Comcast to Refund $700,000 to Customers to Settle Deceptive Advertising Allegations

cageymaru

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Comcast has been ordered to issue refunds to 20,000 of its Massachusetts customers who signed predatory long term contracts with hidden monthly fees that increased rates by 40% during the contract. To get out of the contracts, customers had to pay a $240 early termination fee even if they simply downgraded to a lower tier package. Thus many of Comcast customers ended up with their credit ratings being ruined by the deceptive, illicit, anti-consumer practices Comcast instituted. Terms of the settlement require Comcast to refund and forgive all early termination fees it charged its customer from January 2015 until March 2016. The company also has to forgive all outstanding late fees from the same time period.

"Comcast stuck too many Massachusetts customers with lengthy, expensive contracts that left many in debt and others with damaged credit," said AG Healey. "Customers have a right to clear information about the products and services they buy. This settlement should encourage the entire cable and telecommunications industry to take a close look at their advertisements and make sure customers are getting a fair offer." The settlement also requires Comcast to change its practices to improve disclosures provided to consumers before they enter long-term contracts. Comcast must disclose the existence of additional fees in all advertisements, and train sales representatives to disclose true monthly service prices to customers before they enter long-term contracts.
 
If it was 20,000 people over a couple years, they effectively stole way more then $700,000. Isn't the whole point of the judicial system to ensure that the punishment is high enough to deter the crime?
 
I'm not seeing compensation being issued.
If all they have to do is pay back what they took, its worth the risk.
What is there to stop any company behaving like this?
 
If it was 20,000 people over a couple years, they effectively stole way more then $700,000. Isn't the whole point of the judicial system to ensure that the punishment is high enough to deter the crime?
The people probably can't even get out the contract either still lol.
 
So people are out of hundreds if not thousands of dollars over Comcast illegal predatory actions and is only refunding $35 per person? Now who really still wins here?

Do you really need to even ask?

2-3 years worth of interest or ROI on that money. This could be a whole lot of money pocketed. Enough so that "returning" this money costs them effectively nothing.
Those with outstanding debt late have their debts cancelled, those who paid out are are out of luck (except those who paid the cancellation free).
Nothing said in regards to the predatory increases, so they've probably banked that.
Possibility of selling that debt to collectors - not sure if Michigan requires companies to notify debt collectors that the debt is no longer valid.

At the end of the line, this kind of fine encourages this behavior.
Free interest free loans are pretty much the best kind of loan barring not having to return the capital, which would effectively make it not a loan.

Worst part is is all the people who got their credit ruined.

If you're budgeting on a limited budget, a 40% negative variance is sufficient to throw wrenches into someone's plan. And if that doesn't faze you, imagine putting that $240 cancellation fee into your 401K, and how it affects the value 20 years from now.
 
This is why Comcast ends up on the most hated companies in America, right up there with EA. Corporate America really sucks.
 
Single person pirate IP and share it, get slapped with millions of dollars to pay back......
Rip off thousands of customers, get slapped on the risk.....
Seems about right.
 
Easy peasy, each claimant receives whatever the lawyers each got. That'll wake some people up.
 
The stuff Comcast and Verizon gets away with and have gotten away with for years boggles my mind. Leeches on society, both are scum.
 
its amaxing you can sing a contract that only has obligitaion to one side...

you have to get thise sercies for 2 years but we can change the price anytime we want...

ANY change in price should be considered a new contract and up for cancelation
 
Man they don't even need to wait for A-Shit Pai to take out net neutrality before starting to screw people over.
 
If it was 20,000 people over a couple years, they effectively stole way more then $700,000. Isn't the whole point of the judicial system to ensure that the punishment is high enough to deter the crime?

No, it's to provide high paying jobs for all the Judges and Lawyers.

Even a simple contract violation, something that shouldn't take more that 30 minutes to present the facts & get a decision, ends up being dragged out for over a year, resulting in 10's of thousands in legal fees. :mad:
 
You can't find a "TRUE" month to month rate anywhere these days.

Not Comcast, not Frontier. For a lesson in blood pressure management go to Frontier and just TRY to find out what a plan costs if you aren't a new subscriber and your "special deal" time frame is expired. Go ahead. Try.

What I hate most about this is that it's SO deceptive and unethical that we actually need law to make them stop. And it's stupid they are pushing this to this point.

