LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – If you’re one of tens of thousands of Time Warner customers in California who had to contend with slow internet speeds, you could be eligible to receive a credit on your next bill.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday that it has reached an $18.8 million settlement in a lawsuit against Time Warner Cable, which became Charter Spectrum, for approximately 170,000 customers who received lower internet speeds than the company claimed it offered in its misleading advertising.
Charter Communications purchased Time Warner Cable in May of 2016. Charter then turned around and branded Time Warner Cable’s internet and TV service as Spectrum.
The lawsuit, however, only applies to customers who had Time Warner internet from 2013 until the 2016 buyout.
Time Warner used “misleading advertising practices to lure consumers to pay for high-speed internet services the company could not deliver, beginning in 2013,” the DA’s office said in a news release.
Affected customers will automatically see either a $90 or $180 credit on their Spectrum bill within 60 days, the DA’s office said. Customers who were given outdated modems from Time Warner will receive the $90 credit, while those who were both given outdated modems and paid for a higher-internet speed will receive a $180 credit.
The DA’s office said it is the largest restitution ever in a consumer protection lawsuit.
“This historic settlement serves as a warning to all companies in California that deceptive practices are bad for consumers and bad for business,” L.A. County DA Jackie Lacey wrote in a statement.
Furthermore, all Spectrum internet customers in California who also have Spectrum TV will be offered three free months of Showtime. Those who do not have Spectrum TV will be offered Spectrum Choice, a streaming service.
Charter Spectrum provided CBS2 with the following statement:
“We are pleased to have reached this settlement with California regarding certain Time Warner Cable advertising practices in California prior to our 2016 merger. We cooperated fully in the review, have resolved this matter comprehensively, and this is expressly not a finding nor an admission of liability. Charter has made and continues to make, substantial investments enhancing internet service across the state including raising entry-level speeds of our flagship service to 200Mbps and launching Spectrum Internet Gig. We look forward to continue providing the best Internet, TV, Mobile and Voice products and services to our California customers.”
To read the full judgement documents, click here.