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CenturyLink Slapped with $12 Billion Class Action Suit Alleging Fraud, Overbilling

Lawsuit

A lawsuit filed last week alleging unlawful billing practices by CenturyLink has prompted a class-action suit seeking as much as $12 billion based on the telco’s nearly 6 million subscribers.

In her suit filed in Arizona Superior Court, Heidi Heiser said she was fired from her job as a CenturyLink customer service and sales agent days after notifying CEO Glen Post of the alleged scheme, according to a report by Bloomberg. Her suit alleges CenturyLink “allowed persons who had a personal incentive to add services or lines to customer accounts to falsely indicate on the CenturyLink system the approval by a customer of new lines or services,” sometimes resulting in charges that weren’t authorized by customers.

CenturyLink's Mark Molzen

CenturyLink’s Mark Molzen

On Sunday, Geragos & Geragos filed the class-action suit in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on behalf of Craig McLeod and Steven McCauley, two CenturyLink customers, accusing the telco of fraud, unfair competition and unjust enrichment.

The complaint said Heiser’s allegations of what she observed, and “what the CenturyLink corporate culture encouraged, are consistent with the experiences of hundreds of thousands and potentially millions of consumers who have been defrauded by CenturyLink.”

Among the allegations in the class-action suit are: billing consumers for phone lines or service items they didn’t request; billing consumers higher rates than those quoted during sales calls; billing early-termination fees when consumers canceled their service due to higher fees; billing consumers for service before it was connected and for products never received, with no credit for those charges; and billing consumers for products and services they never requested with no credit for the charges.

CenturyLink spokesman Mark Molzen said the telco “holds itself and its employees to the highest ethical standards and does not condone any type of unethical behavior.” CenturyLink is in the process of acquiring Level 3 Communications, with the $34 billion merger expected to close by Sept. 30.

“The allegations made by our former employee are completely inconsistent with our company policies, culture and unifying principles, which include honesty and integrity,” he said. “Should an employee have any concerns about ethics or compliance issues, we have an Integrity Line in place, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This employee did not make a report to the Integrity Line and our leadership team was not aware of this matter until the lawsuit was filed. We take these allegations seriously and are diligently investigating this matter.”

Molzen said the fact that a law firm is “trying to leverage a wrongful termination suit into a putative class action lawsuit does not change our original position.”


9 comments

  1. David Kissler June 19, 2017 @ 10:50 pm

    Add me to the list, who do I contact? CenturyLink overbilled me, charged me a price much higher than quoted by their preferred customer dept. and would not look into it or change anything. Then I could not access my account page to change the auto billing or any other function, told it was a Microsoft problem. Then when I finally had enough with their terrible service I called the 800 number and cancelled my account, only to find out a month later after I was billed again that my account was never terminated. I had to send my phone records to show a 20 minute call to them on the day I cancelled the account. They fixed that, then was billed for yet another month due to the auto billing I could not access. And the stories go on and on, what a messed up company. I am a Colorado native so I have been dealing with this company for over 40 years on and off. Mountain Bell, US West, Qwest, CenturyLink…..

    • Steve McCauley June 26, 2017 @ 8:57 am

      Look for me on Facebook & send me a private message. I can give you the info you need to join the suit. Hint: I live in Kansas.

  2. Crystal finn June 23, 2017 @ 8:54 pm

    I have tons of proof to that this is accurate! including my current bill and 10 hrs on the phone with them RECORDED please call me!7024250573! also over 5 mos of credits posted due to them saying my bill doesn’t reflect my discounts RECORDED!

  3. james wait June 27, 2017 @ 3:45 pm

    are bill keeps getting larger every month because I think all of you have deep pockets and we are all going broke trying to fill them how much money do you people need. How about giving us a brake. We have all of our bills

  4. Walter Hardesty July 2, 2017 @ 1:15 pm

    Our bill went up from 42.00 to 47.11 several months ago. I don’t have my old phone bills. Is this what your firm is considering overbilling?

  5. Lyn hart July 7, 2017 @ 8:03 am

    Same thing happened to us. Sales came to our door and said their fiber optic would lower our bill if we bundled. First bill came and the bill was twice as much. Kept calling and when you try to tell them your bill is twice as much they say please hold and they will get you to the proper person and then they hang up.

  6. Celestina Gardea July 12, 2017 @ 10:08 am

    I called varies time’s and was told I had a contract, and if I didn’t pay my bill the would take remaining of contract out of my bank. I was quoted 48.00 and never paid less than 70.00 and now im up to 92.00.my contact is up this month.

  7. Audrey Hatfield July 24, 2017 @ 2:18 pm

    I would like to be a part of this lawsuit. I have been fighting with CL every month regarding the fact that every month, by bill goes up when I was supposed to be on a promotional rate for 12 months. Alas, my bill is higher this month too.

  8. Catspjamas August 10, 2017 @ 2:36 pm

    I’m a former CL Customer Service Rep, the person that filed the lawsuit is exactly right. People would call in about their bill being high and I would say it was because of the internet they had just installed and they would say they hadn’t ordered internet. And they hadn’t, notes stated they had called in to lower their bill, and they spoke with someone in retention, who added the internet and then gave discounts. Some of these people were elderly and didn’t have computers, and some already had internet with other providers. Also, people would call in about their bill and would state they didn’t want a home phone, but were told that was the only way to get the internet, which was a lie. I don’t know how many phones were disconnected, after I told them they could have the internet without a phone.

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