Comcast has been told to pay a pretty penny for billing plans to customers’ accounts without their consent and knowledge. The company has been ordered by a Washington state judge to pay almost $9.1 million in penalties and restitution for billing its Service Protection Plan to customers over 445,000 times between 2011 and 2016.
The Service Protection Plan essentially offset the basic cost of a Comcast tech visiting the customers’ home. It was added to bills more than 445,000 times between 2011 and 2016. Comcast was completely aware that this was being done and didn’t do anything to stop the practice until after the initial lawsuit was filed, argued the state Attorney General’s office.
More than 240,000 of the violations were committed when customers were signed up for the plan without them even knowing about it. The other 205,000 violations involved Comcast either not telling the customer about the cost or representing it falsely. Comcast is estimated to have made $85 million through this practice.
The pure damages that have been imposed on the company only account for a small portion of the amount it’s believed to have made. The restitution will provide all customers with complete refunds in addition to 12 percent interest. Comcast says that it has since “fully addressed” the consent requirement for customers that are subscribed to this plan.
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