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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.”


16 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!

    • Beth Reents October 1, 2017 @ 1:17 pm

      My husband and I have spent hours of our time on the phone with Century Link about why our bill changes from month to month! What they say and do does not reflect on the bill! We get reps who are not on the same page when you call asking about the bill. I get 3 different answers or solutions that change month to month! When the salesman came to our door promising us we would save money with Century Link by signing up with the year promotion. If anything the last 4 months of the promotion has been stressful, frustrating because of all the time we spent on the phone being promised a solution then to find out their is no record or the rep doesn’t have a clue about it. That time spent wasted when I have a toddler to take care of!!!

  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.

  9. Delina M Camou August 19, 2017 @ 3:49 pm

    Would you also add me to the list they overbilled me a few times. Knowing I would pay ,due to the necessity of being able to call for help if needed. Having a phone for my family meet life or death literally due to my youngest being medical sensitive. Not only did they over bill me they did the same to my mother. Being that this negative mark is in database it also put negative marks towards our credit.

  10. jamie mercado August 26, 2017 @ 7:44 pm

    How do I get included in this lawsuit? I was told I owed 60.94 then received a bill for 244.78 and the payment I made doesn’t even reflect on the bill i received.

  11. kellytmomof3 August 27, 2017 @ 5:27 pm

    I moved in Sept of last year and set up directv, which has a bundle plan with centurylink. Service called me to set up Internet and I specified MULTIPLE time I didn’t want or need a phone line. He gave me a date for installation and on my first bill I had a phone plus Internet. Paid themail bill to avoid late fees or credit issues, so then next month called and was told they have a name for the issue because it happens all the time. It took me calling every month for this to be “fixed” and they still don’t have it right…now they are trying to charge me more for Internet. This company is horrendous!!

  12. Angie Castro September 4, 2017 @ 4:53 pm

    The company I work was overbilled for 9 years for a phone line that was later added to the business, they had a complete separate invoice for that one specific line and a regular invoice for all other lines which also happened to include the same number billed in the second invoice, Once I called them to question about the billing they put me on hold for about 30 minutes and I knew that i had caught something. i obtained as much information i could before they refused to tell me their last names or what department they worked for once i told them i was recording them, they did acknowledge that they over billed me for 9 years but after speaking with the highest supervisor he said he could do me the favor and credit us back 3 years, we refused and have filed a complaint with the AZ Attorney General and are currently waiting their response before we proceed with a lawsuit. They did send out a check this week for 1 year service which has also been filed for the court. I would also like to get more information on this lawsuit, how can we be a part of it. we are located in Tempe Arizona auto junction dealership.

  13. Stephanie September 20, 2017 @ 4:29 pm

    I have also spent numerous amount of hours on the phone with them due to billing issues and services issue yet not having a result. I was promised 20mps then told we said up to 20mps . If that the case I should just buy the 12mps package. My bill is suppose to be 30$ a month nope I pay 142.00 for 2months of services. To top it off there’s wiring issues causing all these problem and month after month I get told there gonna fix it . They send ppl to the wrong house I’ve called off from work on 2 did day to have a no show on century links behalf . I hope the customers get back the over paid money we have paid over and over .

  14. Stephanie September 20, 2017 @ 4:31 pm

    Please add me to the the list . Who do I contact ..
    Oh yes I forgot when I requested to speak to a the supervisor of the supervisor I was told there no 1 above them I can speak to when I asked her name she said she cannot give me that .

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