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May 13, 2024

Tong files unfair trade practices suit against Altice/Optimum for charging ‘junk fees’

YEHYUN KIM / CTMIRROR.ORG Attorney General William Tong speaks at a January 2022 press conference in Hartford.

Attorney General William Tong is seeking an injunction and other relief in an unfair trade practices lawsuit against telecommunications provider Altice USA/Optimum Online, alleging that the company charged “junk fees” to consumers.

The suit, filed Monday in Hartford Superior Court, also seeks restitution for consumers who were charged the extra costs, which the company calls network enhancement fees.

According to Tong’s office, the complaint seeks to recoup millions of dollars.

In addition to the improper fee, the lawsuit alleges that Altice/Optimum failed to provide adequate speed disclosures and English-language disclosures on Spanish marketing materials.

Altice has charged Connecticut customers the additional fee, which has increased from $2.50 per month to $6 per month, since January 2019, according to the complaint.

The fee was not disclosed to consumers upfront, according to the suit.

“Our complaint seeks to hold Altice accountable for these unfair, anti-consumer practices, and to stop and claw back millions of dollars in these inappropriately collected fees,” Tong said.

Optimum is a brand owned and operated by Altice, the fourth largest cable provider in the United States.

Altice issued the following statement Monday:

"Altice USA shares the state’s goal of ensuring Connecticut residents and businesses receive high-quality connectivity services and superior customer support. The company has invested hundreds of millions of dollars into its network, products and support experiences across the state of Connecticut, which includes the deployment of our 100% Fiber Internet network to over two-thirds of our footprint in the state, delivering symmetrical speeds of up to 8 gig, the fastest residential internet service in our Connecticut service area. Altice USA provides customers with various offers at different speeds and price points, delivering reliable speeds and service with transparent pricing to customers throughout the state. We remain proud to serve our Connecticut customers and communities and believe that the attorney general’s lawsuit is without merit."


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