Time Warner Cable will issue credits to customers valued at roughly $17 million as a result of a legal settlement stemming from unlawful business practices tied to internet services that weren't delivered, the Riverside County District Attorney's Office announced Thursday.
"It is important for Riverside County residents to know that they are getting a fair shake," District Attorney Mike Hestrin said. "Corporations must absolutely abide by the law. This enormous settlement shows the potential result if they do not."
Time Warner, a subsidiary of Stamford, Connecticut-based Spectrum- Charter, was sued by the district attorneys of Riverside, Los Angeles and San Diego counties because of how customers' accounts were handled between 2013 and 2019, when prosecutors allege Time Warner failed to deliver the high-speed internet access promised to new customers in advertisements.
The company did not admit or deny fault under the settlement.
Prosecutors said more than 170,000 customers paid for internet speeds that Time Warner did not have the infrastructure to provide, in some cases leaving recipients with outdated modems incapable of accessing the higher bandwidths that the defendant touted.
Customers paid for the faster internet speeds without a commensurate return on their investment, according to the District Attorney's Office.
Under the settlement, which was reached in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Time Warner cable television subscribers will receive three free months of Showtime, while internet-only users will receive a complementary month of the company's entertainment streaming package.
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Additionally, some internet users will be eligible to receive a one- time credit of $90 on their bills, prosecutors said.
"A few consumers who both were issued outdated modems and paid for higher internet speeds will be eligible to receive approximately $180 in credit," according to a D.A.'s office statement. "Spectrum must automatically issue credits to all eligible consumers within 60 days."
About $1.9 million in litigation costs will be paid -- split evenly three ways -- to the prosecuting agencies under the settlement.