Qwest to pay $3.75 mil fine - Agrees to reforms in consumer fraud settlement
The suit, filed in 2001 by then-Attorney General Janet Napolitano, accused Qwest of numerous violations of Arizona's Consumer Fraud Act. The allegations included unauthorized charges on bills and creating customer service departments that thwarted consumers' attempts to resolve problems.
"This will change the business practices for telecommunications companies in the state," Attorney General Terry Goddard said.
Qwest did not admit wrongdoing. It agreed to pay the fine to defray the cost of the state's investigation and to help fund future anti-fraud activities.
The settlement gives consumers who believe they were mistreated by Qwest a 90-day window to file a complaint. The company has settled 2,140 such claims in amounts ranging from $80 to $7,000.
Qwest also agreed to contact all customers who bought service packages
during the period and explain all of the options available at the
time. Customers would be allowed to switch to cheaper plans.
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