Verizon And Sprint To Refund Customers For Unauthorized Charges

By Alexandra Olgin
Published: Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - 5:16pm
Updated: Wednesday, May 13, 2015 - 10:05am
(Photo by Alexandra Olgin - KJZZ)

Verizon and Sprint customers are able to get money back for phony charges. The phone companies settled a federal lawsuit Tuesday for $158 million. Of that, $120 million will go toward consumer restitution.  

The Arizona Attorney General’s office estimates there are more than 700,000 customers who may have been affected. The mobile providers had partnered with third-party vendors that sell text messaging services like horoscopes and sports scores, but customers who hadn’t signed up for the amenities were being billed anyways.

Arizona Attorney General’s Spokeswoman Kristen Keogh said, “This is what’s known as mobile cramming, where there is a charge for something consumers didn’t even know that they had, something they never asked for and they are getting charged monthly for the service.”

T-Mobile and AT&T made similar settlements last October for $195 million. As part of the Verizon and Sprint settlement, the companies agreed to get consent before billing customers for third-party charges and give consumers a full refund when incorrectly billed.

Customers should look for monthly charges of $9.99 as far back as 2010. Those who think they may have been charged for a service they didn't use can submit a claim online at the Sprint and Verizon websites before the Dec. 31. The companies will then determine how much to refund each customer. 

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