Should I sue my ISP?

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45 Replies - 8562 Views - Last Post: 17 December 2010 - 12:33 PM

#1 Lemur  Icon User is offline

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Should I sue my ISP?

Posted 02 December 2010 - 06:26 PM

I've been getting screwed for the past 4-5 months now by my ISP and I'm wondering if it's time to take it to court already.

I have Mediacom for service and had purchased a 20mbps/2mbps plan and for the past few months we've been receiving 0.01-0.5mbps/1.3-1.6mbps. Somethign about this has to be illegal to continue charging regular rates for under 1% of the theoretical max in bandwidth. I can understand 60%+ on occasions like at 5pm and other peak hours but 1% across the board?

I've looked into consumer fraud and false advertising claims but I'm not sure if there's anything else I can get them on.

After I threatened legal action my speeds increased close to 80x in under an hour, I've had speed tests running at regular intervals to confirm this one. That tells me that it was an easy fix that they just now performed after being "escalated" for 4 months now and badgering them every day to fix something.

What should I do?

(...and before you say switch ISPs I don't have a choice in my area.)

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Replies To: Should I sue my ISP?

#2 Martyr2  Icon User is offline

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Re: Should I sue my ISP?

Posted 02 December 2010 - 07:28 PM

First of all if you look at the fine print of any ISP it will always say that speeds vary on location and times. This means that even though they say they offer 20mbps, not everyone will receive that speed. They can't guarantee full speed in all areas just because of the technology.

Second, if you have known for months about it and have not contacted them earlier, then you really have to find that fault with yourself.

Now if you can prove you notified them on multiple occasions (and have it documented... in other words, always document when and who you spoke to when you contact any provider of a service) and they have not done anything to either get back to you or fixed the problem, then you could quit the service and file a complaint to recoup your money (not 100% of it mind you because they did provide some kind of service even if it was shitty). Now if they had you sign some contract that states that you specifically were guaranteed X megabits per second, then you could sue for a lack of services rendered on their part. But I would imagine you are not locked into a contract with them so you could leave anytime you want.

But if you didn't see the fine print (they even state it sometimes with an asterisk on the speed) and you didn't report it earlier to them, they can 1) say that you aren't guaranteed that speed and 2) Your fault for not contacting them sooner about it.

Hope this helps with any decisions you are trying to make! :)
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#3 Lemur  Icon User is offline

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Re: Should I sue my ISP?

Posted 02 December 2010 - 07:49 PM

I've been contacting them on average 9 times a month for the past half year as well as last year when I was living here. All in all I've been in contact for close to the entire period of their service here. I have multiple speed tests documented, service outages, I can trace my call list to them, and various other things.

1% of a theoretical max, there's no way that the fine print justifies it. The upload speed has only dropped below 1.0 once in the past 2 years. The download speed has ranged from .001 to 12mbps. There's no way they can justify that. I can't find any fine print or anything related to speeds.I've read every document I can on their site and none mention anything other than service is not guaranteed.


EDIT - I am in no way exaggerating on this one. Google Mediacom and see what you get.

Speed Tests that I have easy access to:

Today -
Posted Image
...and magically after I threatened legal action and contacting the local media
Posted Image

December 1 -
Posted Image
Posted Image

November 26 -
Posted Image

November 25 -
Posted Image


I have hundreds more, these were the ones that were relevant.

This post has been edited by Lemur: 02 December 2010 - 08:32 PM

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#4 nimajneb  Icon User is offline

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Re: Should I sue my ISP?

Posted 02 December 2010 - 10:48 PM

I work at an ISP. First things to check...

Make sure your speed tests come from a direct connected PC. Anything routed past the modem is out of bounds. No routers, switches, etc. Pc > modem

Check the TOS for acceptable rates. We provide 80% margins on our adsl. There are times when a line can be ruled TNF (technically non-feasable) in that case, there's no contract fee.

What sort of internet is this? Cable, dsl, fiber?

Edit....

Also, 90% of the time, line speed problems are from the physical cabling to your home/office. The other 10 is from a bad modem, routes, or CO.

They can test the lines and see your modem. Have they given u results from them? Ask for PM stats or loop(capacitence) stats.

