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Verizon, Sprint Companies to Issue Refunds

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Verizon and Sprint and their assorted companies (including Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile, Sprint Prepaid and Assurance Wireless) have been ordered to provide a refund to customers who were charged for premium SMS messages without proper notice or consent. The FCC, state attorneys general and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau have charged the companies a total of $120 million.

The practice, known as cramming, was carried out by all four of the main carriers, although T-Mobile and AT&T have already settled their own claims in regards to the questionable billing practices. The suit alleges that Sprint and Verizon did not properly explain the premium charges to customers or provide ways for customers to opt out. The practice was stopped in 2013 when the government began to investigate.

How do you get a refund?

Customers who had service with the aforementioned companies within the last five years may be eligible for a refund.

  • Verizon Customers can download or submit a claim here or call the Verizon settlement hotline at 1-888-726-7063. Premium billing information that will allow customers to see if they are eligible will be made available on July 1, 2015.
  • Sprint Customers can file an online claim here or call the settlement hotline at 1-877-389-8787. The Sprint page states that prepaid customers (Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile, Assurance Wireless, Sprint Prepaid) will be eligible for a one-time refund of $7, which is almost not worth the trouble.

All claims must be filed by December 31, 2015 in order to be processed and eligible for a refund. Billing information to determine eligibility may not be available until July 1, 2015 so it might be be better to wait a bit before filing a claim.