New York sues Charter, alleges Time Warner fraud on internet speeds

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By Jonathan Stempel and Anjali Athavaley

<span class="articleLocation”>New York filed a lawsuit on Wednesday accusing
Charter Communications Inc of short-changing customers
who were promised faster internet speeds than it could deliver.

The lawsuit in State Supreme Court in Manhattan accused
Charter’s Spectrum unit, until recently known as Time Warner
Cable, of systematically defrauding customers since 2012 by
promising and charging for services it knew it could not offer.

At least 640,000 subscribers signed up for high-speed plans
but got slower speeds, and many subscribers were unable to
access promised online content such as Facebook, Netflix,
YouTube and various gaming platforms, the complaint said.

The lawsuit seeks “full restitution” for customers, as well
as hefty civil fines.

In a press conference, New York Attorney General Eric
Schneiderman said his office filed the lawsuit after fielding
thousands of complaints from unhappy customers.

“The allegations in today’s lawsuits confirm what many of
you have long suspected,” he said. “Spectrum-Time Warner has
been ripping you off.”

Charter bought Time Warner Cable last year.

In a statement, Charter said it was disappointed that the
attorney general challenged Time Warner Cable’s broadband speed
advertisements that predated the merger.

“We will continue to invest in our business and deliver the
highest quality services to our customers while we defend
against these allegations involving Time Warner Cable
practices,” the Stamford, Connecticut-based company said.

Among the allegations in the complaint was an accusation
that Time Warner Cable leased older-generation modems to 900,000
subscribers knowing that the modems could not achieve faster
internet speeds.

Schneiderman had in October launched a probe into whether
three major internet providers were shortchanging consumers.

The others included Verizon Communications Inc and
Cablevision Systems Corp, now owned by European telecom group
Altice NV.



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