You need to chose your battles and Comcast picked the wrong guy to take on in a fight against false data overages. According to Ars Technica – which has the lockdown on telecom scam stories, these days – a computer programmer named Oleg (last name withheld) started receiving notices from Comcast that he was eating through his data allowance.
This didn’t make sense to Oleg, as he was out of town when the overages started. Being a computer guy, Oleg checked out his traffic logs and surprise, surprise – they didn’t match Comcast’s records.
“Metering an empty house, they warned that I consumed three times my usual usage,” said Oleg, in a YouTube video he made about the incident. “I do not stream videos, play games, run servers, or give access to anyone.”
Determined to get to the bottom of it, Oleg decided to tether to the mobile data on his phone while keeping an eye on the usage meter. It continued to climb. He unplugged his modem completely, yet Comcast’s records showed he used 66 GB in six days. His own tests showed he used about 8 GB a week.
When he called to complain, a Comcast rep told him their meter was 94.6 percent accurate. He was also told someone was probably stealing his Wi-Fi, something he doubted considering the fact he’s a software developer who is serious about home security.
“Charging for phantom data is pure fraud,” said Oleg in the video. “I should tell them there is only a 94% chance I’ll pay my bill.”
Of course, after Ars got involved, Comcast reached out and settled the dispute, admitting there was a “technical error” associated with the account. As pointed out in its article, customers with less computer knowledge may not realize they’re being overcharged or know how to fix it. It makes you wonder just how many people out there are in Oleg’s shoes and don’t even realize it.