Comcast is once again proving why it has earned its place as one of America’s most hated companies.
Comcast recently upgraded its internet speeds for both its main service and its Xfinity brand. The announcement was welcome news, as the company is often criticized for its paltry 10Mbps upload speed. There’s a big catch, however, with the company requiring a $25 a month equipment rental to get the faster upload speeds, according to Ars Technica.
The company’s original announcement contained a…shall we say, carefully worded statement regarding the hardware:
As markets launch, Xfinity Internet customers who subscribe to xFi Complete, will have their upload speeds increased between 5 and 10 times faster. xFi Complete includes an xFi gateway, advanced cybersecurity protection at home and on the go, tech auto-upgrades for a new gateway after three years, and wall-to-wall WiFi coverage with an xFi Pod included if recommended. Now, another benefit of xFi Complete is faster upload speeds.
Comcast told Ars that the xFi Pod would be required for customers with 10Mbps to be upgraded to 100Mbps. The xFi Pod will cost $25 per month, although customers that sign up for new service before the end of the year can get it for $20 a month for the first year.
The company painted its decision as a technical one, telling Ars it plans on bringing the speeds to non-Comcast modems “later next year.” That explanation doesn’t make a lot of sense, however, as the xFi Pod is also available to some customers for $14…yet those customers are not eligible for the faster speeds unless they upgrade to the more expensive plan.
These kinds of shenanigans are exactly why customers hate Comcast and why consumer activists are continually working to pass legislation to ban equipment rentals and hidden fees.
In the meantime, Comcast continues to set a sterling example of how NOT to treat customers.