Washington state claims $100 million from Comcast for deceiving customers with service guarantees
02 August 2016
Washington state is claiming $100 million from Comcast accusing the cable giant of deceiving customers with various customer service guarantees.
In a particularly damaging accusation, the state alleged that Comcast deceived Washington customers into paying $73 million over five years for a "near-worthless 'protection plan'" that failed to disclose many areas that were not included. State attorney general Bob Ferguson pointed out that the plan lacked clearance for all in-wall wiring issues, but Comcast had claimed all along that wiring was covered.
"This case is a classic example of a big corporation deceiving its customers for financial gain," Ferguson says in a statement. "I won't allow Comcast to continue to put profits above customers - and the law." In total, Ferguson's office accuses Comcast of over 1.8 million violations of Washington's Consumer Protection Act.
Denying the accusations, Comcast said in a statement that its protection plan "completely" covered 99 per cent of Washington customers' repair calls. "We stand behind our products and services and will vigorously defend ourselves," Comcast says.
The state authorities further stated that Comcast charged its customers for service calls that it had promised not to, and the company hurt the credit score of 6,000 people through improper credit checks.
The lawsuit is seeking refunds for consumers. The "lawsuit accuses Comcast of misleading 500,000 Washington consumers and deceiving them into paying at least $73 million in subscription fees over the last five years for a near-worthless 'protection plan' without disclosing its significant limitations," the state AG's announcement said.
"Customers who sign up for Comcast's Service Protection Plan pay a $4.99 monthly fee ostensibly to avoid being charged if a Comcast technician visits their home to fix an issue covered by the plan."
''The Service Protection Plan has given those Washington consumers who chose to purchase it great value by completely covering over 99 percent of their repair calls," Comcast said.
"We worked with the Attorney General's office to address every issue they raised, and we made several improvements based on their input. Given that we were committed to continue working collaboratively with the Attorney General's office, we're surprised and disappointed that they have instead chosen litigation. We stand behind our products and services and will vigorously defend ourselves.''