Internet Service providers are some of the most frustrating, greedy, dishonest, shady, and fickle businesses that consumers are forced to deal with. That is, according to numerous posts and rants in various forums and social media applications from irate consumers who have called out these businesses online.
It’s not difficult to understand why there are so many people who fly into fits of rage whenever you name a specific ISP by name: They are one of the few businesses that tend to punish customer loyalty, often raising the prices of internet service for recurring customers while giving new subscribers added incentives/special monthly rates. It does seem like a pretty crumby business model to charge the consumers who’ve helped contribute to a business’ success over the years more money, instead of less, or handing out a free month here and there.
Unfortunately, these frustrating price hikes and unauthorized rate increases appear to be common, and a TikToker named Soph (@notwxsoph) is yet another victim of this autopay issue pulled by her internet service provider, Xfinity.
She posted about her negative experience with the company in a viral TikTok that’s accrued over 1.2 million views on the popular social media application, and says that when she tried calling Xfinity to address the situation, she was told the phone lines were closed for a “holiday.”
She says at the top of her clip: “My Wi-Fi bill gets pulled from my account automatically. Got a notification today, $95 gone… it’s usually $55. Go on to Xfinity and shout out Xfinity y’all know where to kiss it. There’s a big banner: ‘Wondering why your rate has increased for 2024?’ Yeah, actually, you hit the nail on the head I am, oh, blah, blah, blah…partners and economics and (gibberish). My bill practically doubled. So I called them, I’d love to speak to someone, I call, they basically send me through the ringer eight times asking if I wanna text someone. No, let’s talk. Finally they say OK fine you can talk to someone. It’s playing the music, it’s playing the recorded messages, we’re sorry we’re with another customer, then I get sorry our offices are closed in observance of the holiday, call back during regular hours. I hit up Google what is today? What holiday?”
The holiday in question? Groundhog Day, which she thought was an absurd reason for a business to be closed down: “Are y’all for real
—Groundhog day?! I don’t even think dentist offices are closed for Groundhog Day and they close for like every day. I’m about to start camping out at my local Starbucks sucking down their Wi-Fi, this is crazy! From $55 to $95. I just, I just had to tell someone. All right everyone have a good day except for Xfinity,” she says to close out her video.
What’s probably the most infuriating part of the ISP model is that they allegedly lie about the speeds they provide for their customers and sometimes the cheapest or “slow” internet plans are more than fast enough, or are no different in terms of connectivity speed when compared to other “premium” plans that many companies are constantly trying to sell to their subscribers.
On top of this, there’s also the fact of the true cost of operating an Internet Service Provider, at least when it comes to operating the accounts/services of individual subscribers. Broadband Now writes that data costs themselves are negligible, and that the real money goes into acquiring, maintaining, and installing equipment/upgrading it. However, when fiber optic cable has been already laid down for a building, many ISPs, presumably, just need to switch the service “off” or “on” for individual subscribers. And how many times have you seen a person from your own ISP company digging out cable lines from the ground to ensure that you’re getting the fastest internet around thanks to advancements in fiber optic technology?
@notwxsoph @xfinity ♬ original sound – notwxsoph
Why does everyone hate internet service providers like Comcast?
A 2015 Reddit post titled “FCC chairman basically tells ISPs to stop being cheap and lazy, start building Gigabit networks,” highlights many of the gripes that folks have with internet service providers, stating that these businesses invest more time and energy into not innovating so that they can keep making money in a comfortable way throughout roundabout and shady practices, like the one highlighted by Soph, but by attempting to leverage the most amount of money out of a pre-existing mode of revenue accrual.
Another reason why folks seemingly hate ISPs has to do with many of the monopolistic practices they engage in whenever there are areas in the United States that have only a single company providing consumers access to wired, high-speed internet. In areas where there are more choices for for customers when it comes to picking an ISP, subscription plan charges were almost always lower. Then there’s the case of Google Fiber’s Gigabit internet plans, that, when introduced in regions with other ISPs, caused a decrease in the aforementioned competition’s prices.
Numerous commenters replied to her video, urging her to reach out to Xfinity and negotiate for a better rate, and it seems like she did, but not for the $55 rate was she paying previously: “Update: I called and got it down to $76”
Perhaps one of the best ways to get the price of one’s internet bill marked down is to reference a competing ISP in the area and threatening to go with them as they will offer you a better introductory rate as a new customer. Ars Technica tells its readers to never settle for initial price hikes on one’s bill, and that consumers can almost always negotiate the price down—the outlet even provides some examples of how it was able to do just that.
One commenter aired their own grievances with Xfinity, writing that random “fees” get thrown into their bill which just seem like a way for the business to steal money from its clients: “My Xfinity bill goes up $10 every other month. When I look at the bill, nothing extra is added it’s all in their ‘standard’ fees”
While someone else cant understand why ISPs are charging as much as they do in the first place: “Honestly, if you have basic Wi-Fi, it should be like $20 max. Idk what these companies be doing”
Comcast, the company that owns Xfinity, is at the center of a massive class-action lawsuit after the business failed to secure the private data of some 36 million Xfinity users. So not only are folks angry with the company for raising the cost of its services, but because their personal data may’ve been compromised due to Xfinity’s inability, or lack of care, to protect it. It’s no reason that Comcast was once voted “America’s most hated company,” in 2017.
The Daily Dot has reached out to Xfinity/Comcast via email and Soph via email for further comment.