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Minnesota sues Comcast for allegedly overcharging customers

Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson sued Comcast Corp. for allegedly overcharging customers in Minnesota for cable television packages, charging for unordered equipment and services, and failing to deliver prepaid Visa cards promised in its promotions.

The lawsuit accuses the company of creating the fees "on its own initiative and increasing them at its own whims." It also alleges that Comcast/Xfinity charged equipment-rental fees to some customers who understood the cost of the equipment was included in the monthly amount they were quoted.

To convince some customers to sign up for its minimum-term contracts, Comcast/XFINITY promised prepaid Visa cards of up to $200 or more if they remained in the contract and up-to-date on their monthly payments for 90 days in good standing, but the company did not deliver these gift cards, the lawsuit alleged.

"It's hard to shop for cable television if a company plays hide-the-ball on its true prices, and people shouldn't have to watch their bills for things they didn't buy," Swanson said in a statement.

The lawsuit, filed Dec. 21 in Hennepin County District Court, seeks unspecified restitution, injunctive relief and civil penalties.