Clearwire Subject Of Class Action Complaint - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Government // Mobile & Wireless

Clearwire Subject Of Class Action Complaint

Frustrated customers say service hasn't been as fast or reliable as advertised, and when they seek to cancel their service they're pressured to pay early-termination fees.

U.S. telecom, Clearwire has been served with a class action lawsuit alleging misleading advertising and "unlawful" early termination fees by some customers using its service.

The 77-page complaint, filed in King County, Washington State, was prepared by Washington D.C. law firm Tycko & Zavareii and Peterson Young Putra, of Washington State. The complaint generally argues that Clearwire service hasn't been as fast or reliable as advertised and when consumers seek to cancel their service they are pressured to pay early termination fees.

In an e-mail, a spokesman quoted Clearwire as saying: "As a matter of company policy, Clearwire does not comment on pending legal matters." He added that the complaint appears to refer to pre-WiMax service.

Last year, leading wireless service providers including AT&T, Sprint and Verizon Wireless all eased their early termination fee policies under pressure from the FCC and consumers. At the time, then-FCC chairman Kevin Martin said he favored termination fees that would more accurately track the actual cost of phones received by consumers -- for instance, a $100 phone would have a lower termination fee than a $250 fee.

The Clearwire complaint includes plaintiffs from Washington State, Hawaii, Minnesota and North Carolina. "We believe these complaints are very widespread," said Jonathan Tycko, one of the plaintiff's attorneys.

The complaint does not address the actual WiMax technology. WiMax is still an emerging technology, particularly its mobile features. Currently Baltimore and Portland are the only two U.S. urban areas with mobile WiMax. Clearwire is rolling out the high-speed mobile WiMax service rapidly and plans to introduce commercial service in several U.S. cities by the end of the year.

InformationWeek has published an in-depth report on private cloud computing. Download the report here (registration required).

This article was edited on 4/24 to clarify the suit does not include WiMax services.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

IT Leadership: 10 Ways to Unleash Enterprise Innovation
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  6/8/2021
Preparing for the Upcoming Quantum Computing Revolution
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author,  6/3/2021
How SolarWinds Changed Cybersecurity Leadership's Priorities
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  5/26/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
Planning Your Digital Transformation Roadmap
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
Flash Poll