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 site visitors in 2020 elevated roughly 38 p.c over 2019 ranges and peak upstream site visitors elevated roughly 56 p.c over 2019 ranges,” Comcast mentioned.

However whereas add use on Comcast’s community shortly grows—pushed largely by videoconferencing amongst individuals working and studying at house—the nation’s largest home-Web supplier with over 30 million prospects advertises its pace tiers as if importing does not exist. Comcast’s 56 p.c enhance in upstream site visitors made me marvel if the corporate will enhance add speeds any time quickly, so I checked out Comcast’s Xfinity.com website at the moment to see the present add speeds. Getting that data was much more troublesome 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 Comcast’s on-line ordering system at the moment and located no point out of add speeds anyplace. 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 many of the checkout course of, I couldn’t discover any point out of add speeds. I obtained to the purpose the place you must 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 ultimate web page the place you submit an order.

Intentionally conserving prospects at the hours of darkness

I’ve lengthy identified that it is troublesome to search out add speeds on Comcast’s web site, however I am undecided precisely when it turned just about unimaginable. There have been complaints about this very drawback on Comcast’s buyer assist boards in 2020 and in 2019, although. “What’s my add pace now? No the place on the planet can I discover documentation,” one buyer requested. The reply was that current prospects 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 Xfinity.com comparability software that allows you to evaluate particulars of various plans does 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 hold prospects at the hours of darkness. This gallery exhibits how the Comcast Xfinity web site shows Web plans with out mentioning add speeds and continues that tactic by practically all the checkout course of:

Fortunately, the third-party web site CableTV.com 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 comparable 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 laborious?

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

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

Our community report exhibits that, regardless of the expansion in upstream site visitors in 2020, patterns stay extremely asymmetrical as downstream volumes had been 14x increased than upstream all through 2020. Our web site displays the way in which prospects 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 may 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 habits on Xfinity.com in each Chrome and Safari.

I circled again to the Comcast spokesperson and requested what actual 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 except you outline “cart” to incorporate all the ordering course of. Comcast advised us the add speeds will lastly seem “if you find yourself 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 examine whether or not that is correct. I submitted my handle, telephone quantity, and bank card data, and I clicked “Subsequent.” This triggered a step during which Comcast’s system checked to see whether or not I had entered a sound bank card. I by accident 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 may cost, I lastly obtained 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.

Xfinity.com

At this web page, with Comcast having already verified your card, you’ll be able to 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 solely ridiculous. You may most likely get add speeds earlier by asking a Comcast rep in a web based chat or telephone name, however that should not be needed.

Replace: After digging by 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 latest such checklist obtainable on Comcast’s web site, but it surely was printed on August 19, 2019 and the listed speeds do not match Comcast’s present choices.

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