A New York City man has filed suit against Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC), alleging that an Internet package advertised to him at $34.99 actually costs $94.45.
The suit, obtained by TechDirt, was filed by one Jeremy Zielinski. He accuses TWC of "deceptive acts and practices" and "false advertising," in failing to inform him that he'd be charged a modem lease fee and an install charge.
Here's an excerpt: "After waiting on hold for some time, a representative claimed that the $34.99 was a 'promotional price' that should not have been on the website anymore and that the 'modem lease' fee and installation fee were 'standard' and could not be taken off. Inexplicably, the representative nevertheless agreed to remove the $47.99 'Internet install fee' from the bill."
Zielinski's suit also accuses TWC of under-reporting which retail modems will actually work with its broadband service.
"Another page on TWC's site, taken down at an unknown point in the last few months, contained a list of which modems TWC will 'approve' if owned by a consumer and which modems TWC will 'lease' to consumers," the suit states. "The list of modems which are compatible with its services is substantially larger than the 'approved' list. Many modems which TWC falsely claims 'will not work' because they are not on the 'approved' list are the very same ones that TWC 'leases' to consumers and charges them non-advertised fees for."
Of course, it's just one complaint filed by one customer. But given the headwind TWC faces as it tries to get its proposed merger with Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) approved by federal regulators—and given the speed at which customer stories about TWC and Comcast seem to travel around the social Internet these days—this yarn could soon achieve outsize viral influence.
- read this TechDirt story
Cable TV far less popular than oil, health insurance and fast food companies, survey finds
Time Warner Cable finishes Maxx rollout in NYC and L.A.
TWC reports 3.6% revenue spike on business services growth, but loses 184K video subs
TWC bill goes viral: What cable can learn from celebrities in the age of social media