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Verizon Wireless to refund as much as $90 million

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Verizon Wireless to refund as much as $90 million
Verizon Wireless announced Sunday that it will refund as much as $90 million to 15 million customers who complained they were wrongly charged for internet and/or data usage. The announcement came amid word that Big Red and the FCC were having talks related to the issue of unauthorized charges, and speculation arose about a settlement of a government inquiry into the matter.

The refunds, which affected customers will see as a $2 to $6 refund on their October or November bill, will go to Verizon account holders who did not have a data usage plan but were billed for data or internet use due after software on their phone inadvertently allowed the handset to call up data. Some users were mistakenly billed for accidental internet use. Those no longer using Verizon will receive a check for their refund amount.

Over the last three years, the FCC has received many complaints from Verizon customers who were charged for data or internet use at times when their phone was not being used, or when they accidentally pushed a button pre-programmed to activate the web browser on the device. Those who complained to the carrier said that they were often ignored by the company.

Mary Coyne, deputy general counsel for Verizon, said, "Verizon Wireless values our customer relationship and we always want to do the right thing for our customers." But Verizon might need to open its wallet a little bigger. People close to the talks between the mobile operator and the FCC say that the latter wants Verizon to pay a penalty for the unauthorized charges to serve as a deterrent so that other carriers who might have customers getting wrongly billed, won't follow in Big Red's footsteps by ignoring the matter.

source: NYTimes

11 Comments
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posted on 20 Oct 2010, 01:48

1. souleater93 (Posts: 86; Member since: 20 Mar 2009)


Finally people see justice. My family had a $1.99 for months when I had the LG Dare and my mom fought them all the time and they took it off, thankfully. I even made a statement to them by having my phone off for basically a month and writing the times down when I used it. I got a data usage flag thing at noon, but I wasn't 'charged' until 6 PM and the only thing the operator could say was "That is bizarre we've never seen that before, but I don't know if we can take it off still." they eventually did, but it was a pain in the neck for us.

posted on 04 Oct 2010, 06:34

2. Double D (unregistered)


I've had a few of these unauthorized charges on my bills over the years, however, I called about them when I received my bill and they were always refunded with no hassel. In my experience Verizon customer service has always been friendly, prompt, professional, and have resolved all of my issues.

posted on 04 Oct 2010, 07:38

3. RICKING (unregistered)


THEY CHARGED ME 44.95 A MONTH FOR OVER 18 MONTHS WHEN I DID NOT HAVE A DATA PLAN,,,FINALLY JUSTICE.. YOU SUCK BIG RED!!!!!!

posted on 04 Oct 2010, 08:05

5. tomorrowisnow (unregistered)


If you were charged $45 every month and it was always the same amount, then you had a smartphone and you had a data plan.

posted on 04 Oct 2010, 11:17

6. Ruggala (unregistered)


Exactly....some people are so stupid....you people had a Palm or Blackberry and never looked at your bill. Smartphones require a data plan every month. You got nothing to complain about.

posted on 04 Oct 2010, 07:47

4. tomorrowisnow (unregistered)


Almost any VZW employee who worked in a retail store will tell you that LG phones on the carrier for the last couple of years have had a software issue that caused the phone to access the internet without the user doing so. VZW tech support and leadership denied this to be true, but front line employees knew it. VZW is pleading no contest on this and also using this to wipe the slate clean of all past data charges that customers are disputing. It was very easy for customers to access the web and not realize when they were being charged for it when one of the directional keys on every phone was always preprogrammed to access the web when pressed and then there was no warning screen that continuing may/may not incur pay per use charges depending on your plan. VZW is settling for pennies on the dollar and they are doing it right in front of our eyes. What a Houdini play they are pulling.

posted on 04 Oct 2010, 16:43

7. Cali_E (Posts: 196; Member since: 24 Sep 2008)


you're trippin. it clearly says mobile web when u hit it. that and you can program that button to do something else. its very simple

posted on 04 Oct 2010, 23:31

8. thetruthbetold (unregistered)


So it is the customers fault that a company pre-programs a button to essentially charge them for data fees when 95% of the time the customer accidently hits a button that accesses mobile web? This is a ridiculous settlement as well. Verizon has basically shown that they will hold on to customers money that they were never supposed to have in the first place and then give it back only after they have been successfully sued. I would be screaming for not just my money back but the interest on that money. It's essentially me taking 10 dollars from your wallet and forcing you to sue me in order to get it back and me. And even after you successfully win I only have to give you back what I stole and nothing more for being a douche.

posted on 05 Oct 2010, 00:37

9. souleater93 (Posts: 86; Member since: 20 Mar 2009)


They don't "hold on to customers money" they did take charges off some accounts, I highly doubt my family was a rarity in getting it taken off, costumers should learn to basically fight with them to get what they want. My mom wouldn't give into what they were saying, I was access mobile web, and it paid off on multiple occasions not only with this, but also with other small lies that cost costumers. Also when you click mobile web (from what the techs told us many times) it will not charge until "the user leaves the VZW home page," however I highly doubt they can monitor that.

posted on 05 Oct 2010, 01:11

10. db635794 (Posts: 2; Member since: 03 Sep 2010)


Some of you guys really need to read and make sure you understand not only what your reading but what your saying. Verizon wirelss is refunding $90 million to 15 million customers who will see a refund of between $2-$6!! VZW has over 92 million of which 15 million will see a max refund of the taxes they pay. This isnt verizon ripping its customers off...its an issue they found that didnt need to go to court and like everything else Verizon is taking care of. Secondly verizon doesnt program the phones with appliications the manufacturers do and even then theres often times a MANUAL. Most phones on any network have short cut keys that the user can set up or change that can access the web. Lastly "Verizon was charging me for months and I didnt know" is probably the craziest thing in the world to say!! Read your bill! You get one every month!!! Not only that but you can view all your account information and bill details on their website. If its showing up on your bill and you think it doesnt belong there (like a $45 charge!!!) dont just sit there and wonder what it is!! Call Customer Service!! VZW has the highest rated customer service among all of the big carriers I promise one of them can tell you what the charge is. People these days need to take responsibility for themselves and their own laziness. Not to say Verizon isnt at fault but verizon messed up and they're taking care of it.

posted on 05 Oct 2010, 10:12

11. android lover (unregistered)


AMEN to that.

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