NY attorney general sues internet provider over speed claims

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – New York’s attorney general filed a lawsuit against Charter Communications alleging the cable and internet provider failed to deliver on promised internet speeds and reliability.

Charter’s subsidiary, Spectrum, was previously known as Time Warner Cable.

The lawsuit claims the company failed to address network problems that led to slower-than-promised speeds. It seeks compensation for customers.

One local family told NEWS10 ABC their service has gotten worse, and it freezes on them.

“Lots of aggravation, lots of yelling, actually not utilizing the internet because it’s so frustrating,” Tabetha Piche said.

Piche has a full house. Her boys are avid video gamers, but for the past three days since they’ve upgraded to what they thought was “faster internet,” their hobby has been put on hold.

“We noticed that even though the one in the living room is hard lined, that one gets booted from the internet when somebody else logs on,” Piche explained.

Before the upgrade, Piche paid around $136. Now she pays around $170 – money that’s not seeing its worth.

“We upgraded the service; it’s supposed to better, faster, and now we get kicked completely,” she said.

Schneiderman announced the lawsuit on Wednesday.

“Yet, the company had the audacity to charge subscribers $10 a month to lease the subpar modems knowing they cannot deliver the promised speeds,” he said.

Schneiderman said the company has been leasing outdated modems for $10 a month, which he said they’ve known about since 2013 but never told its customers.

“Spectrum-TWC engineers actually warned its business executives that the nature of Wi-Fi makes it virtually impossible to achieve wired speeds wirelessly, but Spectrum Time Warner concealed these essential facts from its subscribers,” he said.

Last year, Schneiderman’s office asked Stamford, Connecticut-based Charter to fix the problems following its acquisition of Time Warner Cable.

Charter sent the following statement in response to the lawsuit filing:

We are disappointed that the NY Attorney General chose to file this lawsuit regarding Time Warner Cable’s broadband speed advertisements that occurred prior to Charter’s merger.  Charter made significant commitments to NY State as part of our merger with Time Warner Cable in areas of network investment, broadband deployment and offerings, customer service and jobs.  In addition, Charter was among the highest rated broadband providers in the 2016 FCC Broadband Report.  Charter has already made substantial investments in the interest of upgrading the Time Warner Cable systems and delivering the best possible experience to customers.  We will continue to invest in our business and deliver the highest quality services to our customers while we defend against these allegations involving Time Warner Cable practices.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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