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Florida Subscribers Win $30 Million from Verizon and Alltel

Article Comments  52  

Jun 24, 2009, 2:30 PM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper

Alltel and Verizon Wireless have reached a settlement agreement with the attorney general of the state of Florida over misleading and unwanted third-party billing for services such as ringtones and horoscopes. The two companies will need to reimburse a total of $30 million, with Verizon contributing $24 million and Alltel adding another $6 million. The two companies also need to pay the state of Florida about $1.5 million to cover the cost of the investigation and need to take steps to prevent this from happening in the future.

more info at Yahoo / AP »



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This forum is closed.


Jun 25, 2009, 6:38 AM

I wonder

I wonder if this has happened before in other industries...

That is, did cable companies get sued for the users ordering PPV or subscribing to premium stations? (assuming they claim they didn't know they would be charged).

Have landline companies gotten sued for users dialing 900 numbers? (assuming they claim they didn't know they would be charged).
No and no why? Because it seems the mobile phone market is the only one plagued by a huge number of "playing it real dumb" customers Cool

Jun 24, 2009, 2:41 PM

No investigation needed, here is how to never have 3rd party charges again!

Don't text message bogus "free ringtone" offers from TV or the internet. These customers shouldn't have been rewarded a penny they were the fools who signed up, its not Verizon or Altell's fault their customer base in Flordia can't read or use their brains.
i think they should be charged more if they r dumb enough to sign up for spam
Most of the time you don't even need to text these companies.

I've been selling VZW service for few years and tons of customer got bill for this w/o their consent.

Now I'm also seeing a lot of these affecting boost mobile customers also w/o thei...
That's not a 100 percent solution, sadly.

Jun 25, 2009, 7:18 PM

I guess I just fail to see

How this is Verizon's and Alltel's fault. The third party junk always has a disclaimer quoting how much the carrier will charge to have it delivered to the subscriber's phone. The subscriber doesn't read this and the content is delivered to the phone. Behind the scenes the third party junk company bills the carrier to deliver it to the subscriber then the carrier in turn bills the subscriber.

Shouldn't people be suing the third party junk company if anybody at all? If the fine print isn't prominent enough for people to see who's fault is it? Even still, a disclaimer is a legally binding document that the subscriber is responsible for. If they don't understand it and subscribe anyway it is their own fault.

Furthermore why should a car...
I agree with you 150%. Today people are just sue happy. Nothing more nothing less. People then want to complain on why stuff is so expensive. Maybe because some Joe Blow failed to READ ALL of the content. I know I SEE ...

Jun 24, 2009, 3:54 PM

Double Standard

I wish someone would take this lawsuit nationwide because I have many customers that have gotten scammed by alltel and these 4rd party billing companies.

The double standard is that a user on an account cannot add even road side assistance for $3.99 but they can sign up for $10 per month joke a day. Nobody verifies that they have authorization by the account holder they just allow it to go through. Alltel make millions off of this and it is a total and complete scam.
These customers are willingly providing their private information to get a free low quality ringtone. If they get ripped off in the process because they can't read it's their own fault. All cellphone providers provide a legit way of getting a ringto...
And yet if Verizon or Alltel completly blocked all these third party programs (or made it so you had to verify yourself through customer service before they would allow you to enroll in them) people would be complaining about the "big bad cell compani...

Jun 24, 2009, 4:04 PM

1.5 million dollar investigation?

Let Uncle Sam take his share... Twisted Evil
Chadwick said:
Let Uncle Sam take his share... Twisted Evil

Its not Uncle Sam in this case, its Uncle Gator.
Yeah it was columbo doing it, thats why...anyway...third party billing has been available through phone companies forever....especially landlines...this isnt new.
Consumers who buy/enroll thing without asking questions, reading, or on the other end b...

Jun 25, 2009, 9:42 AM


I think this should be reversed. Verizon and Alltel can't prevent a customer from signing up for a free ring tone online or game or anything else. That is why it is called 3rd party! And at the bottom of those sites it states in fine print that you will be charged by your phone carrier a monthly fee of... They charge that fee because that is what the 3rd party company is charging. Those people that sued them are stupid and never should of won. Or in some cases a kid did it, then when asked by the parent about it, the famous response came up. "I don't know how it got there." "I didn't due it." If I was Verizon or Alltel, I would appeal this and not pay.

Hell, I should go to Florida on vacation, then sue the state because it is to ...

Jun 25, 2009, 9:18 AM

12 Year Old Tommy Racking Your Bill Up!

The problem with these 3rd party billing practices is that most of the time it's not the account holder thats purchasing these ringtones/games the problem is that 12 year old Tommy sees something he likes and figures hey a free Hanson ringtone I am down! Paranoid
The block Premium SMS.

Jun 24, 2009, 2:40 PM


people actually buy those spam things like horoscropes and ringtones? $30 mil spent on spam
LOL on people who rip off others. sure the people didn't read the fine print, but it still hasn't stopped verizon for nickel and diming there customers, you deserve what u get verizon.
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