Charter Pays Record $174 Million Consumer Fraud Settlement in New York

cageymaru

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Charter Communications Inc., which includes Spectrum Management Holding Company (Charter) has agreed to pay a record $174.2 million consumer fraud settlement for defrauding its internet subscribers. Charter was accused of throttling the internet speeds of content provider rivals such as Netflix, consistently failing to meet the promised internet speeds that it sold to customers, leasing deficient modems and wireless routers to subscribers that couldn't meet the speed requirements of the internet package that was sold to the customer, not having enough network capacity to meet advertised internet speeds, and more.

Some of the terms of the settlement include $75 refunds to 700,000 subscribers and an additional $75 refund for 150,000 customers that had to use defective equipment for 24 months or more, 3 months of HBO or 6 months of Showtime, free streaming service for 2.2 million internet subscribers, and more. The rest of the terms of the settlement are detailed in the Attorney General's press release.

"This settlement should serve as a wakeup call to any company serving New York consumers: fulfill your promises, or pay the price," said Attorney General Underwood. "Not only is this the largest-ever consumer payout by an internet service provider, returning tens of millions of dollars to New Yorkers who were ripped off and providing additional streaming and premium channels as restitution -- but it also sets a new standard for how internet providers should fairly market their services."
 

bigdogchris

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Had Charter for years and did not experience issues with perceived slowdowns, but I was not in the TW area. I moved and now use Comcast and have had more problems. Comcast absolutely is slowing connections down and has data caps. It's one of those scenarios where you have issues with YouTube and Netflix but all of your speed test show as fine. They can packet shape your traffic so speed test sites show as fine but connection to YT and NF servers are throttled. It's a sham. Thankfully a local ISP is running fiber and is only one block away.
 

iamjanco

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I'm in NY, I've used Charter (now Spectrum) for years (it's not like I had a choice where I'm at). Now I'm wondering if I'll receive what amounts to a handful of double-shot, Vente Caffè Mochas (it's also not like there's a Starbucks in my area either).

My Internet speeds recently increased though...
 

Sikkyu

I Question Reality
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wow, 150 bucks for the guys that got completely shafted for 2+ year.

This should be way higher.
 

lcpiper

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So why is no ranking executive from Charter going to jail for perpetrating such a massive fraud scheme?
I suppose that depends in part on the actual charges themselves to begin with, and the damages sought in the case.
 

Dead Parrot

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Still sounds like Charter will be profitable in NY. $75 per subscriber for a two year period will barely cover the cost of random fee #3 that those subscribers paid during the period. The other fees and actual charge for ISP service should more then put Charter into the profit column.

Should be accompanied by 700,000 criminal charges of fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud. Or maybe 700,000 * (number of months of fraud committed). Treat each bill as a separate chargeable offense.
 

Furious_Styles

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Have had charter for years, a dogshit company like most of 'em. I'm sure 2019 will bring free markets and more competition though. Or maybe just a 100 more lame subscription services.
 

Krenum

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This seems like an excellent time to call them and check if their giving me the proper service im paying for. Thanks OP.
 

Teenyman45

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Corporation, n. an ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility" -Ambrose Bierce
Then the collective group who either a) implemented the illegal policy and/or b) were criminally negligent in allowing it to fest should all go to jail. Easy.

Still sounds like Charter will be profitable in NY. $75 per subscriber for a two year period will barely cover the cost of random fee #3 that those subscribers paid during the period. The other fees and actual charge for ISP service should more then put Charter into the profit column.

Should be accompanied by 700,000 criminal charges of fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud. Or maybe 700,000 * (number of months of fraud committed). Treat each bill as a separate chargeable offense.
Cops and thus prosecutors will alternatively charge for the entire mass of items incorporating drugs such as an ounce of weed being worked into may pounds of pot cookies equaling many pounds of drugs or will charge a separate offense for each bag/bundle of drugs... but white collar crimes for wealthy corporations tend to be treated differently for some reason...
 

ramrod126

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I see no list of the "bad" hardware, I have had Spectrum for quite a while here in NY and I don't even get close to the advertised 100mbs. At best I get around 70.
 

kilroy67

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LOL! Couldn't of happened to a more shitty company!! Why they are not broken up as a monopoly is beyond me. Every year I have to play let's make a deal with their customer retention dept to keep my bill around $200. One of these years I will cut the cord and tell them to pick up their shit on the stoop!!
 

