Feb. 19, 2018 By Tara Law
The lawsuit filed by the New York State Attorney General against Charter Communications’ Spectrum unit for allegedly misleading customers about Internet speeds will move forward despite the company’s attempt to dismiss it.
A New York Supreme Court judge rejected Charter’s motion last week to throw out the lawsuit, which seeks damages and restitution on behalf of Charter’s Spectrum subscribers worth hundreds of millions of dollars, according to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
Schneiderman’s office alleges that Spectrum executives knew that the company’s hardware and technology were incapable of delivering the speeds promised to subscribers. The complaint covers the subscription plans of 5 million subscribers/households since 2012.
Charter Spectrum, according to the attorney general, earned billions of dollars in profits by selling the high-margin Internet service to New Yorkers but did not make investments to improve the network or give customers the necessary hardware.
Charter Spectrum claimed that the attorney general failed to show that the company had short-changed and misled customers. Justice O. Peter Sherwood rejected this argument.
The suit alleges that Internet speeds for the company’s premium plan were up to 70 percent slower than promised and that some customers were getting speeds that were more than 80 percent slower.
Some customers paying up to $109.99 a month for the premium plan were getting speeds slower than promised in cheaper plans, according to the suit.
“The allegations in our lawsuit confirm what millions of New Yorkers have long suspected— Charter-Spectrum has been ripping you off, promising internet speeds it simply could not deliver,” said Schneiderman in a statement.
Charter Spectrum told Reuters that the company “delivers its advertised internet speeds,” and will continue to vigorously contest the Schneiderman’s claims about practices at Time Warner Cable, which Charter bought in 2016.