Verizon Wireless to pay $25M for spurious fees

October 28, 2010 By PETER SVENSSON , AP Technology Writer

(AP) -- Verizon Wireless has agreed to pay $25 million to the U.S. government and at least $52.8 million in refunds to customers who inadvertently racked up data charges on their phones over the last three years, federal regulators said Thursday.

The Federal Communications Commission said the settlement is the largest in its history.

To forestall action by the FCC, Verizon Wireless said earlier this month that it would issue refunds, mostly of $2 to $6, to about 15 million subscribers. It didn't give a total value for the refunds.

The FCC started asking Verizon Wireless last year about $1.99-a-megabyte data access fees that appeared on the bills of customers who didn't have data plans but who accidentally initiated data or Web access by pressing a button on their phones.

The FCC said it would check to see that Verizon paid out the agreed-to refunds.

After the Cleveland Plain Dealer raised awareness of the spurious fees, Verizon Wireless said last year that it would take steps to prevent the charges from appearing and that it would issue refunds to customers who complained.

In a statement Thursday, Verizon Wireless said the charges were inadvertent and its software is being changed to prevent such charges in the future.

Verizon Wireless, the largest cell phone carrier in the U.S., is a joint venture between Verizon Communications Inc. and Britain's Vodafone Group PLC.

Explore further: Cell phone users rack up accidental data charges

0 shares

Related Stories

Cell phone users rack up accidental data charges

August 26, 2009

(AP) -- Verizon Wireless is looking into ways to prevent subscribers without data plans from accidentally starting up the Web browser on their phones and racking up $1.99 in fees each time.

FCC asks Verizon Wireless to explain fees

December 4, 2009

(AP) -- The Federal Communications Commission on Friday asked Verizon Wireless why it recently doubled the fees it charges customers when they break their contracts on "smart" phones.

FCC seeking information about wireless fees

January 26, 2010

(AP) -- Federal regulators are asking the nation's big wireless companies whether they give customers adequate notice about early termination fees for breaking a service contract before it expires.

Verizon Wireless plans $30M-$90M customer refunds

October 4, 2010

(AP) -- Verizon Wireless could pay out up to $90 million in refunds to cell phone customers who were improperly charged for inadvertent Web access or data usage over the past several years.

FCC rules seek to avoid surprise wireless bills

October 13, 2010

(AP) -- Federal regulators want to stop cell phone "bill shock" by requiring wireless companies to alert subscribers before they run out of minutes, hit data usage or text messaging caps or start racking up international ...

Recommended for you

Power grid forecasting tool reduces costly errors

July 30, 2015

Accurately forecasting future electricity needs is tricky, with sudden weather changes and other variables impacting projections minute by minute. Errors can have grave repercussions, from blackouts to high market costs. ...

Netherlands bank customers can get vocal on payments

August 1, 2015

Are some people fed up with remembering and using passwords and PINs to make it though the day? Those who have had enough would prefer to do without them. For mobile tasks that involve banking, though, it is obvious that ...

Microsoft describes hard-to-mimic authentication gesture

August 1, 2015

Photos. Messages. Bank account codes. And so much more—sit on a person's mobile device, and the question is, how to secure them without having to depend on lengthy password codes of letters and numbers. Vendors promoting ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.