The latest suit was filed by Heninger Garrison Davis on behalf of Alabama customers alleging that their plans were changed or they were charged for extra services without their permission. According to the firm, CenturyLink’s goal was to “meet performance and incentive programs and boost profits,” but the customers paid for those practices, resulting in “heavy overcharge fees when customers tried to challenge the charges or terminate their accounts.”
CenturyLink is in the process of acquiring Level 3 Communications. Michael Brandenburg, Frost & Sullivan digital transformation – connected work industry analyst, said the allegations in the suits seem to be being made against the consumer business unit of CenturyLink, “so I would not expect the class-action suits to have a material impact on the Level 3 acquisition.”
“However, it may cast a bit of shadow on the merger, at least in terms of customer perception and media coverage,” he said.
Last month, Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson filed a lawsuit against CenturyLink alleging it billed higher amounts than its sales agents quoted customers for internet and cable television service. Within her complaint, the state lists 35 individual consumers who allegedly were quoted prices but were charged sometimes two or three times the original price.
Separate class-action suits have been filed against CenturyLink in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.
Also this month, investor class-action suits have been filed by numerous law firms.
CenturyLink spokesman Mark Molzen said allegations in these lawsuits are “completely inconsistent with our company policies, culture and unifying principles, which include honesty and integrity.”
“It’s worth noting that once an initial class action is filed, it is common practice for law firms to seek other jurisdictions to file similar lawsuits, so unfortunately we could see more of the same,” he said. “However speculative or unfounded we think these claims may be, we are treating them very seriously.”