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Comcast to pay $2.3M fine to settle FCC billing probe

Comcast Corp. will pay a $2.3 million fine to settle an FCC investigation into whether the company wrongfully charged its cable TV customers for services and equipment they did not authorize.

In an Oct. 11 news release, the FCC said it received numerous consumer complaints about being charged for services or products even though they had declined those services or had not ordered the equipment.

Under the terms of the settlement, Comcast will pay the largest civil penalty assessed from a cable operator by the FCC. Moreover, the company will implement a five-year compliance plan, under which customers are to give consent before they are charged for any new services or equipment.

Comcast will also send customers an order confirmation separate from any other bill that will detail the newly added products and their associated charges. Further, Comcast will offer to customers the ability to block the addition of new services or equipment to their accounts at no additional cost.

In addition, the settlement requires Comcast to implement a detailed program for redressing disputed charges in a standardized and expedient fashion, and limits adverse action while a disputed charge is being investigated.