Following pressure from Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and his colleagues, the Federal Communication Commission’s Enforcement Bureau today announced that Comcast will pay a $2.3 million fine for wrongfully charging cable TV customers for services and equipment that those customers never authorized.
Under the terms of today’s settlement, Comcast will pay the largest civil penalty assessed on a cable operator by the FCC. The FCC also ordered Comcast to provide a five-year compliance plan.
“I asked the FCC to act after hearing from Oregon consumers who were charged cable and internet fees that they never personally authorized. Oregonians shared their stories about modem rental fees continuing even after they returned the rented equipment to Comcast, or were being charged a rental fee having never even rented a modem in the first place.”
“Given the power big corporations have over American consumers, the need to stop unfair billing practices and ensure affordable cable and internet services for all Americans is all the more important,” Sen. Wyden and other senators wrote to the FCC.
Under the terms of the settlement, Comcast will adopt processes and procedures designed to obtain affirmative informed consent from customers prior to charging them for any new services or equipment.
Nothing was mentioned about how much in unearned income Comcast received with their illegal charges.