The business model and dealing with the deviant customer

  1. Promise unlimited service.
  2. Expect users to operate within undisclosed limits
  3. Feel free to call those customers who violate your limits bad names and terminate the promised service.

I remember hearing rumors that Netflix was “holding” the movies of users who were returning them too fast. They were expecting the average user to hang on to them longer.

But at least Netflix didn’t call them “hogs” and discontinue their service.

I can’t believe the story actually used the animal reference in the subtitle as if it was an objective claim.

Some AT&T customers use disproportionately high amounts of Internet capacity, “but we figure that’s why they buy the service,” said Michael Coe, a spokesman for the company.

I’m glad my provider talks sense.

The Silicon Valley Insider made a great point:

Comcast’s long-term problem: Internet usage is only going to grow. Media companies are investing hundreds of millions of dollars in streaming video projects like Hulu and Joost, which use a ton of bandwidth. An update to Adobe’s ubiquitous Flash software means that companies like ABC will be able to stream shows like Lost in hi-def to Internet users — which can eat up 4 gigs of bandwidth in a matter of hours. A lot of that video will be distributed over Comcast’s pipes. And the only way for Comcast to differentiate between legitimate file transfers like watching The Office on NBC.com and illegitimate transfers like downloading The Office from BitTorrent would be to monitor the content its subscribers are downloading — a scary concept. This could get nasty.

Hopefully, instead of nastiness, we’ll get objective allowances and the means to know how close we are to our limits. Businesses need to stop putting the word “unlimited” in their advertisements.

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