The actual cost per month as well as their best guess to current taxes and fees needs to be displayed in plain view next to their "new signup special."
 
I would ask if anyone got fired but even if somebody did we all know it would be a patsy, not the jerkresponsible.

We the people have to start breaking up these mega corps.

All organizations are sociopathic to their own interests amd survival. Bigger the org the more terrible the carnage. We have to stop pretending otherwise.
 
As long as profits remain higher than the fines, Comcast has no incentive to cease this behavior. Just include the fines as part of the cost and make the consumers eat it. As long as fines/penalties for bad corporate behavior remain below the profits generated from that bad behavior, there will never be an incentive to cease the bad behavior.

I would ask if anyone got fired but even if somebody did we all know it would be a patsy, not the jerk responsible.

We the people have to start breaking up these mega corps.
We need another Theodore Rosevelt. The Trustbuster.

You can't find a "TRUE" month to month rate anywhere these days.

What I hate most about this is that it's SO deceptive and unethical that we actually need law to make them stop.

No law will stop this behavior until the penalties exceed the profits from that behavior. A penalty such as profits from <behavior> + 10%. A penaly that will induce a loss. Not just break even.
 
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doesn't faze you, imagine putting that $240 cancellation fee into your 401K, and how it affects the value 20 years from now.

$1615 at a 10% total stock market index fund

Rule of 72 says $17280 over 45 years give or take
 
I'm in Massachusetts and used to have Comcast years ago.

I switched as soon as FiOS came to town in ~2010, so I don't qualify. I wish they'd give me money for years of pain and suffering though :p
 
Well as long as the FTC still allows a generic "plus taxes and fees" add on to advertised prices this still will continue, here's the last bill that I had tv

EQUIPMENT & SERVICES
Manage Equipment
$9.95
AnyRoom DVR Service
$9.95
OTHER CHARGES
$14.56
Broadcast TV Fee
$8.00
Regional Sports Fee
$6.50
FCC Regulatory Fee
$0.06
Taxes, surcharges & fees
$5.50
SERVICE FEES
$5.26
Franchise Fee
$4.22
PEG Access Support
$1.04
TAXES & SURCHARGES
$0.24
State Sales Tax
$0.24

So basically increases the cost to me from what they advertise $30.01, the only one that I'll accept out of all of that is the sales tax, everything else are fees that are not mandatory that they collect like sales tax, it's just them passing on cost which should be thrown into the grand total. DVR fee? Lets see advertise all the DVRing you can do with the X1 for this price... then don't charge a fee for the "service", all those other fees? They're not taxes, so they can be put together into the advertised price especially when they ask for my home address before showing me what is available to me.

Good for Mass. every customer gets back $35... but if they're anything like me $30 x 12 month minimum commitment = way more than $35, so overall they win.
 
Comcast still does this today

Comcast door to door sales rep. I can give you 60mbit for $39 all in a month for 60mbit
me: OK sign me up
*later that day around 6pm*
Comcast calls up: Your order did not go through, I can give you $54 for 120
me: what happened to 60mbit for $39 all in?
Comcast call: The sales person lied to you
Me OK fine what is the deal?
Comcast call 150mbit for $54
Me, OK no BS all in right?
Comcast call: Yes
Me: OK sign me up

So I got to Xfinity's FB home page, make a post, they come back and confirm that the sales guy was correct. They ask me if I want the original plan, I said no, I'll keep this one but I wanted to let you know what I went through to get this all sorted out.

I did provide them with detailed call logs and whom I spoke with so hopefully they will handle it internally. Other than that, install was great, tech was very friendly and did a good job. had issue with neighbor cutting all lines going into the pedestal, Comcast came out and fixed it, get full speed no problem.

*edit* changed that to this

I have no problem with the people that I have meet face to face with Comcast, nor any issues with tech support. It is their overly aggressive sales department that I have issues with.
 
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I'm in Massachusetts and used to have Comcast years ago.

I switched as soon as FiOS came to town in ~2010, so I don't qualify. I wish they'd give me money for years of pain and suffering though :p

I havent used comcast since 2004 and I never want to have to touch their service EVER again. I think I might even go so far as not having internet to avoid dealing with them.

That being said this doesnt hurt Comcast one bit. 700k or what they probably collected 2x as much across the country using the same practices. Hell its probably worth the fine and forgiveness just for them to get people away from competitors for a few months. Fines should be based on their net income...otherwise its just going to continue to happen because they can afford to pay the fines and still be profitable.

