In reaction to the fee dispute currently depriving them of their favorite CBS shows, three Time Warner Cable subscribers in southern California have filed a class action lawsuit against the cable provider.
The suit was filed on Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court by lead plaintiffs James Armstrong, Michael Pourtemour and Vatsana Bilavam, reports The Hollywood Reporter.
The plaintiffs say that they were attracted to TWC's cable service as result of the company's offering the CBS-owned channels CBS, Showtime, Movie Channel and the Los Angles local station KCAL. They have been unable to watch any of these stations since the blackout began on Aug. 2.
TWC and CBS have been wrapped in an intense battle over programming fees after CBS requested an increase in carriage fees for its channels. The dispute has led to a two week blackout of CBS-owned stations in Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago and several other TWC service areas throughout the nation.
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The plaintiffs in the case claim if they had been aware that a programming blackout was going to happen, they would have never signed up for TWC's service. Armstrong and Portemour say that they informed TWC they were unable to watch "Big Brother," the PGA Championship, "Dexter" and "Ray Donovan" due to the blackout, reports Deadline. They also cite TWC advertisements from Oct. 2012 that ensure subscribers six free months of Showtime along with the company's basic cable services.
“The courtesy replacement programming,” says the suit, “is not a reasonable substitute for programing blacked out, as it does not include a fungible offering of programs relative to CBS and Showtime.”
The plaintiffs are seeking an unspecified amount in reimbursement in subscription fees due, claiming a breach of contract, unjust enrichment and several violations of California's business and professions code.
In the documents, the plaintiffs also encourage more of the over 3 million TWC customers affected by the blackout to join the lawsuit.
You can read the entire lawsuit here.