Comcast, County Clash Over Billing Dispute Policy - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Infrastructure

Comcast, County Clash Over Billing Dispute Policy

Montgomery County officials are concerned that the cable company's arbitration policy limits consumer action including class action litigation against Comcast.

Comcast's new policy of seeking arbitration for the resolution of billing disputes has drawn fire from officials in Montgomery County, Maryland.

County officials warned subscribers last week to review their July cable bill and be on the look out for Comcast's arbitration policy. Montgomery officials believe the wording in the contract can limit consumer action including any class action litigation against Comcast.

"Comcast's unilateral action to change the subscriber agreement, with an artificial 30-day deadline, is simply anti-consumer," said County council member Duchy Trachtenberg in a statement. County executive Isiah Leggett said: "Vendors should not change the terms of service without first receiving the consent of the consumer, and the fact that Comcast has not done this is disturbing."

A Comcast statement issued this week defends the policy change. "Comcast strives to resolve customer concerns quickly, without the need for arbitration or litigation. That said, arbitration has been a part of Comcast's terms and conditions of service for several years throughout our various service areas. Arbitration is generally a faster, less formal and less expensive process to resolve disputes than litigation."

This is not the first time that Comcast and Montgomery County leaders have clashed. In February, the County whose boundaries include cities like Rockville and Gaithersburg fined Comcast $12,281.84 for not answering the phone quickly enough.

Now, Montgomery County officials are asking consumers to opt-out of the new arbitration policy in order to keep their rights.

Comcast has provided a form for users to opt-out of the arbitration provision.

It was not immediately clear whether Comcast had issued the arbitration policy measure throughout its U.S. footprint. However, in addition to Maryland, users in Massachusetts and Colorado said they have received notices from Comcast outlining the new arbitration policy.

In addition to basic cable services, Comcast delivers IP phoning and Internet broadband to some 24 million homes in the U.S.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Slideshows
Strategies You Need to Make Digital Transformation Work
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  11/25/2019
Commentary
Enterprise Guide to Data Privacy
Cathleen Gagne, Managing Editor, InformationWeek,  11/22/2019
News
Watch Out: 7 Digital Disruptions for IT Leaders
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  11/18/2019
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
State of the Cloud
State of the Cloud
Cloud has drastically changed how IT organizations consume and deploy services in the digital age. This research report will delve into public, private and hybrid cloud adoption trends, with a special focus on infrastructure as a service and its role in the enterprise. Find out the challenges organizations are experiencing, and the technologies and strategies they are using to manage and mitigate those challenges today.
Video
Current Issue
Getting Started With Emerging Technologies
Looking to help your enterprise IT team ease the stress of putting new/emerging technologies such as AI, machine learning and IoT to work for their organizations? There are a few ways to get off on the right foot. In this report we share some expert advice on how to approach some of these seemingly daunting tech challenges.
Slideshows
Flash Poll