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May 12, 2015

Verizon and Sprint will pay $158 million to settle customer complaints

by John_A

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The mobile carriers always seem to be in a little bit of hot water don’t they? Maybe it’s because they are always playing games with billing, throttling, and anything else shady they can think of.

This time around it’s a practice called “cramming” which is when customers are billed for third-party services they didn’t request. In most cases, it resulted in a $10 monthly charge in which Verizon and Sprint declined to offer refunds. According to the Federal Communications Commission, both carriers received roughly 30% of the charges.

After an investigation, Verizon will pay $90 million and Sprint will pony up $68 million. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said, “For too long, consumers have been charged on their phone bills for things they did not buy. “We call these fraudulent charges ‘cramming,’ and with today’s agreements we are calling them history for Verizon and Sprint customers.”

Sprint is back pedaling a little bit in that they say they already “took proactive steps to monitor the third-party ecosystem.” and that they “returned tens of millions of dollars long before the government initiated its investigation of our industry.” Verizon is singing the same tune as a spokes person said “Well before any government action, Verizon Wireless stopped allowing companies to place charges for premium text message services on customers’ bills. Today’s settlement reflects Verizon’s continued focus on putting customers first.”

If you’re a customer of either Sprint or Verizon, you are encouraged to check your bills for any unauthorized charges. Are you a victim of this tactic? Let us know in the comments.

source: Huffington Post

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