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: 547101

Reported Deaths: 7056
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1139831672
Ramsey47188850
Dakota41764418
Anoka37816415
Washington24550273
Stearns20738218
St. Louis16572296
Scott15682117
Wright14561125
Olmsted1264796
Sherburne1037380
Carver964944
Clay773889
Rice7506101
Blue Earth687340
Kandiyohi622679
Crow Wing603586
Chisago541549
Otter Tail537473
Benton524597
Mower448632
Douglas437270
Winona436649
Goodhue435371
Nobles397848
Morrison389159
McLeod385754
Beltrami369257
Isanti367559
Itasca362552
Polk359866
Steele354614
Becker349348
Lyon345048
Carlton325352
Freeborn323629
Pine307521
Nicollet303242
Brown292239
Mille Lacs274849
Le Sueur267622
Todd266430
Cass245926
Meeker230337
Waseca228720
Martin210729
Wabasha19903
Roseau194818
Hubbard169241
Dodge16914
Renville169143
Redwood164835
Houston162014
Cottonwood154120
Fillmore15109
Pennington149019
Chippewa144236
Faribault142419
Wadena142021
Sibley134010
Aitkin127536
Kanabec126821
Watonwan12509
Rock121818
Jackson115410
Yellow Medicine109819
Pipestone108825
Murray10189
Pope9946
Swift98018
Marshall84717
Stevens79910
Lake77919
Koochiching76412
Wilkin76312
Clearwater76114
Lac qui Parle73422
Big Stone5564
Lincoln5562
Grant5428
Norman5169
Mahnomen4898
Unassigned48278
Kittson46122
Red Lake3827
Traverse3595
Lake of the Woods2983
Cook1440

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 356437

Reported Deaths: 5797
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk55735598
Linn20229329
Scott18871234
Black Hawk15498306
Woodbury14858219
Johnson1395580
Dubuque13097202
Dallas1086796
Pottawattamie10668160
Story1027747
Warren552386
Clinton535489
Cerro Gordo520486
Webster507691
Sioux504873
Marshall476674
Muscatine456896
Des Moines440465
Wapello4250120
Buena Vista421440
Jasper407370
Plymouth395979
Lee367255
Marion354275
Jones292755
Henry286037
Bremer278560
Carroll278550
Crawford261739
Boone257231
Benton249555
Washington249149
Dickinson240443
Mahaska223849
Jackson217842
Kossuth212362
Clay209325
Tama206571
Delaware202039
Winneshiek193733
Page190320
Buchanan188131
Cedar183123
Fayette182841
Hardin179242
Wright179135
Hamilton177749
Harrison175273
Clayton166455
Butler162334
Mills158120
Cherokee156638
Floyd155042
Lyon154041
Madison153019
Poweshiek152333
Allamakee149051
Iowa145124
Hancock143334
Winnebago135731
Grundy135032
Cass134454
Calhoun133011
Jefferson130535
Emmet128240
Shelby127137
Sac126619
Appanoose126547
Louisa126349
Mitchell125241
Union123932
Chickasaw122515
Humboldt118026
Guthrie117328
Franklin112521
Palo Alto110121
Howard102622
Unassigned10010
Montgomery100037
Clarke98023
Keokuk94330
Monroe93428
Ida89233
Adair84232
Pocahontas83221
Monona80930
Davis79924
Greene76410
Lucas74922
Osceola74716
Worth7058
Taylor65112
Fremont61210
Decatur5899
Van Buren55518
Ringgold53522
Wayne51923
Audubon4949
Adams3274
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