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Oregon reaches $4 million settlement with CenturyLink following consumer complaints

The Attorney General's office said that it had received more than 1,200 customer complaints about CenturyLink, prompting the suit.

Posted: Dec 31, 2019 3:57 PM
Updated: Dec 31, 2019 4:06 PM

SALEM, Ore. — An investigation that began in 2014 has culminated in telecom company CenturyLink settling with the state of Oregon for $4 million in addition to other concessions, according to the state Attorney General's office.

The state alleged that CenturyLink engaged in deceptive advertising and billing practices, charging customers undisclosed fees, and failing to provide promised discounts to customers.

“Purchasing internet, phone service and cable is confusing enough without false promises, and confusing prices and fees. Today’s settlement sends a clear message that hidden fees and other forms of unfair and deceptive business practices will not be tolerated in Oregon,” said Attorney General Rosenblum.

Oregon's Department of Justice (DOJ) opened an investigation into CenturyLink back in 2014 after receiving more than 1,000 consumer complaints, according to the Attorney General's office, "including complaints about the company misrepresenting the price of services, failing to inform consumers of terms and conditions that could affect the price, and billing consumers for services they never received."

In 2018, complaints about telecommunication companies topped the DOJ's list of top 10 consumer complaints. Since 2014, the number of complaints against CenturyLink alone have gone beyond 1,200, according to Rosenblum's office.

Under the settlement, CenturyLink will have to refund $672,000 to more than 8,000 Oregonians who were either overcharged or did not receive a promised discount. The telecom is supposed to contact those people directly.

The settlement also stipulates that CenturyLink must do the following:

  • Stop charging new customers the “Internet Cost Recovery Fee,” a fee that was not always previously disclosed to consumers until they received their first bill.
  • Stop charging a “Broadband Cost Recovery Fee.”
  • Allow current customers to have an opportunity to transition to another plan without the fee.
  • Clearly disclose all mandatory fees and charges in future advertisements.
  • Stop charging cancellation and unreturned equipment fees if they are not disclosed at the time of sale.

Rosenblum's office said that the DOJ is also pursuing a separate securities class action lawsuit against the company for similar conduct.

Any Oregonian who believes they have received bills with undisclosed fees can file a consumer complaint, or contact the Attorney General Consumer Hotline at 877-877-9392.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 132412

Reported Deaths: 1799
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah28237458
Washington18512171
Marion16085238
Clackamas11577138
Lane8219108
Jackson686284
Umatilla670968
Deschutes490736
Yamhill316245
Malheur312452
Linn310246
Klamath242238
Polk241340
Josephine170633
Jefferson168725
Benton168414
Douglas166643
Union110416
Wasco106323
Columbia103318
Lincoln98517
Hood River94821
Coos93315
Morrow92710
Clatsop6695
Crook60410
Baker5665
Tillamook3622
Curry3185
Lake2295
Grant2131
Harney1734
Wallowa963
Gilliam481
Sherman470
Wheeler201
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2955323

Reported Deaths: 33342
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles100392313741
San Bernardino2482851560
Riverside2352352517
San Diego2098972065
Orange2093652320
Santa Clara914661060
Kern83547558
Sacramento802791080
Fresno79950932
Alameda65679757
Ventura59061412
San Joaquin56484748
Contra Costa50627430
Stanislaus41925739
Tulare40176501
Monterey34959249
San Mateo31291294
San Francisco28574254
Imperial24944463
Solano24654105
Santa Barbara23538228
Merced23492296
Sonoma23204234
Kings18661110
Placer16761173
San Luis Obispo15129128
Madera12883130
Santa Cruz11776113
Marin11345153
Yolo10240131
Shasta9594117
Butte9233121
El Dorado751544
Sutter748477
Napa723139
Lassen509413
San Benito485043
Yuba481827
Tehama397142
Tuolumne330438
Nevada309973
Mendocino307631
Amador295329
Lake243428
Humboldt226324
Glenn182419
Colusa16919
Calaveras153823
Siskiyou140813
Mono10834
Inyo92429
Del Norte8472
Plumas5735
Modoc3783
Mariposa3434
Trinity3024
Alpine730
Sierra700
Unassigned00
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