Today Is the Last Day to Claim Part of a $100 Million Verizon Settlement

Eligible users who do not file a claim will give up their right to sue Verizon on issues covered under the lawsuit.
Today Is the Last Day to Claim Part of a $100 Million Verizon Settlement
People pass by a Verizon store in Chicago, on April 20, 2017. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Naveen Athrappully
4/15/2024
Updated:
4/15/2024
0:00

Verizon customers may be eligible to get a portion of a $100 million settlement from the firm for charging undisclosed fees.

“Verizon customers claimed in a class action lawsuit that Verizon has charged its post-paid individual consumer wireless service account holders a monthly Administrative Charge and/or Administrative and Telco Recovery Charge that was unfair and not adequately disclosed,” the official settlement website states. “Verizon has denied and continues to deny that it did anything wrong and that the lawsuit has any merit.” However, the company agreed to a $100 million settlement to resolve the class action lawsuit.
In order to be eligible to receive the settlement, an individual must be an account holder from the United States who paid an administrative charge between Jan. 1, 2016, and Nov. 8, 2023. Eligible individuals can claim part of the settlement by submitting an online claim form by April 15, 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time.

Some people have received a personal notice via email or mail containing two key pieces of information: a notice ID and a confirmation code. These two details must be submitted with the online form. “Please remember to enter the full Notice ID exactly as it appears on your personalized Notice,” the website states.

Individuals who do not have the notice ID or confirmation code can use their Verizon account number and last name during the filing process.

The $100 million will be used to pay settlement class members as well as meet the expenses of administering the settlement and paying attorney’s fees.

“If you file a claim by the deadline and are eligible for a payment, your payment may be up to $100.00 for your account.” However, “the final amount may be lower depending on how long you were a Verizon subscriber and how many Settlement Class Members file valid claims. Settlement payments will be issued to valid claimants after the settlement is approved and becomes final, by check or electronic payment.”

Any settlement payment that is undeliverable or uncashed will be treated as unclaimed property.

Eligible individuals who choose not to file a claim will not only be forfeiting their settlement payments but “will give up any right you may have to sue Verizon about the issues in this lawsuit.”

In addition, “you will also be legally bound by all of the orders that the Court issues and judgments the Court makes in this class action.”

Complaint Against Verizon

The lawsuit, filed last year, alleged that once customers sign up for Verizon’s postpaid wireless service, the company “uniformly charges them higher monthly rates than it advertised and promised by adding what Verizon calls an ‘Administrative Charge’ to the bill.”

“The Administrative Charge is not disclosed to customers either before or when they agree to purchase wireless service from Verizon, and in fact the Administrative Charge is never adequately or honestly disclosed to customers,” the complaint read.

“Nor do Verizon customers ever agree to—or even have the opportunity to accept or reject—the Administrative Charge, which is unilaterally imposed by Verizon without its customers’ consent.”

The company began adding administrative charges to postpaid wireless customers’ bills in 2005 at the rate of $0.40 per month per phone line. In June 2022, the charge increased by 70 percent, from $1.95 to $3.30 per line.

Customers only learned about administrative charges when they received a bill. By that time, they had already signed up for the service and were “financially committed to their purchase” and couldn’t cancel without penalty.

“Verizon then omits or misrepresents the so-called Administrative Charge on its customer bills to further its scheme. Verizon’s paper bills fail to mention the Administrative Charge at all, stating instead that a customer should ‘[c]heck your online bill for all surcharges, taxes, and gov fees,’” the complaint read.

“Then on the online bill, Verizon omits the Administrative Charge from the ‘Monthly charges’ section, where it actually belongs, and instead puts it in the ‘Surcharges’ section, where it is lumped together with various government charges, taxes, and fees. Even worse, for years, Verizon explicitly and falsely stated on its monthly bills that the Administrative Charge is a surcharge imposed on subscribers to ‘cover the costs that are billed to us by federal, state or local governments.’”

According to a fact sheet issued earlier this year, Verizon had 93.9 million wireless retail postpaid connections by the end of Dec. 31, 2023.

Similar settlements have been made by telecom and big tech companies.

Back in 2022, T-Mobile agreed to pay $350 million to its customers in a class action lawsuit after the company revealed that customers’ personal data, such as social security numbers, were compromised in a cyberattack.

Almost 80 million Americans were affected by the breach. In addition to social security numbers, details like names and the driver’s licenses of customers were also compromised in the hack.

Last year, 17 million individuals passed preliminary validation for a $725 million data privacy settlement from Facebook. Multiple lawsuits had alleged that Facebook “shared or otherwise made accessible to third parties user data and data about users’ friends without permission of the users.” Up to $181.5 million was set aside for attorney’s fees alone.
Naveen Athrappully is a news reporter covering business and world events at The Epoch Times.