Charter to Pay $19 Million For Tricking Customers Into Switching


Sometimes, it's beneficial to switch to another cable or internet company. You could save money and possibly get a better signal. Charter tried to alert customers about those benefits but now has to pay $19 million because the company tricked those who had services with other companies into switching to its service. The money
has to be paid to Windstream as this is the company at the forefront of the incident. Charter sent cards to customers to let them know that Windstream was going out of business and that services could be changed to Charter at the same or at a lower price. Charter could face additional fees because of shutting off services to some customers who were with Windstream.


Where it Began
Windstream did file for bankruptcy in 2019. However, it didn't result in the company automatically canceling services for customers. Once Charter filed for bankruptcy, Charter Spectrum jumped on board and started trying to get as many customers as possible to change to their company so that they would still have internet, cable, and mobile services. The cards that were mailed by Charter were designed so that they looked like they were from Windstream, which made customers think that the information was legitimate.

Sending the Details
The cards that customers received in the mail from Charter had phone numbers associated with Windstream and details about current services that the company provides. There was also information about the bankruptcy that Windstream just filed for so that customers would think that the company would no longer be in business.

Going to Court
Judge Robert Drain heard the case and ruled that Charter Spectrum Internet  would have to pay $19 million because of spreading false information. The attorney for Windstream is pleased with the outcome as is corporate officials with the company. It sends a message to other companies that might want to try to do the same thing in the future to try to get more customers. It is believed by the legal team for Windstream that Charter knew that it was intentionally sending out false information and that the company should be punished. Windstream has vowed that it will continue to stand up for its customers even in the wake of filing for bankruptcy. There has been no official statement from Charter regarding the ruling by the judge.

What Was on the Mailed Cards?
The cards were mailed in envelopes designed with the colors associated with Windstream. This made it seem like customers were getting a legitimate piece of mail from the company as soon as they took the card out of the box. The information on the card alerted customers that they could lose their service because of the bankruptcy suit. However, customers could still keep their services by switching to Spectrum. They could still keep the fast internet and multiple cable channels that they enjoy as Spectrum would be there for customers for quite a long time. A judge granted Windstream the authority to send information to customers about the cards being false and that they should not listen to what they had received as they would continue providing services for customers. Charter was then ordered to pay for all of the costs associated with mailing the cards by Windstream along with the $19 million fee for trying to trick customers into switching services.


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