Clearwire is facing a potential class action lawsuit from a group of subscribers who are voicing concern about ‘slow and unreliable’ service. The lawsuit claims that Clearwire does not live up to its advertising of “… a fast, reliable ‘always-on’ alternative to cable or DSL internet access, and as a superior alternative to traditional land-line telephone service.” The complaint goes on to say that when subscribers try to cancel their service because that advertising claim is not met, they are charged early termination fees of $220. The lawsuit argues since the advertising is ‘deceptive,’ the early termination fees are unlawful.
Now, is this a legitimate claim, or just some law firm trying to leverage a few dissatisfied customers? Anyone who has been in the service provider business knows it’s impossible to satisfy 100% of customers 100% of the time. Sometimes claims like these are perfectly legitimate, especially when service providers fail to address pervasive quality of service lapses. Unfortunately, in rare cases, it’s an example of customers looking for a loophole to get out of a contract. Or worse, maybe a customer or two suffering from irritable bowel syndrome and looking to take some pressure off. Call me cynical, but I sometimes think some of these class action lawsuits are a law firm’s lucrative solution looking for a problem, unnecessarily clogging up our court system.