Back in August, I wrote about how Comcast’s Domain Helper Service Makes Lives Crappier. As a refresher, if you’re a Comcast user and you type a web address incorrectly into your browser’s address bar, your browser will be hijacked by Comcast, send you to a different URL, and place a bunch of ads on the page.
To me, this is not useful at all. It’s intrusive. Comcast makes more more money from me for providing a worse service. Our interests are not aligned.
As I mentioned last August, Comcast provides a way to opt-out of the service. But why should I have to opt-out of something I never opted into in the first place? To me, this is a case of Comcast changing the terms of our contract, for the worse, without my permission.
So, at the time, I asked a Comcast customer service rep to fix the problem they created. Amazingly, they claimed that they couldn’t, which made no technical sense. So, today, I gave it another shot. Sure enough, they were able to fix what they broke and reset my modem, remotely, in a couple of minutes.
So there are now two ways to solve the problem Comcast created. You can either waste your own time by using Comcast’s self-service opt-out system to remove yourself from their browser hijacking system. Or you can call them up to waste your time AND their time while they undo what they’ve done. Personally, I find the latter more satisfying. As a paying customer, I’m not particularly interested in cleaning up messes that they create.
One other thing: as a pathetically loyal Comcast user who suffers from a lack of local competition, I had this service imposed on me, thus changing my contract without my permission. If you’re a new Internet subscriber, you’ll have the “benefit” of having this intrusion turned on by default. You can still get Comcast to turn off DNS hijacking.