Verizon Pays FCC $25 Million, Credits Customers With $52.8 Million For False Data Charges

Despite earlier reports that Verizon would refund $90 million to customers it overcharged for data use on cell phones, the cell phone company revealed it’s paying $25 million in fines to the Federal Communications Commission and crediting only $52.8 million to customers.

In a press statement reported by various outlets, Verizon apologized for overcharging customers:

Verizon Wireless works very hard to simplify the wireless experience for customers and to ensure that customer bills are accurate. Nonetheless, internal billing processes can be complex and, in this case, we made inadvertent billing mistakes. We accept responsibility for those errors, and apologize to our customers who received accidental data charges on their bills.

Funny how those “accidents” usually turn out in the biller’s favor.

Verizon Fined $25 Million by FCC for Data Download Overcharges [Daily Finance]

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  1. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    So they lost 77.8 million. How much did they gain from the fees?

    • MistahFixit says:

      “I’m sorry, but I have not been authorized to disclose that information at the present juncture. If you’d care to leave your name, home telephone number, and email address…”

  2. dragonfire81 says:

    “Verizon Wireless works very hard to simplify the wireless experience for customers and to ensure that customer bills are accurate. Nonetheless, internal billing processes can be complex and, in this case, we made inadvertent billing mistakes. We accept responsibility for those errors, and apologize to our customers who received accidental data charges on their bills.
    ”

    Translation: “Yeah we got caught. Sorry about that, here’s a few bucks back to make up for it.”

  3. SG-Cleve says:

    15 million customers will receive refunds of $2 to $6 each.

    The extra charge on the bill was $1.99 and went on for months or longer, so apparently this was still a profitable venture for Verizon.

    • MistahFixit says:

      Hence why simply fining corporations is an ineffective detterent for pulling crap like this. :(

      • Tmoney02 says:

        Not necessarily: We just have to make sure that the laws say they are fined at least Treble damages (Three times the cost of the actual damages).

        Instead its usually arbitrary

  4. Blueskylaw says:

    My phone started downloading music on its own and Verizon refused to refund the charges. I had never before downloaded music, ringtones, games, etc. I ended up having to put a block on my data because Verizonn couldnt be trusted, and yes, it is funny how “accidents” usually turn out in the biller’s favor.

  5. ElleAnn says:

    Double checked my Verizon bills for the last year. We’ve been charged the phantom data charge 6 times in 12 months. I got it refunded once and they supposedly deactivated data usage on our phones, but 3 of the charges are for after it was “deactivated”. I hope the credit covers all of the occurrences, not just $2-$6 worth. I know I should have kept better tabs on this, but our bill fluctuates by $2 – $4 every month because we use so few texts that it’s cheaper to pay per text… and calling Verizon every month to argue about $1.99 charges isn’t a priority.

  6. what says:

    I had data, internet, Vcast, etc. all blocked from accessing because we would accidentally press the wrong button while the phone was in a pocket. Even after trying to change the directional buttons on the phones to doing something else, there was one I couldn’t change….the one for internet access. Who would’ve thought?
    So, after having everything blocked, Lo and behold, there are more data charges for $1.99 on both our lines of service. I called Verizon and the rep couldn’t explain to me how those charges could’ve showed up with us having everything blocked. At first the rep said it was for ‘premium messaging’……yeah, right. I didn’t buy that one. Needless to say, the charges were removed again.

    So, don’t tell me Verizon wasn’t posting these phony charges on customer’s accounts, hoping that they would just pay their bill and not question the charges…..sneaky bastards.
    And don’t even get me started about the forced ‘data’ charges that Verizon has now made mandatory on certain phones………

  7. TheMonkeyKing says:

    I wonder if any of the new Frontier customers will see a check from Verizon? Verizon sold assets (large swaths of southern towns and areas) to Frontier in July of this year.

  8. davidsco says:

    This is why Verizon now forces data plans on every phone capable of access. That way they don’t have to spend money on CS refunding the charges, and they can increase revenue in the same stroke. I have the ENV3, and had to fight tooth and nail to get them to wave the $10 a month ripoff for a data plan we had ZERO intention of using. We also had to ask them to disable data on the phone as just by accidently hitting the wrong button (suspiciously easy to do), the phone would start connecting

  9. Kingeryck says:

    They still tried to pull one over on my mom last month. Said she used all this bandwidth and she didn’t even know her phone had internet. She didn’t accidentally access anything either. They’ve also been doing it on my line. They took her’s off but wouldn’t do it for me.