The Federal Communications Commission has fined Verizon $90 million and Sprint $68 million for what is know as cramming, or the charging of unauthorized third-party charges to their customer's bills. The good news, according to the FCC statement the majority of the fines will be going to customers as a refund meaning you may be owned a portion of the settlement.
The State Attorneys General and federal regulators allege that cramming occurred when Sprint and Verizon placed charges from third parties on consumers’ mobile telephone bills without the consumers’ knowledge or consent.
The monthly charge for these third-party premium text messaging services ranged from $0.99 to $14.00, but typically were $9.99 per month. Verizon retained 30 percent or more of each third-party charge that it billed, while Sprint received approximately 35 percent of collected revenues for each of its third-party charges.
Numerous consumers have complained to the FCC, other government agencies, and the carriers that they never requested or authorized the third-party services for which they were charged. Customers who called to complain were often denied refunds, and yet, when the FCC requested proof that customers had authorized charges, the carriers were unable to prove that these services were ever requested."
Consumers the believe they are owed refunds can submit claims under the redress programs by visiting www.SprintRefundPSMS.com and/or www.CFPBSettlementVerizon.com. On those websites, consumers can submit claims, find information about refund eligibility and how to obtain a refund, and request a free account summary that details PSMS purchases on their accounts. Consumers who have questions about the redress programs can visit the program websites or call the settlement administrators at (877) 389-8787 (Sprint) and/or (888) 726-7063 (Verizon).