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CT officials sue Altice, and its Optimum brand, over fees and Spanish-language ads

BRAZIL - 2020/10/18: In this photo illustration the Altice USA logo seen displayed on a smartphone. (Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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State officials first began investigating Altice Optimum in November 2022, "following more than 500 consumer complaints regarding hidden fees, poor technical support, and slow internet speeds," according to a statement from Tong's office.

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State officials have filed a lawsuit against internet provider Altice, and its Optimum brand, accusing it of charging Connecticut customers millions of dollars in hidden fees.

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong said Monday there was also a problem with advertisements the company distributed in Spanish. Those ads allegedly prevented some Spanish-speakers from understanding the details of the company's offers because the advertisements only contained English disclaimers, he said.

"They did ads in Spanish, and then parts of the ads, the legally-required parts of the ads, were in English," Tong said. "Which, frankly, is egregious and outrageous."

State officials allege Altice failed to disclose limits on its internet speed. They also want the company to stop charging extra fees, and pay the money back.

"Altice claims the fee is necessary to improve and maintain the network ... they're supposed to do that anyway," Tong said. "It's a basic business function. We all have a right to not be nickel-and-dimed like this, and not to have fees foisted upon us that are not disclosed."

In a statement in response to the lawsuit, Altice said it provides customers with various offers at different speeds and price points.

The company says the Attorney General’s lawsuit is without merit.

Altice provides internet service under the brand name Optimum, to people in Fairfield, Litchfield and New Haven counties.

State officials first began investigating Altice Optimum in November 2022, "following more than 500 consumer complaints regarding hidden fees, poor technical support, and slow internet speeds," according to a statement from Tong's office.

Matt Dwyer is an editor, reporter and midday host for Connecticut Public's news department. He produces local news during All Things Considered.

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