It’s not been a good month for CenturyLink. In the last few weeks, a former sales rep turned whistleblower filed a lawsuit against the company, a video surfaced showing the company’s former Chief Diversity Officer going on a homophobic rant, and a class-action lawsuit was filed over deceptive billing practices.
To add serious legal insult to injury, the state of Minnesota is joining the party, and has filed a lawsuit alleging the telecoms company engaged in unfair billing practices.
The complaint says that CenturyLink “routinely fails to live up to its promises about the total prices consumers will pay for its services,” and worse, wouldn’t honor the agreed-upon prices with consumers when challenged.
“Shopping for internet and cable TV service isn’t easy if companies don’t give straight answers about the prices they will charge,” Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson said in a statement.
The complaint is essentially the same one leveled at CenturyLink in the pending class-action lawsuit, which says that consumers were changed plans or charged for extra services without their permission. That suit is seeking up to $12 billion in damages, depending on the number of CenturyLink’s customers who join.
The news comes at a terrible time for an embattled CenturyLink, which is in the middle of attempting a merger with Level 3, another internet service provider. Its share price is down nearly 20% in the last month, and anything that might halt the ongoing merger would presumably see shares fall even further.