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Verizon Wireless may have to pay $90 million in refunds

Verizone Wireless announced that they may be paying up to $90 million in refunds to 15 million cellphone customers who were overcharged for data sessions and Internet use. If this happens it will be one of the biggest customer refunds offered by a telecommunications company.

Verizon issued the statement yesterday as the company was in discussion with the Federal Communications Commission regarding compliants of unauthorised charges. Verizon said that customers would receive credits ranging from $2 to $6 in their October or November bills, or in the case of customers who have since left, via cheques.

The problem occured when data exhanges were initiated by the software built into the phones – sometimes billing $1.99 multiple times.

Verizon Wireless HQ

The F.C.C. may also target Verizon for a penalty payment for failing to tell customers of the problem, which has apparently been happening since 2007. Michele Ellison, the chief of the F.C.C. enforcement bureau said that the agency was “gratified to see the repayment, but for millions of Americans it’s a day late and a $1.99 short. Getting consumers repaid is just the first step; ensuring this doesn’t happen again comes next.”

The F.C.C. has received hundreds of complaints from Verizon Wireless Customers over these charges with people claiming charges even when accidentally pressing the Web browser button.

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

KitGuru said: It seems rather unusual that a company would be aware of charges over 3 years and only respond to F.C.C. pressure.

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