Verizon and Sprint to Pay $158M FCC Settlement for Bill Cramming

Verizon and Sprint to Pay $158M FCC Settlement for Bill Cramming

Verizon and Sprint are out a combined $158 million in restitution and fees for allowing and profiting from “cramming” charges. Verizon settled with the FCC to pay $90 million after it was caught placing recurring charges on consumer cell phone bills without the full consent of the customer. Sprint will pay $68 million for like practices.

AT&T recently paid $105 million over cramming issues, and T-Mobile has also come to similar terms wit the FCC.

“For too long, consumers have been charged on their phone bills for things that they did not buy,” said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler in a written comment. He went on to call the charges in question “fraudulent.”

The majority of the money Verizon will pay for its settlement will be used to fund what the FCC calls “a consumer redress program.” $70 million is heading towards this program, while $16 million is being given to state governments and $4 million is going to the federal government.

As part of the settlements, the mobile providers will “no longer offer commercial third-party PSMS charges,” “obtain informed consent from customers prior to allowing third-party charges,” and “clearly and conspicuously identify third-party charges on bills.”

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