$90 million Verizon Refund Hits Customer Bills

Verizon Wireless will refund 15 million customers up to $90 million for erroneous data charges. The credits will appear on customer bills starting this month. From the New York Times:

In the last three years, the F.C.C. has received hundreds of complaints from Verizon Wireless customers who said they were charged for data use or Web access at times when their phones were not in use or when they mistakenly pushed a button that activated the phone’s Web browser.

Verizon said in its statement that the customers would receive credits from $2 to $6 on their October or November bills or, in the case of former customers, refund checks.

The refunds will be paid to customers who did not have data access plans but who were nevertheless assessed one or more charges of $1.99 because of data exchanges initiated by software built into their phones, or because of charges for inadvertently going online on the phones.

The F.C.C. is likely to press Verizon to pay a penalty for failing to notify customers of the problem, which has been occurring since at least 2007, according to people close to the talks.

I guess three years late is better than never.