Verizon agrees to refund customers $90 million for wrongful data charges

Did you have a Verizon phone sans data plan, but get billed for data anyhow? Verizon Wireless is dropping $90 million to make things right next month. The company will refund 15 million cellular customers who were wrongly charged for internet use, in the form of $2 to $6 credits on their next bill -- unless the fiasco already caused you to leave, in which case you'll get a similar check in the mail. The New York Times reports that the FCC pressured Verizon into this settlement following hundreds of complaints, so it looks like the squeaky wheel may have won this round. If you can call Verizon treating you to the equivalent of a latte a "win," of course. Read Verizon's full statement after the break.

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Verizon Wireless Issuing Credits To Customers


May be attributed to Mary Coyne, Deputy General Counsel, Verizon Wireless:

Verizon Wireless values our customer relationships and we always want to do the right thing for our customers.

In October and November, we are notifying about 15 million customers, through their regular bill messages, that we are applying credits to their accounts due to mistaken past data charges. We will mail former customers refund checks. In most cases, these credits are in the $2 to $6 range; some will receive larger credits or refunds.

As we reviewed customer accounts, we discovered that over the past several years approximately 15 million customers who did not have data plans were billed for data sessions on their phones that they did not initiate. These customers would normally have been billed at the standard rate of $1.99 per megabyte for any data they chose to access from their phones. The majority of the data sessions involved minor data exchanges caused by software built into their phones; others involved accessing the web, which should not have incurred charges. We have addressed these issues to avoid unintended data charges in the future.

Verizon Wireless issues credits to customers from time to time based on regular review and monitoring. When we identify errors, we remedy them as quickly as possible. Our goal is to maintain our customers' trust and ensure they receive the best experience possible.