Verizon To Pay $64M For Overcharging Family SharePlan Customers

Plaintiffs in a class-action suit against Verizon Wireless have long claimed that the company over-billed customers in its former Family SharePlan tier, and it looks like the telecom titan is ready to pay up, to the tune of around $64.2 million.

The lawsuit had alleged that VZW overcharged Family SharePlan customers by incorrectly billing users for in-network calls that should have been included at no extra cost. The plaintiffs also claimed that when additional phone lines on Family SharePlan accounts went over their allotted monthly minutes, they were being charged $.45/minute instead of $.25/minute.

A proposed settlement [PDF] filed last week in a federal court in New Jersey, details how the $64.2 million would be split up and paid out.

The larger chunk — $36.7 million — will go into a settlement fund. After deducting numerous costs (for notifying class members, maintaining the settlement, attorney fees and expenses, payments to class representatives), the rest of that portion of the deal will be paid out in either bill credits or cash payments to people who were Family SharePlan customers between May 11, 2002, and May 10, 2006.

The second part of the settlement involves only those customers who were wrongly charged for in-network calls when they shouldn’t have been. They will receive PINs from Verizon that will allow them to make domestic or international calls at no charge. The total maximum cost to Verizon for these PINs is estimated at $27.5 million.

A court still needs to sign off on the settlement, after which point class members will be able to claim their piece of the refunds and/or free calls.

[via GigaOm]

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