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


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.”


  1. Avatar 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…..

    • Avatar 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. Avatar 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!

    • Avatar 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. Avatar 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. Avatar 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. Avatar 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. Avatar 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 contact is up this month.

  7. Avatar 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.

    • Avatar Lisa Pardun January 17, 2020 @ 12:14 pm

      I have had centurylink since 2012. I want to know where I have to sign up and get my refund

  8. Avatar 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. Avatar 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. Avatar 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. Avatar 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. Avatar 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. Avatar 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. Avatar 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 .

  15. Avatar Myra October 24, 2017 @ 5:59 am

    Add me to the list. My mother passed away in September. Centurylink was contacted and told of her passing away and to shut the phone line and automatic deductions from bank account down. They agreed, phone line went dead so confirmed this was done. In October her estate received a bill for October and a $25 late fee, because “the payment was returned.” I have attempted 3 times to talk to someone in their billing department. Their solution? They just hang up on me.

    These people are shameless, preying on the dead. It’s so gross. One rep even had the nerve to tell me, “You were not on the account, why should you care?” So angry right now.

  16. Avatar Teresa Reynolds Vogt November 25, 2017 @ 4:24 pm

    My Father died Dec 5th 2016, I went down over Christmas and into the first of the new year. Dad had some bills set up auto pay and I got a bill in march for hundreds because the charge to his card had been declined. I called, explained everything, had to FAX TO THEM his death certificate and my paperwork as his executrix/ responsible party. Payed the FINAL BILL.. thought ok done.
    Nope, they billed me again in MAY these people do not get it, dead client, closed up and all utilities shut off.. yet somehow need 300.00+ bill… they denied the faxed documents and they couldn’t cut off someones account since I wasn’t on the account… So once AGAIN Faxed documents sent check stated quite clearly will not pay a penny to them again… and guess what.. now have a NOVEMBER BILL 240.88
    Called transferred to a connection that hung up on me.. called back told them this time all info and there would be no more faxes that if anything they owe me a refund but they are not getting paid THEY HUNG UP ON ME..
    I will be happy to demand full payment from Date of Dad’s death, the man spent over half of 2016 in the hospital anyway so their billing FRAUD DOESN’T TOUCH THE LEVEL OF THEFT… THEIR BILLS ARE FOR HUNDREDS ON A VACANT HOME…..

  17. Avatar Jan January 22, 2018 @ 3:25 pm

    Is it too late to join this lawsuit? I have phone and in the past had internet through CL. Last August 2017, I discontinued the internet but kept the phone. I made this very clear by phone to the billing dept. They have continued to bill me since then (it is now Jan 2018). They continue to bill for internet even though I’ve spent numerous hours calling each month talking with different departments & people. Each time, I was “assured” it would be taken care of. It is either ineptness or blatant fraud. I can’t comprehend the stupidity of this company. Last week, they sent a notice threatening to discontinue service. Not sure if they meant internet or phone or both. This could easily be verified to see that I have not used their router for service since then but they obviously don’t check that. Consequently, I don’t know if they are threatening to cut off my phone that has been paid every month, the internet or both. I just need to resolve this and can’t understand why this has continued on unless they are engaging in fraud.

  18. Avatar Jan January 22, 2018 @ 3:26 pm

    btw, I am in Minnesota.

  19. Avatar Carla January 27, 2018 @ 8:07 pm

    From Las Vegas.. Same situation. Received an outrageous bill for service I never signed up for.

  20. Avatar Pam German February 4, 2018 @ 4:36 pm

    I have been charged for 3 months 230.OO for Cable and was told a different price on the phone and now my bill is 749.00. I have never had to pay this amount for Cable.My contract expired and then I was charge an outrageous bill. Please add me to this lawsuit.I had to cancel the service due to high bill every month.

