CenturyLink Blocks Internet Access to Utah Customers Until They Click Pop-Up

cageymaru

Fully [H]
Joined
Apr 10, 2003
Messages
20,355
CenturyLink blocked internet access to its Utah customers until they clicked a pop-up that advertised CenturyLink @Ease internet filtering software. Utah has a new law that requires all internet service providers (ISP) make known to their customers the existence of content filtering software for materials harmful to minors. Lawmakers say that they never intended for ISPs to block internet access to customers. The state code requires the ISPs to notify customers in "a conspicuous manner" by December 30th. Approved methods of delivery include "by electronic communication, with a consumer's bill or in another conspicuous manner." The bill's sponsor, Utah state senator Todd Weiler says that "SB134 did not require that -- and no other ISP has done that to comply with the law. They were only required to notify customers of options via email or with an invoice." A CenturyLink customer named Rich Snapp was able to take images of the notice.

"As a result of the new law, all CenturyLink high-speed internet customers in Utah must acknowledge a pop-up notice, which provides information about the availability of filtering software, in order to access the internet," CenturyLink's senior communications manager Courtney Morton said in an email. "The intent of the Utah state legislation is to ensure that Utah internet consumers are aware of content filtering options to protect minors. The statute provides for various options, but the method of notification is to be conspicuous to ensure the message is read. We felt, given the gravity surrounding the protection of this most vulnerable population, the most conspicuous method of notification is a pop-up," Morton said.
 

Dekoth-E-

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 23, 2010
Messages
7,599
I mean honestly anyone who thinks Comcast is bad has never dealt with Century Link. If they were as big as Comcast they would literally make people praise Comcast. I have tons of horror stories about them from the year I spent doing home trade shows.
 

munkle

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jan 16, 2005
Messages
11,801
I mean honestly anyone who thinks Comcast is bad has never dealt with Century Link. If they were as big as Comcast they would literally make people praise Comcast. I have tons of horror stories about them from the year I spent doing home trade shows.

Sadly this is very true. I live in Utah and I have used both Comcast and Centurylink. Comcast easily has way better internet and way better customer service. Centurylink likes to add things to your bill, such as this very product they are selling in the popup, even if you didn't ask for it. When you call to get it removed, it will take months and repeated calls to finally get it removed.
 

arnemetis

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 2, 2004
Messages
3,184
I can actually see how this came to be. CenturyLink went to their lawyers and said, how can we protect ourselves to make sure that we comply with this law? In what way can we prove when someone sues us because little Jimmy saw some boobs, that it isn't our fault because we provided the state required notice? Customers ignore their bills all the time, texts and emails could also be ignored.

Of course, shut off their internet, with it only coming back on when they click through the text message! It's really stupid, but it's one of the few ways the business can protect themselves and show that yes, customer Smith did in fact visit the site on 12/17/2018, per our records here.

In the end, this law is stupid, and is the reason such an extreme measure was even considered.
 

Dekoth-E-

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 23, 2010
Messages
7,599
Sadly this is very true. I live in Utah and I have used both Comcast and Centurylink. Comcast easily has way better internet and way better customer service. Centurylink likes to add things to your bill, such as this very product they are selling in the popup, even if you didn't ask for it. When you call to get it removed, it will take months and repeated calls to finally get it removed.

Not to mention the fact that in rural areas they are one of the bigger dsl providers. I've found them charging people $400+ a month for a 3mb down connection that barely delivered 768k all because the bill goes up every year no matter what and the people have effectively zero choice if they want internet.
 

Domingo

Fully [H]
Joined
Jul 30, 2004
Messages
19,177
I always love those Centurylink ads where they mention your bill will never change and that there is no contract. Yeah...
I find their internet service to be an unmitigated disaster (as another Comcast customer), but I don't fully blame them in this instance. Seems more like a CYA situation with the government more than anything they're choosing to do.
 
D

Deleted member 245375

Guest
Comcast easily has way better internet and way better customer service.

Wow, that's... amazing. You must be like 1 of the 6 people in the US with Comcast service of any kind that actually likes Comcast. :D
 

Domingo

Fully [H]
Joined
Jul 30, 2004
Messages
19,177
Wow, that's... amazing. You must be like 1 of the 6 people in the US with Comcast service of any kind that actually likes Comcast. :D

I like the actual product that Comcast provides. I've had maybe 7-8 hours of downtime in the last 10 years and both the speed and provided equipment keep improving. For a little while the price wasn't even bad.
But that customer service...oh man. If it isn't the worst, it's close. It seems to be getting worse and worse, too. I can't even get resolutions by asking for customer retention anymore. Once Qwest became Centurylink they stopped giving a damn because they know they're even worse.
 

Spidey329

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Dec 15, 2003
Messages
8,683
I mean honestly anyone who thinks Comcast is bad has never dealt with Century Link. If they were as big as Comcast they would literally make people praise Comcast. I have tons of horror stories about them from the year I spent doing home trade shows.

Tried them once when they claimed they could give a certain speed at a cost lower than Cox. Didn't get anywhere close to that speed and they made it a PITA to cancel service within the trial period, I think I had to escalate to the AG on that.

Every few years a sales person comes around and claims they have fiber in the area, and can give great speeds with a "direct connection." I quiz them on this and it usually turns out that it's an "up to" clause with a wide range for what's acceptable (the fiber is to a node a fair distance away with the copper going to the neighborhood/house). They've never had fiber in my neighborhood and yet they still make this claim. They've been making this same claim for 8 years, at some point, you gotta assume they know what they're doing and are just outright lying to people, then making it inconvenient/hard to get out of the contract.
 

