Join The Verizon ETF Class Action

Wanna get in on the Verizon Early Termination Fee class action settlement? I did and went to verizonETFsettlement.com just like the postcard told me. Basically, if you were a Verizon Wireless customer from July 23, 1999 to August 10, 2008, and you were either charged an ETF, whether you paid it or not, you could be eligible for a piece of a $21 million pie (after the attorneys get their fees first), just file a claim form by October 14. In typical fashion, I tried filing a claim but the site keeps timing out. Something to bookmark and check in on later and hope they fixed it. Even when you think you’re giving Verizon its comeuppance, somehow you get screwed over. UPDATE: The website seems to be fixed now. By the way, at the end you will have to print out and mail in forms. They want you to attach documentation of your ETF. If you don’t have documentation, you can still make a claim but you will get a lesser amount.

VerizonETFSettlement [Official Site] (Photo: Ben Vershbow)

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  1. theblackdog says:

    The URL needs a www in front of it or else you get a “Bad Host Name” error.

  2. tekkierich says:

    when was “Jule 23, 1999″ ?

  3. nicemarmot617 says:

    Yeah, that site doesn’t work. Everywhere I went I got an error, including when I tried to give them my Verizon ID twice.

  4. JasonR says:

    Looks like the site isn’t quite ready for prime time. When entering a phone number, I just get a “Session Expired” error, or an execution error while trying to establish a database connection. No better luck with one browser than another.

  5. Mr.SithNinja says:

    What about if you are a Verizon customer currently and been subjected to pain and suffering for being held hostage by Verizon and not allowed to purchase an iPhone? What’s THAT worth?

  6. sleze69 says:

    What if I refused to pay an erroneous ETF and they sent me to collections and placed a bad mark on my credit report?

  7. chiieddy says:

    This was the very reason I left Verizon back in 2000. Because they decided when I moved my service from upstate NY to Boston that I had performed a contract renewal and forced me into a contract without informing me. I canceled service the day after the contract expired and switched to AT&T (which I switched out of the day I could switch my number to another company).

  8. michael.seth.novick says:

    I have the same issue as sleze69. They charged me a fee after I ported my number to T-Mobile the DAY my contract was up. I refused to pay it. We went through a mediation. I won. They still sent it to collections. I had to pay a ton. And it’s a bad mark on my credit. So while having my money back is nice, what is one to do about the mark on the credit report?

  9. Bladefist says:

    Another win for me. I just got a win from a netflix class action. woohoo. Thx for the notice.

  10. Bladefist says:

    Actually not a win yet, the site is having issues. As soon as I enter my phone #, it says session timed out.

  11. Archipelago says:

    Last January/February, my phone was stolen, but I had the insurance. So I figured no big deal. Fifty dollars and I get a new one. The representative in the Verizon store lied to me. He didn’t use my insurance, he signed me up for a new contract and said he was using the insurance. I ended up getting a monthly bill for $180 (normally around $90). After two months of trying to figure out what he did, and many failed talks with CSRs who couldn’t figure out how to fix my bill, I canceled and got hit with an ETF. I then switched to AT&T who seem to bend over backwards to make me happy. But I have to pay them for that month and a half of service and an ETF. I have been putting it off because they cancelled my online payment account, I will get charged to do it by phone, when I mail it, they apply it to my father’s bill(same name) and I don’t feel like driving to the Verizon store. Can I get this ETF waived or would I be better off paying it and then using the class action.

  12. Dennis says:

    Unless I’m misunderstanding the post should read:

    Basically, if you were a Verizon Wireless customer from July 23, 1999 to August 10, 2008 and were charged, paid, and/or were subject to a flat ETF, you could be eligible for a piece of a $21 million pie (after the attorneys get their fees first), just file a claim form by October 14.

    • Ben Popken says:

      @Dennis: Nope. You’re eligible if either you were charged an ETF, or an ETF was in your contract. So basically that’s everyone who wasn’t a pay-as-you-go customer.

      • BrianDaBrain says:

        @Ben Popken: And you beat me to it.

      • Dennis says:

        @Ben Popken:
        @BrianDaBrain:

        As much as I wish you were both correct I came up with the following result after going to the site and beginning the process:

        Please select one of the options below.

        A) I am a current or former Verizon Wireless customer and paid an Early Termination Fee at one or more times between July 23, 1999 and August 10, 2008. I have attached documentation where available to supplement Defendant’s records in substantiating this claim. I understand that if I submit no documentation and Defendant’s records do not indicate that an ETF was paid, I will receive a lesser settlement amount.

        B) I am a current or former Verizon Wireless customer and was charged but did not pay an Early Termination Fee at one or more times between July 23, 1999 and August 10, 2008. I have attached documentation where available to supplement Defendant’s records in substantiating this claim.
        —-
        I was a Verizon customer but was never charged nor did I ever pay a Verizon ETF. The site will not let me continue unless I select one of the choices.

    • BrianDaBrain says:

      @Dennis: Pretty much every customer who has a contract with Verizon Wireless was subject to the flat ETF. The only ones who weren’t subject to said fee were the INPulse customers.

