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Nationwide Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Charter Claiming False Advertising, Deficient Equipment

Phillip Dampier April 3, 2017 Broadband Speed, Charter Spectrum, Consumer News 17 Comments

Charter Communications is facing a second lawsuit related to false advertising about its ability to provide fast internet service and allegations the company knowingly supplied customers with deficient equipment.

Hart et al. v. Charter Communications Inc., is seeking certification as a nationwide class action from a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

The suit claims that Charter’s subsidiary Time Warner Cable purposely leased out modems and wireless routers it knew were incapable of achieving Time Warner Cable Maxx broadband speeds, consistently oversold its broadband network — resulting in slower internet speeds and performance than the company advertised, and raised customers’ bills without adequate notice.

The California lawsuit closely mirrors one filed in February by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, and focuses on similar claims that Charter is engaged in “false representations and other wrongful business practices.”

The complaint claims:

  • The company willfully and intentionally advertised internet service it could not provide, claiming customers would receive internet service that was “fast” with “no buffering,” “no slowdowns,” “no lag,” “without interruptions,” “without downtime,” and “without the wait.”
  • Charter leased older generation modems and wireless routers to many of their customers that were incapable of supporting the promised internet speeds. Older technology modems could not provide the full benefit of Time Warner Cable Maxx speeds of 100-300Mbps, and company-provided network gateways delivered Wi-Fi service at speeds considerably lower than advertised.
  • Charter regularly failed to manage their network in a manner that would give customers consistent broadband speeds. Instead, “Defendants included too many subscribers in the same service group and provided too few channels for such subscriber, thus causing an internet ‘traffic jam’ (particularly during peak hours) that slowed every subscriber’s connection to speeds substantially below what was promised and paid-for. Indeed, even when consumers resorted to using wired connections, their Internet speeds still fell short of the promised speeds.”
  • Defendants also have adopted an unlawful and unfair practice of adding new fees or other charges to consumers’ bills without adequate notice and outside of the terms promised upon sign-up. In 2016, one customer signed up for a promotional “Spectrum Internet with Wi-Fi” plan with a fixed rate of $64.99 and a $10.00 “Promotional Discount,” making her plan cost a total of $54.99 per month. This amount was reflected in her February 2017 bill. However, on her March 2017 bill, the customer was automatically charged $59.99, a $5.00 increase of which she was not given adequate notice and which was improperly charged to her credit card automatically.

The lawyers bringing the case propose to include as class members anyone who purchased internet service from Time Warner Cable/Charter Communications nationwide, those who believed the company’s advertising that claimed speeds were fast and reliable, and customers enrolled in auto-pay who were not properly informed of changes in price or the terms of service. If certified, the potential size of the class action case could involve millions of customers.

Currently there are 17 comments on this Article:

  1. dev dugal says:

    how does one take part in the lawsuit? i was baited and switched without my knowing. complete fraud.

    • Julia says:

      Dev,

      Are you in NY? I know of a company called SendDavid who can help you demand a refund if you were billed more than you were expecting. You could also submit a FCC Complaint through them. Here’s a link: http://bit.ly/2oX8VmU

      Hope this helps!

      Julia

      • dev dugal says:

        i’m in california. is there only a class action in NY or is there one nationwide?

        • Julia says:

          The recent class action is in California, and the one from February is in NY. As of now there is no nationwide lawsuit. David only works in NY for the moment 🙁

  2. Bobby says:

    Spectrum sucks ass. With the switch from TWC our total bill has gone up nearly double. The TV is what is killing us, we needed to upgrade to a higher priced “Tier” to get the same channels that we had with our TWC service months prior. Complete bulls**t.

