Verizon Wireless in a statement Sunday said it will pay millions of dollars in refunds to 15 million cell phone customers who were erroneously charged for data sessions or Internet use.
"Verizon Wireless values our customer relationships and we always want to do the right thing for our customers," said Mary Coyne, Deputy General Counsel, Verizon Wireless.
"In October and November, we are notifying about 15 million customers, through their regular bill messages, that we are applying credits to their accounts due to mistaken past data charges. We will mail former customers refund checks. In most cases, these credits are in the $2 to $6 range; some will receive larger credits or refunds," she said.
"As we reviewed customer accounts, we discovered 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. We have addressed these issues to avoid unintended data charges in the future."
The charges affected customers who did not have data usage plans, but were billed because of exchanges initiated by software built into their phones.
Verizon did not disclose how much exactly it would have to pay but said 15 million customers would receive credits or refund checks that in most cases would range from $2 to $6 but would go beyond this in some cases, on their October or November bills.
Former customers will get refund checks while existing customers will get credits.