A class action suit has been filed against Clearwire, alleging the company’s Internet and phone services are neither as reliable or as capable as advertised, and also complaining that the company’s early termination fees are illegal.

There are four plaintiffs, and all are customers of Clearwire’s pre-WiMAX service, not the Clear WiMAX service. The suit was filed in King County in Washington State; King County includes Seattle, where Clearwire is based.

Clearwire’s subscribers are required to enter into one- or two-year agreements. Should a subscriber decide to cancel Clearwire service for any reason, Clearwire charges the subscriber an early termination fee, usually in excess of $200, the lawsuit states. The complaint alleges the fee is illegal under Washington law.

The complaint also accuses Clearwire of false advertising. Clearwire advertises its Internet service offering as a reliable, comparable and “always-on” alternative to cable Internet or DSL, the suit states. The plaintiffs say they experienced frequent service disruptions.

Several of the defendants live near the edges of Clearwire’s service areas. One defendant lives in Monroe, Wash., a small town in a valley outside of Seattle; another in Graham, Wash., a small community southwest of Seattle at the beginning of the Mt. Rainier foothills; and a third in Waipahu, Hawaii, a suburb of Honolulu. The fourth resides in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Clearwire declined to comment on the suit.

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