October 2016

$2.3 Million Fine For Negative Option Billing

Comcast allegedly charged customers for services or upgrades that customers did not order, or specifically declined. Customers were allegedly stonewalled by Comcast when trying to correct services or obtain refunds. Under the terms of the order Comcast must:

  • Pay a civil penalty of $2,300,000
  • Develop and implement a compliance plan, including:
    • procedures to obtain customers’ affirmative informed consent prior to charging consumers for new services or equipment
    • processes to send order confirmations – separate from any bill or other invoice – for any new services or equipment
    • procedures to refund consumers for unwanted/unordered services or equipment
    • processes for escalation of consumer complaints
  • Audit/monitor refund/reconciliation processes
  • Implement mechanisms to allow consumers to lock accounts from unauthorized purchases

Comcast must submit annual reports for the next 5 years detailing compliance with the Order.
jbho: not exactly a ROSCA case, but interesting to see how FCC enforcement appears to be aligning with FTC enforcement.


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