The state of Washington is suing Comcast for more than $100 million, alleging it willfully and knowingly deceived customers into paying for services it never intended to provide.
In a statement, Attorney General Bob Ferguson had the following to say:
This case is a classic example of a big corporation deceiving its customers for financial gain. I won’t allow Comcast to continue to put profits above customers — and the law.
The Attorney General’s (AG) office claims Comcast duped Washington residents into paying “at least $73 million” in subscription fees for a “near-worthless” protection plan that covered the cost if a Comcast technician had to visit your home.
The $4.99 per month plan says it covers all costs “including those related to inside wiring, customer-owned equipment connected to Comcast services and on-site education about products.”
Comcast did not mention in its plan that it does not cover wiring inside of a wall. When customers reached out to Comcast, the AG’s office says “Seventy-five percent of the time, Comcast representatives told these customers the plan covered all inside wiring. That isn’t true.”
Further, Comcast provided scripts to customer service agents with language specifically stating that those subscription plans cover “wiring inside your home” and service calls “related to inside wiring.”
Perhaps the most damning evidence comes from technicians themselves:
In addition, until approximately June 2015, Comcast provided its technicians with a service call fix code that expressly allowed them “to add service charges to a normally not charged fix code.” In other words, the company created a code for technicians to add charges to a service call that should be provided at no cost.
The AG’s office wants Comcast to refund the $73 million or so it says customers were errantly charged, and provide full restitution for service calls that used the improper resolution code.
It’s is also accused of improperly checking the credit of new customers, so the Attorney General wants those inquiries removed from their credit reports as well.