ARIZONA NEWS

Cox agrees to pay $13M to settle Arizona lawsuit over deceptive cable fees

Jan 5, 2024, 4:05 AM | Updated: 6:31 am

Stock image of the backs of two people's heads watching television....

Cox Communications was accused of deceiving Arizona customers about cable TV fees. (Pexels Photo)

(Pexels Photo)

PHOENIX — Cox Communications reached a $13 million settlement with the state of Arizona over deceptive cable fees, but it won’t be much of a windfall for customers who may have been misled.

The agreement, detailed in a consent decree issued Wednesday, includes a $10 million payment to the state and $3,042,494 for customer refunds, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office announced Thursday.

The smaller portion will be distributed to eligible customers who signed up for Cox television service between January 2017 and March 2021.

According to an FAQ on the Cox website, the refunds will be approximately $12.

No consumer action is required. Eligible current Cox customers will automatically receive the refunds as credits to their account. The telecom giant will notify eligible former customers to set up electronic fund transfers.

The company said it expects to complete the payouts by September.

How did Cox allegedly mislead Arizona cable customers?

The settlement was reached after Attorney General Kris Mayes filed a lawsuit on Dec. 15, 2023, alleging that Cox deceived customers who signed price-locked contracts.

Mayes accused the company getting around the price guarantees by billing for Broadcast Surcharge Fees, Regional Sports Surcharges and Carrier Cost Recovery Fees.

“This substantial settlement holds Cox accountable for years of deceptive charges and false promises,” Mayes said in a press release. “We’re sending a clear message that businesses must fairly and honestly disclose all fees and honor the guarantees that they make to Arizonans.”

In addition to the financial aspects of the settlement, Cox agreed to be more transparent with consumers about pricing and other conditions.

Arizonans who believe they are the victim of consumer fraud can file complaints through the Attorney General’s Office.

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Cox agrees to pay $13M to settle Arizona lawsuit over deceptive cable fees