Woman sues Verizon for DSL speed issues

How important is truth in advertising? Here’s a lawsuit that will get to the root of that question.

A Santa Monica woman is suing Verizon because she says the company advertises DSL speeds that are technically impossible to achieve for many customers who sign up for the service.

She claims that she was paying $24.99 per month but a salesperson talked her into upgrading to a faster $34.99 plan. The new plan was allegedly supposed to deliver online content at a speed of 1.5 Mb per second.

However, Patricia Allen says that on a good day, the best she could reach was about half of that.

She claims that she called Verizon to complain but was told she lives too far away from the nearest service center to get those maximum speeds, so the best she would ever be able to do would be to get a 768k/second speed. Outraged, she asked to switch to a slower connection plan and demanded a refund. Verizon did not offer any compensation.

So she’s taking it to the next step. Not only is she suing Verizon for breach of contract and for violating California’s strict consumer protection laws, but she’s opening it up to anyone who might also be affected.

The class-action suit aims for Verizon to recognize that its DSL service can only deliver maximum speeds to those who are in the extreme vicinity of a Verizon service center. All other customers receive a degraded signal.

A Verizon spokesperson was quoted as saying, “We believe the lawsuit is baseless and without merit.”