The California Public Utilities Commission accepts two settlements in UCAN's cases against Cingular and Sprint.
UCAN's evaluation of a settlement between Verizon and class action attorneys showed it was good for the attorneys, but bad for the victims. We intervened, but Verizon is still using very confusing contract language.
On June 20th, the California Court of Appeals started summer off in the nicest way by ruling that Cingular had to honor California's consumer protection laws. In a 3-0 vote,
A California appeals court yesterday upheld a state decision to fine Cingular Wireless $12 million for failing to tell customers that its network was overburdened and then charging them stiff penalties to get out of their contracts.
UCAN has established that Cingular Wireless engaged in illegal and shoddy sales and service practices during the 2000-2002 time frame -- many of which may be continuing even today. On July 3, 2002, UCAN set its sights upon Cingular Wireless. UCAN pushed for and intervened in a regulatory inquiry into Cingular sales and service practices. Hearings were held before the CPUC in April 2003. In September 2003, the PUC Judge issued a decision supporting almost all of UCAN's recommendations. Not surprisingly, Cingular appealed the Judge's ruling.
On September 23, 2004, the CPUC adopted fined Cingular Wireless $12.14 million for violation of laws governing telecommunications carriers and ordered restitution that could amount to an additional $50 million or more. Cingular has appealed the CPUC decision. UCAN has filed an opposition to the appeal. This matter will likely be hung up in the Courts for a year or two. In the meantime, customers who deserve refunds of the improperly assessed Early Termination Penalties during the 2000-2002 time period will continue to go without the refunds. Currently, the new "Schwarzenegger" CPUC refuses to require the carrier to give the refunds that were ordered by the "Davis" CPUC.
Date of Filing/Decision
California Appeals Court upholds California Public Utilities Commission decision to fine Cingular Wireless $12 million for failing to tell customers its network was overburdened and then charging stiff termination fees. The case originated in San Diego when UCAN brough customer complaints about Cingular's usavory practices to the attention of the Public Utilities Commission.
Michael Shames is featured in CBS story showing how your cell phone company profits when you are ripped off by a ringtone vendor.