DENVER (KDVR) — Attorney General Phil Weiser announced Thursday that more than 200,000 Coloradans will soon receive checks in the mail from a 2019 settlement reached with CenturyLink because the company deceptively overcharged consumers for services.
During the investigation, the Colorado Department of Law learned that dating back to 2014, CenturyLink unfairly and deceptively charged hidden fees, falsely advertised guaranteed locked prices, and failed to provide discounts and refunds it promised consumers who signed up for internet, television, and telephone services in our state.
As part of a settlement with the state, CenturyLink refunded $1.7 million directly to consumers for overbilling errors before March 31, 2020.
CenturyLink also paid $6,775,000 to the State of Colorado for violating consumer protection laws. The attorney general’s office is now distributing those funds to consumers that CenturyLink harmed with their deceptive conduct, according to Thursday’s announcement.
“My office is committed to protecting consumers from unfair or deceptive practices,” said Attorney General Phil Weiser. “CenturyLink’s deceptive conduct harmed thousands of Coloradans, who are entitled to trust that the prices they are quoted for services are the prices they will pay. For those consumers overcharged by CenturyLink, I am pleased that we are able to return some of the money that was unfairly taken from them.”
As a part of the settlement, CenturyLink is required to change its business practices and explain clearly its pricing terms—including fees and surcharges—in its advertising and sales. The company also agreed to stop charging an Internet Cost Recovery Fee for future orders and to stop charging unreturned equipment fees to customers who return equipment on time.
- The nearly 205,000 consumers who were overcharged, and to the more than 500 individuals who filed complaints about CenturyLink through the attorney general’s office consumer protection website. Some consumers may fall into both categories.
- Payments will range from $12-$83 depending on how long they were charged the Internet Cost Recovery Fee. Consumers who filed complaints will receive $100.
Consumers receiving funds should look for the following:
- An email from Rust Consulting prior to the receipt of a check in the mail, alerting consumers that a check is on the way. Rust is the vendor working with the attorney general’s office to manage the distribution of money to Coloradans.
- A letter from the attorney general with a check will follow in the mail.
No one will ask recipients for their bank account information, date of birth, Social Security number, or any other personal information in exchange for their refund. Any such questions are indicators of fraud or a scam.