I say the same thing about civil fines like speeding tickets. A $100 fine is NOTHING to a rich person but $100 to a min wage worker? That could be a missed rent payment.
 
I would ban them from doing business in the state. Permanently.

Of course, a lot of politicians would then be out of their walking around money...
 
I say the same thing about civil fines like speeding tickets. A $100 fine is NOTHING to a rich person but $100 to a min wage worker? That could be a missed rent payment.

If a rich man continued disregarding the traffic laws, the DPS could decide to temporarily revoke his driver's license. The Massachusets AG could not simply revoke Comcast's business license for the state.
 
If a rich man continued disregarding the traffic laws, the DPS could decide to temporarily revoke his driver's license. The Massachusets AG could not simply revoke Comcast's business license for the state.
To add to that don't speed if you can't pay the fines. That comment is completely irrelevant to this discuss.
 
To add to that don't speed if you can't pay the fines. That comment is completely irrelevant to this discuss.

Hardly...I was making a point about we do not apply our own laws fairly. Person or corporation it doesn't matter which the more money you have the more you can get away with. This fine is NOTHING to them. We should apply our laws fairly. Fairly means that the punishment should be to the same level of impact rich vs poor (for both companies and people). It does nobody any good to say if you break X law you have to pay $1,000 dollars. A big company will shrug and violate the law to make $2000 an call it a win.

Now if you made that fine 1% of your revenue it impacts big and small equally.
 
If a rich man continued disregarding the traffic laws, the DPS could decide to temporarily revoke his driver's license. The Massachusets AG could not simply revoke Comcast's business license for the state.
haha just like spectrum in NY, it will just sit in courts for years and never actually equate to anything
 
Most if not all corporations are complete psychopaths that should never be trusted. Too bad there are no real alternatives in the modern day. Recently Wells Fargo got caught doing what our lying Government terms puffery (lying advertising), and their lawyers argued that you should know they are lying, so they are not liable. So where is the common man to go for truth? La-La lollipop land in your own head? What a joke of a world.


https://boingboing.net/2018/11/12/fool-me-thrice.html

Wells Fargo: We can't be sued for lying to shareholders because it was obvious we were lying

Wells Fargo has asked a court to block a shareholder lawsuit that seeks to punish the company for lying when it promised to promptly and completely disclose any new scandals; Wells Fargo claims that the promise was obvious "puffery," a legal concept the FTC has allowed to develop in which companies can be excused for making false claims if it should be obvious that they are lying (as when a company promises that they make "the best-tasting juice in America).

The lawsuit stems from Wells Fargo's crooked car-loan program that used deceptive tactics to defraud 800,000 customers, ultimately stealing 25,000 of their cars through fraudulent repossessions.
 
Most if not all corporations are complete psychopaths that should never be trusted. Too bad there are no real alternatives in the modern day. Recently Wells Fargo got caught doing what our lying Government terms puffery (lying advertising), and their lawyers argued that you should know they are lying, so they are not liable. So where is the common man to go for truth? La-La lollipop land in your own head? What a joke of a world.


https://boingboing.net/2018/11/12/fool-me-thrice.html

Wells Fargo: We can't be sued for lying to shareholders because it was obvious we were lying

Wells Fargo has asked a court to block a shareholder lawsuit that seeks to punish the company for lying when it promised to promptly and completely disclose any new scandals; Wells Fargo claims that the promise was obvious "puffery," a legal concept the FTC has allowed to develop in which companies can be excused for making false claims if it should be obvious that they are lying (as when a company promises that they make "the best-tasting juice in America).

The lawsuit stems from Wells Fargo's crooked car-loan program that used deceptive tactics to defraud 800,000 customers, ultimately stealing 25,000 of their cars through fraudulent repossessions.
Doesn't it piss all of you off that companies act like this and you are expected to be 100% honest all the time and get basically nothing for it? Stop using these shit companies and make sure to tell them why, and make them feel inhumane for their evil.
 
Doesn't it piss all of you off that companies act like this and you are expected to be 100% honest all the time and get basically nothing for it? Stop using these shit companies and make sure to tell them why, and make them feel inhumane for their evil.
There is an old saying, The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. Anytime the rest of the world would like to stand up for themselves and demand some justice from the courts and Government in this turd world, I'm ready.
 
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