I doubt they were purposely slowing your service. They have a whole nother backhaul that monitors that. If your connection gets better, its cuz they fixed a physical problem more than likely

This post has been edited by nimajneb: 02 December 2010 - 11:01 PM

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#5 Lemur  Icon User is offline

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Re: Should I sue my ISP?

Posted 02 December 2010 - 11:19 PM

Mediacom supplies no information about this, I've checked everything and the best I can find is they cap bandwidth at 250gB a month.

Connection is direct to the modem via a 2 week old cat6 cable that was tested on what I think was a LanSmart cable tester, I'd have to check it later in the networks lab. Noise has been checked with a multimeter several times on each one of the joints, splitters, and other connections. I've done tests via this computer connected directly to the modem and then subsequent tests on other house computers connected via a wireless N router running DDWRT.

I have my back covered on all angles, I've tested everything within my power and nothing seems to be wrong on this end.

Besides this the Upload speed is absolutely fine, normally hovering at 75% advertised consistently, take a look at the tests. The average for all tests performed is 1.5567mbps which leads me to believe it isn't a damaged cable, rather that it's poor allocation of resources on their end.

I'm serious, google mediacom and every review you read says the exact same thing, horrible slow service and completely incompetent service.
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#6 nimajneb  Icon User is offline

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Re: Should I sue my ISP?

Posted 02 December 2010 - 11:32 PM

Well... if u have to stay with them, ask a few questions:
Have them log into your modem and test. Post results.

If its that you're being throttled because they're overutilizing that circuit, well then that's something. There's a cacti site to check cabling issues and utilization. Google mediacom cacti or something for graphs.

If you're sueing, read and reread the TOS. You're better off asking for credits or a refund though.
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#7 Martyr2  Icon User is offline

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Re: Should I sue my ISP?

Posted 02 December 2010 - 11:35 PM

I know you are just here to really vent your frustration, but if you have been contacting them often and nothing was being done, you should have just looked for another provider. I mean, why put up with that much hassle? If everything you said is true, you should have just left and taken your money with you instead of continuing the pay for lousy service. Now that you are getting better service, I would still seriously think about leaving if you are this pissed about it.

As a customer the loudest vote you can cast for your dissatisfaction is to go to a competitor. Obviously they will go down the drain if enough people leave.

:)
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#8 Gorian  Icon User is offline

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Re: Should I sue my ISP?

Posted 03 December 2010 - 12:30 AM

Martyr, he did say in his first post, he doesn't have a choice :)
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#9 mtommy84  Icon User is offline

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Re: Should I sue my ISP?

Posted 03 December 2010 - 02:48 AM

Hello Lemur,
I know exactly how you feel, and I see these kind of things more or less every month ^^
Here in Italy, and in the rest of the europe actually, we have the so called MCR (Minumum Cell Rate), that is the minumum bandwith that the ISP HAS to provide.
Here in Italy, for home users, the MCR is actually 0 bit, sothe provider is not in duty to provide you a better line.
You should read the contract and see if you have an MCR, otherwise you could try another ISP.
Hope it helped ^^

\\ Tommy
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#10 raziel_  Icon User is offline

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Re: Should I sue my ISP?

Posted 03 December 2010 - 02:56 AM

i think everyone in USA should sue their internet providers :D
the speed you ppl get is horrible i have the same speed test pinging something 5000 miles away from me :D

This post has been edited by NoBrain: 03 December 2010 - 02:57 AM

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#11 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

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Re: Should I sue my ISP?

Posted 03 December 2010 - 07:59 AM

I wouldn't sue them... but I don't believe in suing under 99% of things I hear people saying "should I sue for this".

I would suggest getting a new carrier.



I'll tell you about my experience though (it may not be related, I don't know). I use to have connection speed issues for a while, very low speeds then what was advertised, random disconnects, and the sort. I blamed Comcast repeatedly, but they were of no assistance, and most of them tried blaming it on the fact I used Linux and not Windows/Mac. So I banged on it, and banged on it, working with what network knowledge I had collected up to that time.

It turned out it was a triple whammy, and ALL had to do with me.

