Jeff Ehling reports:
Starting today, WiFi access can be found all across the city of Houston, but some people are not too happy about it.
What’s wrong with free WIFI? The machines generating it are inside people’s homes, and many say they did not know their WiFi routers would host other people too.
Michelle Eulene has been a Comcast customer for years, but she’s not happy with her WiFi now that her router is playing host to other Xfinity customers who want an internet connection.
“It feels weird for Comcast to take my modem that I am already paying for and delivering it to other people,” said Eulene.
Eulene adds she was surprised to learn Xfinity is allowing WiFi routers in Houston to be an access to the world wide web. It’s got Eulene very worried about online privacy and that’s not all.
“What if somebody downloads something illegal and then it traces back to me? I didn’t do it. So how is that going to work out,” asked Eulene.
Read more on KTRK.
NOTE: Ehling reports that the public feature on the WiFi router is turned on by default, but Comcast says you can turn it off by calling 1-800-XFINITY or by going into your My Account settings, clicking on “Users & Preferences”, and then selecting “Manage XFINITY WiFi.” But Whitney Wild of 9News in Denver reports that’s not so:
When a 9NEWS employee with Comcast service followed the online opt-out instructions, they led to a page that touted the benefits of the public hotspot idea but didn’t offer any way to opt out.
The 9NEWS employee then tried Comcast’s second opt-out method, by phone. After 42 minutes on the phone with various customer service representatives, we were told it’s impossible to opt out.
“We are not able to disable that because it’s free for all the customers in your area,” said customer service representative “April,” who said she works at a call center in the Philippines.
Told that Comcast spokespeople were promising customers the ability to opt-out, the customer service representative wouldn’t budge.
“This is the third time I’m explaining it,” the Comcast rep said. “The WiFi hotspot from Comcast is open to all customers. We are not able to disable that.”