FCC fines Verizon $25 million

FCC fines Verizon $25 million
Verizon Wireless recently got into hot water over fraudulent charges on their customers' bills. Original estimates valued the fraudulent charges at over $90 million, affecting 15 million customers. The damages have now been reassessed at $52.8 million, but the FCC is still bent on sending a message.

The FCC announced that Verizon will pay them a fine of $25 million. Keep in mind, this is on top of paying back the affected customers. FCC chairman Julius Genachowski also confirmed that this is the largest fine in the agency's history. To offer a point of reference, the FCC fined CBS $550,000 for Janet Jackson's clothing malfunction at the Super Bowl.

Genachowski offered the following: "People shouldn't find mystery fees when they open their phone bills and they certainly shouldn't have to pay for services they didn't want and didn't use. In these rough economic times, every $1.99 counts."

As the FCC is cracking down on 'bill shock,' it follows that they would want to nip any carrier-conniving in the bud. This fine will send a firm message to any carrier looking to get creative with their billing.

source: Reuters via Gizmodo



1. Fanboykiller unregistered

It's ok fanboys still happy getting raped in the anus by slow-rizon

2. sexykelly55 unregistered

@fannboykiller yes we may not have a fast network right now and sure were may not able to talk and browse the web at the same time but when LTE rolls out its not going to be slowrizon anymore .. and were gunna be able to talk and browse the net at the same time . and i admit verizon may be fuckinq expensive but atleast i have voice coverage in many places were my friends with at&t and t-mobile have no service at all and also i dnt care cuz i have a good job so i can pay my bill without a problem

3. suckforyou unregistered

@sexykelly55 It's not about whether you can afford it or not, its about the principle. You are getting it up the ass and being taken advantage of. Don't assume he has ATT, he might have Sprint, which is so much better than any of those carriers, considering the deal and speed and reception you are getting. WOW!

4. Fanboykiller unregistered

@sexykelly: Even with their LTE still slower than AT&T and T-mo, test it you'll see the diference...!!!!

5. Fanboykiller unregistered

Anyway kelly iphone plans in average cost more than any droid phone and you won't see BOGO on any Apple product that's not fancy like you saying and btw you probably living in a city where cows out number humans there slow-rizon have the fastest CB radio signal....lol....!!!

6. hornetmx

Posts: 71; Member since: Mar 12, 2010

Please, if you cant see that sexykelly55 is vzw hater, then you need help. You make a mistake, you fix it. Cell phone companies didnt want to have to adopt LNP (transfering your number to any company) because of how much it would cost them. Check which company was the one that favored that change instead of spending money to lobby against:VZW. Check which company became to cocky thinking they were so big, they didnt have to take care of their customers and ended up losing millions of them based on poor customer service:Sprint/Nextel. Check which company realizes their network cannot handle the amount of data being used,and now removes their unl data package to keep you in check:ATT. Check which company was the 1st to prorate the early termination fee according to the time left on your contract:it wasnt T-mobile, Sprint, or ATT. Just plain facts. However as sexykelly55 puts it, you may not be able to talk and browse the web at the same time on vzw........ I left Sprint because I called them once, they changed my plan and never told my it would cost me $.40 instead of $.10 for every min over. I called them to tell them what happened and they said sorry, I dont care that you'v been with us 4 yrs. I said bye. I left ATT because you only talk to an good ATT rep once you escalate. The regular outsource rep (in my opinion) get mad even if you ask them to chek your mins. They get borderline pissed they actually have to help you. I said bye. I never had Tmobile. I want my phone to work. That's a fanboy statement for you, but at least its based on my experience.

12. pdpaiste

Posts: 9; Member since: May 15, 2009

Sprint isn't the same company that they were five years ago. Come to terms. Everyone knows they are a big threat.

7. hornetmx

Posts: 71; Member since: Mar 12, 2010

I was an outsource rep for ATT DSL service by the way, back in the days. If you knew the people I had to work with, you would never call their customer service. ever. you would cringe at trying to remember how many times these people have had access to your info. I'll leave it at that. The moral of the story is not that ATT is a bad company....only that you better damn make sure you ask that rep if they are outsource or not. I could write a book no doubt. Just to give you a sense of what im talking about, one of the chapters would be called: The day I say the dirty underwear in the restroom and it was still there after 1 week!

8. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Aaaaand...once again, the government takes an action which will probably make things worse for the customer. Just as Verizon is bringing its prices down too. Thanks, FCC, in your quest to be as punitive as possible you'll probably see Verizon looking for ways to make up that 25 million. As for the idiots slamming Verizon, the ONLY major carrier with equivalent plans cheaper than Verizon on voice alone is T-Mobile. Verizon's data pricing is beaten by Sprint and T-Mobile, but for the value you get, ATT does NOT beat any of them. And considering the value you get (Verizon spends 20 billion a YEAR upgrading and expanding their network, most of the phones in its lineup can be ranked as at least decent now) there's really not much to complain about. As for speed, I pitted a display iPhone 4 on 3G in an Apple store against my Droid X loading Rotten Tomatoes. The X only ran behind by a few seconds, EVEN THOUGH IT WAS LOADING FLASH CONTENT and the iPhone wasn't. In short: arguments DESTROYED.

11. newfdog 13

Posts: 64; Member since: Mar 06, 2010

Yep. We the customers will get the brunt of the fines.

9. chinesegurl unregistered

i was reqding some of the comments above and i read that fanboykiller mentioned that at&t and t-mobile have a faster network than verizon and i agree t-mobile has a faster network but at&t? cmon u gotta be kidding me .... me being an at&t customer cant wait to get out of my contract at&ts network is nothing but a hot mess right now there network is freaking slow i have been nothing but disspointed witht them i live in los angeles and its crap i have family in san fran and at&t is even worse in san fran.. and no its not my phone cuz im on my 3rd samsung captivate and my boyfriend is also on his 3rd sony ericsson xperia there network always has problems then u go complain to the att store and they always tell u its ur phone or sim card bullshit ! they switched my sim card and phone 3 times until finlally last week there network was havin problema in the downtwn area i cudnt make calls or text or use the internet even tho my phone showed full reception on 3G i went tothe att store and the lady finally admit it that there network was crap she even told me i might get fired for sayig this but our network is shit . and i told her i knew it! it was a very intresting converastion we had haha . but yea FUCK AT&T! verizon here i come!

10. Jeradiah3

Posts: 1149; Member since: Feb 11, 2010

The way I see it, verizon shouldnt be adding fees to thier customers' bill. as an AT&T customer and employee, i have nothing against verizon and whatever they do is their business, but to shortchange the customers that make them who they are is stupid!! Verizon should lose credibility for that BS and hopefully no one else is doing that!!

15. CRICKETownz

Posts: 980; Member since: Oct 24, 2009

If i were you...i would be more upset that At&t was just recently within the last 3 yrs. able to do MMS while every other carrier had this ability far before that. And also $25 for 2GB of usage on a smartphone and $10 for another GB, so $35 for 3GB of data where Verizon is $30 for unlimited data? Please...let's not talk about "short changing" customers. At&t customers seem to love paying normal rates for less services. Who knows why these charges showed up on some customers' billing statements. Maybe it was for ill-gotten gain or maybe it was a billing system glitch. People love to bash Verizon for high prices but to offer the highest level of reliability (according 3rd party companies) there is going to be a cost to maintain that. Ever wonder why Toyota's are more expensive than KIA? Ever wonder why Samsung makes a better LEDtv than Sylvania? It's called operating costs. Most consumers, no matter what service it is, want the best quality for the least amount of money. That's why they are "consumers". They have no clue what it costs to maintain a service. For a customer base as huge as Verizon's I would assume its alot. Funny thing is most customers are just as conniving and selfish as they claim their carrier is. I would think if cheaper were better then why aren't these prepaid carriers outpacing everybody? $30 unlimited everything...but it doesn't work anywhere so what's the point of that.

13. pjthebull unregistered

I was one of Verizon customers affected by the extra data charges. No data plan on my smartphone. When I called about the extra charges, they had no problem taking them off several times. I was able to bury the IE icon and other things causing me to use data. Ran into issue with data usage after that. Took a few calls to VZW, but finally found out that it was picture messaging. I have unlimited texting plan, but smartphones use data network for picture messaging. That's when Verizon started requiring data plans for smartphones. I could get a data plan, have data blocked, or pay data charges for picture messages. I opted to do the last, because I didn't use picture messaging much and wanted to have data available in case I needed it. I use my work smartphone for data, but sometimes I don't have it with me. I was annoyed that my smartphone used data network for picture messaging, but that was a phone issue, not Verizon issue. If you called them about extra data charges, they took care of it. If you didn't call or didn't have data blocked on the line, then you deserved to pay.

14. jkldh456 unregistered

I ALWAYS knew VZW was a nickel n dimer company..but this is REALLY what they get!!

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