New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a lawsuit against Charter Communications and their Time Warner subsidiary, claiming that they “allegedly conduct[ed] a deliberate scheme to defraud and mislead New Yorkers by promising Internet service that they knew they could not deliver.”
Officials of the state said that they have conducted a sixteen month investigation, which involved reviewing of the internal corporate communications “and hundreds of thousands of subscriber speed tests,” which concluded that Spectrum-TWC users were “dramatically short-changed on both speed and reliability,” the announcement said.
“The suit alleges that subscribers’ wired Internet speeds for the premium plan (100, 200, and 300 Mbps) were up to 70 percent slower than promised; Wi-Fi speeds were even slower, with some subscribers getting speeds that were more than 80 percent slower than what they had paid for,” the Attorney General said. “As alleged in the complaint, Spectrum-TWC charged New Yorkers as much as $109.99 per month for premium plans [that] could not achieve speeds promised in their slower plans.”
Charter Communications became the second largest cable company after they purchased TWC and Bright House Networks, and they have 2.5 million users in the state of New York itself. A Charter spokesperson said that they are much disappointed that Schneiderman has filed the lawsuit and it concerns incidents that took place before the merger.
“Charter made significant commitments to NY State as part of our merger with Time Warner Cable in areas of network investment, broadband deployment and offerings, customer service and jobs,” the company said. “In addition, Charter was among the highest rated broadband providers in the 2016 FCC Broadband Report. Charter has already made substantial investments in the interest of upgrading the Time Warner Cable systems and delivering the best possible experience to customers. We will continue to invest in our business and deliver the highest quality services to our customers while we defend against these allegations involving Time Warner Cable practices.”
Opposing the Charter statement, Schneiderman said that the bad behavior of Charter did not stop even after the merger of Charter and TWC. “Spectrum-TWC continues to underserve their subscribers by failing to make the capital investments necessary to live up to their promised speeds,” the he said. “These investments would include substantially upgrading Spectrum-TWC’s network capability and replacing large numbers of deficient modems and wireless routers that subscribers currently pay Spectrum-TWC up to $10 per month to rent.”