Business or Residential?

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Jan 2, 2019
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#1
This is more a question than a complaint. Let me try to explain....
I am an active firefighter. Along with 8 other firefighters, I spend 24 hours every 3rd day at the firestation. Although our job is to run calls and perform daily duties at the station, we have quite a bit of time that is more or less a holding pattern. Dead time that we use to cook, study, talk to family, etc...
The department has internet for department related business. "We", the firefighters stationed here also pay for internet for our personal use. At this time, Comcast is saying that we must pay for Business internet because it is a business address. I feel that we should be able to obtain a residential account since it is not business related and is for our personal use. Anybody out there have any suggestions on how to get this done? I have tried talking to the "representatives" and they say they cannot help. thanks!
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
1,592
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Maui Hawaii
#2
Email Comcast cust serv and emphasize that you are firefighters with internet access needs unrelated to your work. As emergency service providers you may find they will give you a break because your needs are not typical of people at a business address.

Comcast contact: https://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/comcast/
Email the first person on the list and move up weekly if no/negative results.

One other thing to consider: have one person get an unlimited phone data plan and set up a hot spot for all to use. Share the cost of the upgraded service. You might have to upgrade more than one line but it might cost less than Comcast anyway.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#3
Ok I have to admit something— I live in NYC and I have an incredible amount of respect and admiration for firefighters; I do not think I need to explain why. But not just NYC firefighters; where I grew up they also are the EMTs and I have witnessed them with elderly relatives and was just amazed at how well they dealt with emergency health calls.

I want the cable company to accommodate— the company may be restricted by following zoning laws — the firehouse may be zoned as “commercial” and not residential. But that does not mean a special rate cannot be made.

I think a polite email explaining the situation may yield positive results. Part of the job is a waiting but when that call comes firefighters risk their lives to save as many living beings as they can — people and animals, and that deserves consideration.

And to be cynical they should be accommodating not only because it is the right thing to do (often lost on a corporation) but also as good community relations and PR.

Write to the execs and let us know what the response is.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#4
My colleagues are right. This is just a little "misunderstanding". An executive can straighten it out in a jiffy. The call center people are not able to do much than what is scripted for them. EVERYONE admires fire fighters and wants to assist them however possible. Be patient and persistent. Good luck and please let us know the outcome. Meanwhile, thank you for being there for us ... all the time.
 
Aug 30, 2015
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#5
The department should properly provision their internet access so that priority is given to business use but there is also a "personal" network - this is easily done, with work being segregated from personal use on the same internet connection. This is how many businesses do it, you don't need a separate internet connection for the firefighters.
 
May 15, 2016
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#6
Just to clarify the situation: A fire department is a commercial business, and does and should have a Comcast business account, paid for by the city. So I assume by your letter that the city limits the personal use of that internet connection, and you "guys" have to pay for a second internet account at the same location that is for personal use, and Comcast cannot accommodate that because the address is for a commercial building?
 
Nov 2, 2016
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#7
I had a problem a number of years ago with the question as to whether the address where I was living full time was a business or residential address. In my case the address was an apartment building surrounded by government offices. The building rents most of its space to persons who use the apartments as offices. When I moved the post office refused to forward my mail. Postal regulations do not allow residential mail forwarding from addresses the USPS has designated as business addresses. In my dialogue with the USPS regional office I was informed that the address had been inaccurately classified as business (probably when the forwarding system was first classified) and that no change could be made. My pointing out that the building's name includes the word "apartment" made no difference. It appeared that the real problem was that the cost of reclassifying address data in the USPS address database is more than the USPS can afford. So change was refused. I was able to get the route supervisor to handle forwarding informally. I usually got forwarded mail when the regular or and experienced carried was delivering as they had been informed by the route supervisor. At the regional level I gave up after the representative threatened to accuse me of harassing the USPS because I was refusing to accept the excuses I was first given and then the agency's subsequent refusal to comply with applicable USPS regulations.

I found and cited USPS regulations that clearly define business and residential addresses. That material clearly established that the refusal to forward was incorrect. The USPS regional staff with whom I communicated declined to respond and instead started talking about how I was harassing the post office because I wouldn't accept their refusal to forward my residential mail. I gave up at that point as I didn't want to risk being charged with "going postal".

I learned that private companies use the USPS address database. In effect, the improper classification of an address becomes a compounded problem as the data is sold to private companies. Too, the cash-strapped post office needs money from database sales and there is a disincentive to admit that the database has inaccuracies.

In the case of a fireperson I would have to observe that the postal regulations I reviewed define residential and business addresses. Residing at a station to be immediately available as a work requirement might not fit with the regulation as to whether an address is business or residential. For example, in my case I was paying rent; a fireperson probably does not pay rent. This kind of factor would likely complicate being able to define a firehouse as a kind of residence. Read the applicable definitions; they can be discovered on the USPS site. Best wishes in working with the USPS to resolve this question. Maybe the firepersons' professional organization or union needs to be involved as there is the possibility that litigation will be necessary to get the USPS to fulfill its mandates.
 
Likes: Neil Maley

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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New York
www.promalvacations.com
#8
I have to agree with Jon. If the individual firefighters do not live full time in the firehouse, I’m not sure you can get a residential rate there.

I agree that there should be some kind of breaks for firefighters and police tidy put their lives on the line but not sure that writing to the Executives can make this change. But it certainly should be tried- until you make the highe ups aware of some of these problems, and perhaps make a change.