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[StopTheCap] The Myth of Usage-Based Billing: Providers Would Not Dare Offer Real UBB

post #1 of 74
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Frankly, what providers define as “usage-based billing” isn’t really usage-based at all. It’s simply a double-tiered pricing scheme. Consumers already pay for broadband service based on speed, which informally includes a usage limit of sorts — your maximum amount of consumption is governed by the speed of the connection you purchase. Not satisfied with the enormous profits already earned selling broadband that way, some companies want to monetize Internet use by inserting usage limits or inserting a new tier of service based on usage allowances, which generally increase with higher-priced levels of service.
Source

Even if you don't have AT&T as your service provider, I would still post in the UBB thread on AT&T. It's quite a large thread, and maybe AT&T will get the idea.

http://forums.att.com/t5/Features-an...s/td-p/2704137
Edited by shiarua - 4/19/11 at 5:32am
post #2 of 74
I agree to an extent.

I had Comcasts "Lite" package for a few years (1 down 2xx up?) and it started to seem slow with the larger and larger files out there. I was defiantly limited on how much I could download monthly.
Now with their standard package (16 down 1 up), I have no problems and speeds are great. I hit 50 gigs useage a month with what I consider moderate useage (lots of Netflix, occasional file downloads and such). If Netflix offered HD content (or if I got HULU Plus), I would probably triple my useage from that. While That still would leave me some room under Comcasts 250 gig cap. Problem is, If I got their Premium package (35-50 down I think) the same 250 cap is still there.

If they want to keep charging me the $50+ tax a month for internet, then charge me for the useage, what the heck does the $50 pay for?
If they want to do UBB, then charge me just on the useage (and like the article said, a small fee for infrastructure, that has not been updated in my area for years).
Now if they keep the price the same (or lower, LOL) and be charged extra if I go over the 250 cap, then I can kind of agree with that.

The are just wanting more money for nothing.
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post #3 of 74
"Enormous Profits"?

Comcast, for example, returned 33 cents a share on a $25 stock in its best quarter last year. Infrastructure costs money, bandwidth costs money, and they will always cost money. Don't confuse revenue and profit-- The pricing scheme is irrelevant.


http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/...6122LS20100203
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post #4 of 74
For almost the past decade, businesses (let's insert AT&T here) have done nothing but get away with charging more and more for either the same or fewer services with sneaky billing/contract terms. Far too much time has passed where they should have been regulated (FCC, please wake up and stop taking bribes and payouts from these companies), beyond what they currently are. Access to the internet is no longer some sort of luxury, and is becoming a major part of our society and basic infrastructure; it should start being treated and regulated as such, just like basic utilities have been.

I know it's not JUST AT&T, but I do have the most familiarity with their current business practices toward customers, and I'm appalled by what they're currently permitted to do.
    
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post #5 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Traches View Post
As much as I hate to link a cracked article...

http://www.cracked.com/article_19072...movies_p2.html

13 out of 14 claims sounds pretty honest to me.
Haha silly 'mericans I guess it's slightly lost in translation. When I say insurance I mean car, house, mortgage and life types of insurance not health.
Now I see the "political" link duckie was warning about.
I mean people paying out thousands and thousands in product insurance that never has any claims yet increases and increases as the scam.

Ahh I needed a good laugh.
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post #6 of 74
Phillip @ StoptheCap does some great work; he has helped fight and reverse some of the most ridiculous policies my ISP has tried to implement (including a UBB scheme an order of magnitude worse than AT&T's plan).
 
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post #7 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Traches View Post
"Enormous Profits"?

Comcast, for example, returned 33 cents a share on a $25 stock in its best quarter last year. Infrastructure costs money, bandwidth costs money, and they will always cost money. Don't confuse revenue and profit-- The pricing scheme is irrelevant.


http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/...6122LS20100203
those poor hard working people @ comcast and their 955 million dollars of single quarter profits... at least their doing better than their measly 412 million dollars in profit...
post #8 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Traches View Post
"Enormous Profits"?

Comcast, for example, returned 33 cents a share on a $25 stock in its best quarter last year. Infrastructure costs money, bandwidth costs money, and they will always cost money. Don't confuse revenue and profit-- The pricing scheme is irrelevant.


http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/...6122LS20100203
Do you realize that $0.33 is the payout per share to shareholders after all operating costs, capital investment, capital expenses, other expenses, taxes--ALL EXPENSES, raises, bonuses, etc.? With 2.7 billion shares, 33-cents per share profit equates to almost $1 BILLION dollars paid out to share holders IN A SINGLE QUARTER. That's just gains per share. Do you know what they did? They increased their pricing plans and schemes and imposed restrictions (like caps, throttling, etc.).
    
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post #9 of 74
After $9 billion in revenue... so 12%. High, but not absurd. There are industries that return higher percentages.

Don't get me wrong, I'm no fan of comcast and if they choose to provide poor service at a high price they will deservedly go out of business. It's just that when people start thinking internet should be free, I start thinking people are idiots.
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post #10 of 74
With Comcast being the current award holder of the "Worst Company of America" according to the The Consumerist. Is there any real doubt?

http://consumerist.com/2010/04/congr...n-america.html

From my personal experiences: Two cases involving the Better Business Bureau. First was involved with my moving to a new home 3 years ago. The installer charged me for 2 installations which after seeing the bill, I immediately reported to them. They blatantly refused to send a tech to inspect the installation even after sending them pics of said install. The fact that I only had a single modem & 2 digital cable tuners (easily verifiable w/o an inspection). After BBB was involved, quite quickly they sent a tech. Results: Refused to refund. Held the money on my "account". and took that out of my bill 2 months after the fact.

Then a second incident where they double billed me 8 months ago when I moved again. They were given 92 days notice of the disconnect/new connection date. Yet they "Didn't get there to disconnect" until 3 weeks after the fact. So they charged me a full months service at my old place, whilst charging me full charge at my new one. 2 months of disputing the charge. BBB had that resolved inside of a week. Same result as before. Refusal to credit, or apply to current bill. Sat in their bank earning interest for 2 billing cycles.

So forgive me if I show no sympathy to an underhanded company like them.
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