Comcast Business Class + Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) = No Go.

I have been using Comcast Business Class internet for going on two years now at my home office and am quite pleased with the service. Up until now, I have been paying a flat $59.95 per month for internet that is usually quite fast and has been very reliable. It has been even more gratifying that my past bills have never had a tax line item.

One thing that has always annoyed me about Business Class is that Comcast provides an SMC “gateway” device that essentially forces double-NAT, even if you just want a modem. There is no true bridge mode with the SMC device. A few months ago, I did some research and settled on a Zoom 5341 DOCSIS3 modem from Comcast’s approved modems list, but never go the chance to swap it in.

Fast forward to today: I received my latest Comcast bill and an “equipment charge” of $7.00 plus $0.42 in tax has shown up on my bill. Suspecting that I already knew what was behind the 12% increase in my bill, I called customer support and verified that indeed, I am now being billed for a leased modem. Apparently, Comcast just increased prices for some services and audited accounts; they are now charging me for the modem I have been using for almost two years.

No big deal, I will just swap in the modem I bought months ago, I thought. Since I do not have a static IP (requires the SMC gateway) or digital voice, I just need a modem and this swap should be easy.

After 45 minutes with tech support and speaking with a supervisor, it is confirmed that Comcast Business Class will not allow a business subscriber to “bring your own device” (a.k.a. BYOD) because they quote “can’t support it”; the only exception is the Motorola SurfBoard 6120 and it is said to be semi-supported, whatever that means. Nevermind the fact that I am an I.T. engineer and can support my own connection, thanks. Or that Comcast Residential has an extensive list of devices that you can use with the service, which happens to included my device. Or that I know and agree that “unsupported” means I will pay a service charge if I can’t figure out how to plug in the device I provided and get an internet connection.

Let’s get real, there is no technical difference between Residential and Business Class service and this is all semantics.

Thanks for being a hard-ass Comcast; you have once against reaffirmed the terrible customer service reputation that everyone associates with the name “Comcast”.

 

11 Responses to “Comcast Business Class + Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) = No Go.”

  1. I just discovered this little fee on my bill. Now, I have the fun task of trying to get the 6120 working once I get it in on Friday, and then the extra fun task of getting that fee removed.

    I hate you, Comcast.

  2. Eric, will you let me know how you make out with the 6120? I have a useless Zoom 5431 sitting here because of this little fiasco and am contemplating picking up a 6120.

    Thanks for posting! -Dennis

  3. Absolutely. I’ve order the 6120 and will receive it on Friday. I will do a trial using the steps mentioned here ( http://www.reddit.com/r/technology/comments/o2kzu/comcast_using_a_trick_to_raise_rates_on_internet/c3dw859 ), falling back to calling their support and requesting usage of this modem, and falling back again to being angry and upset and calling support. I’ll let you know how it all shakes out.

  4. It looks like this issue is also being discussed over on reddit; thanks for the link, Eric.

    https://plus.google.com/105453543892591957012/posts/jUozXbPyEWo#105453543892591957012/posts/jUozXbPyEWo

  5. BTW, I like the fallback plan. 😉

  6. Just as an update, the 6120 does work with Comcast Small Business. All I had to do is follow the instructions in that Reddit subthread and it worked out fine. I’m using it now, and I plan on calling Comcast tomorrow to remove that charge.

  7. There is a little more to this story. When challenged on the change in contract terms, Shaun Hogan Comcast’s Escalation Executive points to their Terms of Service document that states they can increase fees “without limitation”. Any time Comcast wants to increase their bottom line to impress stockholders they can increase charges on people who thought they had fixed price contracts. I am ditching Comcast for DSL and a datacenter for my server. I know it is slower but Comcast will continue this crap until we fight back.

  8. SELF INSTALL WORKS !!!!! Eric was correct, I got a motorola SB 6120 and unplugged my old one for 25 minutes and used the same MAC address I used for the business account (non-static IP though). It took 6 long slow auto reboots, but EVENTUALLY in less than 6 to 8 minutes , and after forcing my computer to re-DHCP and relaunch browser the “walled garden” worked with my DNS set “blank”. Interestingly, the device and transmission actually is ready on direct IP to status screens in the device in mere moments of forst initial powerup. then it installs new config files, reboots, installs walled garden firmware, reboots, does something else not shown in modem log, reboots, but self install works. Hurray! Using wrong phone number does indeed fail, you need correct phone number and correct account number with LEADING ZERO if has a leading zero.
    Speed to a bandwidth test site (Speakeasy) yielded 32.33 Mb per second upon first 5 minutes of install. Average speed is clipped to a little over 6 Mb per second to OTHER test sites not “whitelisted” by comcast for >6Mb , also my IP is no longer in business class block but in old IP block only seen with non-business lines, so THAT is weird. However, I will wait 2 days, then physically turn in the old modem to Comcast, and THEN, after one day, call comcast billing and REMOVE this new horrendous UNFAIR illegal new 7 dollar monthly charge (i have almost TWO more years left on my 59.95 contract!!! HA! contract breaking scammers.) AFTER it is removed from billing, and AFTER i have been using this 6120 THEN I will call business and request that they re-provision my device. Provisioning SHOULD set the speed caps to the correct 12Mb speed. The slowest sold for the last 1.5 years in michigan is 12/2 NOT “6.x”. Speedboost tricks cause issues and muddy the issue, but this line at least tests to 32.33 Mbps to Speakeasy test site as is. Get a motorola surfboard sb6120, and you are ALL SET. the installation actually makes you confirm that you are decommissioning and replacing your old modem and lists both by name on the screen. very classy, really cool. EASY!

  9. Do any of the devices mentioned support multiple IP Address?

  10. I presume you are asking about multiple *external* or public IP address support on the WAN/internet port? The only device that Comcast is able to provision multiple public IP addresses to is their own gateway.

  11. (This is a Business Class account- I used a residential modem)
    Hey everybody, I just used SB 6121 DOCSIS 3. Unplugged the P.O.S SMC Business Class Gateway. Plugged in the motorola SB 6121 it went through about 5 minute bootup and restart. Clicked on internet explorer, the xfinity (comcast) screen popped up. It asked for the account number and the phone number, took 10 minutes for the activation and it was all up and running. I was then able to forward ports to other externel computers with my D-link $35.00 wireless router. Very easy! Once you remove the SMC gateway, Port forwarding is easy.

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