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Washington state sues Comcast over deceiving service plans

By Jos ยท 13 replies
Aug 1, 2016
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  1. Comcast has found itself on the receiving end of a $100 million consumer protection lawsuit by the state of Washington, for allegedly 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.

    Attorney General Bob Ferguson briefed the media about the lawsuit this afternoon, saying that the nation’s biggest cable company incurred in more than 1.8 million individual violations of the Washington Consumer Protection Act.

    At the heart of the issue is Compact’s $4.99 a month Service Protection Plan. This plan covers the cost of all service calls, including those related to inside wiring, and customer-owned hardware connected to Comcast services. But according to Ferguson, Comcast did not appropriately disclose that the plan does not cover repairs to any 'wall-fished' wiring—wiring inside a wall—which constitutes the vast majority of wiring inside homes.

    The Attorney General’s office also found that when customers reached out to Comcast, 75% percent of the time, Comcast representatives told these customers the plan covered all inside wiring. The lawsuit also claims Comcast consistently and intentionally charged customers for work that should have been covered by this $5 monthly fee.

    In addition, the state also accuses Comcast of credit check violations. New customers are subject to a credit check when signing up, but can pay a deposit to forgo a check. Apparently, in many cases Comcast ran the check even when people opted out, or improperly collected deposits from customers with high credit scores.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 1,780   +1,003

    So the question becomes, what scummy business practice hasn't comcast done yet?
    Reehahs and Greg S like this.
  3. LiveResistance

    LiveResistance TS Booster Posts: 85   +64

    This is all to common with so many of these protection plans/extended warranties on all types of products. Basically, you pay for them and if you ever need something, there are a million different ways for us to deny your claim. I've learned this lesson the hard way myself.
  4. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 2,145   +1,221

    My municipality finally let Verizon install service along side comcast in my area. Comcast is no longer finding ways to deny service claims and over charge us. Still thinking of switching to Verizon but I'm kind of use to biting the pillow When Comcast goes in dry so the reach around they've been giving me recently is helping.
  5. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 1,780   +1,003

    That's because those protection plans / extended warranties are always offered by 3rd party companies whose business is warranting products they don't make. You are essentially paying a company to "insure" a product they have no control over. They are going to maximize profits by offering virtually no coverage and providing the worst service possible and there's nothing people can do about it because the customer protection laws are utter crap in the US. Fun fact, those extended warranties that only last for a year or two are not added onto the manufacturer's warranty. You are essentially paying for a lesser version of what you already have.
  6. Jibberish18

    Jibberish18 TS Evangelist Posts: 593   +58

    I seriously cracked up ^^^^^^^^^^
    Whitefyre and yRaz like this.
  7. mctommy

    mctommy TS Addict Posts: 211   +37

    That's odd because in the US, it's basically a duopoly everywhere when it comes to internet because of how the lines were laid... you have 1 cable option or 1 Phone/DSL/Fiber option and that's it. So it's either Verizon/AT&T/Centurylink/nameyourlegacyphoneprovider or Comcast/Cox/Charter
  8. Whitefyre

    Whitefyre TS Rookie Posts: 21   +7

    I have seen extended warranties in canada that increase the coverage of the device by up to 3 years (extend original warranty) and also provide higher protection(added to the extended coverage)

    Had one gent fall on his 18.4 inch laptop, cracked screen and case was dented.. manufacturer warranty so not covered this. He had the "extended and drop protection" plan 2 days later I presented him a new laptop(was able to recover data off old drive)

    so sometimes the "extra protection" good other times not so much
  9. mbrowne5061

    mbrowne5061 TS Evangelist Posts: 652   +284

    Great, now what about deceptive advertisements about speed and bandwidth - or are those concepts too abstract for the average state AG?
  10. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 1,780   +1,003

    That's in Canada, a country with some basic customer protection laws. In America there is nearly zero customer protection and I have yet to see a 3rd party warranty company add onto the end of a warranty. Even if I had, the general gusto of capitalism in the states would mandate they screw you over any way possible so they do not have to honor their "warranty".
  11. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,517   +512

    Must be nice to have somewhat of a choice. Does Verizon offer anything decent in your area as an ISP?

    In my area, Thugs Warner (or should I say Fharter) is still the monopoly. Just waiting on that local fiber provider...
  12. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 2,145   +1,221

    After the first 12 months it's about the same. I had a Verizon rep come to my house and tell me that my connection can only support 6 devices and that fiber is better than copper wire because it goes at the speed of light. I then explained that we haven't reached the bandwidth limits of copper wire yet and that I have a device called a router that lets me have up to 128 devices connected at once. So I'm sticking with Comcast since Verizon came to my house and lied to me to try to get me to switch.
  13. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,517   +512

    Perhaps the Verizon rep was just spouting their training. I cannot really imagine a real techie working in that type of position since they would probably qualify for a higher paying job elsewhere. Not many non-techies know that the data capacity of fiber is theoretically limited by the frequency of the light, not the speed.

    All the same, I have had experience with sales people who tried to sound technical; it, unfortunately for them, left a bad taste in my mouth. :)
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  14. Phr3d

    Phr3d TS Guru Posts: 382   +77

    Prolly get ho-slapped for this, but:

    "over deceiving service plans"

    "At the heart of the issue is Compact's $4.99 a month"

    editor/proofreader on vacation?


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