FCC Fines Comcast $2.3 Million For Allegedly Duping Customers

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Eric Lieberman Deputy Editor
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Government officials are fining Comcast $2.3 million for unfairly charging customers for things they allegedly never ordered.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) investigated the Philadelphia-based company and found it did not always seek clear customer consent before levying charges on certain supplementary features, like additional cable modems and premium channels.

“It is basic that a cable bill should include charges only for services and equipment ordered by the customer — nothing more and nothing less,” Travis LeBlanc, head of the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau, said in an official press release. “We expect all cable and phone companies to take responsibility for the accuracy of their bills and to ensure their customers have authorized any charges.”

FCC says it has received several complaints from consumers that purport Comcast would exact charges for services that were never ordered, like digital video recorders and access to television networks like HBO and Showtime.

Comcast has consistently been voted one of the worst companies, specifically in terms of customer service. It took the top spot in both 2010 and 2014. The corporation announced that enough was enough in 2015 and laid out plans to improve its poor public image by hiring 5,500 people, with a focus on establishing positive customer relations.

But the latest news of apparent false charges may hamper that initiative.

Along with the $2.3 million penalty, Comcast must, “obtain affirmative informed consent” from customers before charging them for any new equipment or services, according to the release. It must also notify consumers of any purchase with “an order confirmation separate from any other bill, clearly, and conspicuously describing newly added products and their associated charges.”

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