If Spectrum-Time Warner Cable is your Internet provider, the New York Attorney General says you might be paying for higher speeds than you’re getting. In a lawsuit filed today, New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said Spectrum-TWC “systematically and knowingly failed to deliver the reliable and fast internet access it promised to subscribers across the state.” The suit seeks restitution for customers going back five years, which could be worth “upwards of hundreds of millions of dollars.”
The suit alleges that wired internet speeds in the premium plan (100, 200, and 300 Mbps) were up to 70 percent slower than promised, with WiFi up to 80 percent slower. It says the modems and routers provided by the company were unable to provide the speeds promised, and the wider network was subject to speed-killing bottlenecks.
The suit says the company leased “deficient cable modems to over 900,000 subscribers in New York that could not deliver the advertised speeds. As of February 2016, Spectrum-TWC still charged over 185,000 New Yorkers, or roughly 7 percent of its 2.5 million active subscriber base at the time, $10 a month for deficient modems that, in its own words, were ‘not capable of supporting the service levels paid for.’”
On the wireless side, the suit says the company supplied “over 250,000 subscribers on 200 Mbps and 300 Mbps plans deficient WiFi routers that Spectrum-TWC knew could not deliver speeds above 100 Mbps.”
“The allegations in today’s lawsuit confirm what millions of New Yorkers have long suspected — Spectrum-Time Warner Cable has been ripping you off,” said Schneiderman. “Today’s action seeks to bring much-needed relief to the millions of New Yorkers we allege have been getting cheated by Spectrum-Time Warner Cable for far too long. Even now, Spectrum-Time Warner Cable continues to offer Internet speeds that we found they cannot reliably deliver.”
Charter spokesperson John Bonomo told Gothamist in a statement that the suit related to Time Warner’s speeds before the May 2016 merger, and that the company has made significant commitments “in areas of network investment, broadband deployment and offerings, customer service and jobs” and has already made “substantial investments in the interest of upgrading the Time Warner Cable systems and delivering the best possible experience to customers.”