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Suddenlink’s Thumb on the Scale That Measures Your Usage

Suddenlink’s decision to implement an Internet Overcharging scheme that couples usage caps with overlimit fees can be a real revenue-booster for the cable company, especially if a usage measurement tool decides to nip at your allowance with phantom usage that can eventually expose you to overlimit fees.

Simon, a Suddenlink customer in northern Texas contacted Stop the Cap! with news he managed to catch Suddenlink in the act of ginning up his broadband usage, measuring around 23GB of broadband usage in just one day:

Here is what Suddenlink’s usage measurement tool reports Simon has used during the month of August. Not the 23GB measurement recorded for Aug. 18.

“Suddenlink believes I used ~23GB and my router confirms I only used 2.22GB (a difference of 936%),” Simon writes. “It’s insane.”

Even more unusual is Suddenlink’s measurement tool recorded that usage on a day when a thunderstorm knocked out his cable broadband service for nearly six hours during peak usage times. It is not the first time Suddenlink’s meter has gone haywire.

Consumers are at the whim of broadband provider-supplied measurement tools, which are unregulated and unmonitored by federal, state, or local authorities. What those tools measure is what customers will be billed for, with no verification or proof of accuracy required.

Companies utilizing these measurement tools require customers to accept the provided measurements as the final word on the matter.

“I think it’s a repugnant money grab that needs to be regulated by the state or federal government,” Simon shares.

Unregulated metered billing is a dream come true for providers who can bill customers whatever they want.

Here is what Simon’s router measured on that same date – 2.22GB, almost a 1,000% difference… in Suddenlink’s favor.

Currently there are 3 comments on this Article:

  1. Austin says:

    It looks like Suddenlink is billing him for raw data including overhead, instead of just actual bandwidth delivered. His modem spent all day retraining and retraining and retraining, and they cheerfully counted that as service rendered. I would expect to see that they measure more bandwidth used on poorer quality lines. This would be a disincentive for them to repair them if substandard lines were more profitable.

  2. Ian L says:

    …except there’s no way that retrains would run into the tens of gigabytes in a single day. To put that into perspective, you’d have to be transmitting 1.2 GB per hour for every single hour the connection was online, for a mean data rate of around 2.7 Mbps. Not impossible if you’re heavily using the connection for a day, but impossible if a modem is trying to reconnect to the cable system.

  3. Mr Black says:

    If you don’t upgrade your modem it hard for them to meter your usage. Amount of noise meter usage is also there !! It be better for ISP to tag ad-ware cookies since most of us didn’t request their services to report on us inside our systems.

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  • David Therchik: An intense investigation needs to put into this! As soon as one starts I bet they'll stop charging/cheating people from over usage. Before they bought...
  • Charles Bingham: I did but customer no service was no help - said it did no good to have pass word with symbols, cap and small letters and #'s. IF only I had an alte...
  • Phillip Dampier: That assumes this customer had access to a working usage meter and notification messages and ignored them. Evidently it was big enough of a problem fo...
  • Are you kidding me...: "Over the years" people are using the internet differently. If your bill went up, you have usage. Responsible would be calling and talking to them ab...
  • Charles Bingham: Actually my usage has decreased over the years as I sold my business and only kept the internet for a few tax returns that I still do, no employees no...
  • Are you kidding me...: This entire article reeks of "poor me, I'm a victim and I can't be responsible about my own Internet usage, my own bills or my own actions." Grow up....
  • a gci customer: even with the new plans, you are still data capped, they just speed rate you at that point vs charging you for overages. You are given the ability t...
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