Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson is suing cable and internet provider Comcast on behalf of customers in the state. The lawsuit alleges that Comcast lied to customers by gradually—and quite secretively—increasing the size of their bills. AG Swanson says that investigation has taken two years.
You may recognize Comcast under its new moniker—Xfinity—which is an act that Swanson says the company did in an attempt to shed its terrible image. However, whether you call them Comcast or Xfinity, “Its hard to shop for cable services if the company is playing hide the ball on fee,” Swanson comments.
The voice for 15 displeased customers in this lawsuit, the Minnesota Attorney General describes that the allegations involve violating consumer protection laws by charging subscribers more than they promised, adding fees for equipment and service subscribers did not order, and not delivering gift cards as promised for renewing contracts.
In the suit, Swanson goes on to say, “It can seem like you are getting the low price by advertising and lowballing the price, but in reality, that price might be 30 percent or more higher because of these add-on fees that are not disclosed.”
Comcast has refuted the allegations. In a statement, spokesperson Jenni Moyer attests, “The facts today simply do not support the Minnesota AG’s allegations, most of which date back several years and have already been corrected.”
She goes on to advise that Comcast fully discloses all fees, charges, and promotional requirements (a common practice in many industries, this typically involves a low introductory price that eventually expires and reverts to a higher price). In fact, she says, the company has already made “numerous enhancements” in communications with customers.
Apparently there is also a trial already underway against Comcast in Washington State and Comcast has already agreed to settle a similar case in the state of Massachusetts. For this case, though, Swanson seeks a court order, first of all, to stop Comcast’s deceptive business practices and, secondly, for Comcast to pay restitution, civil penalties, and legal fees.