Charter Spectrum fined $174 million


Charter Spectrum can breathe slightly easier today. 

The state announced that a settlement was reached with the company and internet service subscribers could be seeing a check. 

NewsChannel 34’s Morgan McKay explains the record settlement. 

Attorney General Barbara Underwood announced today that the state reached a $174 million settlement with Charter Spectrum. The office is claiming that it is the largest refund by an internet provider in U.S. history. 

John: People subscribe to the service and fully expect to get what they paid for.Obviously through due diligence and from complaints from the public it became pretty clear that people weren’t getting what they paid for and kudos to the Attorney General and Time Warner to come to some resolve

In 2017, the  AG at the time, Eric Schneiderman, filed the civil lawsuit against Charter Communication, saying the company and its predecessor Time Warner Cable, knowingly lied about its internet access speed since 2012. 

With this settlement, over 700,000 Spectrum customers will receive between $75 and a $150 from the company. The company also agreed to provide more than 100 million dollars worth of streaming services and channels at no charge to around two million subscribers. What was not very clear, was how these refunds will be issued, but Charter should be reaching out to customers who are eligible for this refund. 

Angelo: It was confusing and the other part to this is some consumers might not even know what they are entitled to at this point, so how will this be spelled out, how will they know that they are owed something from the company, will notifications go out. These are all looming questions that need to be answered 

This settlement is different than the ongoing dispute between Charter and the Public Service Commission which is accusing the company of going back on its promise to expand broadband internet access to rural areas.

Angelo: Years have gone by, where is that commitment, why has the company not delivered for constituents that are waiting for broadband services that were supposed to get it under the New York broadband program

As Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbra points out the settlement leaves a lot unfinished. Spectrum still has until the end of the year to reach a settlement with the Public Service Commission

Reporting from the Capitol I’m Morgan McKay.

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