Teenyman45

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It's so wonderful the damages imposed in fine and customer restitution seem smaller than the profits made from committing the wide-scale fraud, are almost certainly at least partly tax deductible, and could even cause an increase in Charter's value due to the litigation being over and the possibly being deemed light.
 
Joined
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due to retarded politicians and judges, we get companies JUST paying fines.

you get into more trouble spraying graffiti than this...
 

ManofGod

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Before you folks get out the pitch forks and torches, please get a clue. To many people saying we need to get Spectrum out of New York but when asked who they are going to get to replace them, they say "someone"? Who is the heck is Someone Internet Cable, never heard of them.

If you have not figured out already, I have only one option for internet access, Spectrum. (I pay $90 a month for 400Mbps and I get exactly that and more.) The only other option I have is 7Mbps DSL, not 7MBps. Therefore, keeps your stinkin hands off my internet access. (Oh, I have a proper modem from them, no monthly charge to me, no TV or phone access.)
 

ManofGod

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I see no list of the "bad" hardware, I have had Spectrum for quite a while here in NY and I don't even get close to the advertised 100mbs. At best I get around 70.
Odd, I never had a single issue getting the 100Mbps speed plus some. Of course, I used my own modem from the Time Warner days. I only upgraded to the one from Spectrum for free because I did not have a DOCSIS 3.1 modem.
 

ManofGod

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LOL! Couldn't of happened to a more shitty company!! Why they are not broken up as a monopoly is beyond me. Every year I have to play let's make a deal with their customer retention dept to keep my bill around $200. One of these years I will cut the cord and tell them to pick up their shit on the stoop!!
Gee, must be nice to have multiple options. Meanwhile, in reality land........
 

ManofGod

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It's so wonderful the damages imposed in fine and customer restitution seem smaller than the profits made from committing the wide-scale fraud, are almost certainly at least partly tax deductible, and could even cause an increase in Charter's value due to the litigation being over and the possibly being deemed light.
You do realize that Spectrum has not been in NYS for very long. (I think maybe a little over 2 years but not quite 3.) So, they should fix everything immediately? LOL! I pay $90 a month for 400Mbps speed which is 8 times, literally 8 times faster than what Time Warner was going to give me for the same $90 just before the switch over. (Yep, $90 for 50Mbps, no joke.)
 

zetachi

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Ha Had Time Warner and jumped ship when Fios came to my building. Called TW to cancel and they offered me a deal to stay. Deal was they would charge me $5 more a month then I was already paying them. When i explained that to the women on the phone her answer...guess you'll be switching to Fios? LMAO I'm now paying $130/month for Phone/cable and gigabit internet.
 

ManofGod

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Ha Had Time Warner and jumped ship when Fios came to my building. Called TW to cancel and they offered me a deal to stay. Deal was they would charge me $5 more a month then I was already paying them. When i explained that to the women on the phone her answer...guess you'll be switching to Fios? LMAO I'm now paying $130/month for Phone/cable and gigabit internet.
As long as I live in my current residence, I will not have FIOS as an option. Unfortunately, that is because Verizon decided to stop expanding their network and that was that.
 

tungt88

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Charter absolutely knew that they were gonna get caught, but I'm certain that they had their lawyers calculate, down to the last $1k, just how much they were likely to settle (with NY) for, once they (inevitably) went to court -- it still meant a big net profit for them & their shareholders, instead of having their excess capital sit around doing nothing. Similar examples (like predatory loans, & lawsuits over said loans) happen all the time in business.

Winner = Charter.

Loser = Average Joe Customers.

That's the power of corporations with a lot of capital -- get into court with them, and (unless you have really good lawyers on your side as well) you are up the river w/o a paddle. Better to settle, right? (and that's what they are counting on).
 
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