An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: Comcast has been forced to shell out $700,000 in refunds and cancel the debt of more than 20,000 Massachusetts customers after a state attorney general investigation found the company routinely jacks up consumer bills via a bevy of misleading fees. An investigation by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy found that Comcast routinely advertises one rate, then charges customers up to 40 percent more when the bill for service actually arrives. When shocked customers then tried to cancel or downgrade to cheaper broadband and TV plans, Healy's office found they were socked with a $240 Fee for violating long-term contracts. Many users were promised a locked-in rate of $99, but hidden fees and surcharges quickly left many with service plans they couldn't afford, the AG said. Under the new settlement with Massachusetts, Comcast must forgive all outstanding debts for unpaid early termination fees and related late fees, clearly disclose all fees in future advertisements, and train the company's service reps to more clearly outline billing caveats. "Comcast stuck too many Massachusetts customers with lengthy, expensive contracts that left many in debt and others with damaged credit," Healy said in a statement. "Customers have a right to clear information about the products and services they buy. This settlement should encourage the entire cable and telecommunications industry to take a close look at their advertisements and make sure customers are getting a fair offer."
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