Verizon Wireless to refund as much as $90 million

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

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