An anonymous reader writes "I recently worked for a small (think 4-5 employees) accounting company as their resident IT person. Long story short, I recently resigned on were regretfully rather tense terms. The final straw was when they said that monthly downloads had been high, and asked me to payup right away, or they would threaten me with legal action. My next words were something along the lines of "You've got to be joking...", followed by "I quit".
Monthly downloads were indeed high, basically because we were deploying a new network, and piping down a lot of ISO images (Windows XP SP3 OEM images, Windows 2008 and Exchange 2007 trial versions, different OpenSolaris and Ubuntu images, postfix/cyrus/castle packages, VMWare ESXi etc.) I can definitely say that the majority of the monthly usage was for work purposes — sure, the occasional eBay visit, or checking my mail during lunch, but I'm not silly enough to actually download behemothal files at work for home use.
In Australia, many ISPs, particularly Telstra charge quite high charges for excess usages. It's not unheard of to rack of a monthly excess in the hundreds, or even single thousands of dollars (AUD). I do remember pushing hard last October (2008) to change our ISP, or at the very least our plan, to something that suited us a little better (we were on a 7gb plan, and paying around $119 a month), and perhaps shaped us, rather than charging us excess charges.
Anyhow, I know, I'm going to get a lot of IANAL responses, but do readers have any experiences they could share about this, or advice? Or, friend of a friend tales? Not sure if I should call their bluff, but if it does go to a local court, I wouldn't want to walk in totally unaware."