Comcast hides add speeds deep inside its infuriating ordering system

An NBC peacock logo is on the loose and hiding behind the corner of a brick building.

Comcast simply launched a 2020 Network Performance Data report with stats on how a lot Web utilization rose through the pandemic, and it mentioned that add use is rising sooner than obtain use. “Peak downstream visitors in 2020 elevated roughly 38 p.c over 2019 ranges and peak upstream visitors elevated roughly 56 p.c over 2019 ranges,” Comcast mentioned.

However whereas add use on Comcast’s community rapidly grows—pushed largely by videoconferencing amongst individuals working and studying at dwelling—the nation’s largest home-Web supplier with over 30 million clients advertises its velocity tiers as if importing would not exist. Comcast’s 56 p.c enhance in upstream visitors made me surprise if the corporate will enhance add speeds any time quickly, so I checked out Comcast’s web site in the present day to see the present add speeds. Getting that data was much more tough than I anticipated.

The Xfinity web site advertises cable-Web plans with obtain speeds beginning at 25Mbps with out mentioning that upstream speeds are only a fraction of the downstream ones. I went by way of Comcast’s on-line ordering system in the present day and located no point out of add speeds wherever. Even clicking “pricing & different data” and “view plan particulars” hyperlinks to learn the high quality print on varied Web plans did not reveal add speeds.

Even after including a plan to the cart and going by way of a lot of the checkout course of, I couldn’t discover any point out of add speeds. I received to the purpose the place it’s important to enter bank card data to proceed, so I initially stopped there. I later confirmed that Comcast’s ordering system will present add speeds after it checks whether or not your bank card is legitimate, within the closing web page the place you submit an order.

Intentionally protecting clients in the dead of night

I’ve lengthy recognized that it is tough to search out add speeds on Comcast’s web site, however I am undecided precisely when it grew to become just about not possible. There have been complaints about this very downside on Comcast’s buyer assist boards in 2020 and in 2019, although. “What’s my add velocity now? No the place on this planet can I discover documentation,” one buyer requested. The reply was that present clients can discover add speeds for their very own plan of their account settings after logging in and navigating to the proper part.

However that doesn’t assist people who find themselves signing up for service and need to discover out what add speeds they will get or evaluate add speeds of various plans. Even the comparability software that allows you to evaluate particulars of various plans would not reveal their add speeds. The absence of add speeds from Comcast’s web site is so thorough that it’s clearly a deliberate try to maintain clients in the dead of night. This gallery reveals how the Comcast Xfinity web site shows Web plans with out mentioning add speeds and continues that tactic by way of almost the whole checkout course of:

Fortunately, the third-party web site lists each obtain and add speeds, exhibiting that Comcast’s 25Mbps obtain plan comes with 3Mbps uploads; the 100Mbps and 200Mbps obtain plans each have 5Mbps uploads; the 300Mbps obtain plan has 10Mbps uploads; the 600Mbps plan has 15Mbps uploads; and the 1Gbps obtain (1.2Gbps in some areas) comes with 35Mbps:

Comcast speeds and prices, no thanks to Comcast's website.
Enlarge / Comcast speeds and costs, no due to Comcast’s web site.

Comcast’s web site does checklist the 35Mbps add speeds for the gigabit plan at this page, however I could not discover something related for Comcast’s different cable-Web plans. Comcast additionally provides a fiber-to-the-home service with 2Gbps speeds each downstream and upstream. However Comcast’s residential fiber requires set up expenses of as much as $500, and the service prices $300 a month, which is greater than thrice as a lot because the gigabit-cable plan that has 35Mbps downloads.

Comcast, why did you make this so exhausting?

I contacted Comcast in the present day with two main questions: is there any strategy to discover add speeds on Comcast’s web site earlier than submitting an order for Web service, and does Comcast have any plans to lift its cable add speeds?

Comcast’s reply on the place to search out upstream speeds was as follows:

Our community report reveals that, regardless of the expansion in upstream visitors in 2020, patterns stay extremely asymmetrical as downstream volumes had been 14x larger than upstream all through 2020. Our web site displays the way in which clients use the Web with downstream overwhelmingly dominating utilization, however upstream speeds are included in your cart and are seen upon try while you submit your order.

Regardless of Comcast claiming that “upstream speeds are included in your cart,” I might discover no proof of this. Including a Comcast Web plan to the cart after which clicking the cart icon introduced me to an ordering web page that doesn’t point out add speeds. I confirmed this conduct on in each Chrome and Safari.

I circled again to the Comcast spokesperson and requested what precise steps I must take to make add speeds present up within the cart. It seems the add speeds by no means present up within the cart in any respect until you outline “cart” to incorporate the whole ordering course of. Comcast instructed us the add speeds will lastly seem “when you’re on the step while you evaluation your order.”

Regardless of my earlier reluctance to enter my bank card data for service I’m not ordering, I lastly did so to test whether or not that is correct. I submitted my handle, telephone quantity, and bank card data, and I clicked “Subsequent.” This triggered a step wherein Comcast’s system checked to see whether or not I had entered a sound bank card. I by chance entered a lately expired card quantity, so Comcast’s system “declined” my card and made me re-enter it. After I entered a card quantity that Comcast might cost, I lastly received to this web page, the place the 300Mbps download-plan’s 10Mbps add speeds are proven:

The last page in Comcast's ordering system.
Enlarge / The final web page in Comcast’s ordering system.

At this web page, with Comcast having already verified your card, you may view add speeds and determine whether or not to submit the order or exit the ordering system. The a part of Comcast’s assertion that add speeds are “seen upon try while you submit your order” is thus correct. However refusing to inform a potential buyer what they’re paying for till after they submit bank card data is just ridiculous. You possibly can most likely get add speeds earlier by asking a Comcast rep in a web-based chat or telephone name, however that should not be essential.

Replace: After digging by way of Comcast’s list of buyer agreements, insurance policies, and disclosures, I discovered a now-outdated network management page that features obtain and add speeds. It seems to be the most recent such checklist out there on Comcast’s web site, but it surely was revealed on August 19, 2019 and the listed speeds do not match Comcast’s present choices.

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