Comcast has failed to deflect a Washington State lawsuit that accuses it of deceiving its customers through add-on fees that don't deliver what customers are led to expect. A King County judge denied the company's motion to dismiss the lawsuit late last week.
“The court correctly rejected Comcast’s attempt to evade responsibility for deceiving its customers,” Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said. “Washington consumers deserve their day in court.” The trial was set to begin on July 31, 2017.
The lawsuit charges that Comcast deceived nearly all of its 1.2 million subscribers in Washington with its "Comcast Guarantee" Its lawsuit alleges the company padded its bottom line by tens of millions of dollars in deceptive charges.
“This case is a classic example of a big corporation deceiving its customers for financial gain,” Ferguson said as he filed the suit last August. “I won’t allow Comcast to continue to put profits above customers — and the law.”
The lawsuit accuses the company of misrepresenting the scope of its Service Protection Plan, charging customers improper service call fees, and using improper credit screening practices.
Could go national
Although the Washington lawsuit is the only challenge to the company's policy at the moment, Ferguson has noted that the protection plan is a nationwide program and could result in similar charges in other states.
Comcast has defended the plan and said it would "vigorously" contest Ferguson's allegations.
"The Service Protection Plan has given those Washington consumers who chose to purchase it great value by completely covering over 99% of their repair calls," said Jenni Moyer, Senior Director, Comcast Corporate Communications, in an email to ConsumerAffairs last August.
The plan promises that, for $4.99 a month, customers can avoid paying a service charge if a Comcast technician visits their home to fix an issue covered by the plan.
But Ferguson's suit alleges that Comcast did not appropriately disclose that the plan does not cover repairs to any “wall-fished” wiring — wiring inside a wall — which constitutes the vast majority of wiring inside homes.