Have you ever wondered whether or not the Internet speed you’re paying for is actually as fast as your provider advertises?
Some providers require people to pay top dollar for higher speeds, which is often necessary when considering that slower speeds are akin to old school dial up modem speeds (okay, maybe not that slow, but still). The problem with paying more for higher speed Internet, though, is that you don’t really know what you are getting.
This is a problem that the New York attorney general is currently looking into by investigating three of the top broadband providers. The attorney general wants to know whether or not these providers are truly giving customers the fast speeds advertised, or whether these providers are knowingly charging a high price and not delivering on those top speeds.
The Providers That Are Being Investigated
Currently, Verizon, CableVision and Time Warner Cable are all undergoing an investigation by the NY attorney general. How is the attorney general going about looking into this matter? These three companies must hand over all contracts that customers must currently sign in addition to any speed tests that the companies have conducted. The attorney general is looking for contact loopholes that customers may not have seen (not promising higher speeds, for example), and for tests that prove speeds are as fast as they claim to be.
The NY attorney general has told press that New Yorkers might not be getting what they are paying for, and this is a direct type of fraud. If the companies do not provide the service that they claim to provide, it could mean a heavy fine (and possibly some lawsuits) for these companies. So far, CableVision and Time Warner representatives have told press that both companies are happy to comply. As for Verizon, well, there’s no word from that company yet.
The Age of Consumer Scandal Investigations
It seems that consumer scandal investigations are on the rise, and all of this might have started with the VW scandal that shook the automotive world. Now, consumers are demanding that companies live up to promises including the promise of high speed Internet. In New York, rates for lightning fast Internet speeds can be hefty (as they are elsewhere), and companies need to prove that these rates actually exist.
But what about in states other than New York? If the aforementioned companies prove to be pulling the wool over consumer eyes in New York, what about people that have contracts with the same companies but reside in other states? If you suspect that your Internet provider is not actually providing the Internet speeds that you are paying for, it might be hard to investigate this matter on your own.
However, the New York case will likely pave the way for other states that are sure to follow suit. Eventually, cable providers in many states might soon be held accountable for promises not kept - and consumers may even be compensated. Paying more for high Internet speeds may not be worth the price after all!