As part of a settlement reached with Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, cable company Comcast has agreed to cancel the debts of over 20,000 customers, as well as pay back $700,000. According to Healey, the settlement relates to deceptive advertising that Comcast allegedly released in 2015 and the early part of 2016.
Comcast’s advertising during that time period purportedly included a “lock-in rate” of $99 for customers, which the AG argues included a contract that allowed additional fees to be assessed at any time. These fees were increased by upwards of forty percent of a customer’s monthly bill. Customers who opted to cancel or downgrade their service faced up to a $240 fee for “early termination.” The ultimate result for many Massachusetts Comcast customers was unforeseen debt and damaged credit, according to the AG.
While Comcast agreed to the settlement, the cable giant says it disagrees with the allegations, claiming the settlement is a part of its “ongoing effort to improve the customer experience.” In addition to monetary settlements and the cancellation of customer debt, Comcast has agreed to improve disclosures it makes to customers in advance of them signing long-term contracts. The aim, according to AG Healey, is to ensure that companies like Comcast provide unambiguous information about their products and services to prospective customers going forward.
Comcast Force to Pay Refunds After Its Hidden Fees Hurt Customers’ Credit, Ars Technica, November 14, 2018
Comcast to Pay $700,000 in Refunds Over Hidden Fees, Gizmodo, November 14, 2018
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