  21. Avatar lynn gold April 3, 2018 @ 12:43 pm

    I just found this website and I thank you for making it available. I have been dealing with incorrect billing practices on the part of Century Link for years and have tried to work it out with them in a fair and openminded way. However, I just found out that since October 2017, they have been billing me for a service called ATEASE. I had no idea what that was and was told it was to protect devices in my home. I already have that service through Best Buy Geek Squad so was paying doubly. Importantly, I spoke with reps several times re my bill and was never advised of the charge and never authorized it. That is against the law. Additionally, I was never told by anyone that the 24 year contract, although I did request they inform me of everything as we were setting up a long term contract verbally over the phone, was expiring last month and I was hit was a bill more than double the amount I normally pay although it goes up every month incrementally even tho it is not supposed too. Importantly, too, is every time I set up a legal contract as to what my services will be for a certain amount of time, and I request a copy by e-mail or mail for my protection since they have done so legally for themselves through lawyers etc, they have told me every time they cannot do that. What other company can do that and is it legal. What protection does the consumer have when it is verbal and you have nothing to back you up or confirm with them what services will be or how much you will be charged. Did their lobbyists influence lawmakers either nationally or state by state, have their lawyers found loopholes…and why is the consumer such as myself on low income without any protection whatsoever legally and this corporation being allowed to get away with behavior which is questionable and smacks of greed. When they overcharge 10 dollars, for example, on the low side, multiply that by thousands or millions of customers, even if only for a month til they cancel or adjust luckily, and that means millions in the pockets of Century Link. And checking online today, I see it’s been going on for years and that the state of Arizona is suing them. Quest some years ago, taken over by Century Link, was also sued by the Attorney General of Arizona for false filling, I was one with hundreds tho never became a part of the law suit…Quest lost and paid millions to the state. I have no wish to be in the position they have put me in but the stress and unjust position they have caused has been horrific, as with others. Something needs to be done.

    • Avatar Ted John Noga November 29, 2018 @ 9:24 pm

      This explains just about every customer in the Pennsylvania area I’ve talked to and mirrors my own experiences almost perfectly. Bunch of thieves that need to be shut down.

  22. Avatar Rebecca L April 6, 2018 @ 11:32 pm

    I am in Atlanta, and I’ve never heard of these people before. I don’t have any services with them, obviously, and just received a bill for $210.98. I went to request Customer Service, and they are closed until Monday. There is no way they gave me any type of service, anyhow, as their website shows they do not provide services in my area.
    This is ridiculous and I feel like I’m being harassed.

  23. Avatar L A Brandon April 25, 2018 @ 11:23 am

    I have been with CenturyLink since 1988 only because it is the only option where I live. When I had a phone with them it would constantly be out or having connection problems and way over priced compared to other companies in surrounding areas. Now that I have internet with them only it is still same sort of problems either can’t connect at times and I can’t get but 10 mps which at first worked fine but so did the 1.5, but once others started being able to get faster internet in more populated areas my internet quality dropped. Most of last year they were having a bottleneck problem because a connection box went out and they were having to root everyone thru the same juction. Most of the time I couldn’t even use it, not to say it was much better when this wasn’t the problem. What really gets to me is the $3.50 charge for paying the bill online or over the phone unless you give them your bank info . This is pure greed when you figure the amount of money they make. Also the fact that they offered plans cheaper in other areas that werent offered in mine I figure simply because they had competition in those areas and basically a monopoly in mine. Yes and to get to the billing there for a long time it never would be the same from month to month. They have been better lately but still too high for no better than their service is here!!

  24. Avatar Brian A Pietrafeso October 5, 2018 @ 1:51 pm

    Add me to the list We need help really bad. We went through the century link to direct TV scam also. We had prism and they stopped that program and instead they signed us up to direct TV. So in the mean time we still had all the old equipment for prism. They were supposed to send us a return label to send back all the old equipment. Never sent it. We have direct TV now and new equipment. Since they never sent the return label they took out 750.00 out of my direct payment account. Who can afford this. I called them up to tell them what happened and they told me I need to send it back and they will reimburse me. I finally sent the equipment back and talked to probably 30 people and they assured me I would get the check when they get their equipment. One month later and another 30 phone calls to every supervisor you can talk too I still do not have my check. They said it was mailed out and nothing they could do. I would have to wait thirty days and then they would re issue the check. I am helpless and at their mercy.

