Comcast fined $2.3M, accused of mischarging customers

FILE - This Feb. 11, 2011 file photo shows the Comcast logo on one of the company's vehicles, in Pittsburgh. Wall Street appears increasingly convinced Comcast’s $45.2 billion purchase of Time Warner Cable is dead. telling indicator is the gap between the value Comcast’s all-stock bid assigned to each Time Warner Cable share and Time Warner Cable stock’s current price. That was at its widest point yet Thursday, April 23, 2015, a signal that investors are giving just 20 to 30 percent odds that the deal will go through, said Nomura analyst Adam Ilkowitz. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Government regulators are fining Comcast $2.3 million, saying the cable giant has charged customers for stuff they never ordered, like premium channels or extra cable boxes.

The Federal Communications Commission said the Philadelphia company must clearly ask customers before charging them for new services or equipment and make it easier for customers to fight charges they think are wrong.

Comcast said Tuesday that it’s been working to improve customer service and that the problems uncovered by the FCC stemmed from “isolated errors or customer confusion” rather than intentionally mischarging its 22 million cable-TV subscribers.

After the fine was announced, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., released the following statement:

“I asked the FCC to act after hearing from Oregon consumers who were charged cable and internet fees that they never personally authorized. Oregonians shared their stories about modem rental fees continuing even after they returned the rented equipment to Comcast, or were being charged a rental fee having never even rented a modem in the first place. The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau is right to hold cable and internet service providers accountable for unnecessary and erroneous charges for both equipment rental fees and service fees that Americans didn’t consent to. Consumers should not be held captive by Big Cable’s price gouging, so I am happy to see the FCC is holding Comcast accountable for unfair billing practices.

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