Following complaints, Altice Optimum to be investigated

Following complaints, Altice Optimum to be investigated

For the second time in as a few years, Altice USA is below the scrutiny of Attorney General William Tong, after tons of of consumers complained about hidden charges, insufficient technical help, or slower-than-promised web speeds for its higher-end Optimum broadband packages in Connecticut.

The AG’s workplace is investigating a $3.50 month-to-month “network enhancement” charge charged to Optimum prospects and whether or not the corporate’s broadband speeds for 300 megabits per second and 400 Mbps packages have been behind these precise benchmarks.

In Connecticut, Altice has cable territories stretching from Greenwich to Milford together with a number of inland cities; and in Torrington and a number of other others south and west. Frontier Communications is the one different wireline competitor in these cities and cities, with each firms racing to run fiber optic cable to neighborhoods for gigabit-level service in an enormous funding for each.

Earlier this 12 months, Frontier agreed to a $60 million settlement after an identical investigation into about 1,400 complaints over a number of years. The Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority intervened individually with a smaller fantastic over Frontier’s set up of fiber optic nodes.

“Our investigation is seeking comprehensive records dating back to January 2017 to determine exactly what Altice Optimum knew and what they were doing to deliver the internet speed and service they promised,” Tong mentioned in a Monday press launch. “If our investigation finds that Optimum violated Connecticut law, we will not hesitate to hold them accountable.”

Tong cited the potential of invoking Connecticut’s Unfair Trade Practices Act, which covers a spread of protections for customers, together with reality in promoting and honoring provisions of contractual guarantees.

An Altice spokesperson forwarded a press release noting the corporate’s continued funding in Connecticut and its objective of high-quality service and optimistic buyer experiences.

“We are proud to serve our Connecticut communities and will work with state officials to provide relevant information,” Altice USA spokeswoman Janet Meahan mentioned in an electronic mail response to a CTInsider inquiry.

One buyer in Fairfield complained final February that Internet entry dropped repeatedly, even after he upgraded to a brand new modem for an additional month-to-month cost. The AG’s workplace has not launched the id of the person.

“I will call Optimum where you can never speak to a person, and I am told there is no outage in your area,” the client mentioned, in accordance to the AG’s workplace. “My problem is getting someone out of here. They’ve made it almost impossible to talk to a human being.”

State Sen. Norm Needleman, D-Essex, famous the rising significance of house Internet connections in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic for distant education and work, and since then with many individuals persevering with on a hybrid work schedule, mixing time within the house workplace and at work .

“Customers deserve the services they pay for, and these allegations indicate that Altice Optimum has failed to keep its word for half a decade,” mentioned Needleman, who co-chairs the Connecticut Energy and Technology Committee. General Assembly. “As the Internet has become an important part of everyday life, households that rely on these services for employment, education and entertainment can experience significant harm if they do not have reliable Internet service.”

Altice USA introduced plans in September by CEO Dexter Goei to step down to return to Europe after main the rollout of Optimum fiber providers in Connecticut and elsewhere. The firm employed Dennis Mathew, who beforehand led western New England operations for Comcast, together with its Connecticut territories, as CEO.

Altice USA added 31,000 fiber broadband prospects throughout all territories within the third quarter, pushing its whole to 135,000, a 30 % enhance in simply three months. But income fell 7 % from a 12 months in the past to $2.4 billion, as the corporate cited intensified competitors as one issue.

“The company has made great strides in laying a strong foundation for best-in-class broadband through the rollout of its fiber strategy,” Mathew mentioned on a convention name with funding analysts in early November. “I truly believe that fiber is the best technology out there today.”

Includes earlier reporting by Paul Schott and Luther Turmelle.

[email protected]; @casoulman

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *