If you're a Verizon landline customer, you could be eligible for a payout from the company.
Verizon has settled a class action lawsuit accusing the telecommunications company of allowing deceptive overcharges onto customers' bills.
Unlike many class action suits, which tend to reimburse just a tiny bit of the defrauded amount, consumers affected by this suit are entitled to a full refund of any unauthorized charges billed from April 27, 2005 to Feb. 28, 2012.
Here is more from Troy & Banks, a local utility auditing company:
Over the past seven years, many Verizon landline customers have been paying for services they did not authorize or receive on their monthly telephone bills. These overcharges are known as cramming charges, or unauthorized, misleading, or deceptive charges on a customer’s telephone bill. Cramming charges are billed by a third-party company who is not affiliated with the phone provider, but is still able to bill on the invoice.
Cramming charges can be listed on Verizon customers’ monthly telephone bill as service and long distance fees, web hosting, collect calls and other miscellaneous charges. Cramming charges can range in price from $1.99 to as much as $49.95 per month. Only 1 in 20 Americans are aware of these charges on their bills, which affect an estimated 15 to 20 million households per year.
Verizon was recently sued over allowing these charges on their customers’ bills. Verizon settled the lawsuit, and, in accordance with the settlement, the court ruled that all cramming charges from April 27, 2005 to February 25, 2012 must be reimbursed to Verizon landline customers who file a claim. Verizon customers can visit the settlement site, www.verizonthirdpartybillingsettlement.com, to obtain a summary of all potential cramming charges billed to them during that time period. Customers can then use this information to submit a claim to Verizon for a full refund.
Verizon has recently been sending out notifications of the settlement via mail and e-mail to affected customers. Customers who receive this information should be aware that the settlement is legitimate and the instructions provided should be followed in order to obtain a refund.
“With so many households nationwide being affected by cramming charges, there is a strong likelihood that many Verizon landline customers in Western New York were billed these erroneous charges as well,” says Brandon Jonas, a member of the Client Services department at Troy & Banks.