Verizon to Refund Customers for Wrongful Data Charges

Elizabeth Field

Verizon Wireless is set to issue up to $90 million in refunds to customers who were wrongly charged for inadvertent Internet and FAA usage over the last several years.

After many complaints from users, the FCC has been investigating a $1.99 per megabyte data-access fee that appeared on the bills of those wireless users who did not have data plans but had mistakenly accessed the Web by pressing a button on their phones.

The telecommunications company is expected to credit most of their 15 million users anywhere from $2 to $6 toward their October or November bills. Customers who are no longer with the wireless carrier can expect refund checks in the mail. Verizon estimates that it owes anywhere between $50 to $90 million in restitution.

The FCC investigation is not yet over as it has not decided whether or not to begin a formal proceeding to impose a fine on Verizon or to let Verizon off with the voluntary payment to customers. They must now address if the self-regulation of telecommunications networks is appropriate, considering the presence they have in our lives.