Cable TV provider Cox is facing hundreds of arbitration demands alleging that it failed to adequately disclose its “Broadcast Surcharge” and “Regional Sports Surcharge” and that it used these fees to raise prices on customers who were promised fixed rates.
The Hattis & Lukacs law firm last night “filed 295 individual consumer arbitrations against Cox with the American Arbitration Association,” representing clients in 17 of the 19 states Cox operates in, attorney Daniel Hattis told Ars. Hattis said he aims to file thousands more arbitration cases against Cox, which has an estimated 3.4 million TV customers. The arbitration filings describe claimants as “victim[s] of Cox’s bait-and-switch scheme whereby the Company charges customers more for its Cable TV service plans than Cox advertised and promised.”
Cox’s customer service agreement has a mandatory arbitration clause, which customers can opt out of within 30 days of receiving service. “Cox is currently under the mistaken impression that the arbitration clause is a liability shield such that they’ll never have to face consequences for their past deception because class actions aren’t possible, and consumers won’t bother filing a bunch of individual arbitrations for $100 or so in damages,” Hattis told Ars in an email. Ars Technica