In what might be the largest telecommunications refund, Verizon Wireless has agreed to give its users more than $90 million in refunds.
Apparently 15 million subscribers were charged for data usage or Internet access, though they weren't on data usage plans. Punters were billed for bogus data sessions between $2 and $6 each on their October and November bills.
You know that a company knows it is in deep do-do when its press release starts with the phrase “we value our customers”. Verizon Wireless Deputy General Counsel Mary Coyne said that Verizon Wireless values our customer relationships and we always want to do the right thing for our customers.
The problem was that over the past several years approximately 15 million customers who did not have data plans were billed for data sessions on their phones that they did not initiate. These customers would normally have been billed at the standard rate of $1.99 per megabyte for any data they chose to access from their phones. The majority of the data sessions involved minor data exchanges caused by software built into their phones; others involved accessing the Web, which should not have incurred charges.
She said it should not happen again.