NeghVar

2[H]4U
Joined
May 1, 2003
Messages
2,497
Sounds like Century Link just opened a whole new can of worms in the net neutrality arena.
 

AltTabbins

Fully [H]
Joined
Jul 29, 2005
Messages
20,218
I guess im the only person subscribed to Centurylink who doesn't have problems. My speeds are great (gigabit up and down), and my bill hasn't changed a penny in over 2 years since I signed up for it. Gigabit service and a static ip for $95 even.
 

Dead Parrot

2[H]4U
Joined
Mar 4, 2013
Messages
2,831
Wonder if any CenturyLink lawyers did liability checks on what happens if they cut of someone's TV stream to show an ad in a browser session and said person missed the evacuation/warning notice for an approaching fire/snowstorm/zombie horde? Thinking it would be hard to claim "Act of God" when the outage was act of CenturyLink?
 

RipperMac

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 20, 2002
Messages
352
I find it amusing that some here have a choice of high speed providers..I have also..slow as f**k dsl or fast as hell cable...and no dsl and cable are not in the same league don't give a damn what the definition of high speed is :).
 

xinco

Weaksauce
Joined
Jul 8, 2001
Messages
73
I had 40/40 symmetrical from Centurylink for a year or two about 8 years ago. It was the best internet I've ever had to this day. It was rock solid, and it just worked.

Now my choices are Comcast (which I have 250/10 service) or Centurylink (with 12/1) service. Not much of choice there.

But I'm one in the "Comcast isn't so bad" camp. Until you have to deal with sales or billing, then you are in for a world of hurt. I'm changing my service now to add cable (switching from Directv). I'm almost certainly in for a world of hurt.
 

aaronspink

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 7, 2004
Messages
2,122
I can actually see how this came to be. CenturyLink went to their lawyers and said, how can we protect ourselves to make sure that we comply with this law? In what way can we prove when someone sues us because little Jimmy saw some boobs, that it isn't our fault because we provided the state required notice? Customers ignore their bills all the time, texts and emails could also be ignored.

Of course, shut off their internet, with it only coming back on when they click through the text message! It's really stupid, but it's one of the few ways the business can protect themselves and show that yes, customer Smith did in fact visit the site on 12/17/2018, per our records here.

In the end, this law is stupid, and is the reason such an extreme measure was even considered.

the law literally said that a statement on a bill was all that was required.
 

arnemetis

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 2, 2004
Messages
3,184
the law literally said that a statement on a bill was all that was required.
Not since the first one, have I EVER looked at my bill for my internet. The same amount comes out of my checking every month, and I leave it at that. So right there it seems easy enough for a lawyer to start working things up. If laws were always clear and there was never any gray area, there would be no such thing as a lawyer.

It's more work and money out of Centurylink's pockets to be doing it this way versus a simple note on the bill. I was just theorizing how this decision could have been made.
 

aaronspink

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 7, 2004
Messages
2,122
Not since the first one, have I EVER looked at my bill for my internet. The same amount comes out of my checking every month, and I leave it at that. So right there it seems easy enough for a lawyer to start working things up. If laws were always clear and there was never any gray area, there would be no such thing as a lawyer.

It's more work and money out of Centurylink's pockets to be doing it this way versus a simple note on the bill. I was just theorizing how this decision could have been made.

Well apparently Centurylink is like WAY WAY late making the announcement with almost everyone else doing it months ago on bills. My theory is they ignored it, were like oh shit we have to do this by end of year and bills don't go out until after....
 

Term-X

2[H]4U
Joined
Apr 21, 2001
Messages
2,412
@Ease? They trying the restart that @Home thing that so many providers got on to?
 

Motley

2[H]4U
Joined
Mar 29, 2005
Messages
2,445
I work for Centurylink (don't tell nobody) and I feel embarrassed that they would do something like this, and it pisses me of. Well I actually worked for Level3 before they were bought out by CTL.

This is some bullshit that I can't fix, but I would like to walk into the CEO's office and tear him a new asshole.
 

ChoGGi

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
May 7, 2005
Messages
1,570
It's more work and money out of Centurylink's pockets to be doing it this way versus a simple note on the bill. I was just theorizing how this decision could have been made.
Send a msg along with a bill that hardly anyone looks at or force people to look at advertising for a service you provide while pretending you have to do it for compliancy?

Or in other words the decent way or the scummy ISP way
 

aaronspink

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 7, 2004
Messages
2,122
Not useless. It will generate anger at the law.

So far the vast majority of the anger is at centurylink. After all, every single one of their competitors sent notice a while back using a callout on the routine bill.
 

Retronym

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Mar 5, 2007
Messages
13,621
Of course. It sounds like a terrible company. What I mean is it will make people mad that the government gave a company easy vague language with which to further anger their customers.

There is a scenario in which a company is not concerned about its image, and only works to show its enemies make dumb decisions on behalf of customers.
 

Exavior

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Dec 13, 2005
Messages
9,700
Not useless. It will generate anger at the law.

Why? This isn't part of the law. There is a law to wear your seatbelt in most states as far as I am aware. If Ford tomorrow released a seat that poured hot glue over you to glue you to the seat could you blame the seat belt law on that also?

The law was that companies sent notice to their customers via digital or physical format. That is it. A mass mailer to every customer through USPS would have worked, an email to every customer would have worked, a noticed on your bill that took up 1/2 a page would have worked. They decided to take the fuck you, you make me tell my customers something then I am going to ram it down their throat approach.
 
Top