Cable companies have bad reputations for customer service, and sometimes they rename themselves to divert attention and get a fresh start. Comcast’s “Xfinity” rebranding in 2010 has now been followed by Charter’s renaming of itself—after a megamerger with Time Warner Cable last year—as “Spectrum.” But changing your name doesn’t mean that you aren’t liable for misbehavior under your previous moniker. This is what Charter…er, Spectrum… found recently when, following a lengthy investigation, New York’s attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, filed an extraordinary lawsuit against the company.
Based on the company’s own documents and statements, it appears that just about everything it has been saying since 2012 to New York State residents about their internet access and data services is untrue. And not untrue in some grey, shadowy way—just untrue. The company’s 2.5 million New York subscribers (of its 22 million nationwide) have been told they’re getting X (in terms of download and upload speeds) when actually they’re getting a lot less than X.