1) I had a 24 port switch that just didn't work as well as it should had. That's what I get for buying the more affordable switch off of NewEgg, replaced with a higher quality switch. Certain activities improved (primarily hosting videos on the local network, especially from the upnp server to my xbox360)

2) updated my cable modem's firmware for good measure. I own my own modems ($5 a month rental? Suck it Comcast!), but it needed a firmware upgrade, I was running on a bad version and it would randomly drop connection.

3) My cable in the house! The cable was ran back in the 80's and went on a weird hop scotch through the entire house following no real good pattern. Outdated cable, and add on the my modem was at the furthest spot from the entry point... it was just crap.

So I went out and purchased a rf amplifier, ran a better line from the entry into my house directly to the center point of my house and hooked up the amplifier. The amplifier had a specific output for data (had the best output quality with lowest noise), and dropped that directly to my modem in my server closet that luckily sits right in the middle of my house. Then the normal lines were all fed off from there to each room like an octopus (small house, easiest just to give each room their own cable from the amplifier which had 8 outputs in total).

The picture quality of my tv shows went up, and my internet went through the roof.

Before this I was paying for a 16 Mbit/4Mbit dl/ul. I was getting maybe 2mbit/512kbit. Sometimes I would have a spike in speeds on random days, but it was seldom and lasted short term.

Today I now get roughly 24Mbit/8Mbit at any given point... and at the whee hours of the night I hit 30Mbit... I've been able to torrent large files at 3+ mbytes/s on several occassions.

(To those of you in places in the world that average these speeds or better... here in the states these are awesome speeds).

This post has been edited by lordofduct: 03 December 2010 - 08:07 AM

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#12 Gorian  Icon User is offline

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Re: Should I sue my ISP?

Posted 03 December 2010 - 08:27 AM

View PostLemur, on 02 December 2010 - 04:26 PM, said:

...

(...and before you say switch ISPs I don't have a choice in my area.)

Just thought I would point this out. Don't have much to add, haven't had this experience with ISPs, but I noted about 4 other people suggest a different ISP.... He said that is not an option....

:)
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#13 Lemur  Icon User is offline

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Re: Should I sue my ISP?

Posted 03 December 2010 - 08:45 AM

I don't have the luxury of switching in my area, by and far they are the fastest advertised and this house has 8 College Students in it that require access.

It is also currently 2 weeks before finals meaning it would be suicide to attempt to switch when everything is starting to close in. The absolute last thing that this house could handle is to wait for another ISP to service us in this critical of a time.

I've been to the point of considering leasing a T-line or gettign a neutral line run down here.

EDIT- Finally received work back from them and it was their headed in Jeff City that was on the fritz, they still claim it needs a week or so to be fixed but I doubt it. This IS their most elaborate excuse up to date, I'm almost tempted to believe it.

EDIT 2-
Posted Image

One one of the wireless computers, I'll test the modem later when I have the time.

This post has been edited by Lemur: 03 December 2010 - 09:13 AM

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#14 baavgai  Icon User is online

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Re: Should I sue my ISP?

Posted 03 December 2010 - 10:51 AM

Throttling is standard practice with most ISPs. Comcast did it to me.

After I dropped to miserable throughput for a couple days, I called the buggers up. I'd confirmed it was on their end. They guy I got was pretty frank about it. My activity has been flagged and I'd been throttled.

A new Ubuntu distro had come out that week and I figured I'd share the torrent love. Apparently after some magic number, focusing on upload over time, the system drops the throttle hammer. My tech was nice enough to explain what they looked for, but couldn't offer specific numbers. Those numbers are kept secret to prevent people floating just under and gaming the point of the system.

The tech just threw a switch on their end and I was off the blacklist. Needless to say, I haven't been hosting a lot of torrents since then for any extended amount of time.

In a nut shell, any company that promises unlimited anything probably has fine print to the contrary.
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#15 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

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Re: Should I sue my ISP?

Posted 03 December 2010 - 12:52 PM

I would like to know where you live that you don't have more then 1 local carrier. I wouldn't be surprised if you only had 1 'cable' provider (we only have 1, comcast)... but 1 ISP in all?

This is why I suggested switching. Just because it's 'difficult' doesn't mean you can't... which makes sense once you see Lemur expanded on that point by exemplifying the difficulty of switching.


I still stand by my point... I wouldn't sue them... better, I see no legal grounds to sue.
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