CBS Local — The attorney general of Washington is leveling new allegations against Comcast, claiming the telecommunications giant enrolled thousands of customers in unnecessary plans without their permission.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson has filed an amendment to an ongoing lawsuit against the cable and internet provider, saying Comcast engaged in, “even more deceptive conduct than previously alleged.” The lawsuit – which was originally filed in August of 2016 – claims Comcast charged nearly $73 million in subscription fees for the company’s “Service Protection Plan,” which Ferguson believes was billed to over half of his state’s customers without their consent.

The Washington AG adds that some Comcast subscribers turned down the plan and were still billed a monthly fee. “Additional consumers in the sample explicitly rejected the SPP, but Comcast signed them up anyway,” the filing states. Ferguson also alleges that the company has deleted 90 percent of the phone calls between customers and Comcast representatives regarding the unwanted protection plans.

“We strongly disagree with the Attorney General’s new claims,” Comcast vice president Sena Fitzmaurice told Ars Technica in a statement. “The Service Protection Plan gives those consumers who choose to purchase it great value by covering virtually all service charges over 99 percent of the time.”

The lawsuit against the global telecom company argues that the plans were not only forced onto customers’ bills, but failed to lower the cost of repairs as it promised. The state claims basic services like in-wall wiring and outdoor wiring were excluded from the plan, making it “near-worthless.”


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