Damages against CenturyLink could range from $600 million to $12 billion.
A New Mexico attorney has joined the lawsuit fray against CenturyLink, saying the communications giant opened a second billing account for a client that the client never knew of or approved.
The class action lawsuit, filed in state District Court in Albuquerque, represents the ninth class action suit filed against CenturyLink. Similar lawsuits have been filed against CenturyLink in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Minnesota, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. The complaints say that customers were charged higher than quoted prices for broadband and TV service and that they were billed for services they never requested.
The New Mexico lawsuit was filed on Aug. 11 by attorney Alfred Sanchez on behalf of Richard Lucero, a CenturyLink customer who said the company opened a second account in his name without telling him.
According to the lawsuit, CenturyLink at various times disconnected Lucero’s service for failure to pay his bills. And Lucero was being billed for a modem he never ordered, the lawsuit alleged, adding that Lucero “on numerous occasions, paid CLI [CenturyLink] the amount it had improperly billed.”
The lawsuit also alleged that CenturyLink quoted Lucero a low monthly Internet fee and then raised the charge without his knowledge.
The lawsuit says the class of plaintiffs against CenturyLink includes any individuals, companies or government entities in New Mexico who were overcharged for services by the company in the past six years.
The suit said that CenturyLink has violated the state’s Unfair Practices Act.
The lawsuits against CenturyLink began earlier this summer when former CenturyLink employee Heidi Heiser filed a suit in Arizona saying she was wrongfully fired after notifying CEO Glenn Post about unlawful billing practices she had observed.
Experts have estimated that if the lawsuits are successful, damages against CenturyLink could range from $600 million to $12 billion.
CenturyLink is the third largest landline provider in the U.S. The company operates in 37 states and has nearly six million broadband subscribers.