  13. austinchu says:

    it’s interesting how phone companies have been allowed to charge these fees for so long. it’s now coming up and biting them in the butt. Let’s see how this turns out. I was charged it for sprint. You can talk your way out of it. Just drop the “it’s illegal” bomb, and it should work. Men–flirt and charm the ladies over the phone. A tad bit of sexual flirtation usually does the trick.

    • emis says:

      @austinchu:

      O_o ???

      Err… how exactly do you “charm the ladies” over the phone? And which do you start with: “it’s illegal” or “oooh, your voice sounds so good, you must be a voice model” ???

      But about that charming the ladies thing, seriously, how? I need this information yesterday :)

  14. BrianDaBrain says:

    The form seems to be fixed now. After filling it out, though, I was presented with the following two options and had to choose one:

    “A) I am a current or former Verizon Wireless customer and paid an Early Termination Fee at one or more times between July 23, 1999 and August 10, 2008. I have attached documentation where available to supplement Defendant’s records in substantiating this claim. I understand that if I submit no documentation and Defendant’s records do not indicate that an ETF was paid, I will receive a lesser settlement amount.

    B) I am a current or former Verizon Wireless customer and was charged but did not pay an Early Termination Fee at one or more times between July 23, 1999 and August 10, 2008. I have attached documentation where available to supplement Defendant’s records in substantiating this claim.”

    Neither of these covers the customer (like me) who has a flat ETF in the contract but was never charged it. Yet, the FAQ on the same site clearly states:

    “How do I know if I am I part of this Class?
    You are a member of the class if:
    [...]
    You are or were a Verizon Wireless customer in the U.S. whose contract with Verizon Wireless for personal wireless telephone service includes or included a provision for payment of a flat ETF from July 23, 1999 to August 10, 2008.”

    Where’s option C?

    • gamabunta says:

      @BrianDaBrain: I sent them an email asking this very same question. I’ll post what they tell me.

      • BrianDaBrain says:

        @gamabunta: Thanks.

        • gamabunta says:

          @BrianDaBrain: After getting the runaround via their email system I finally called and spoke to someone at the firm. The person I spoke to said you had to have been charged the ETF and paid it or charged the ETF and not paid it. Having the clause in your contract about the ETF is not enough to file a claim apparently.

    • @BrianDaBrain: Same here. Anyone have a clue on this?

    • Dennis says:

      @BrianDaBrain: Brian I see that you came to the same conclusion, sorry for the double post.

      • BrianDaBrain says:

        @Dennis: I think the line that Ben and I are both getting caught up on is the little blurb in their FAQ that says that anybody who’s had a contract with Verizon that even has a flat ETF in it is eligible to claim. See my earlier post BrianDaBrain.

        So, by their own admission, we should both qualify for a settlement. Wouldn’t that be nice. $25 free! :)

        • Dennis says:

          @BrianDaBrain: I hadn’t read the FAQ before my first post, but it certainly does paint a much different picture.

          I think anyone that has ever had to deal with Verizon’s customer support should get $25 for pain and suffering. :)

          • BrianDaBrain says:

            @Dennis: Believe it or not, I’ve actually renewed my 2 year contract through Verizon three times now. Never had a problem whenever I had to contact customer service (which is, thankfully, almost never).

            I had an issue once (before I got unlimited texts) where they had me signed up for 2 different text message plans (a 250 per month and a 500 per month). I called them and not only did they remove the charge and credit back the one that ended up on the bill, they gave me another $10 on top of that just to be nice. Compare that to my experiences with AT&T (before the switching back and forth between them and Cingular), and I will never switch back.

            • Dennis says:

              @BrianDaBrain: I’m actually using AT&T now, which besides dropped calls (ARGH!!), hasn’t been too bad. I have an AT&T store near by and have found success in talking to someone face to face with the few (so far) minor issues I’ve had.

              When I was using Verizon I had an account with my wife (girlfriend at the time) and somehow or another they wound up having the account under her name and my SSN#. We always paid the bill so I guess it didn’t really matter, but it took until right before we were going to cancel the account to get it fixed!

              I guess the bottom line is that they all basically suck and it only takes a few bad CSRs to ruin an experience.

              What bothered me about Verizon was the way the manage to get great phones and then cripple the hell out of them then charge you to use features that were included by the original phone manufacturer. That’s what brought me to the dark side (AT&T) at least I can get a decent phone and can use all of it’s features — assuming making a telephone call while driving and expecting it not to drop out is not one of those features. :) :)

              • BrianDaBrain says:

                @Dennis: LOL I was actually tempted to switch back to AT&T for a *gasp* iPhone. I know, I know, but I’m an Apple geek at heart. But my first 2 year contract was with them, and I think they got the bill right maybe 3-4 months out of 24. So eh. To each his own.

                And yes, for the record, they do basically all suck. I am actually only interested in this settlement because before I switched to an unlimited texting plan, I went over one month and my bill doubled. I’m gettin some money back! :)

                Do you remember Verizon’s menu structure? It’s so… convoluted and slow and terrible. That’s the thing I hate most about their service. Can’t wait until Google comes out with their phone. Yay open source!

