CenturyLink hit with $12bn class action suit

James Pearce
Published on:

Legal filing accuses CenturyLink, which is in the process of merging with Level 3 Communications, of fraud, unfair competition, and unjust enrichment, according to US reports

CenturyLink has been hit with a $12 billion class action suit which claims the US telco harmed customers with an alleged high-pressure sales culture that led them to pay millions of dollars for accounts they didn’t request.

Former employee Heidi Heiser has already launched legal action against CenturyLink, but her action has been cited in a new lawsuit filed in the central district of California court.

The new suit accuses the company, which is in the midst of a $34 billion of merger with Level 3 Communications, of fraud, unfair competition, and unjust enrichment, according to reports from the US.

Heiser accused CenturyLink of allegedly running a sales incentive scheme and firing her for drawing attention to it.

"Ms. Heiser's allegations of what she observed, and what CenturyLink corporate culture encouraged, are consistent with the experiences of hundreds of thousands and potentially millions of consumers who have been defrauded by CenturyLink," the complaint states. 

"It is estimated that the damages to consumers could range between $600 million and $12 billion, based on CenturyLink's 5.9 million subscribers."

The latest lawsuit was brought on behalf of the consumers by the Geragos & Geragos law firm, led by celebrity attorney Mark J. Geragos and filed on behalf of plaintiffs Craig McLeod and Steven L. McCauley, both current customers of CenturyLink, according to Bloomberg.

CenturyLink has called Heiser’s claims “completely inconsistent” with company policy and culture, and said she failed to report the allegations to the company’s Integrity Line.

“The fact that a law firm is trying to leverage a wrongful termination suit into a putative class action lawsuit does not change our original position,” Mark Molzen, a CenturyLink spokeman, said in a statement.