PITTSBURGH - A Western Pennsylvania woman who sent Comcast Corp. a check made out for "My Right Arm and Zero Dollars" is up in arms because she says someone from the Philadelphia cable TV company published a copy of the check on the Internet.
Krista Cooney and her husband, Chad, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh alleging that Comcast invaded their privacy when the check she wrote last summer showed up on the Internet.
Cooney sent the check because she was unhappy with a large bill she received for her cable television, Internet and telephone service, the lawsuit said.
The Allegheny County couple contend that an unknown Comcast employee circulated an e-mailed copy of the check - containing their personal banking information, address and phone number - along with a snide comment. A Colorado man saw the image and alerted the Cooneys because he had been a victim of identity theft and realized they were at risk.
Comcast declined to address the lawsuit specifically in a statement today, but said the company has apologized to Krista Cooney and is working to address her concerns.
"The individuals involved in this incident are no longer with the company," the statement said. "Comcast holds our customers' privacy and security in the highest regard."
The lawsuit was filed Tuesday - just weeks after a customer-satisfaction survey showed ratings for Comcast at an all-time low. The survey by the University of Michigan's American Customer Satisfaction Index ranked Comcast below other cable and satellite TV providers.
The Cooneys' eight-page suit said the incident began when they subscribed last year to Comcast's $99-a-month "Triple Play" package of bundled services.
The first bill the couple received was for nearly $297. The lawsuit said Krista Cooney could afford to send the company only about $268, intending to pay the balance and a late fee the following month. A Comcast spokeswoman could not immediately explain the company's billing policies.
When Comcast sent a letter threatening to cut off the service, Cooney sent two checks: one to cover the balance and next month's bill, and the "My Right Arm" check meant to register her displeasure.
Cooney wrote "Robbing Customers Blind" in the memo section of that check and sent along a short note, saying, "Some people do have a budget ya know," the lawsuit said.