Internet Provider Sued Over Alleged Junk Fees and Deceptive Marketing

  • Connecticut AG William Tong sued CSC Holdings, LLC, the operating subsidiary of the telecommunications company Altice USA, Inc., alleging that the company’s marketing and provision of Internet services to Connecticut residents under the brand name Optimum violated the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA).
  • The Complaint alleges that Altice violated the CUTPA by charging consumers hidden “junk” fees in the form of “Network Enhancement Fees” (NEF) and by misrepresenting the nature and purpose of the NEF, which increased over time without adequate explanation.  Altice also allegedly advertised a price for Internet service that did not include the NEF, but ultimately charged customers a higher price that included the NEF, thereby enabling the company to advertise an artificially lower price for Internet service.  Further, Altice’s Spanish language advertisements allegedly included material terms, conditions, and disclaimers in English, among other things.
  • The lawsuit seeks injunctive relief, restitution, disgorgement of all revenues, profits and gains achieved in whole or in part through the unfair and/or deceptive acts or practices, civil penalties, attorney’s fees, and other relief.
  • AG Tong previously settled with Internet provider Frontier Communications to resolve allegations that, among other things, Frontier added a hidden “internet infrastructure surcharge” to customer invoices in violation of the CUTPA.