  25. Avatar William Harold Loyed October 10, 2018 @ 8:38 am

    Please add me to the law suit I have been over billed since I returned to century link. I was offered a lot of incentives If I would come back to C,L, I never got them. all I have gotten is an inflated bill which goes up every
    month. I can never reach customer service without spending 30-60 min. on the phone and I do get to talk to live
    person its someone that I cannot understand. I am leaving C.L. before I have worse problems than what I
    already have , I need help.

  26. Avatar Ted John Noga November 29, 2018 @ 9:20 pm

    CenturyLink needs to be CRIMINALLY INVESITGATED BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL! Time and again I hear the same story that I’ve endured. Promises for x then charged y and then suddenly billed even more after promises made that it wouldn’t happen again. This company needs to be liquidated and sold to anyone with just a hint of human decency.

  27. Avatar Janine Barbour December 10, 2018 @ 6:25 pm

    I would like to be added to to the class action suit as I had just attempted to cancel my account and was told I have a 24 month contract that I never approved. Now they are insisting that I can’t cancel my account without paying for a cancellation fee due to having this contract that I never authorized.

  28. Avatar Tamra Nelson February 6, 2019 @ 9:38 am

    PLEASE include me, they are nothing but a rip off, I pay over $100 for a single internet line, just because it was claimed as a business. the hours I have spent with these people over the years can not be returned. They suck, but of course only one available in this building, will definitely be switching as soon as I move!! I have been charged much more over the years and lost money cause they print the wrong number in the phone book every year, it was my fax number.

  29. Avatar Fernando February 13, 2019 @ 8:24 pm

    This happened to me also!

  30. Avatar Jay Armstrong April 3, 2019 @ 12:37 am

    CenturyLink needs to be CRIMINALLY INVESITGATED BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL! Time and again I hear the same story that I’ve endured. Promises for x then charged y and then suddenly billed even more after promises made that it wouldn’t happen again. This company needs to be liquidated and sold to anyone with just a hint of human decency.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 $20.15 a month nope I pay 69.85 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 . I hope the customers get back the over paid money we have paid over and over .

  31. Avatar Andrew Arhuleta May 4, 2019 @ 8:36 am

    They are still doing it , I just got a late fee added and bill was paid in full , they added an adjustment after the bill came then said it wasnt paid but couldnt tell me what the the adjustment is . SPENT 45min on phone with no solution ,asked for a supervisor and the guy hung up on me . Is this suit still going on ?

  32. Avatar Larry June 11, 2019 @ 7:27 am

    I been a 27 years, always paid my bill ontime, but I too have been duped by CenturyLink, for the last time. Just got a call from a collection agency yesterday morning, trying to collect on a bill for a modem I had purchased outright back in 2014, the account was closed August 8th 2016. And now they’re trying to say I owe them for a modem, seriously its been 3 years, not a word from them.. Also last year when I had switched to the higher speed internet I purchase another modem from them and within 8 months got aletter stating that my new modem was not compatable with thier new equipment, ANOTHER MODEM. During which time they put me up on auto bill pay so they were charging me supposedly the price for Life guarantee and within four months my bills more than trippled from $45 a month to almost a hundred and sixty-five. It was only when my wife told me of this when she was paying bills asked if I had been doing something different with the phone bill NO! When I caled they said they said it was because i chevked a box about 3rd party something or another. They wouldn’t refund any of my money but they would be sure to increase my speed to 60 megabytes and get me a price for Life guarantee at 45. It’s been almost 8 months and now the price has gone up to 55 a month so I’m done with them, cant wait to find out what they are going to fraudulantley charge me for upon cancellation, since i have no contract with them, im sure they will put something together to charge me.I would like to find out more about this class action suit, the only way we can stop tyraney is to band together.

