Learn what these Comcast lawsuits could mean for you.
Like many legal questions, the answer is “it’s complicated.”
If you have one of these common Comcast complaints (or something new), here’s what you should know:
If you are a Comcast customer, then your standard Comcast subscriber agreement includes a clause saying you can’t file a Comcast lawsuit in most courts. Your options are to take Comcast to small claims court or else to file a claim in consumer arbitration.
We’re biased, but consumer arbitration is often the better option. It’s also the one we can help with!
Class Actions bring together a class of individuals with the same complaint. Unfortunately, if you’re a Comcast customer, you typically can’t file or join a class action.
As with the answer above, your rights are constrained by the contract you signed with Comcast. (This didn’t used to be true, and legal history buffs might be interested to read the story of why.)
The Comcast lawsuits we list below are mostly either lawsuits against Comcast filed by a government entity (they have more legal options), are long-running older lawsuits, or are corporate disputes involving Comcast.
At FairShake, we’re reinventing the Comcast lawsuit process. We understand many dissatisfied customers are facing the same Comcast complaints. Instead of pursuing a Comcast Class Action — which is no longer an option — we’ll file a personalized legal document and guide you through the legal process.
There a bunch of ways to make a claim against Comcast, including with the FCC or your credit card provider.
But your legal options typically involve one of two paths:
You can Sue Comcast in Small Claims Court and have your day in a real courthouse and everything.
Or, you can do everything from your home. Consumer Arbitration is the process laid out by Comcast’s contract in place of a lawsuit. It lets you argue your case before an independent arbitrator (like a judge) who can force them to fix the problem and to compensate you. We at FairShake help make this process easy and convenient.
Comcast Lawsuit in Washington
The prosecution claims that Comcast violated Washington state’s Consumer Protection Act tens of thousands of times by signing customers up for the Service Protection Plan without their consent, failing to disclose that there was a monthly fee associated with it, and misrepresenting what was covered. The state claims that sales of the product resulted in $85 million in legally dubious revenue from the Service Protection Plan between 2011 and 2016.
“Their promise was untrue, it was deceptive, and it was a consumer protection violation,” said Daniel Davies, an attorney for the state, during closing arguments this week.
“We’re not saying it never happened,” said Comcast attorney Matthew Martens. “The issue is frequency.”
Comcast Lawsuit in Minnesota
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota’s attorney general sued Comcast/Xfinity on Friday, alleging that the company has overcharged thousands of consumers for cable TV packages, charged them for unordered equipment and services, and failed to deliver on promised Visa gift cards.
Attorney General Lori Swanson said it took her office more than two years to investigate the case because Comcast failed to cooperate. She also pointed out that Comcast started doing business as Xfinity several years ago, which Swanson contends was an attempt to get away from its low national customer approval ratings.
She said Comcast often promises customers fixed prices for a year or two for cable packages, then tacks on “an array of undisclosed fees” that can jack up the bill by 30 percent or more. Comcast then raises those fees, Swanson said, pointing out that a fee charged to most customers for regional sports has gone up 700 percent since 2015, from $1 a month to $8 this year. That’s an additional $84 a year.
Other customers have been charged for equipment and services they didn’t order or even declined, she said. And the company has failed to give thousands of customers promotional Visa gift cards worth as much as $300 that it promised in exchange for sign-ups.
Comcast Lawsuit in Massachusetts
Comcast has been forced to shell out $700,000 in refunds and cancel the debt of more than 20,000 Massachusetts customers after a state attorney general investigation found the company routinely jacks up consumer bills via a bevy of misleading fees.
An investigation by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy found that Comcast routinely advertises one rate, then charges customers up to 40 percent more when the bill for service actually arrives.
When shocked customers then tried to cancel or downgrade to cheaper broadband and TV plans, Healy’s office found they were socked with a $240 fee for violating long-term contracts. Many users were promised a locked-in rate of $99, but hidden fees and surcharges quickly left many with service plans they couldn’t afford, the AG said.
Comcast Lawsuit against Colorado man
This is the unfortunate reality for one man near Boulder. The Longmont Times-Call has this one:
A lawsuit brought by telecommunications giant Comcast against Lafayette resident Andrew O’Connor was moved to federal court Monday, marking a new development in a saga that started with O’Connor barring the company from his property without payment.