  3. Gina says:

    I live in WI and because I have been a loyal customer for over 35 years to TW now that they became Spectrum I have been issued equipment that continues pixeling on my TV’s modems that do not update, and I over the last 6 mos have had tech out here to swap equipment and also pixeling issues…I have been told that the modem had not updated , had boot file issues and was not working and called the next day to see if they were fixed. With TW I never had to call in for tech support once in almost 35 yrs…that issue was due to a faulty American receiver and they had the issue fixed. TW was great Spectrum NOT GOOD…

    They were however the TV was found to have the 6 dvr recorder was showing correctibles as they call it, which is the box trying to fill in the blocks for information causing the pixelation issues….
    I never had to call with TW and when I did the issue was fixed by phone.

    Now it’s been every week, I never got the discounts until a year later as it took 30 hours of talking to spectrum to get my service switched over and now find out they use all the crappy boxes TW and refurbished them which do not work with your TV’s.

    Spectrum says it does not charge for service calls yet now I get a letter from them stating that they will charge me to have a tech come out for their equipment issues….???

    Can we get a Class action suit against Spectrum in the midwest going please? People i KNOW are leaving them left and right, they are going to Digital or Uverse
    Or sling TV and hulu and Roku….Spectrum has lost over 100,000 customers in less than 6 mos and have had over 7,000 complaints against them including 400 from their own employees!!!

    Please contact me to see if we can get a class action suit started in the WI midwest area for false accusations and faulty equipment, customer service that does not know what to do and gives you pricing at different prices..My g/f was told 3 different prices and when she called to install the gave her the highest prices and she said no and gave them the price they quoted her…she went to AT&T .

    I live in an apt complex and daily there are people leaving Spectrum and going to AT&T Uverse and Direct TV , Sling…my friends have Direct TV here and no issues not compared to Spectrum.
    HELP EVERYONE LETS DO THIS!!

    SPECTRUMS NEW COMMERCIALS SHOULD SAY DIRECT TV BAD SPECTRUM WORSE
    OR AT&T BAD SPECTRUM WORSE….!!

    Gina

    • nbeacon says:

      The valid complaints with Spectrum/TWC have visited me many times over. Then suddenly my bill went from $76 to $102 without any notice. This charge is for internet and land line only!

      I tried to switch to AT&T but for some reason it is no longer available in my apt complex as it had been only a few years ago.

      The internet connection was unreliable for about 6 months w/TWC, and for the life of me I can’t really recall before hand all the issues I had with TWC, the frequency got out of hand I just gave up … too busy.

      How does one initiate a class action? I have others in my Milwaukee area eager to find out?

    • Heather L Bindeman says:

      Agree.

  4. Heather L Bindeman says:

    We are in Florida.
    Switched after having satellite for 18 years. Was lied to have had them out here from DAY ONE after we got connected.
    They have sent service tech & maintenance out Numerous Times. On phone EVERY week.
    I WANT $$ Back for Lies !! Sh**ty Tv. Pixels & voice cuts out. Channels not correct.

  5. Heidi says:

    I upgraded my service May 25th, 2016 due to terrible reception. I called several times to complain, which TWC now says they have no record of. I also tried online trouble shooting. Each time I called they gave me a long list of things to do, which I did, yet yielded no results. I was supposed to be able to have several devices on with the highest speed they offered, yet I could not even get reliable service with one device. I finally got someone to come out and they said the unit I had been renting was out of date before the technician had even installed it and there was no way I could have gotten even the basic level of service with it. TWC/Spectrum denied this claim and said the man that came out was mistaken. They refused to give me my money back beyond 60 days ($20) and they said there was no one higher than the man on the line I could speak with. They had no desire to help me whatsoever. They robbed me. They literally sold me something they did not provide and refused to give me my money back.

  6. Donald says:

    How do we participate in this lawsuit? They blatantly told me I wasn’t getting what they promised. They are legitimately ripping us off…still!

  7. Throughout conversion to digital we have consistently mislead, lied to and bait and switched. If you like the Post Office and old Ma Bell…you will love these guys. The only thing worse is the FCC which allows them to get away with their scams. I would love to see a boycott or see Something done!

