Verizon and Sprint settle cramming charges with the FCC for a combined $158 million

Verizon and Sprint settle cramming charges with the FCC for a combined $158 million
Verizon and Sprint will together be writing a check made payable to the FCC in the amount of $158 million. Both carriers were fined by the U.S. agency after customers complained about their billing practices. $90 million will be coming from Big Red's wallet while Sprint will be responsible for the remaining $68 million. Of the total, $120 million will be refunded to customers who paid for premium text message services that they did not subscribe to.

In the practice known as cramming, customers would receive texts with horoscopes, jokes and other content for which they were billed anywhere from 99 cents to $14 per message. The average amount billed was $9.99. Verizon kept 30% of the revenue generated by these premium texts, while Sprint kept 35%. The carriers refused to issue refunds to their customers. When the FCC investigated, neither Verizon nor Sprint could show proof that the affected customers had ever signed up for the premium text services.


Both T-Mobile and AT&T settled their own cramming charges with the FCC last year. The latter paid the agency $90 million while the former cut a check for $105 million.

source: FCC via Crackberry

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9 Comments

1. arch_angel

Posts: 1651; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

That's what they get for being greedy.

2. bubblechaos

Posts: 114; Member since: May 04, 2015

I can't believe it. I'm glad the U.S Agency and FCC agree to this. Although i don't use any these 2 carriers. It is just unfair to do this. They are already making so much money, but keep ripping off your customers.

3. joevsyou

Posts: 1091; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

"premium text message services" what hahah So who gets the money HAHAHA Shouldn't They be required to spend more money to go into their records and see who they charged andf send that money back to them?

4. bubbadoes

Posts: 1225; Member since: May 03, 2012

greedy b***tards

5. GeekMovement unregistered

Into the 3rd month now that Sprint hasn't fixed our overcharged bill. We called them SEVERAL times during the past months, chatted with them through the website even more, and even sent countless emails. Each Sprint representative were like oh yeah your bill will be fixed by the next billing cycle.. NOPE. Never changed and they've been saying that every month. I'm sick of Sprint and cannot wait to ditch them. I realize every carrier will have their problems, but with Sprint, we at least expected decent customer service along with their terrible coverage.

8. lsutigers

Posts: 832; Member since: Mar 08, 2009

Go into a store and get them to fix it. Simple as that.

10. GeekMovement unregistered

That's what we'll have to do. It's unfortunate that the possible convenience of other contacting methods are all useless.

7. ikenvape

Posts: 309; Member since: May 28, 2014

Speaking of robbery. Why is only 120 million being refunded? Where's the remaining 38 going? Oh yeah fcc needs to eat too regardless if other consumers are owed money.

9. spasticpat

Posts: 110; Member since: Dec 18, 2012

How much of this goes to the consumers again?

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