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New York Sues Charter Over Slow Internet Speeds (reuters.com) 69

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: New York filed a lawsuit on Wednesday accusing Charter Communications Inc of short-changing customers who were promised faster internet speeds than it could deliver. The lawsuit in State Supreme Court in Manhattan accused Charter's Spectrum unit, until recently known as Time Warner Cable, of systematically defrauding customers since 2012 by promising and charging for services it knew it could not offer. At least 640,000 subscribers signed up for high-speed plans but got slower speeds, and many subscribers were unable to access promised online content such as Facebook, Netflix, YouTube and various gaming platforms, the complaint said. The lawsuit seeks "full restitution" for customers, as well as hefty civil fines. Among the allegations in the complaint was an accusation that Time Warner Cable leased older-generation modems to 900,000 subscribers knowing that the modems could not achieve faster internet speeds.
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New York Sues Charter Over Slow Internet Speeds

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  • Justice Boner (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nobuddy ( 952985 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2017 @09:31PM (#53785605) Homepage Journal

    I would love to see them nailed hard for this, prompting cities in their little mini-monopolies to follow suit all across the country. They won't, bribes will be paid and it will go away. But man, wouldn't it be sweet if it did happen.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I want to see those scammers, thieves and traitors hung! ... wait. what do you mean "everything's okay now"?

    What's that big bag with a dollar sign on it? Where are you going?

  • by bengoerz ( 581218 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2017 @09:47PM (#53785667)
    We're nerds. Lets summarize like it:

    Charter customers with 100+Mbps plans were leased old-spec modems that couldn't support those speeds. Charter promised the FCC that it would swap the modems, and the FCC excluded speedtest results from these users from national averages. Fast forward: Charter didn't switch the modems. Now NY State is suing it for defrauding customers.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Is California having a similar lawsuit? I just signed up for their Spectrum service, was promised to receive 100 Mbps, but have consistently gotten less than 40 Mbps since day one. The alternative is Frontier at the same price for a tenth the speed, but obviously, we consumers should be getting what we're paying for, right?

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I had that issue with Charter as well.
        To resolve it just required a call and they changed the provisioning on their end.

        Have had 100-150 Mb/s down since that call.

        Also make sure your modem is a newer docsis supported modem.

        If you are leading it you can just go to the local Charter location or have them send a tech to swap it.

        • Right. Because customers should have to call and complain in order to receive the service they asked for.

          It seems pretty obvious that this company is intentionally selling one thing and then swapping it for something less. If you paid for high speed service but didn't receive it, then you should get money back from them for the service they did not deliver.

      • If you're talking Frontier that was former Verizon FiOS territory, avoid it like the plague. The constant outages that I've heard about there since the switchover has been worse than anything Charter is doing.

      • I just signed up for their Spectrum service, was promised to receive 100 Mbps, but have consistently gotten less than 40 Mbps since day one.

        Did they promise 100Mbps, or "up to 100Mbps"? That's always been their game. "We'll give you 'up to' the advertised speed, but that includes anything down to and including zero". On a side note, have them come out and check your wire. I'm about to call them again to have them replace the line from the pole for the third time. They just can't hang those things to save their lives, and two of them have broken at the anchor point on my eaves. This third one they ran directly through a bushy tree, and the wind

    • I recently found myself in a similar situation where I was on a plan where I couldn't get the maximum speed because I had and old cable modem (DOCSIS 2.0, yeah it's old) that couldn't support the speed that I was getting. I didn't realize this until I had called in about an unrelated issue and the tech (bog bless him for being a decent lad, despite working in the whore pits at the local cable monopoly) noted that irregularity. Not that it really mattered because I had signed up for the 500 GB plan years ago
    • I wonder how much of this can be blamed on Buffer Bloat [bufferbloat.net]?

    • Comcast....

      25 mbps - Can't stream Netflix in 3D.

      Drop plan to 3 mbps, next week Netflix pays Comcast. Suddenly, the very next day my 3 mbps connection is adequate to stream 3D content.

      The thing is, I paid Comcast for 25 mbps service. I was not getting it. They manipulate the speeds. And it goes beyond the disclaimer that said speeds may not always be available. We understand outages, slowdowns, peak periods, etc. But when they are NEVER available. But you can turn around and hit a popular speed test site and

  • let Charter handle the leftovers.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    is how they've advertised for years. not since the earlier days of charter "pipeline" or time warner "roadrunner" (their previous brandings of high speed internet) have either company used 'unlimited'; and i dont recall any advertising (back then or now) that hasn't included "up to" or a significant disclaimer regarding speeds.

    yes, charter sucks donkey ass and time warner sucks cock for bus money then walks home... but as misleading as their promos are -- they're barely on the side being legal.

    what they nee

    • by jxander ( 2605655 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2017 @10:28PM (#53785837)

      Yeah, but "up to" implies that the possibility exists, even if you'll never actually see it.

