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Spectrum owes you money: Fraud settlement brings refunds, free channels

Charter Spectrum will refund its customers in New York $62 million as part of a settlement over claims it lied about its internet speeds. Customers will also receive $100 million in streaming services and premium cable channels.

It's part of a record $174.2 million settlement secured by the state Attorney General's Office, which said customers were "ripped off" by Spectrum, which promised high internet speeds it failed to deliver.

"Charter fought us at every major stage of the court proceedings. They moved to dismiss. They appealed. We won at every stage – and now consumers will see the results," the Attorney General's Office said in a tweet Tuesday.

As part of the settlement:

  • 700,000 current subscribers will get a $75 refund. To qualify, you must have a subpar modem or Wi-Fi router, or be in a legacy Time Warner Cable internet package with a speed of 100 Mbps or above.
  • Another 150,000 subscribers who had subpar modems provided by Spectrum for 24 months or more will receive an additional $75 refund.
  • Current subscribers to both internet and cable service will get three free months of HBO or six free months of Showtime at the customer's preference.
  • Internet-only subscribers in the state will receive one month of the Spectrum TV Choice streaming service for free plus one month of Showtime for free.

The settlement comes as a result of Time Warner Cable practices prior to the Charter Spectrum settlement.

Charter is supposed to notify eligible subscribers within 120 days. Customers aren't required to take any action.

In addition to the settlement, Spectrum has agreed to improve the equipment it provides customers and stop making unsubstantiated claims in its advertisements.

"Charter has made, and continues to make, substantial investments enhancing internet service across the state of New York since our 2016 merger, as acknowledged by the Attorney General in this settlement," the company said in a statement.

This latest development is not associated with the Public Service Commission ordering Spectrum to vacate the state. The commission has been in settlement talks with the company and repeatedly extended Spectrum's deadline.

At issue there is Spectrum's failure to meet Public Service Commission deadlines in building out its broadband cable network to rural areas in New York.

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