Contacting your internet provider to complain about slow browsing speeds is a tiresome chore which none of us enjoy, but one man has found a solution. He has configured a Raspberry Pi computer to automatically tweet a complaint to Comcast when his internet falls below 50Mbps, well below the 150Mbps he pays for.
Posting to Reddit with the username AlekseyP, the US man has coded his Raspberry Pi to run a speed test every hour to check on the upload and download performance of his internet connection. When the download falls below 50Mbps, the computer enters the upload and download speeds into a pre-written tweet and sends it to the @Comcast Twitter account.
For anyone wanting to try out this complaints system for themselves, the Reddit user has posted the code he used here, but admits: "I am by no means some fancy programmer so there is no need to point out that my code is ugly or could be better."
Made in the UK and starting from £4 for the Zero model, the Raspberry Pi is a tiny computer which is little more than a processor and circuit board with ports for USB, power, the internet and a screen. It can't play Grand Theft Auto, but is perfect for small, simple tasks like this.
On 1 January, the user's internet fell to just 2Mbps down and 9Mbps up, according to the tweets sent by his automated system. Posting on Reddit, the man said: "I know some people might say I should not be complaining about 50Mbps down, but when they advertise 150 and get 10-30 I am unsatisfied."
He continues, revealing his complaints have not gone ignored: "Comcast has noticed and every time I tweet they will reply asking for my account number and address... usually hours after the speeds have returned to normal values."
Despite this potentially leading to a solution, he says he will not give Comcast his details "because I do not want to be singled out as a customer; all their customers deserve the speeds they advertise, not just the ones who are able to call them out on their BS."
Although the Raspberry Pi's Ethernet port can only handle speeds up to 90Mbps, the customer has set the computer up to save a log of all the speed tests it performs. The speed is almost always above 75Mbps – a very fast connection, but still half what is being paid for. The average stands at 85.6 at the time of publication.