Wash. AG Blasts 'Shocking Deception' by Comcast

State attorney general's office expands $100M suit about service plan
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 22, 2017 8:03 AM CST
Wash. AG Blasts 'Shocking Deception' by Comcast
This Oct. 12, 2017, photo shows a Comcast sign in Hialeah, Fla.   (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

"New evidence" has emerged to expand a $100 million 2016 lawsuit against Comcast by Washington state, with accusations of "deceptive conduct" that's "even more egregious than we first realized." That's per the state attorney general, Ars Technica reports, with an amended complaint filed in King County Superior Court after the AG's office examined a "random sample" of 150 recorded calls between Comcast and its customers. The case revolves around Comcast's Service Protection Plan, which more than 500,000 Washingtonians subscribed to over a four-year span starting in 2011, paying at least $73 million, per an AG Office statement. The issue, per the suit, is the SPP is "near worthless" because it doesn't cover certain repairs (including wires embedded in walls) or charges customers for repairs already covered for free under Comcast's customer guarantee.

The suit says Comcast may have signed up more than half of SPP subscribers without their consent, including those in the calls who were never informed of the plan or clearly said they didn't want to join. Also alleged: that Comcast reps told some customers the plan was "free"—only for customers to be hit with a monthly charge of $5.99 after the first month. "The extent of their deception is shocking," AG Bob Ferguson says. In a statement to Ars Technica, a Comcast rep says, "We strongly disagree with the Attorney General’s new claims," adding the evidence is "largely based on a flawed methodology and assumptions." Consumers who think they've been ripped off can file a complaint on the AG's website. Per KING-TV, it's not clear how much consumers will each get if the suit is won or settled. A trial date is set for July, per the Seattle Times. (Comcast isn't the most hated telecom company.)

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