Court Allows Class Action Over Channel Guide Fees

     (CN) – A cable company’s customers can proceed with a lawsuit accusing the company of charging them for channel guides they did not request, the Missouri Court of Appeals ruled.

     James Huch and Ryan Carstens filed a class action against Charter Communications on behalf of all customers who were charged $3 each per month for the printed channel guides they received.
     The plaintiffs said the practice violated the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act. The cable company countered that because the plaintiffs paid the fee, they had waived their right to complain under the voluntary payment doctrine.
     The trial court dismissed the case, but the appeals court overruled the decision and remanded the case.
     “To allow Charter to avoid liability for this unfair practice through the voluntary payment doctrine would nullify the protections of the act and be contrary to the intent of the legislature,” Judge Breckenridge wrote.

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