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Indiana reaches settlement with Sprint, Verizon for cramming

Indiana has reached an agreement with both Sprint and Verizon regarding unauthorized charges for third party services on customer bills, according to Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller.

An estimated 750,000 Indiana customers of Sprint and Verizon combined may be eligible for refunds.

The settlement agreement was also made with the attorneys general of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Customer complained they had charges, usually $9.99 a month, for text message subscription services for horoscopes, trivia, and sports scores the customers never heard of or requested.

“These collective settlements with the major cell phone providers for alleged mobile cramming will hopefully prevent overcharging schemes like this from occurring again,” Zoeller said. “However, people should always be on the lookout for unfair or deceptive billing practices.

Read and understand the terms and charges of your monthly bills with all of your service providers. If something isn't right, work with your provider to get it fixed or, if that doesn't work, file a complaint with our office.”

Under the settlements, Sprint must pay $68 million and Verizon must pay $90 million.

Sprint and Verizon must provide a large portion of that money to victims of cramming. Sprint must pay $50 million to victims and Verizon must pay $70 million.

Sprint must also pay $12 million to the participating states and $6 million to the FCC.

Verizon must pay $16 million to the participating states and $4 million to the FCC.

Sprint and Verizon customers who believe they were “crammed” can submit claims under the redress programs by visiting
www.SprintRefundPSMS.com and/or www.CFPBSettlementVerizon.com.

On those websites, consumers can submit claims, find information about refund eligibility and how to obtain a refund, and can request a free account summary that details PSMS purchases on their accounts.

Individuals with questions about the redress programs can visit the program websites or call the settlement administrators at: (877) 389-8787 (Sprint), and/or (888) 726-7063 (Verizon).
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