Leaked Comcast Docs: Asking About “Net Neutrality” or “Netflix” Gets You Escalated to Special Customer-Service Division
Recently leaked instructional documents from Comcast reveal that the company is expecting calls about net neutrality and Netflix — two subjects very sensitive to Comcast leadership. Net neutrality has been a hot topic because of the worry that Internet service providers might grant “Internet fast lanes” to customers paying more money. Meanwhile, Netflix and Comcast are working together, but have been at odds in the recent past.
The documents show that Comcast customer-service representatives are told to immediately escalate calls about net neutrality or Netflix to a different service unit.
“If a customer calls in with any questions associated with the usage policy and how it relates to Net Neutrality, Netflix or observations about how XFINITY services are or are not counted relative to third party services, do not address these items with the customer. Immediately escalate to the Customer Security Assurance (CSA) Team.”
On Friday, the leaked documents appeared on Reddit, showing that Comcast’s trials to charge for Internet data over 300 GB per month are not meant to keep its network running smoothly. Is it a price gouge? No, says Comcast, who instead said it’s about “fairness and providing a more flexible policy to our customers.”
Comcast specifically tells customer-service reps not to say “the program is about congestion management.” It also tells them not to use the term “data cap.” Comcast won’t charge you for the first three times you exceed 300 GB, and will send you courtesy notices when you reach the threshold.
There were a few other takeaways from the leak. For example, here’s what a customer’s bill will look like with additional charges for data usage (with and without a courtesy credit).
Also interesting is that the Flexible Data Option is not available to Internet Essentials customers — low-income-families who receive low-cost broadband Internet access from Comcast. The Flexible Data Option is being tried out in Fresno, Calif., Central Kentucky and Maine, and provides casual or light Internet users — who typically use 5 GB of data or less each month — a $5 credit if a customer’s total monthly data usage is less than or equal to 5 GB per month. (If they go over, they lose the credit and are charged $1 per gigabyte for each gigabyte of data used over the 5 GB threshold.)
But Internet Essentials customers are exempt from the Flexible Data Option:
One more nugget from the leaked docs, is the voicemail you should expect to get from Comcast if you go over the 300 GB threshold:
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