Male hand holding TV remote control.

Minnesota Attorney General Says CenturyLink TV Pricing Is Deceptive


Male hand holding TV remote control.Have you ever been confused by the pricing on TV listings? The deal sounds great but then there is tons of fine print with fees, taxes, and other stuff that makes you scratch your head?

Minnesota’s Attorney General agrees and has filed a lawsuit against CenturyLink. In the lawsuit the Minnesota Attorney General says, “These pricing documents reveal a complex and elaborate pricing system in which layers of conditions and exceptions can affect the rates paid by consumers.”

The Attorney General went on to say, “The stories below reveal a recurring disconnect between the quotes CenturyLink has given to consumers and the actual prices they were charged, supposedly based on hidden rules contained in the company’s complex billing system, which CenturyLink claims are ‘trade secrets.’”

When the state of Minnesota asked for CenturyLink to turn over full information about its prices, CenturyLink is said to have claimed that the request was “unduly burdensome.”

We have said for some time not to trust the price you see in ads or on the phone. Companies often slip in terms such as fees and taxes apply. While CenturyLink has no control over the taxes, it does have control over the fees.

Many fees appear on CenturyLink TV and other cable company bills. Fees include HD technology fee, broadcast TV fee, and regional sports fees. These are fees that companies such as CenturyLink who do this know will be included in the monthly bill. Hopefully this lawsuit will force cable companies to start including these fees in the advertised price.

This likely comes at a very bad time for CenturyLink as they are facing presure from new streaming services like DIRECTV NOW, Sling TV, Hulu, PlayStation Vue, and more.

Have you ever been impacted by deceptive pricing? Leave us a comment and tell us your story.

Source: Reuters

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  • mnsportsgeek

    I’ve been quoted for Prism TV several times and I’m always shocked how expensive it is for new customers. Comcast always has better deals. At least in my area.

  • Jan

    Comcast is not much better after the promotional period ends and all the additional fees it winds up double what they said.

    So far I am mostly satisfied with DTVN, can’t wait for the DVR functionality among a few other features. So far no taxes or hidden fees with them.

  • Sunny Rain

    This needs to happen to more of these cable companies because they love to take advantage of people through pricing or package deception all the time. Sling needs to be sued too for lying to people that their service is a la carte when they still force you to pay for huge packages just to get the one channel you want

    • FM

      Have you noticed how hard Sling is making it to see the real pricing structure now?

      They even mislead people by claiming ala carte on the page where they show all their channels divided into categories..but those categories aren’t what you get to choose from and many of the channels included in each category are actually spread out among different add-on packages

      • Sunny Rain

        Yes, Sling has upped their game of misinformation to trick people into signing up only to be shocked when they can’t find their channels together for under $40. It’s not surprising Sling is doing this since they’re Dish who would rather see cord cutting fail.

        • Nathan John Ganiere

          DISH will probably fall off the planet sooner or later anyhow…….

          • Nathan John Ganiere

            own doing also…..

        • Craig W

          While he’s at it the attorney general should investigate Vue for luring in subscribers with channels in their line up only to drop them without any notification. Whether or not it’s Sony’s call or Viacom’s or beIN’s it’s still the same end result….. The consumer got the shaft.

          • Sunny Rain

            The PS Vue terms of conditions make it clear that the channel line up is subject to change any time without notice. So, go ahead and sue them.

          • Craig W

            Wow Who said anything about sueing Sony Vue? If I was a subscriber to Vue and they decided to drop channels that I wanted when I signed up I’d say I was deceived regardless if the terms and conditions say they can drop channels at their discretion. That’s why no contracts are the consumers friend.

  • Nathan John Ganiere

    read another article from Bloomberg they already got a 12 billion dollar class action lawsuit against them, on top of this………

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-12/centurylink-sued-by-minnesota-over-billing-practices

  • Ottis

    When the state of Minnesota asked for CenturyLink to turn over full information about its prices, CenturyLink is said to have claimed that the request was “unduly burdensome.”

    Wow. That is not a good sign when the company sending out the bills says it’s unduly burdensome to turn over how their pricing works.

    • Vegas Steve

      Yeah, pretty funny. They basically admitted that even they find their pricing deceptive!

  • king dejong

    Yes with Fios. You sign up for a double play bundle at $74.99, then you find out your paying DVR, Cable box, local sports tax, etc.. Then your bill end up being $130

  • Chris K.

    I’d have to do some digging to find my last Dish Network bill. But I remember my “plan” being somewhere around $95 for our tier plus HBO and Starz. But once the equipment rentals, taxes, and fees piled on – our monthly bill came in right around $160/month.

    When we first switched to PSVue, I knew the “base plan” at the time was $34.99, so I just assumed the actual bill after assorted taxes and fees would be around $50-$55. As soon as I saw the words “Total amount charged: $34.99,” I knew that the days of cable and satellite were numbered.

  • Trevor OBrion

    You said,

    “This likely comes at a very bad time for CenturyLink as they are facing presure from new streaming services like DIRECTV NOW, Sling TV, Hulu, PlayStation Vue, and more.”

    Centurylink already came out with there own live TV streaming service called Centurylink Stream. Its currently in beta now. Centurylinkstream.com

    I don’t understand why people try to trash another company without doing their own research first?

    With the who CenturyLink billing issue. If you go into local retail store. They always tell you exactly what your bill will be.