October 3, 2022

Verizon Wireless Ends Inquiry About Data Charge Fees

verizon wireless

Verizon Wireless wrapped up an investigation into unauthorized data charges imposed on customers today

Unauthorized data charges were the focus of an inquiry into Verizon Wireless by the Federal Communications Commission. Complaints by customers about the data fees are what caused the investigation to be launched.

The unauthorized charges affected 15 million cell phone subscribers over a span of the last three years. The customers affected were “pay as you go” plan subscribers for data or Internet access. According to Verizon, software preloaded on phones initiated contact with data services on the Verizon network as part of an “acknowledgment” session. These sessions led to mysterious data charges appearing on customer bills.

In addition, customers with flip phones in particular, complained that if a wrong button was pressed, the phone would be connected to Verizon data services resulting in a $1.99 fee. Charges also applied to some web sites visited that were supposed to be accessible without data connection fees.

Verizon agreed to pay $25 million, the largest payment under a consent decree in FCC history according to the bureau. A representative from the FCC confirmed Verizon’s cooperation and stated they were “taking the high road” in the investigation.

As part of the settlement, Verizon agrees to pay a minimum of $52.8 million in refunds to it’s customers. Verizon, in a public statement said, “We are a company that listens to its customers and in this case we got to the bottom of a problem and resolved the errors. We have taken this action because it is the right thing to do.”