                • Dennis says:

                  @BrianDaBrain: Thankfully I never had to use Verizon’s menu system. I HATE the Verizon UI. I had a Motorola e815, which at the time may have been the only phone without that sad attempt at an interface. There should be a class action law suit against whomever designed that thing.

  15. ahwahoo2006 says:

    I get this at the end:

    By clicking on Continue below, I declare under penalty of perjury that I am a current or former Verizon Wireless customer and that I was charged and / or paid a flat Early Termination Fee at one or more times between July 23, 1999 and August 10, 2008. I further declare under penalty of perjury that all the information provided in Parts 1 and 2 of this Proof of Claim Form are true and correct to the best of my knowledge.

    Which implies to me that if you were just subject to the ETF then you are not eligible.

  16. MahaliaLibnut says:

    I got through the phone entry (using all numerics, no () or -). I had to put in name/address/etc, then the next page had:

    Early Termination Fee Amounts

    Please select one of the options below.

    A) I am a current or former Verizon Wireless customer and paid an Early Termination Fee at one or more times between July 23, 1999 and August 10, 2008. I have attached documentation where available to supplement Defendant’s records in substantiating this claim. I understand that if I submit no documentation and Defendant’s records do not indicate that an ETF was paid, I will receive a lesser settlement amount.

    B) I am a current or former Verizon Wireless customer and was charged but did not pay an Early Termination Fee at one or more times between July 23, 1999 and August 10, 2008. I have attached documentation where available to supplement Defendant’s records in substantiating this claim.

    Which one of these do we choose if we’re a Verizon customer (who had a contract but let it expire) but didn’t pay an ETF?? I would think A thanks to the last sentence.

  17. emis says:

    Yeah no kidding… I had an ETF looming, so I stuck it out… does that mean I’m excluded?

    Back in ’04 I was a VZW customer who as unhappy w/ some of their limitations, but stayed until out of contract when I switched over to Sprint.

    Tho now from ’06-Present I’m a current VZW customer who is now happy… so you know… not sure if it’s really ethical to claim anything? :)

  18. wiley14 says:

    WOO! See [www.verizonetfsettlement.com] – I get a whole $25 for paying a $175 ETF!

    Wee!! We’re eatin good tonite!

  19. lpranal says:

    As payer of no less than two of these idiotic fees, I’m looking forward to enjoying some of Verizon’s tasty, tasty milkshake.

  20. loserflame says:

    It worked for me… i just didn’t enter the telephone number of the account that the ETF was on (it was a couple of years ago, and i don’t remember it)(nor do i have supporting documentation, so i’ll probably get nothing, but you can’t win the lottery unless you buy a ticket)(not saying that $25 is equal to winning the lottery)

  21. tange1 says:

    So at the end of this – are we supposed to print and mail in the form?

  22. Saboth says:

    I recently got some money from a huge multi-million dollar settlement when there was some dubious trading going with a mutual fund I had years ago. Mmmm that was a tasty day at the chinese buffet. Almost had enough to cover the tip. Bet those lawyers got $10 too?

  23. ahwahoo2006 says:

    “I understand that if I submit no documentation and Defendant’s records do not indicate that an ETF was paid, I will receive a lesser settlement amount.”

    This might cover the option of just having a contract with an ETF.

  24. DarkForest says:

    The form that you are supposed to send to the superior court states the following:

    “If you were a Verizon Wireless customer in the U.S. who had a contract with Verizon Wireless for personal wireless telephone service who was charged or paid a flat Early Termination Fee(“ETF”) (generally $175) or if you contract with Verizon Wireless for personal wireless telephone service includes or included a provision for payment of a flat ETF from July 23rd 199 to August 10, 2008 and wish to participate in the Verizon Wireless Settlement and receive benefits under it, you must complete, sign and return this Proof of Claim.”

    Seems to indicate that current subscribers should be able to get some compensation. That having been said, most Verizon users now don’t have a FLAT ETF but the scaled one which decreases $5 each month.

  25. viqas says:

    I loved my e815, but it was dropping calls left and right and it was showing full service. After the 4th replacement i got a shitty vx8300 or some sort, and it showed 1 or less bar everywhere in this city. Had i known that it was a problem with the service i would have kept my e815 :(

  26. wallspray says:

    What if I had a family plan that had EFT in the contract, but I got out of the contract without EFT through text messaging increase? Am I eligible? Also are all of the lines on my family plan eligible or is it just one per account?

  27. nsv says:

    Just a few months ago I looked at boxes of very old bills piling up, and shredded them all.

    Aargh!

  28. guilliam says:

    Hoping someone can answer this for me, but I have a Verizon account that has 3 phones on it and 2 of them are out of contract but the 3rd one is still under contract until May 2009. So can I now get out of it without paying the $175 ETF? Did they do away with the flat ETF or am I still bound by it since it was in my original contract? I would LOVE to be able to get out of it without paying the $175!

  29. guilliam says:

    Never mind, I found the answer. Verizon reserves the right to collect ETFs on current accounts.