No Mass Refunds For Comcast Customers

CHICAGO (STMW) — One of the Chicago area’s biggest ever high-speed Internet outages left more than 1 million Comcast customers without Web access Sunday night.

But Comcast says it has no plans to refund customers en masse. Those who want refunds will have to apply individually, spokeswoman Angelynne Amores said.

The outage — which stretched across the Midwest from Minnesota to Michigan — lasted from around 7:30 p.m. Sunday until 12:30 a.m. Monday and came exactly a week after a similar problem affected millions of Comcast customers on the East Coast.

In both cases, the outages were caused by failures of Comcast’s Domain Name System servers — the virtual “phone books” that translate Web addresses into a numeric format. The similarities between the two outages prompted speculation that Comcast was targeted by hackers, according to Morningstar analyst Michael Hodel, who estimated Comcast has between 1.1 and 1.2 million Internet users in the Chicago area.

With so many home and business devices now reliant on Web connections, an Internet outage is akin to an electrical power blackout, according to the Consumer Federation’s director of research, Mark Cooper. Thousands of customers called busy helplines Sunday night.

But Comcast’s near monopoly of the high-speed Internet market in Chicago and an absence of federal oversight means fed-up customers have few options, Cooper said.

— Chicago Sun-Times, via the Sun-Times Media Wire

  • Joe


    • nick

      oh yeah, there’s a reason for that. That reason being, AT&T STILL use phone lines to distribute bandwith. It’s an ancheint system wtih horrible hd and if you have a gaming device you’d like to hook up to AT&T, good luck. It runs at such a slow speed my games were always dropped or so laggy that playing it was more frustration than fun.

  • Steven Young

    Comcast has always been an issue especially with DNS. That is why I also configure my computers to use public DNS servers as well as Comcast so I did not experience an outage.

  • Sheila

    Comcast sucks! Worst Customer Service ever!

  • cathy

    OH NO! Five hours without internet or cable? What on Earth did everyone do? Talk to each other or read a book? The amount of people outraged is equivalent to the number of people losing their ability to think for themselves. Get over it, it’s just five hours.

    • Mike Fangman

      Cathy, it was just an internet outage, not cable or phone.

      • cathy

        Our cable was out too. All I’m saying is I picked up a book.

  • jenn

    Cathy, it’s not just that, ppl like me who depend on my internet for work, it was definitely an issue and I was not able to get some work done for a meeting that I had Monday morning.

    • nick

      Why’d you wait till 730 at night to start it?

  • Terri

    If you were adversely effected by this outage, as I was, all you needed to do was call Comcast and have them credit your account. Is that really so difficult? If you didn’t even know your internet was out until you read it in the news – quit whining – you don’t need a credit.
    When Comcast has problems – they make it right with their customers!

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