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.

Cases: 609016

Reported Deaths: 7741
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1261631795
Ramsey52955910
Dakota47198475
Anoka43176465
Washington27637296
Stearns22651227
St. Louis18233319
Scott17667139
Wright16506153
Olmsted13495103
Sherburne1211496
Carver1073349
Clay829392
Rice8247111
Blue Earth769244
Crow Wing687298
Kandiyohi669685
Chisago626754
Otter Tail589887
Benton585098
Goodhue485474
Mower477333
Douglas477281
Winona463252
Itasca462668
Isanti445066
McLeod433861
Morrison427462
Beltrami410163
Nobles409650
Steele400519
Polk390772
Becker389157
Lyon365054
Carlton356858
Freeborn350134
Pine337223
Nicollet333845
Mille Lacs314556
Brown308640
Le Sueur299427
Todd288033
Cass287933
Meeker265144
Waseca240723
Martin236833
Roseau212021
Wabasha20833
Hubbard197641
Dodge18883
Renville183046
Redwood177941
Houston175316
Cottonwood168124
Wadena164923
Fillmore158910
Faribault156920
Chippewa154038
Pennington153820
Kanabec147828
Sibley147310
Aitkin139137
Watonwan13619
Rock129019
Jackson123112
Pipestone117126
Yellow Medicine115320
Pope11366
Murray107210
Swift107218
Koochiching96819
Stevens92611
Clearwater89217
Marshall88817
Lake84020
Wilkin83713
Lac qui Parle76122
Big Stone6094
Grant5958
Lincoln5863
Mahnomen5669
Norman5509
Kittson49022
Unassigned47993
Red Lake4037
Traverse3815
Lake of the Woods3474
Cook1740

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 374664

Reported Deaths: 6109
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk58891646
Linn21448342
Scott20426250
Black Hawk16680319
Woodbury15319230
Johnson1473686
Dubuque13595213
Dallas1144099
Pottawattamie11307177
Story1082848
Warren592092
Clinton564393
Cerro Gordo562297
Webster538996
Sioux519174
Muscatine4920106
Marshall491479
Des Moines478275
Jasper452073
Wapello4366123
Buena Vista431040
Plymouth404982
Lee392658
Marion369177
Jones301257
Henry301037
Bremer292763
Carroll286252
Boone271234
Crawford270841
Benton262755
Washington259851
Dickinson250745
Mahaska232551
Jackson225842
Kossuth219166
Clay217327
Tama213372
Delaware211743
Winneshiek200636
Buchanan196734
Page195422
Cedar192923
Hardin191144
Wright189140
Fayette188243
Hamilton186851
Harrison181973
Clayton173057
Butler167835
Madison167719
Floyd164642
Mills163824
Cherokee161538
Lyon160941
Poweshiek159036
Allamakee155552
Hancock153134
Iowa148324
Winnebago145731
Calhoun143113
Cass140855
Grundy139333
Emmet136741
Jefferson134535
Sac132620
Shelby131838
Louisa130249
Union129535
Appanoose128049
Franklin127823
Mitchell127243
Chickasaw125717
Guthrie124532
Humboldt124526
Palo Alto114924
Montgomery106738
Howard105322
Clarke102424
Monroe100633
Keokuk99932
Ida92735
Adair89632
Davis86825
Pocahontas86822
Monona85931
Greene79111
Osceola79017
Lucas77423
Worth7568
Taylor67112
Decatur6629
Fremont64810
Ringgold56824
Van Buren56718
Wayne56323
Audubon52913
Adams3494
Unassigned90
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