Verizon, one of the largest wireless service providers in the US, has agreed to pay $100 million to settle a class action lawsuit over its administrative charges. The lawsuit alleged that Verizon misled its customers by adding an extra fee to their monthly bills without their consent or proper disclosure. If you are a current or former Verizon customer who paid this fee, you may be eligible for a payout of up to $100. Here is what you need to know about the settlement and how to claim your money.
What is the lawsuit about?
The lawsuit was filed in 2023 by a group of Verizon customers who claimed that the company deceived them by imposing an additional “administrative charge” or “administrative and telco recovery charge” to their postpaid wireless or data service plans. The plaintiffs argued that this charge was not part of the advertised price of the service, and that Verizon did not inform them about it before they signed up. They also accused Verizon of increasing the charge over time without justification or notice.
The plaintiffs alleged that Verizon violated various consumer protection laws and breached its contracts with its customers. They sought damages, restitution, and injunctive relief from the company.
Verizon denied any wrongdoing and maintained that the charge was legitimate and properly disclosed. The company said that the charge helped it recover certain regulatory compliance and network-related costs. However, Verizon agreed to settle the case to avoid further litigation and expenses.
What are the terms of the settlement?
The settlement, which was preliminarily approved by a federal judge in November 2023, requires Verizon to pay $100 million into a settlement fund. The fund will be used to pay the claims of eligible customers, as well as the attorneys’ fees and expenses of the plaintiffs’ lawyers, and the incentive awards for the named plaintiffs.
The settlement also requires Verizon to provide clear and conspicuous disclosure of the administrative charge on its website, marketing materials, contracts, and bills. Verizon must also notify its customers of any future changes to the charge at least 30 days in advance.
The settlement does not affect Verizon’s right to continue charging the administrative charge or to increase it in the future. Verizon also does not admit any liability or wrongdoing by entering into the settlement.
Who is eligible for a payout?
You may be eligible for a payout if you meet the following criteria:
- You are a current or former US customer who purchased a postpaid wireless or data service plan from Verizon between January 1, 2016 and November 8, 2023.
- You paid an administrative charge or an administrative and telco recovery charge as part of your monthly bill during that period.
The settlement does not cover customers who purchased prepaid plans from Verizon.
If you received a notice about the settlement by email or mail, you are likely eligible to file a claim. You can also check your eligibility by visiting the official Verizon administrative charge settlement website.
How much money can you get?
The amount of money you can get depends on how long you were a Verizon customer and how many valid claims are filed. The settlement provides the following payout ranges for eligible customers:
- If you were a customer for less than one year, you can get up to $15.
- If you were a customer for one to two years, you can get up to $25.
- If you were a customer for two to three years, you can get up to $50.
- If you were a customer for more than three years, you can get up to $100.
These amounts are estimates and may be adjusted depending on the number of claims and the amount of money left in the settlement fund after paying the other expenses. You may receive more or less than the estimated amount.
How to claim your money?
To claim your money, you need to fill out and submit a claim form by April 15, 2024. You can do this online or by mail.
To file a claim online, you need to visit the settlement website and enter your notice ID and confirmation code that you received by email or mail. You will then be directed to an online claim form that you need to complete and submit.
To file a claim by mail, you need to download and print a paper claim form from the settlement website or request one by calling 1-800-000-0000. You need to fill out the form and mail it to the following address:
Verizon Administrative Charge Settlement
c/o Settlement Administrator
1650 Arch St., Suite 2210
Philadelphia, PA 19103
You must postmark your claim form by April 15, 2024. If you file your claim after that date, you will not receive any money and you will give up your right to sue Verizon over the issues raised in the lawsuit.
When will you get paid?
The settlement is not final yet. It still needs to be approved by the court at a final approval hearing scheduled for June 15, 2024. If the court approves the settlement and there are no appeals, the payments will be distributed to the claimants within 90 days after the settlement becomes effective. However, if there are any appeals, the payments may be delayed until they are resolved.
You can check the status of the settlement and the payment distribution by visiting the settlement website or calling the settlement administrator.
What are your other options?
If you do not want to participate in the settlement, you have two other options:
- You can opt out of the settlement by sending a written request to the settlement administrator by March 15, 2024. If you opt out, you will not receive any money from the settlement, but you will keep your right to sue Verizon on your own over the issues raised in the lawsuit. You will need to hire your own lawyer and pay your own legal fees and expenses.
- You can object to the settlement by sending a written objection to the court and the parties’ lawyers by March 15, 2024. If you object, you will still be bound by the terms of the settlement if it is approved, but you will have the opportunity to express your views on the settlement at the final approval hearing. You can also hire your own lawyer to represent you, but you will have to pay for it.
You can find more details on how to opt out or object on the settlement website.
Verizon customers who paid an administrative charge on their monthly bills may be entitled to a payout of up to $100 as part of a class action settlement. To claim your money, you need to file a claim form by April 15, 2024. You can also opt out or object to the settlement if you wish. For more information, visit the settlement website or contact the settlement administrator.
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