Google Fiber now forces subscribers into binding arbitration; days left to opt out


#1

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#2

Looks like someone is doing evil!
(I wish i could have fiber at my home, though…)


#3

Don’t be evil do anything that might lose the company money


#4

I am generally a fan of small government. However internet as a public utility would likely serve the public better than having the worst companies in existence being put in charge of it.


#8

Google will “generously” allow you to sue in small claims court according to the article, so there’s that at least!


#9

That is better and I imagine 99% of the time the money being disputed won’t be over what small claims is for. Sure puts a big stinky wet blanket on a class action though.


#11

wait, i don’t understand… why would you need to sue your isp if you were “unhappy with the service”? Isn’t that when you would cancel the service and get something you were happy with?


#12

You assume most of us have a choice for a decent ISP… Hell I live in the techwonderland of Seattle and unless you are in a downtown condo Comcast is pretty much it. QWest is saying they have gigabit but I sure as hell haven’t heard from anyone that has it and they don’t offer it in my neighborhood just 3mbps if you are lucky. Comcast bottom tier is 5x that and I currently get 50mbps supposedly but I really need a new wireless router to take advantage of that.


#13

so, you sue them for? not having any competition? Or because it’s their job to give you everything you want? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not on the side of corporations, but putting in place a safety net for protection from customers who want to sue you because of their feelings of entitlement thereby making your services cost the happy users more due to legal fees and negation of bad publicity just seems like a no-brainer…


#14

hah, yes, of course it’s a no-brainer for Google. It’s also a no-brainer that removing protections from customers would piss off customers and potential customers…


#16

For releasing information that leads to, oh, I dunno, your kids being kidnapped?


#17

I think you’re forgetting that often times ISPs have localized monopolies. Sometimes you have no choice in provider.


#18

Odd, I’m not a fan of small government, and I can think of few things worse than the idea that the government supplied monopoly Internet. There are things the government does well - for example, supplies services that have no market value.

Then there are things that it supplies very, very badly. Like things where there is rapid technological change. Things where some of the use will be politically unpopular. Things where privacy is an expectation.

And quite frankly, high speed Internet is a luxury - if the government is supplying the service, I expect them to spend what little cash they have providing vital services to people who desperately need it, rather than upgrading the 256K service they provide to 1Mb just so I can watch YouTube videos more easily.

I would absolutely expect any government provided Internet to also use site blocking and filter out torrents, etc. No government can be seen as actively involved in supplying pornography and other social harms, while private institutions are willing to look the other way in order to keep or gain subscribers.

No, what is needed is to remove monopoly restrictions so that every location in the country has viable competition, and subsidize the many, many areas where, sadly, it does not make economic sense to invest in Internet infrastructure due to low population densities.


#19

It’s disappointing to hear Google is already finding ways to make providing services difficult for their potential customers especially since Google hasn’t finished installing Google Fiber in areas the announced months ago.

In addition, the advertising Comcast is doing about Google Fiber, how much more costly it is vs Comcast, how it’s much more unreliable, how difficult it will be to get technical support since Google doesn’t have tech support locally.

Isn’t this article about Google making it difficult for unhappy customers to sue? Sue for what someone asked? It’s similar to trying to sue Comcast for the ridiculous fee’s for early termination. In addition, costs that will be applied if you “cancel”.

With Comcast, if you try to cancel your account, after recently changing my services with Comcast, for the first time I can remember, Comcast reinforced several times over and over the penalties if I choose to cancel my account. It’s several hundred dollars, plus the costs of benefits I initially received. The charge for installation that was waived, the cost for the service call to install the X1 system which was waived during the promotion, plus the cost of discounts that applied to my account/monthly fees. The $40 a month savings a month for the triple play package which reduces my monthly base cost of $99.

It’s disappointing that a customer would have to sue for not getting the services they paid for or the changes made to their account prior to the 2 year contract ending, especially since it’s OK for Comcast to make a change within that contract period but the customer can’t.


#20

I’m a Google Fiber customer. I opted out after seeing the article on Ars. I saw that they sent me an e-mail regarding the policy change, but only skimmed it and didn’t realize I even had a choice.

Bizarrely, even before Google Fiber became available in my area, I had a choice among 3+ other providers, so it always seems so foreign when I hear about other areas which have a de-facto monopoly.


#21

Remember “Don’t Be Evil”?


#22

Oh years ago I could have had FIOS but Comcast/QWest lobbied hard to keep them out of Seattle and sadly won on promises to match speeds…
OTOH I did later learn one of the big reasons it has not happened is how votes are counted for installing the needed junction boxes. Anyone who doesn’t show up to the local hearing, because they don’t care, or don’t know about it even counts as a no vote and guess who actually shows up to the meetings the NIMBYs who are going to vote no as well. So yeah my current choice is comcast or painfully slow.


#23

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