CenturyLink hit with class-action lawsuit over billing practices

CenturyLink is being hit with a class-action lawsuit in Washington state, claiming the company charged customers for unwanted services and charged customers more than was quoted. This comes a week after a former employee who blew the whistle on the company filed a lawsuit for wrongful termination.

The new complaint claims CenturyLink billed customers for services they never wanted; billed customers more than what was quoted in sales calls; charged early termination fees when customers canceled their services due to higher rates or because the service wasn't what was promised, and; billing customers for periods when they didn't actually have service.

The suit asks a Washington state federal judge to allow any CenturyLink customers from 2013 to the time of the filing to be eligible for reimbursement. 

The suit filed Friday is the latest against the telecom company in a number of states. According to the suit, damages could range from $600 million to $12 billion, based on CentruyLink's 5.9 million subscribers. 

Former CenturyLink employee Heidi Heiser filed suit against the company last week alleging she was fired after raising concerns about other employees signing customers up for accounts without authorization. Heiser claims she was fired after telling CEO Glen Post on a company message board about the customers being defrauded. CenturyLink said it was investigating.

Related: Seattle Office of Cable Communications

Dozens of CenturyLink customers told KING 5 in May about their alleged billing nightmares and bait and switch sales tactics. The Washington state Attorney Generals office reported last month it had received 189 complaints about CenturyLink this year -- 22 percent more than any other cable company.

If customers are interested in joining the lawsuit they can contact Geragos & Geragos lawfirm.

In response to the lawsuit, CenturyLink spokesperson Mark Molzen told KING 5 in a statement:

"Unfortunately, these types of opportunistic follow-on claims are not unexpected. The fact that a law firm is trying to leverage a wrongful termination suit into a putative class action lawsuit, does not change our original position. Our employees know that if they have any concerns about ethics or compliance issues, we have an Integrity Line in place, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our former employee did not make a report to the Integrity Line and our leadership team was not aware of the alleged matter until the lawsuit was filed. The allegations made by our former employee are completely inconsistent with our company policies, culture and Unifying Principles, which include honesty and integrity. We take these allegations seriously and are diligently investigating this matter."

© 2017 KING-TV


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