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Minnesota AG is suing Comcast

Lori Swanson

Accused company of overcharging thousands of consumers.

Posted: Dec 21, 2018 3:25 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota's attorney general sued Comcast/Xfinity on Friday, alleging that the company has overcharged thousands of consumers for cable TV packages, charged them for unordered equipment and services, and failed to deliver on promised Visa gift cards.

Attorney General Lori Swanson said it took her office more than two years to investigate the case because Comcast failed to cooperate. She also pointed out that Comcast started doing business as Xfinity several years ago, which Swanson contends was an attempt to get away from its low national customer approval ratings.

The lawsuit, filed in Hennepin County District Court in Minneapolis, alleges that the company engaged in consumer fraud and deceptive trade practices. It seeks a court order to stop the allegedly deceptive business practices and for unspecified amounts of restitution, civil penalties and legal fees.

Swanson said Comcast has faced similar allegations from attorneys general in Washington state and Massachusetts.

She said Comcast often promises customers fixed prices for a year or two for cable packages, then tacks on "an array of undisclosed fees" that can jack up the bill by 30 percent or more. Comcast then raises those fees, Swanson said, pointing out that a fee charged to most customers for regional sports has gone up 700 percent since 2015, from $1 a month to $8 this year. That's an additional $84 a year.

"It's hard to shop around for cable services if the company is playing hide-the-ball on fees," Swanson told reporters.

Other customers have been charged for equipment and services they didn't order or even declined, she said. And the company has failed to give thousands of customers promotional Visa gift cards worth as much as $300 that it promised in exchange for sign-ups.

Comcast disputed Swanson's allegations.

"We fully disclose all charges, fees and promotional requirements," spokeswoman Jill Hornbacher said in a statement. "The facts do not support the Minnesota Attorney General's allegations and we'd like nothing more than to work collaboratively with the Minnesota Attorney General's Office; however, they've raised complaints about matters that date back several years and have largely ignored our efforts to work together to address them."

A trial is underway in a similar lawsuit in Washington state , Swanson said, adding that Comcast recently agreed to settle a case in Massachusetts.

In the Massachusetts consumer protection case, which involved similar allegations, Comcast agreed last month to $950,000 in refunds or debt cancellations for more than 20,000 subscribers, and agreed to disclose hidden fees to customers.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 39589

Reported Deaths: 1523
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin12703789
Ramsey5013230
Dakota247993
Stearns242919
Anoka2293110
Nobles16726
Olmsted116817
Washington116340
Mower9652
Rice8598
Scott7834
Clay59538
Kandiyohi5821
Blue Earth5102
Wright4925
Carver4171
Todd4022
Lyon3272
Sherburne3275
Freeborn2980
Watonwan2400
Steele2391
Benton2213
St. Louis19816
Nicollet17612
Martin1715
Cottonwood1370
Goodhue1328
Winona13115
Le Sueur1101
Pine1100
Crow Wing10912
Chisago1021
Otter Tail1001
McLeod940
Dodge920
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Unassigned8738
Polk842
Chippewa791
Isanti760
Waseca710
Douglas660
Murray660
Itasca6512
Pipestone632
Meeker611
Morrison611
Faribault600
Becker570
Jackson550
Sibley552
Pennington520
Brown372
Renville362
Beltrami350
Wabasha350
Mille Lacs342
Rock310
Fillmore300
Yellow Medicine300
Houston280
Swift231
Norman210
Wilkin213
Redwood200
Cass192
Big Stone170
Grant170
Koochiching171
Roseau170
Aitkin150
Kanabec151
Wadena150
Marshall120
Pope120
Lincoln110
Mahnomen101
Clearwater90
Hubbard80
Lake60
Stevens60
Traverse60
Lac qui Parle40
Red Lake40
Kittson20
Cook10
Lake of the Woods00

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 32533

Reported Deaths: 735
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk6827181
Woodbury326444
Black Hawk235558
Buena Vista172411
Johnson13638
Linn132382
Dallas129829
Marshall106319
Scott88310
Story8194
Dubuque77122
Pottawattamie75812
Wapello71231
Crawford6793
Muscatine67544
Sioux4880
Tama47329
Wright3881
Louisa36313
Jasper32917
Plymouth3275
Warren2971
Dickinson2823
Webster2524
Washington2479
Cerro Gordo2011
Hamilton1921
Boone1571
Clay1421
Allamakee1354
Clarke1343
Mahaska11817
Shelby1170
Clinton1151
Poweshiek1078
Carroll1041
Pocahontas1011
Bremer987
Franklin980
Des Moines942
Emmet910
Henry883
Cedar851
Hardin830
Taylor810
Cherokee791
Monona770
Floyd742
Marion740
Benton691
Guthrie694
Jones650
Osceola640
Sac640
Jefferson620
Iowa611
Buchanan601
Butler602
Humboldt571
Calhoun552
Hancock541
Harrison540
Lee542
Delaware531
Fayette520
Monroe517
Madison492
Lyon470
Clayton463
Mills430
Winneshiek430
Davis421
Palo Alto420
Mitchell410
Grundy400
Howard370
Jackson370
Kossuth370
Union360
Lucas314
Winnebago300
Chickasaw290
Greene290
Cass240
Ida230
Appanoose213
Van Buren210
Keokuk201
Page200
Unassigned200
Worth200
Adair170
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Decatur120
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Adams80
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