Consumers Should Opt Out of Comcast Arbitration Provision

Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
Contact: Merni Fitzgerald, Director of Public Affairs
703-324-3187, TTY 711, Fax 703-324-2010
Media Pager: 703-324-NEWS (6397)

Aug. 7, 2007

Fairfax County Recommends Consumers
Opt Out of Comcast Arbitration Provision

Residents of the Reston area of Fairfax County who recently received an arbitration provision notice from Comcast are encouraged to opt out of the provision. While arbitration can be a quick and inexpensive way of resolving disputes, Comcast’s arbitration provision includes several significant limitations on the rights of subscribers who are bound by the provision:

  • The time in which subscribers must bring claims against Comcast is reduced. Subscribers who retain their rights to sue in court will usually have a much longer period of time before they must file their claims or be barred.

  • The subscribers’ rights to appeal adverse decisions are restricted. Trial court decisions can usually be appealed, but Comcast’s arbitration provision prohibits appeals except in cases where more than $75,000 was awarded in the arbitration.

  • The types of damages that subscribers can get from Comcast are limited. The arbitration policy does not allow the recovery of indirect, consequential, punitive or multiplied damages unless the claim is brought under a statute that explicitly allows those kinds of damages.

Comcast serves the Reston area of Fairfax County. The county encourages cable subscribers and cable companies to use mediation and arbitration services available through the Fairfax County Department of Cable Communications and Consumer Protection to resolve disputes. Opting out of Comcast’s arbitration provision will not preclude Comcast subscribers from using these services.

Comcast customers can opt out of the arbitration provision at For more information contact the Fairfax County Department of Cable Communications and Consumer Protection at 703-222-8435, TTY 711.


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Fairfax County is committed to nondiscrimination on the basis of disability in all county programs, services and activities. To request this information in an alternate format, call the Office of Public Affairs at 703-324-3187, TTY 711.

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