Wednesday November 14, 2018

Comcast to Refund $700,000 to Customers to Settle Deceptive Advertising Allegations

Comcast has been ordered to issue refunds to 20,000 of its Massachusetts customers who signed predatory long term contracts with hidden monthly fees that increased rates by 40% during the contract. To get out of the contracts, customers had to pay a $240 early termination fee even if they simply downgraded to a lower tier package. Thus many of Comcast customers ended up with their credit ratings being ruined by the deceptive, illicit, anti-consumer practices Comcast instituted. Terms of the settlement require Comcast to refund and forgive all early termination fees it charged its customer from January 2015 until March 2016. The company also has to forgive all outstanding late fees from the same time period.

"Comcast stuck too many Massachusetts customers with lengthy, expensive contracts that left many in debt and others with damaged credit," said AG Healey. "Customers have a right to clear information about the products and services they buy. This settlement should encourage the entire cable and telecommunications industry to take a close look at their advertisements and make sure customers are getting a fair offer." The settlement also requires Comcast to change its practices to improve disclosures provided to consumers before they enter long-term contracts. Comcast must disclose the existence of additional fees in all advertisements, and train sales representatives to disclose true monthly service prices to customers before they enter long-term contracts.