Verizon to Send Refunds to 15 million Customers!

by Khaleef Crumbley on October 4, 2010

in Personal Finance,shopping

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Verizon Wireless announced that it will issue refunds to about 15 million customers! According to Mary Coyne, Deputy General Counsel, Verizon Wireless, the refunds will be issued over the next two months:

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.

The excess charges stem from data sessions that were not initiated by the customer. In these cases, built-in software on the phone accessed the internet or the mobile network. Here is Coyne’s explanation:

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.

The majority of the data sessions involved minor data exchanges caused by software built into their phones; others included accessing certain web links, which should not have incurred charges.

Verizon stated that they have corrected the problem, and that these charges will not be assessed in the future.

Despite Verizon’s efforts to make things right, the F.C.C. will investigate forcing Verizon to pay penalties for taking so long to reimburse customers  (this goes back across the last few years).

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mark

It’s ridiculous to think that Verizon was overbilling customers for all those years. I am sure that many customers called in to complain and that Verizon did nothing to rectify the situation.

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2 Khaleef Crumbley

Ultimately, that’s my take on it. I’m sure they had a good number of complaints and either ignored them, or refunded them without a widespread investigation.

Maybe they actually figured that not enough people would notice so they’d keep doing it and pay refunds to the 3% who actually called!

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3 Everyday Tips

I think we are getting back 6 dollars or something like that! :)

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4 Khaleef Crumbley

Yeah, they are anticipating between $2 and $6 per person. I wonder if there were any customers who received this charge every month.

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5 Kevin@OutOfYourRut

As a Verizon customer, I welcome this development! Actually, our experience with Verizon has been outstanding. I’m not at all surprised that they caught this themselves and are moving to correct it.

I’d recommend Verizon cell service to anyone. (No, I’m not on commission, just overjoyed anytime I find a vendor who actually does what they say they will and treats customers like…customers!)

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6 Khaleef Crumbley

I’ve never had their cellular service, but the fact that they started this investigation without prompting from the FCC is commendable. However, I wonder how many customer complaints they received before looking into this.

Do you expect to receive a refund?

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7 Money Beagle

And here I thought it’s because Verizion was just overpriced. While that still holds true, it is good that they’re going to make things right, or try to anyways, with regards to this bit.

The funny thing is that most people probably didn’t even notice the charges as I’m sure most cases involved very small amounts, but look how much that added up to when you collectively bring 15,000,000 affected subscribers together. $90m is more money than I can even comprehend, yet it’s a bunch of drops in the bucket.

Wow.

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8 Khaleef Crumbley

I think this is one of the problems with automated paying of bills. Many people will just have the money taken out of their bank accounts or just click a button and pay the bill, without ever reviewing their statement. Especially, if it’s only a few dollars off.

I wonder what the highest personal payout will be?

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