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Investors Sue CenturyLink After Billing Fraud Tanks Stock

CenturyLink is already facing numerous lawsuits after a whistleblower revealed the company was defrauding its own customers by over-billing users, using misleading fees to jack up the advertised price of service, and signing customers up for services they didn't want or didn't order -- just to meet sales quotas. Employees say the company repeatedly ignored whistleblower complaints to management about the practice, resulting in a lawsuit by Minnesota's Attorney General.

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Now CenturyLink is facing yet another lawsuit, this time by investors angry about CenturyLink's stock tanking in the wake of the news.

The investor class action argues that CenturyLink's stock value was already “artificially inflated” and that once the pricing and fraud scandal came to light, investors “suffered significant losses.”

Bondholder Inter-Marketing Group claims that CenturyLink failed to “disclose material adverse facts about the company’s business, operations, and compliance policies. "When news of the facts became public, the notes fell approximately 6 percent in one trading day," notes the group's lawyer. "We intend to pursue the action on behalf of the noteholders to recover their losses.”

A lawsuit by Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson resulted in suits from numerous additional states that are all now occurring simultaneously. CenturyLink has subsequently simplified its pricing in some areas in the wake of the lawsuits and ongoing customer defections, including eliminating the company's misleading "Internet Cost Recovery fee."

“I want [CenturyLink] to knock it off," Swanson said when the suit was filed. "It is not OK for a company to quote one price and then charge another for something as basic as cable television and internet service. We want an injunction so the company stops doing this to other people, and hopefully fixes the problem for these people as well."

Unfortunately for consumers, the behavior CenturyLink has been accused of is fairly standard practice across the entire industry, where a lack of competition means accountability is often hard to come by.

Most recommended from 29 comments


cahiatt
Premium Member
join:2001-03-21
Smyrna, GA
117.8 7.2

cahiatt

Premium Member

Investors sue?

Aren't the larger investors the ones creating the pressure for max profit at all costs that ends up creating this behavior in companies?

Investors.... Give me 50% ROI or else.
Company..... Got you 51% but committed fraud.
Investors..... Great. Keep it up.
Company.... And we got caught.
Investors.... You can't run a company that way. We are suing you for money we didn't deserve in the first place.
brad152
join:2006-07-27
Columbus, OH

brad152

Member

Why not also go after these cable companies...

Broadcast and sports fees anyone? Last time i checked, these channels were included in my package.. WHY am I being charged just to receive channels in my package that IM ALREADY PAYING FOR?

TIGERON
join:2008-03-11
Boston, MA

TIGERON

Member

OUST the ENTIRE board and file charges against them

Jailing all the executives would be the next step

Rogue Wolf
Has To Reform The Ninja Empire
join:2003-08-12
Troy, NY

Rogue Wolf

Member

The investors are only angry...

...because CenturyLink got caught. "You're supposed to keep it secret and pump up the stock prices!"

maartena
Elmo
Premium Member
join:2002-05-10
Orange, CA

maartena

Premium Member

Watch out....

....for the "Simplified Pricing Adjustment Fee".

Anon461df
@sbcglobal.net

Anon461df

Anon

Why aren't Level 3 stockholders upset?

Level 3 stockholders originally were supposed to get $26.50 cash + 1.43 shares of CenturyLink (valued at $28 a share at the time the merger was announced), which is equal to $66.50 in value.

Today, that value is $26.50 + 1.43*17.85 = $52.03

They should also be upset about getting $14.47 less in value per share than originally planned and now holding CTL stock worth $10.15 less than it was at the time this merger was announced.
Slyster
join:2015-01-08
Sugar Grove, VA

Slyster

Member

It continues

They are still doing it.

I signed up for their price for life at 45 and am being charged 59 and change. No matter what they will not fix it.
danry25
Premium Member
join:2008-05-21
Seattle, WA

danry25

Premium Member

Quote one price, then bill for double!

Consistently been getting billed double what I was quoted with Centurylink, seems to take 2 to 3 calls to retentions (where I have to demand a supervisor) to get them to attempt to even fix my bill. Usually they screw it up.

They're still billing me for a modem I returned over a year ago, despite me having it "removed" now 4 times. Nevermind that my bill will only stay correct for 6 to 8 months before it magically doubles with no warning. Friends and family have similar experiences, the first level CSRs are happy to tell you to pound sand about your screwed up bill.

Never ran into these hard to fix billing issues with Comcast, but they haven't upgraded our area to fiber and have stringent usage caps, so they're DOA. The modem BS with Centurylink reminds me of the Princess Telephone rental scam AT&T used to run, impossible to cancel, no tracking of which phone they actually gave you or whether it was returned.

Anon59ac7
@verizon.net

Anon59ac7

Anon

Bummer.

I guess someone forgot to tell these investors that playing with stocks is always a crapshoot.

How about ..