Think you’re a victim of Cox false advertising? You may have legal options.
False advertising is any method of advertising or marketing that is inherently false. This refers to information that is misleading as well. To determine whether an advertisement was misleading, the courts will generally consider not just the literal meaning of the information provided but the general impression that it conveys.
The rules about deceptive marketing and false advertising can be found in a collection of state and federal consumer protection laws. Most laws are governed by The Federal Trade Commission Act which has a section that has become known as “truth in advertising” rules. These rules give the FTC jurisdiction to respond to complaints about false advertising from individuals or businesses. Companies, according to the FTC rules for false advertising, for example, have to:
Sourced from the FTC with creative input from FairShake.
There are a handful of different false advertising categories defined by the FTC, and they can include common things like mislabeling where a company claims to provide a product or service at a certain price or they claim that what you are purchasing is on sale, but it isn’t and you end up paying much more than expected.
Customers have not been shy about their complaints on the Cox community forum. Here you can find many false advertising claims having to do with 1) misrepresentation of speeds and 2) false ads about website upgrades.
One lawsuit against Cox said that they misrepresented their speed, functionality, and reliability for all services. This class action lawsuit says that Cox advertises speeds their customers never see and violates not just the False Advertising Law, but the Consumer Legal Remedies Act in California. The plaintiff claims that while Cox lists “speeds up to X” amount, the consumers never even get close to that X amount, let alone reach it.
This isn’t the only time Cox has gone to court over this issue. In the case of Lyons v. Cox the plaintiff presented a class action lawsuit against Cox Communications for advertising “blazing fast” internet up to 20 Mbps and a powerboost that provides 33% faster downloads, when in fact, neither of these were true. The case also claims that Cox tried to inhibit the internet usage that customers had, stopping her from certain actions, and charged her hidden fees.
This was in 2009. Not but 2 years prior in 2007, Cox faced yet another lawsuit for charging unauthorized fees to their subscribers of the “advanced TV package”. Unfortunately, that lawsuit did nothing to stop the bad behavior of Cox, evidenced by the fact that again in 2015 they faced a class action lawsuit for the same thing, the same recurring fees and lack of applied discounts for the “advanced TV” package.
If you see false advertising an action, it’s up to consumers like you to do something about it. Remember that the FTC does not require that anyone actually be affected by the false advertising in order to investigate a company or punish them.
So, you can report it even if all you did was see it. The first step is to submit a consumer complaint to the FTC. Only by filing a consumer complaint with the FTC can they investigate and take action. You can also submit a complaint to TruthinAdvertising.org where it will go public.
But if you have been wronged by false advertising, the rules that govern how you can get recourse will depend on your state’s laws related to Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices.
What happens to the company is based on how many reports the FTC gets, the severity of the situation, if the company has ever been convicted or investigated for false advertising before, and if there’s any evidence to prove that they did it intentionally or not. The FTC might fine them, but you won’t necessarily get any of that.
So what can you do if you personally lost money because of Cox false advertising other than report them? You can try to reach out to customer service and see if their customer service is willing to make amends but if not, you can also try consumer arbitration.
Consumer arbitration is usually faster and less expensive than going to court but it can still be a bit confusing because it is a legal process with a fair amount of paperwork. That’s where we can help. FairShake helps you navigate the consumer arbitration process, from filing your claim to getting the resolution you deserve.
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