      An old DOCISS 2.0 modem has a hard cap of 38 Mbps down, 27 Mbps up. That's simply the spec. Giving someone that modem and promising speeds "up to 100 Mbit/s" is flatly incorrect and false advertising.

      Or, to take things to their hyperbolic ends, imaging promoting a 56k dialup service with "speeds up to 10 Gbit/s." All the semantic loopholes wouldn't let that fly.

      • I remember a few years ago, I was waiting for Docsis 3 based services to come out like their 30/5 and 50/5. In the mean time they offered me 20x2 over the phone. I ended up going on their web site and signed up for it where it was also advertised as 20x2.

        Once I started using it, i got a consistent 20x1 on speed test. I thought something was provisioned wrong accidentally. Turns out, even though they advertised it as 20x2 even on a screen only accessable AFTER you log in (i.e. where you're picking which spee

        • by sims 2 ( 994794 )

          Sounds kind of like what att does here 12Mbps uverse service has 1.5Mbps upload in most places but here it's just 1Mbps as a result of it being ADSL2+ instead of one of the other specs that they also call uverse.

          Of course they also advertise the ADSL2+ service as fiber optic and they advertise their uverse VoIP as fiber optic phone service even though its run through the same ADSL2+ connection.

    • by sjames ( 1099 )

      Up to isn't get out of jail free. The "up to" speed needs to be at least theoretically possible given the equipment in use even if it would require perfect conditions never seen in nature.

      That is not the case here since the modems they're providing cannot provide the up to speed under any conditions.

  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2017 @10:23PM (#53785811) Homepage

    You did this to your self. Community internet was BANNED by your corrupt city in favor of these scumbag companies.
    This kind of scumbag bullshit has been going on in cities by so called leaders for years because you prefer to get your palms greased by the big cable companies.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You did this to your self. Community internet was BANNED by your corrupt city in favor of these scumbag companies.
      This kind of scumbag bullshit has been going on in cities by so called leaders for years because you prefer to get your palms greased by the big cable companies.

      Don't worry, if any community DARES to try to develop its own ISP, and serve its citizens, then the state or federal government will step in to save them.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      State of New York is sueing, not City of New York. Court is in Manhattan but the Attorney General is the New York State Attorney General.

  • by mmell ( 832646 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2017 @10:33PM (#53785855)
    And prepare to wait for a lo-o-ong time . . .
  • When I originally moved into my house in 2011, we had charter and it was terrible.

    I live at the edge of the earth, so I gladly jumped at 12mbps internet over the 5mbps that Verizon was offering with DSL. Sadly it only went 2-3mbps when the ping wasn't >1000ms.

    Fast forward to today, they offer 60mbps in my area, I give a shot again, and this time it actually works great, without any hitches.

    I'm not sure what they fixed in my area, but I'm glad they did.

  • Am I allowed to defend a big company on Slashdot and not be accused of being a shill?

    Charter is easily the best ISP, at least in my area (and from what I've heard, it is in many places). They're the only ones that actually gives you the advertised speeds. They guarantee 60Mbps over wired connections, not wireless, but wireless is usually damn near as good with a quality router. My guess with New York is that some of the modems they gave to customers weren't up to the latest DOCSIS specs.

    Also, the wording of

    • Can you get Verizon FIOS? Other than the lack of IPv6, I haven't had any issues with them. I consistently get the 150/150 that I pay for. In fact it's seemingly provisioned to about 152/165 or so. Comcast came knocking asking if we'd switch.... I asked if they could match the upload speed, and that was the end of the conversation. I run a lot of personal servers out of my home (via VPN), so the symmetrical connection is great, even if I just need a VPN to route my traffic through on insecure networks. I hav

      • There's no FIOS in Midwestville, Flyover where I live. That's the big advantage of the cable company over fiber optic: there's usually cable in all but the most rural of areas. Also, FIOS starts at $70 a month for 50Mbps, whereas Charter Spectrum starts at $45 for 60.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Frontier DSL took over in WV back in 2010 when Verizon bailed on the state after years of neglecting their infrastructure. Their base plan at the time was a 3mbps plan at $65/mo, which when I was on it I was lucky to get 1.5mpbs. Usually I got between 512-768kbps. They "upgraded" the plan to 6mbps at some point, but I never saw any actual performance increase. I wasn't the only one either, because in 2014 West Virginia threatened to sue Frontier for failing to deliver anywhere near their advertised rates. O

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