one), and written on the envelope is something to the effect of, “Important. Do not fold.” Inside? A Comcast marketing offer. The envelope is designed to trick you into opening it. That’s one.

Two: You might already be aware that Comcast will throttle — that is, slow down — the Internet connections of customers who use a lot of bandwidth (and connections to companies it’s having “negotiations” with). But did you know that, when it does that, it will also deliberately speed up the connection to Speedtest.net, the most popular bandwidth-testing site? Yep. The idea is that people will wonder if they’re having a connection issue, try Speedtest, and thanks to Comcast shenanigans will get a false result — a higher speed than they actually get?

It got to the point that Netflix has launched its own speed-test service, Fast.com because Comcast customers can’t trust Speedtest.net.

What these two simple bits of information tell me is that deception is a core part of the Comcast culture. If I had Comcast and felt I was getting good service, I could never be sure — kind of like being friends with a serial liar: Most of the time it doesn’t make a difference, but in the back of your head you can never be totally comfortable.

I’ve worked for an organization where lying and deception was part of the culture: the American Chemical Society. It was horrible. There’s no way I would willingly get involved with a company that’s made it clear it believes tricking its customers (or potential customers) is an acceptable way to do business.

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