Montgomery County Cable Administrator and Del. Jane Lawton sent along the following notice regarding Comcast's plan to deprive subscribers of their right to sue Comcast even as Comcast retains its rights in full:
“On the surface, arbitration sounds like a good thing, but Comcast’s proposed change is one-sided. We are concerned that subscribers will unknowingly give up some of their consumer rights by failing to opt out in time,” said Jane Lawton, Montgomery County’s Cable Administrator. “Comcast customers need to know that they do not have to accept this unilateral change in terms of their service.”I can't say I'm surprised by Comcast's actions. If the company serves other County residents as poorly as they did myself before I dumped their awful company, it's no wonder they want to limit their liability.
According to Comcast, customers who do not opt out of the Arbitration Notice within 30 days of receiving the notice will relinquish their right to pursue any legal remedies against Comcast in court, including claims for negligence, fraud or intentional wrongdoing. Nor can they join together as a class to seek common remedies. Comcast also attempts to limit the time in which subscribers can file a claim for injuries to one year and an even shorter time for billing disputes.
However, the changed policy preserves Comcast’s rights to pursue those suits it is most likely to have against individual subscribers – such as copyright violations, unauthorized use or receipt of service, and small claims. These are excluded from the arbitration notice. Comcast customers can “opt out” of the Arbitration Notice either online or by mail by taking the following actions:
On line: Go to www.comcast.com/arbitrationoptout and fill out the form. You will need a copy of your Comcast bill so that you can enter your entire customer account number as it appears on the bill. If you have any difficulties, call 1-800-COMCAST (1-800-266-2278) and report the problem. You should keep a copy of the form.
By Mail: Write a note to Comcast which includes your name, address, Comcast account number, and a statement that you do not wish to resolve disputes with Comcast through arbitration, and then mail to: Comcast, 1500 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102, ATTN: Legal Department/Arbitration.
You should also keep a copy of the letter you send to Comcast. Comcast subscribers who have any problems or concerns should contact the County Office of Cable and Communications Services at 240-773-2288.