Do I have a claim against Spectrum et al?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Do I have a claim against Spectrum et al?

I ordered business internet from Spectrum in December 2018. 4 months later I saw on my account 2 pieces of equipment never issued to me. Spectrum stated I should have the items and would be held liable. Spectrum send two supervisors and a technician out and, after investigating, they concluded that the missing equipment was given to an unknown party by their contract installer. Spectrum supervisor stated they found evidence of this that the installer left behind items identifying the missing router in the building communications room. Since the equipment was active and operating on my account, the installer must have also given my password away. This would explain why each time I changed my password, it would revert the next day. Can Spectrum et al be held liable for breaching my internet account security? What should I do next? They have now said they disconnected the equipment and won’t charge me but it still shows up on my account as ‘status unknown’ and I am afraid that all my information whenever I was on line was copied, stolen, and my credit my be compromised in the future.

Asked on May 18, 2019 under Business Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The company is not liable for:
1) The actions of independent contractors (e.g. "contract installers") who are not actual employees, since those independent contractors are legally their own businesses. 
2) Criminal activities by anyone they hire to do a job, whether an employee or independent contractor, since committing crimes is not part of their job duties or why they were hired--the criminal act is outside the bounds or responsibilities of employment. 
You could try suing the actual contract installer who did this, but not the ISP.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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