New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman announced yesterday that Time Warner Cable has agreed to refund some of its New York subscribers $2.2 million for allegedly overcharging them.
The settlement requires Time Warner Cable to refund overcharges collected since March 2007, with interest, to current subscribers in the Towns of Glenville, Livonia, Stafford, Oakfield, Geneva, Thompson, Lima, Batavia and the Villages of Waterloo and Ellenville, according to a press release from Schneiderman’s office.
“For too long, Time Warner Cable has been overcharging fees to its customers in direct violation of their local franchise contracts. This agreement brings millions of dollars in refunds to upstate consumers who overpaid their bills,” said Schneiderman. “Many New York families operate on a tight budget and every dollar counts. My office will not tolerate cable companies that ignore their contractual obligations and overcharge New York subscribers.”
Time Warner Cable subscribers will start seeing credits, which average $119, within the next 90 days. The credits will vary based on the tiers and packages that subscribers were signed up for.
In addition to the refunds, Time Warner Cable has also agreed to pay more than $200,00 the state for costs associated with the case.
Time Warner Cable's billing practices were brought to the attorney general’s attention by the town of Glenville in January of last year. The attorney general began a two-year investigation, which found that Time Warner Cable had in fact been overcharging Glenville residents for many years, and that Time Warner Cable had been improperly charging consumers in other upstate communities with franchise agreements that Time Warner Cable had acquired from Cablevision in 1995.
Although Time Warner Cable stopped overcharging franchise fees to subscribers and voluntarily made $1.4 million in refunds to subscribers in eight towns in 2007 and 2010, it continued to overcharge consumers in the 10 towns and villages covered by the most recent agreement.
As part of the investigation, Time Warner Cable reviewed its records of all its New York Franchise Agreements purchased from Cablevision and identified no other towns where similar overcharges had taken place during the period from 2007 to 2013.
“Time Warner Cable is prepared to be in full compliance with the settlement agreement entered into with the Attorney General’s Office,” Time Warner Cable wrote in a statement. “Impacted cable customers will receive a credit proportional to their monthly video charges on their statement within 90 days.”