EarthLink has accused Charter of engaging in a “campaign of deception,” resulting in a complaint filed against Charter with the Supreme Court of the State of New York. The complaint accuses Charter of predatory behavior, having engaged “in a campaign to dupe EarthLink high-speed Internet customers into switching providers to Charter in advance of the upcoming final termination of the contractual relationship between EarthLink and Charter.”
In the complaint, EarthLink alleges that Charter falsely informed EarthLink customers that EarthLink is “out of business”, Charter has “taken over” EarthLink, and EarthLink Internet service “wasn’t available” in markets where the company still offers services.
EarthLink says that Charter made these claims to customers in an effort to convince them to switch providers before a contract between Charter and Earthlink ends. That contract began at the time of the merger between AOL and Time Warner in 2000 and allowed EarthLink to sell its branded high-speed data service over Time Warner’s (now Charter’s) cable network.
Earthlink provided us with the following statement about the complaint.
“Charter, which operates under the trade name Spectrum, is engaged in a campaign of deception with the purpose of misleading consumers about their internet options. Charter has spread false rumors about the financial health of EarthLink in order to grow its customer base and eliminate competition, ultimately enabling Charter to increase prices in the future. Charter’s efforts have reduced service accessibility and increased consumer costs during the midst of a global pandemic, when the budgets of middle-class families are already being stretched to their limits. Access to affordable, reliable and high-speed internet is an economic lifeline for millions of Americans who are working or learning from home and are unable to access traditional office spaces or classrooms.”
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