Among the prominent providers in the United States, Spectrum (the brand name of Charter Communications) has emerged as a significant player, offering a wide range of telecommunications services to millions of customers nationwide. The brand was introduced to North Carolina in 2014, and as of this article’s publishing, it has more than 7 million subscribers in the state. However, behind the scenes, this industry giant is collecting a growing chorus of consumer complaints that demand attention.
Spectrum’s Unfair Debt Collection Complaints
Debt collection complaints against Spectrum are rising, making up a significant portion of the company’s customers’ issues submitted to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Many consumers have reported receiving harassing and intimidating phone calls from Spectrum’s debt collectors, demanding payment for unpaid bills. Some customers have even alleged that they were subjected to aggressive collection tactics, such as threats of legal action or adverse credit reporting.
A particular pattern we’ve seen emerging in Spectrum complaints pertains to collection attempts for debts not owed. Spectrum employs collection agencies to recover debts, including Amsher Collection Services, The CBE Group, The CMI Group, and ERC Collections. The telecommunications company sends unpaid bills to collection agencies who specialize in debt recovery, but some allege they should not have been billed in the first place. Dealing with collection agencies is stressful to begin with. When you don’t owe a debt, you are burdened with defending yourself from collection attempts and navigating the dispute process. That’s why knowing your rights and where to turn is important when collectors don’t give up.
Regulating Unfair Collections
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is a crucial source of consumer protection from unfair and abusive debt collection tactics.
The FDCPA mandates collectors to provide validation information about the debt, including:
- The collector’s name and mailing address
- The name of the creditor
- How much you owe, including a breakdown of interest, fees, payments, and other credits.
- What you can do if the debt is not yours
You can dispute the debt with the collector by sending a letter saying you don’t owe some or all the balance. In this letter, you should also ask for verification of the debt. Once the collection agency receives your dispute, it must stop making collection attempts until it sends a written verification of the debt.
A consumer protection attorney can best assess your situation and determine the best course of legal action. A judge may award up to $1,000 for a FDCPA violation and more if you can prove lost wages or medical bills.
Other Spectrum Complaints
Better Business Bureau complaints display another troubling pattern of behavior that violates consumer law. Former customers write that Spectrum continues to bill them after terminating services. These customers follow all procedures to disconnect Internet services, including returning all equipment promptly and requesting the account closed, but are billed, nonetheless.
Automatically releasing payments requires customer consent to charge their card. Rather than asking for permission each time, companies ask for consent to withdraw funds each billing period. However, a consumer legally revokes consent by canceling a subscription or service. The Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) protects individual consumers from unauthorized transactions.
The Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) is a federal law that governs electronic fund transfers, including transactions made through automatic debits from bank accounts or recurring payments using debit or credit cards. This act provides certain protections to consumers and regulates auto-renewal subscriptions.
Consumers may seek various remedies when filing a lawsuit under the EFTA, including actual damages, statutory damages, and attorney’s fees. Actual damages may include any financial losses incurred due to unauthorized transactions or errors, while statutory damages are predetermined amounts set by the EFTA for certain violations. Additionally, consumers may recover reasonable attorney’s fees if they prevail in their lawsuit.
Reliable Consumer Protection Attorneys
Consulting with a lawyer specializing in consumer protection law can help determine if pursuing legal action is right for you. Maginnis Howard’s consumer protection attorneys are passionate about pursuing justice for those wronged by a large company. Contact our office at (919) 526-0450 or send a message through our contact page for more information. We take consumer cases on contingency, meaning you pay no attorney fees unless we win your case. Our intake staff may ask for supporting documents and details from your experience to assess your potential case. Whether we accept your claim depends upon many factors; however, if we can’t help you personally, we are happy to provide referrals.