Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced Wednesday that his office has settled a lawsuit against Comcast/Xfinity. The news is expected to provide relief to 30,000 customers.
The announcement of the settlement of the Comcast lawsuit comes one week after Ellison announced the settlement of his office’s multi-year lawsuit against CenturyLink. Under the terms of the settlement of the Comcast lawsuit, Comcast will issue refunds to Minnesota consumers who:
- did not receive their prepaid gift card as promised because Comcast did not record that they had accepted the terms of service between Jan. 1, 2013, through July 1, 2017;
- downgraded their cable services or who Comcast cut off from services and who paid an early termination fee between June 1, 2015, and July 1, 2017, and;
- were charged for a modem after subscribing to a cable package that included internet service but returned the modem within three months without otherwise changing their package between Jan. 1, 2014, through July 1, 2017.
Comcast will send a claim form to all eligible consumers and will provide a refund check within 60 days after the claims period has closed. Under the terms of the settlement, Comcast is required to pay out $1.14 million in refunds.
The settlement also requires Comcast to pay $160,000 to the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office, which can also be used to provide refunds to consumers. Minnesotans that Comcast overcharged at any time since 2013 can complete a contact form on the Attorney General’s website at tinyurl.com/ulgqoj6 as the first step in the refund process.
In addition to refunds, Comcast will wipe clean the debt for approximately 16,000 former customers that Comcast charged an early termination fee after they downgraded or canceled their services while they were locked into a contract. It will notify the credit bureaus that the debt was satisfied so that it no longer affects those customers’ credit history. This debt relief is expected to be worth millions of dollars to those consumers.
Comcast is also required to change its advertising practices to alert customers to the full price they will pay when they receive their bill. Comcast charges several fees on top of its base price. In the past, it did not always disclose that those extra fees were charged on top of the advertised price. This will now change.