Comcast is currently facing a class-action lawsuit in California that alleges the company has been falsely advertising its prices for services by not listing the hidden fees in the ads.
The main complaint of the lawsuit seems to be the Broadcast TV fee of $6.50 a month and the Regional Sports Fee of $4.50 a month. Both of these fees come from Comcast but are not included in the advertised price for its TV bundles. To find them you have to dig through the legal details that are often not listed in advertisements.
Comcast lawyers tried this week to get the lawsuit thrown out of court by arguing that the hidden fees can be found in the “Subscriber Agreement” and “Minimum Term Agreement” on your contract. However, this does not seem to fly with the judge who said:
The plaintiffs have alleged the existence of a valid contract, which was created when [Comcast customers Dan] Adkins and [Christopher] Robertson submitted their order for Comcast services through Comcast’s website. It is plausible to infer from the complaint that, by clicking “Submit Your Order,” Adkins and Robertson agreed to pay Comcast’s advertised price, plus taxes and government-related fees, in exchange for the services Comcast offered them. It is also plausible to infer from the complaint that Comcast breached its agreements with the plaintiffs when it sent them bills charging them Broadcast TV and/or Regional Sports Fees (alleged to be neither taxes nor government-related fees) in excess of the agreed-upon price, and when it subsequently sought to raise the amount of the fees.
Comcast is not the only company facing complaints like this. Recently the state of Minnesota started an investigation into CenturyLink for similar practices.
This lawsuit has a real possibility of changing the future of pay-TV advertising. With fees and taxes adding up to sometimes $40+ a month having to disclose this fact could change the way Comcast and other companies market their products.
For now though we will have to wait and see what comes from this lawsuit.
So do you think this is false advertising on the part of pay-TV companies? Leave us a comment and let us know.
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