Washington consumers warned about Comcast by state AG in escalating battle over protection plans

Comcast (Flickr user Mike Mozart)
Washington state's AG urged customers to check their bills for a service protection plan it calls deceptive. (Image: Flickr / Mike Mozart)

After expanding a $100 million lawsuit against Comcast last month over wiring protection fees charged to customers, citing new evidence, the Washington Attorney General has issued a consumer warning against the cable operator, claiming it’s still selling the allegedly bogus service.

“Dozens of Comcast customers filed complaints with the Attorney General’s Office in the last six weeks, claiming that the company’s Service Protection Plan (SPP) appeared on their bill when they did not consent to paying for the service,” the office of the state's Attorney General said in a statement.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson has led claims that Comcast is selling the $5.99-a-month protection plan without telling customers it doesn’t cover “fished” wiring within walls.

FREE DAILY NEWSLETTER

Like this story? Subscribe to FierceVideo!

The Video industry is an ever-changing world where big ideas come along daily. Cable, Media and Entertainment, Telco, and Tech companies rely on FierceVideo for the latest news, trends, and analysis on video creation and distribution, OTT delivery technologies, content licensing, and advertising strategies. Sign up today to get news and updates delivered to your inbox and read on the go.

In its original lawsuit filed in 2016, the AG said around 500,000 state residents paid about $73 million between January 2011 and June 2016 for the service plan. 

RELATED: Comcast ‘even more deceptive’ than Washington AG thought, expanded suit says

Comcast's VP of external affairs for the Washington region, Marianne Bichsel, responded to the allegations, saying, "The service protection plan gives those consumers who choose to purchase it great value by covering virtually all service charges over 99 percent of the time.”

Regardless of the positioning, the AG seems to be using the alert to gather more evidence in its federal lawsuit. 

“Check your bill,” the AG advises. “If you believe you're being charged for the SPP without your consent, file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office.”

Last month, the AG updated its suit, citing new evidence that it said reveals the No. 1 U.S. cable operator to be “even more deceptive than previously alleged.”

“This new evidence makes clear that Comcast’s conduct is even more egregious than we first realized,” said Ferguson in a statement. “The extent of their deception is shocking, and I will hold them accountable for their treatment of Washington consumers.”