NEW YORK — Two Internet providers accused of defrauding their subscribers have agreed to a $174.2 million settlement with the state of New York.
The settlement with Charter Communications Inc. and Spectrum Management Holding Company (together Charter) is the largest consumer payout by an Internet company in the U.S., according to the New York Attorney General's Office and settles charges that the companies did not provide the "fast Internet" and "reliable" Internet service it had sold to customers. The companies leased defective equipment to customers and did not provide the promised internet speeds to subscribers resulting in poor quality service, the Attorney General's Office said.
“This settlement should serve as a wakeup call to any company serving New York consumers: fulfill your promises, or pay the price,” New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood said in a statement. “Not only is this the largest-ever consumer payout by an Internet service provider, returning tens of millions of dollars to New Yorkers who were ripped off and providing additional streaming and premium channels as restitution, but it also sets a new standard for how Internet providers should fairly market their services.”
The settlement includes $62.5 million in customer refunds and providing streaming and premium channels with a "retail value of more than $100 million, Underwood's office said.