The tiff began in October when O’Connor refused to let Comcast workers into his backyard in the 1200 block of Devonshire Court to access above-ground hardware unless the company paid him $1,000. The company needed to access the equipment as part of a fiber-optic cable expansion across Lafayette.
Comcast Lawsuit and Settlement over set-top boxes
The Comcast class action settlement stems from allegations made by consumers in 2008 that the company forced them to rent a cable box to access Premium Cable packages. The Comcast cable TV class action lawsuit alleged the requirement was a violation of the Sherman Act, as well as state antitrust and business laws.
Under the terms of the Comcast set-top box class action lawsuit settlement, Class Members will receive between $10 and $59.95 between cash payouts and “in kind” awards. “In kind” awards will include things like subscriptions to certain channels. The amount of the award will depend on whether the Class Members still subscribe to Comcast.
Comcast Technician Lawsuit and Settlement
O.C. Communications and Comcast agreed on March 1 to settle the lawsuit that could result in about 4,500 techs splitting the $7.5 million after legal fees, court records show.
Plaintiffs’ lawyers believed that they could show in court that the techs hadn’t been paid 2.5 hours a day, hours worked off-the-clock. Lawyers for Soto and the other plaintiffs calculated that Comcast and O.C. Communications’ total exposure was $43.6 million, including penalties, in a trial.
Comcast Lawsuit over discrimination in channel pick-ups
A federal appeals court is keeping a $20 billion lawsuit against Comcast alive, Deadline reports, as both Comcast and Charter continue to fight accusations from Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios Networks alleging the companies discriminated against the company in selecting programming.
It’s no secret Comcast was able to clinch federal approval for its massive merger with NBCUniversal by agreeing to a consent decree that included certain conditions to decrease anti-competitive behavior for a set amount of time. It’s also no secret the Department of Justice’s Antitrust chief Makan Delrahim is closely watching the broadcast giant’s every move.
Comcast Lawsuit over DVR equipment patents
TiVo is continuing its extensive legal battle against Comcast.
Rovi Corp., which merged with TiVo in 2016, filed a new complaint against the Philadelphia-based media giant, alleging once again Comcast is infringing on patents related to cloud and multi-room DVR functions.
Rovi’s been successful with this tactic before, having reached settlement agreements which include licensing fees from most other pay-TV companies.
Comcast, however, has fought back, and got most of Rovi’s patent claims thrown out by the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeals Board over the past three years.
Comcast Lawsuit against Tennessee
Here’s Comcast suing the state of Tennessee over tax bills – apparently misleading bills and overcharging are suddenly a problem?
This story is told by the AP, via WJHL:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Comcast is suing the state of Tennessee to recoup $17.1 million paid in taxes, claiming the state miscalculated what the company owed for its video and internet services.
Comcast and its affiliates sued state Revenue Commissioner David Gerregano last week in Davidson County Chancery Court.
The lawsuit claims Comcast paid $17.1 million extra in franchise and excise taxes, plus interest, for 2012 through 2015 due to a state audit.
Comcast says the state wrongly counted its tax bill because the company performed more earnings-producing activities for internet and video services outside of Tennessee than inside, which would change the tax formula. The company also claims the state’s tax assessment wasn’t based on Comcast’s actual books and records.
Comcast Lawsuit by Russian Oligarch
The Aspen Daily News has the story:
Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich has settled his lawsuit against Comcast Cable and two subcontractors over what he alleged was a botched installation job at his mansion above Snowmass Village.
Abramovich, who has a net worth of $11 billion and is a confidant of Russian President Vladimir Putin, sued Comcast and Sage Telecommunications in April, alleging the companies failed to get permits for a fiber-optic project at the home on Wildcat Ridge and destroyed parts of a pristine forest that is protected by a conservation easement.
Abramovich, who paid $36 million in 2008 for the 11-bedroom, 14,000-square-foot home near the top of the Rim Trail, allegedly spent $500,000 repairing the damage.
(Thanks to Above the Law for the last two links)
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