What is my recourse if I was misled by my ISP and now my business is suffering as a result?

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What is my recourse if I was misled by my ISP and now my business is suffering as a result?

I received confirmation from Comcast prior to my lease of office space that high speed internet was available. This was crucial to the success of my business as I run a co-working space with multiple people using wi-fi simultaneously. He said he checked the address and I was good to go, so I signed a lease. Well upon installation, there now needs to be construction at the site my business is open and I cannot get the service I need to be effective in soliciting my services to the public. The installation completion date has now been set out to 3 months past the original install date. Do I have any recourse?

Asked on February 25, 2017 under Business Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

It depends on what you mean by "there now needs to be construction at the site" which has pushed back installation.
1) IF the construction is work that has to be done by the cable company and they were, or reasonably should have been aware, of it at the time they represented the high-speed would be available, then this may be fraud (lying to you about a material or important fact) and you may be entitled to compensation.
2) But on the other hand, if--
a) It is construction that has to be done by the cable company, but it is unexpected and they had no reason to think it had to be done--e.g. in trying to connect your service, they discovered some significant problems in the infrastructure, wiring, etc. requiring more work--that is not fraud: they did not lie, because what they told you was what they legitimately thought was the truth when they told you. After-discovered problems are not fraud. You would not be entitled to compensation other than, if you have already started paying for the service, a credit, etc. for the time it has not been available.
b) If the construction is no under the cable company's control--e.g. your landlord or the city is doing work to the building or the utilities outside--the cable company is not liable for the acts of third parties and you cannot sue.


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