Verizon Wireless paying millions in refunds for erroneous data charges

Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) announced that it will pay millions in refunds to some 15 million mobile subscribers who were erroneously charged for data services on the operator's network.

Verizon indicated that current customers will receive credits ranging from $2 to $6 on their October and November bills, while former subscribers will receive refund checks. The New York Times estimated the total amount of the refunds could reach $90 million.

The company's announcements comes as Verizon was in discussions with the FCC regarding complaints of unauthorized data charges. The Times cited people close to the settlement talks as saying the FCC is pushing Verizon to agree to a penalty for the unauthorized charges.

In its statement, Verizon said subscribers who did not have data usage plans were charged for data services erroneously because of data exchanges that were initiated by software in their phones or because of inadvertent connections to the Internet.

Last summer, Verizon indicated that it was refunding customers who were mistakenly charged $1.99 for mobile broadband access they say they did not use. A Verizon spokesman at the time said the carrier had been "crediting customers for unintentional data charges as customers bring the 'error' to our attention."

For more:
- see this New York Times article
- read this Verizon Wireless statement

Related articles:
Verizon to refund customers for mistaken data charges
Verizon to pay $1.5M settlement over 'free' ring tones
Goodbye unlimited: VZW charges for data overages
Survey: Unbilled data charges top revenue loss concerns