Back in 2016, Comcast was named in a lawsuit where the company had thousands of subscribers in Washington state into paying $73 million in fees over five years for a “protection plan” that subscribers didn’t even consent to. In an amended complain this week, the attorney general alleges that “Comcast may have signed up more than half of all SPP subscribers without their consent.”
Comcast’s “protection plan” that subscribers supposedly signed up for protects customers against fees for service visits from company representatives. If you read the fine print, however, you’ll see that the $6 per month plan doesn’t cover in-home wiring, installation of new outlets, repair of equipment, or replacement of wiring destroyed by a natural disaster.
That doesn’t leave much to cover and severely limits the scope of coverage for customers. This is one of the main reasons why Comcast allegedly forced customers into the program and started charging them without their consent. Take a look at the amended complaint:
Many of the supposed “sales” of the SPP by Comcast never occurred. Rather, Comcast deceptively added the SPP to many of its Washington customers’ accounts without their knowledge or consent. On many occasions, the SPP was not even mentioned by Comcast to the customer on the telephone call where the SPP sale allegedly occurred. On other occasions, the customer was offered the SPP and refused it, yet Comcast deceptively added the SPP to the customer’s account. These types of deceptive practices occurred in over 50% of a random sample of SPP enrollments reviewed by the State.
According to the complaint, when Comcast was found about this and everything disclosed, the company told customers that there would be no reoccurring charge, which is absolutely false. Customers wer often given misleading information about what the plan actually covered, whether or not they were aware of the program. In a statement, Washington AG Bob Ferguson said that “the extend of [Comcast’s] deception is shocking.”