Following Portman-Led Investigation, Cable TV Companies Change Policies
June 24, 2016
Yesterday, a Senator Portman-led investigation revealed that Cable TV Companies such as Time Warner Cable, the biggest cable TV provider in Ohio, were knowingly over-billing their consumers. In the first five months of 2016 alone, Time Warner Cable overbilled up to 11,000 customers in Ohio--and those overcharges totaled $108,000. The investigative report released by Portman, Chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, and Ranking Member Claire McCaskill, culminated in a hearing held yesterday during which Portman discussed what he called a "rip-off of Ohio consumers." Thanks to Portman's investigation, Cable TV Companies have agreed to start changing their practices. At the hearing, Senator Portman demanded further changes to make all consumers who were overcharged whole.
Here are just a few highlights of the coverage of Portman's investigation:
* "Ohio's largest cable television provider, has been billing customers for cable TV equipment and services they no longer use...." - Cleveland Plain Dealer
* "Time Warner Cable has "consistently failed to provide refunds to customers who the cable companies knew were being overcharged." - Columbus Dispatch
* "The report also said Time Warner estimates it overcharged 40,000 Ohio customers more than $430,000 in 2015..." - Cincinnati WCPO
* So far in 2016, Time Warner Cable has "overbilled up to 11,000 customers in Ohio, and those overcharges totaled $108,000." - Youngstown WYTV
* Time Warner Cable "did not provide any 'backward-looking' refunds and did not provide notice to customers about the problem." - Dayton Daily News
* "Portman says the practices exposed by the report are a "rip-off to Ohio consumers." - WKSU 89.7
* "Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, the subcommittee's chairman, called the overcharges a 'rip off' and said thousands of Ohio cable TV customers were affected." - Associated Press
As a result of this investigation, Charter and Time Warner Cable have taken some initial steps to improve their practices. Time Warner performs a monthly audit to find overcharges. Going forward, the company will provide an automatic one-month credit to all customers for each piece of overbilled equipment or service, and it will provide notice to overbilled customers so they can determine whether to request a credit or refund. But that does not make customers whole. Time Warner Cable has not yet committed to do anything for the 40,000 Ohio customers, for example, who were overcharged last year, and Senator Portman will continue to press them to do so.
(c) 2010 Federal Information & News Dispatch, Inc., source Federal Documents