Comcast is going to have to pay a heavy fine. The FCC just fined Comcast for charging customers for things that they didn’t actually ask for. The fine is the largest that the FCC ever brought against any of the cable operators.
But the fine isn’t the only thing that the FCC asked for. There will also be changes to the way Comcast does business to make sure that this doesn’t happen again. The FCC were firm and despite Comcast trying to maneuver its way out of the situation, the company had to accept their decision.
Comcast Agrees to $2.3 Million Fine
Comcast agreed to a civil penalty of $2.3 million. As well as paying that fine, the company agreed to a “compliance plan”. Comcast is going to have to make sure that its business practices are aligned with the plan outlined by the FCC. Regulators are going to monitor the cable operator for the next five years. The decision serves to make sure that Comcast does not misbehave again.
Travis Leblanc is the chief of the enforcement Bureau at the FCC. He sent out a statement where he criticizes the practices that the FCC found Comcast guilty of.
“It is basic that a cable bill should include charges only for services and equipment ordered by the customer — nothing more and nothing less.”
Said Travis LeBlanc in a statement.
Comcast Has to Change Its Business Practices
The FCC said that they had received over 1000 complaints from Comcast customers. The complaints said that Comcast charged costumers for products that they hadn’t ordered. The things that people found on their cable bill that they hadn’t asked for ranged from premium channels to cable boxes to DVRs. In many situations customers had specified that they did not want the extra add-on options. Complaints say that Comcast charged them anyway even though they had expressly said no.
Another issues that Comcast customers complained about was just how big of a hassle those incorrect cable bills were. After receiving an incorrect bill, they would have to spend a lot of time and energy in order to remove those unauthorized charges from their bill. The process was not made quick and easy by Comcast. Also, getting a refund for unauthorized charges on their cable bill was difficult as well.
Because of the many complaints, the FCC launched an investigation almost two years ago. The settlement reached between the FCC and Comcast marks the end of the investigation.
Comcast agreed to a new set of rules under the compliance plan that the FCC asked for. The company is going to start sending a special notification to customers when they add a new charge or a new service to their bill. The FCC also asked Comcast to come up with a quick and simple way for consumers to choose to not have anything else added to their cable bill. If they are happy with their current plan they should be able to just “block the addition of new services or equipment to their accounts”, said the FCC.
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