Some Verizon customers may be entitled to claim part of the proposed $100 million settlement the wireless carrier agreed to pay to resolve a class-action lawsuit, according to a complaints site set up by a settlement administrator.
The suit, filed in New Jersey Superior Court, argued that Verizon’s administrative fees were unfair and not adequately disclosed to customers. The court in New Brunswick, New Jersey, approved the settlement on December 15.
The plaintiffs’ court-appointed attorneys sent notices via email and postcards, which were sent Wednesday to customers eligible to file claims.
Stephen DeNittis, a lawyer representing the plaintiffs, said in an interview that the $100 million settlement was among the largest against a company for charging administrative fees.
What was the complaint?
The case stems from a lawsuit filed in California in 2021. complaintwhich consolidated four separate lawsuits and was filed on November 10, accused Verizon, the New Jersey-based wireless communications giant, of deceiving its customers by “prominently advertising certain monthly rates for wireless service plans postpaid”.
However, once customers connect to the company’s service, the suit claims, “Verizon uniformly charges them higher monthly rates than advertised and promised by adding what Verizon calls an ‘administrative fee’ to the bill.” .
Verizon has denied the allegations.
Rich Young, a Verizon spokesperson, said in a statement that the company “clearly identifies and describes its wireless administration fees multiple times during the sales transaction, as well as in its marketing, contracts and billing. Mr. Young said that as part of the deal, Verizon had “made some changes to the way the fees are described.”
President Biden has urged Congress to pass laws banning “surprise fees” charged by businesses, including hotels and service providers.
How to file a complaint?
Customers eligible for a share of the settlement include U.S. customers with postpaid wireless phone or data plans – that is, those who signed up for services paid on a monthly billing cycle – to whom administrative fees were invoiced between January 1, 2016 and November 8, 2023.
At most, an affected customer could receive a payment of $100. The amount could be lower depending on how long a customer has used Verizon services and how many customers file a claim, according to a claim form.
To deposit, customers must complete and sign the two-page form and indicate their preferred payment method – check, bank transfer or digital payment service. The deadline to submit a claim is April 15, 2024.
Customers may also choose to opt out of the settlement class and retain the right to sue Verizon separately for matters described in the New Jersey class action lawsuit.