  8. Joseph Lindberg says:

    I pay $93.45 for just TV select $6.00 or so for two TV boxes each the cheap ones not dvrs and $14.99 or something in tax and $64.99 for the TV select package add it up its there but WTF 100$ a month for the next package above basic cablethats some kind of lawsuit or monopoly idkwtf I wish a Lawyer would do something about these Mfs call me I’ll testify email me more than internet speed monopoly highway robbery! F [email protected]

  9. Greg Minkwitz says:

    Charter is baiting and switching on me RIGHT NOW! I called about a $59 bundle offer, and they quoted me $150. I dropped it all back to base, and they still will not give me the advertised offer.
    Their promotional offer says, “bundle includes Spectrum Lifestyle TV, Spectrum Internet and 1 DVR; Free DVR service for year 1; standard rates apply after year 1…”
    They won’t supply the DVR because later in the fine print it says, “DVR receiver required for DVR service and is extra.”
    Well, yes, additional DVR’s are extra, but the deal states in plain, simple English that 1 DVR is included.
    What are you supposed to do when they simply will not honor their offer?

  10. Todd says:

    Small claims. It worked for me when I went after them for ELP Internet. They said I was getting a speed upgrade for free, then a month later, tried charging me $5 more a month.

  11. Todd Wright says:

    Hi all. It’s 7/26/18. I live in Dallas, Carrollton to be exact. I got Spectrum one year ago. Got a $40+ dollar rate increase in my last bill! Went from $120 including tax to $164. I called Frontier almost immediately and they have a basic triple play package for only 86 + tax, so I’m guessing about $96 with taxes and fees. Installation is free and they guarantee the rate for two years. They are coming out Saturday morning on August 4th. Thank God my apartment complex is serviced by more than one company. That was a 36% rate increase!

    On the plus side, I didn’t have too many issues with their service as many here have written about. Plus, when they installed, I got a DVR that could only record 3 shows at once. Maybe even just two. The install tech told me if I took my box to their store, they would swap it out for one that recorded six shows at a time. I went in and they did, no questions asked! However, when I had initially asked for that on the phone I was told they did not have them available and could not do that. Hmmm.

    Looking forward to two years of relative bliss with Frontier 🙂 Good luck to the rest of you out there. I know how important TV is to us all and I feel your pain.

  12. Anthony Aguilar says:

    I ordered the internet service only through Spectrum on 06/21/2018. I was given a 12 month promotional offer of 14.99 + an additional 5.00 monthly fee for the Modem rental that they supply. I was given a confirmation number which I still have as evidence clearly showing the details of the agreement made by the spectrum representative and I on the date mentioned above. The representative also checked and advised me that a cable line was already in place from the previous owner/tenant. And that all I needed to do was connect to it? Or that I may need to swap out my modem at a local spectrum office in the event my modem did not work.

    After moving in and unboxing my equipment my modem did not work. So I went to have it exchanged. I was handed a new modem along with a new rate of 49.99 which the rep did not tell me about. Upon leaving the office he said oh by the way you should be receiving your first bill of 60.00 dollars for the months fee… so I left thinking that this was a onetime upstart fee or something similar…Just before leaving I said NO something is wrong here I need to double check this right now. and sure enough my rate was changed thanks to this opportunist who committed Fraud along with improper business violations..

    I said hey why did you change my rate?? Oh its because you did not hook up your internet on time so you lost your promotion?? WT Beep ?? I said wait a minute I have a confirmation number everything was set and agreed to and I showed him my confirmation number along with the Spectrums rep details of 14.99 + the additional 5.00 extra per month for the modem. I told him well you know what I am going to file a complaint? right away he replied and said No!! don’t do that it will affect my sales.??? I knew then that he purposely manipulated my agreement for his personal gain of acquiring another “sales”… Now my internet service will be taken away because I cannot afford to pay the fraudulent charges as I am currently and permanently disabled. Can anyone please Help!!







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