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Thursday
Oct282010

Verizon to Pay Billions to Customers over Incorrect Data Charges 

Photo Courtesy - PRNewsFoto | Pierce Promotions(WASHINGTON) -- Verizon Wireless has settled a dispute over data charges in an agreement with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). In a statement released by Verizon on Thursday, it acknowledged making “inadvertent billing mistakes” that resulted in customers being billed for additional data charges.

“We are issuing credits and refunds on our own initiative and because it is the right thing to do for our customers,” the statement read. “Fixing this for our customers has been our aim since last year, as we stated publicly at that time.”

The agreement comes after a 10-month-long investigation by the FCC into consumer complaints over unexplained “pay-as-you-go” data fees. These are charges of $1.99 per megabyte that apply to Verizon Wireless customers who do not subscribe to a data package or plan.

 “Today’s settlement requires Verizon Wireless to make meaningful business reforms, prevent future overcharges, and provide consumers clear, easy-to-understand information about their choices,” said Michele Ellison, Chief of the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau.  “I am gratified by the cooperation of the Verizon Wireless team in the face of these issues, and pleased they are taking the high road.”

Verizon said it plans to spend $52.8 billion to reimburse about 15 million current and former customers who may have been incorrectly billed.

In addition, Verizon will pay $25 million to the U.S. Treasury under an agreement with the FCC.

The payment represents the largest settlement in FCC history.

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