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Washington sues Comcast for deceiving customers about repair fees, credit checks

Comcast is being accused of violating Washington state's Consumer Protection Act.
Flickr Photo/Mike Mozart (CC BY 2.0)/
Comcast is being accused of violating Washington state's Consumer Protection Act.

On Monday Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson  filed a $100 million lawsuit against Comcast for deceiving customers with its repair fees and credit checks. The lawsuit is the first of its kind in the nation.

Ferguson said the cable and internet giant violated the state’s Consumer Protection Act.

For $4.99 a month, the company promised customers worry-free maintenance that covers cable TV, high-speed internet and phone services under its Service Protection Plan. Ferguson said in fact, the plan covered only a narrow scope of repairs.

“It’s a little like saying we’re going to provide a car insurance for you,” said Ferguson, “and you find out later on it doesn’t cover you on Sundays.”

In addition to selling service plans that didn’t deliver, Ferguson said Comcast charged customers for service visits that were supposed to be covered under its Customer Guarantee policy. 

While investigating the company’s service charges, his office uncovered improper credit screening.  New customers are required to go through credit checks, but can pay a deposit to avoid screening.

“Comcast ran it anyway, or customers were forced to pay the deposit despite their having a high credit score,” Ferguson said. “These credit checks potentially affected all of those customers’ credit reports.”

In a statement, Comcast says it stands behind its products and services. The company says customers who bought its plan got great value, covering 99 percent of their repair calls.

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