Judge Orders CenturyLink® to be More Transparent with the Users in Minnesota

Internet Providers
Transparent About Fees And Prices

An Anoka County judge recently ordered CenturyLink® to be more transparent about their fees and prices. The order from the Anoka County Chief Judge Douglas Meslow came because of a lawsuit filed in July by an Attorney General in Minnesota named Lori Swanson.

The order from the judge, written with inputs from both CenturyLink® and Swanson attorneys, is not enough to judge whether CenturyLink® or other internet providers engaged in unlawful practices in their business. The lawsuit filed by the DFL Attorney General Lori Swanson compiled thirty-seven stories from around “hundreds” of people that she said contacted her office complaining about CenturyLink® trying to bill them for charges that they had not agreed to or refusal to honor and provide the deals that were offered by the salesperson of CenturyLink®.

The case of Swanson is moving forward in the court and also seeks restitution for the subscribers misled by the company and seeks civil penalties for CenturyLink®. However, the Attorney General said that the court order from the judge is aimed at stopping any more billing related issues or confusions in the meantime.

CenturyLink® “is going to have to be very specific now: This is your monthly base fee, these are your recurring fees you’ll see every month, and this is how long it applies,’ ” Swanson said. “This should hopefully be something meaningful for consumers so they can get the core information they need to know.”

Mark Molzen, who is the CenturyLink® spokesperson, said that they are already working on some of the requirements that are included in the court order and “will continue to work through the issues raised by the attorney general’s complaint.”

Cable Services
Billing Related Issues

“Our goal is to ensure that our customers understand the terms of service at the point of sale,” he said. “Should our customers have questions or concerns, we offer a variety of methods for them to contact us, including online chat, e-mail or by calling the toll-free number on their bill.”

The order from the court prohibits CenturyLink® from making any false statements or leaving out details about fees and prices in their conversations with people who are looking to buy their services or DirecTV® cable services via CenturyLink®. The order needs CenturyLink® to be upfront on the details of all the charges including the effective period of special deals and the other kinds of fees that the users can expect.

By November 22, CenturyLink® must “implement sales scripts for use by its representatives” which disclose the full scope of charges, fees, terms and conditions for every package deal.

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