Verizon to refund $90 million to customers

Verizon Wireless announced today that they will pay $90 million in refunds to 15 million customers. The news comes as Verizon had been wrongly charging customers for data sessions and Internet use, which the Federal Communications Commission pointed out after hundreds of complaints.

For the last three years, the complaints to the FCC have been piling in from Verizon Wireless customers as they said they were being charged for data sessions and Internet at times when their phone wasn’t in use. Angry customers had complained as early as 2009 when the New York Times reported that complaints were being ignored by Verizon Wireless. Verizon had programmed phones to automatically launch a web browser upon a button push without any confirmation of data charges (e.g. "This Application requires a data plan" or similar).

In a statement by Verizon, the company said, "15 million customers either will receive either credits ranging from $2 to $6 on their October or November bills or, in the case of former customers, refund checks.”

Mary Coyne, deputy general counsel for Verizon Wireless also said, "Verizon Wireless values our customer relationships and we always want to do the right thing for our customers.”

Speculation has risen that the FCC has been pressuring Verizon to agree to pay a penalty for the unauthorized charges which would force companies in a similar situation to alert customers straight away.

The $90 million pay-out means that Verizon officially hold the trophy for one of the largest refunds from a telecom company.

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23 Comments

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Reminds me of the Music CD price fixing (which is still go'in on)judgement,applyed for a $10.00 refund and NEVER saw a dime...

So, does this mean that now every time you launch your web browser (Which obviously uses data), you're going to have to agree to a prompt that it might use data?

This quote concerns me:


Verizon had programmed phones to automatically launch a web browser upon a button push without any confirmation of data charges (e.g. "This Application requires a data plan" or similar).

I really hope that's not the case. Sometimes people should just be required to use common sense.

ramesees said,
^ The math fail is only on you

$90 million / 15 million = $6

He wrote $6m per customer, correct maths but incorrect m...I don't think Tom needs to be taken out and flogged just yet for this

There's some maths fail going on here somewhere...

They're paying a total of $90m out in refunds. To 15m customers. That's $6m per customer...

hougtimo said,
There's some maths fail going on here somewhere...

They're paying a total of $90m out in refunds. To 15m customers. That's $6m per customer...

Your maths is FAIL hehehe :-)

Quick Reply said,

Your maths is FAIL hehehe :-)


huh huh i think there is some thing going on some thing like a maths glich it's called falling

We kept wondering how these charges were happening. Oh well, we got tired of it, as well as other Verizon issues and with the end of this contract are heading to AT&T.

Alan Cone said,
We kept wondering how these charges were happening. Oh well, we got tired of it, as well as other Verizon issues and with the end of this contract are heading to AT&T.

AT&T? Get ready for some real issues... lol

They can afford to pay the $90 million, they probably made more than that in interest on the money taken from their customers.
Why don't they pay back what they took plus interest? It is only fair. If you are late with your monthly payment they charge you interest.
Kid of like the businessman that went to the doctor for his scheduled appointment and had to wait for hours before the doctor saw him. He sued the doctor for his time wasted in the doctors office.

wahoospa said,
They can afford to pay the $90 million, they probably made more than that in interest on the money taken from their customers.
Why don't they pay back what they took plus interest? It is only fair. If you are late with your monthly payment they charge you interest.
Kid of like the businessman that went to the doctor for his scheduled appointment and had to wait for hours before the doctor saw him. He sued the doctor for his time wasted in the doctors office.

Exactly!

Now that might make other companies wake up some and quit ripping people off!

You don't know how many times I've wished there was something I could do when going for an appointment and had to wait for so long. Recently had an appointment with my back doctor scheduled at 9:30am. I arrived 15 minutes early only to have to wait for 45 minutes past my scheduled time, just to get into the doctors little exam room, where I had to wait ANOTHER 45 minutes for the doctor to actually walk in. Took him 5 minutes to be done with me!!

Man, did I chew him out though, so I got SOME satisfaction!! This kind of stuff is absolutely ridiculous!!

cork1958 said,

Exactly!

Now that might make other companies wake up some and quit ripping people off!

You don't know how many times I've wished there was something I could do when going for an appointment and had to wait for so long. Recently had an appointment with my back doctor scheduled at 9:30am. I arrived 15 minutes early only to have to wait for 45 minutes past my scheduled time, just to get into the doctors little exam room, where I had to wait ANOTHER 45 minutes for the doctor to actually walk in. Took him 5 minutes to be done with me!!

Man, did I chew him out though, so I got SOME satisfaction!! This kind of stuff is absolutely ridiculous!!

Sarcasm fail.

Yeah, how about you stop advertising full GPS support for the palm pre plus. Its not exactly full free gps support when you are only able to use it unless you pay for vz navigator. They say that their is nothign wrong with it, but for some odd reason the only way you can access the GPS signal is if you launch VZ navigator first.

HTC Incredible here. It has it's own GPS tool independent of VZ Navigator, thank God. I wouldn't mind if companies didn't install stupid crap on my phone though.

HTC Incredible here. It has it's own GPS tool independent of VZ Navigator, thank God. I wouldn't mind if companies didn't install stupid crap on my phone though.

KSib said,
HTC Incredible here. It has it's own GPS tool independent of VZ Navigator, thank God. I wouldn't mind if companies didn't install stupid crap on my phone though.

The palm pre's gps chip is independent of carrier software, except on verizon. The gps works with every app on other carriers like its supposed to, but verizion crippled it so only VZ navigator has access. In order to get a position in google maps or any gps app you have to first launch vz navigator, and then the other apps are able to access the gps information. Then after awhile the gps chip times out if you arnt using navigator so you have to relauch it.

Nashy said,
Well that's a kick in the pants pocket isn't it.

For Verizon? Err, not really, considering their rates are obnoxious to begin with.

Good service tho.

randomevent said,

For Verizon? Err, not really, considering their rates are obnoxious to begin with.

Good service tho.

And exactly who's rates AREN'T obnoxious these days? Cell phones in the US equate to highway robbery. Sprint is the only one even remotely close to acceptable as far as what you get for your dollar, but more low-end (sub $40 per month) plans need to be readily available across the board.