  33. Avatar Barbara July 30, 2019 @ 7:35 pm

    We just got a collections agency letter stating Centurylink was billing us for$105.48. We have never had service, no technician came, no equipment, nada. We called CL in Oct 2018 when we moved into a new home and they could not add any service in our area due tut o the satellite being full. So, we got Hughes N er t and DISH. Is the class zcti ok n lawsuit dtill going? How do I get added. We are in Wisconsin

  34. Avatar Billie Johnson August 8, 2019 @ 4:38 pm

    I have been a customer of Centurylink for 10 years for internet and phone. The charges are so expensive. S0 many extra than just the service.

  35. Avatar Brenda September 5, 2019 @ 3:49 pm

    I am just notified by collection agency that century link sent me to collections saying I owe money from 2016.i fought and fought with century link over money I paid they lost and canceled when they kept charging more and more fees. Thot I had finally solved back in 2016. Haven’t dealt with since and now I am in collections for something I do not owe once again and no way to talk to anyone at century link or get anywhere with collection co. They just say I owe and have to pay almost 500. I am very upset. I do not have that money nor do I owe it. 3 years ago. How do I deal with this? Very stressful

  36. Avatar Nadia Lewis October 17, 2019 @ 6:25 am

    My first bill $179 only suppose to be $50. Sales rep never told me about any shipping fees or prorated charges ahead of time now I’m stuck with $180 just for Internet only. This is FRAUD billing practices

  37. Avatar Emma Watson October 28, 2019 @ 5:16 am

    this also happened with me some time ago.

  38. Avatar KEVIN LOHMAN November 7, 2019 @ 2:36 am

    Century Link, I want to sue them as well. I paid $185.00 on my bill, then they put a restriction on my service. I called they said they could not find my $185.00 payment. I had a few choice words and was transferred, it took 2hrs for them to find my payment. The next week I was cut off completely. I called again only to find out that they had lost my payment of $185.00 again. Then they told me I had to prove I made a payment, So I sent them a readout of my credit card showing that I had made the payment. Never heard a word until today. Received a letter stating that they turned me into a collection agency. Now get this I paid $185.00 and only owed $175.00 and I have the proof of payment, can I sue them.

  39. Avatar Brandice December 16, 2019 @ 10:56 am

    I have had CL for several years now. Service was great for a while, but in October 2018 it stopped working. I called technical support they sent out a technician which couldn’t find the problem. I have had a technician at my house over 100 times in the last 14 months and still cant resolve the issue. Called billing and they locked me in at $25 flat fee for 12 months. They billed me $25 for 1 month and then my bill went from $25 in September to $360.82 in october. I have called several times to argue the bill and they transfer me from department to department and then put me on hold and hang up. So now they have disconnected my service because I refuse to pay an incorrect bill. I finally got someone on the phone today to fix the bill which they did but now they want me to pay $100 reconnect fee, but if they bill would have been correct from the beginning it would have never been disconnected. So what can I do? Please help me get this issue resolved.

  40. Avatar lois m young June 25, 2020 @ 7:31 pm

    I have been charged by now thousands of dollars.I moved into this house when I had first become disabled. Everything I did was by cell phone. I was on paperless billing from day one. When I began to realize that my bill kept getting higher and higher. Whenever I called them they would either try to sell me a different bundle even though I told them repeatedly told them the very few stations I watched. Being ill I grew very frustrated for staying on the phone for an hour being told I needed to call a different number and then being hung up on. I had called directv several time and cancelled my service. Centurylink gave me a quote for internet and phone for a total of $85. Before we were told to stay at home I sent them a check for $200 which should have covered 2 months. They change the amount on the check to $400 I attempted to stop payment on the check and have BB&T send it to the fraud department, but was told they couldn’t because the amount had been changed before the got it. Which made no sense to me. I called centurylink who said they had no record of it. I strongly emphasized that I no longer had directv. Yesterday I got another bill that included directv and a had a much higher bill for phone and internet. Because I am disabled and live alone I need access to a phone.and being on social security these outrageous bills have left me with practically nothing to live on and many overdrafts that I was completely surprised by.

  41. Avatar lois m young June 25, 2020 @ 7:40 pm

    I would be very happy to join a lawsuit against these people who have been cheating so many people especially the ill and elderly like me and I am certain I am not the only one.

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