COLUMBUS — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is reminding residents who are customers of Verizon Wireless and Sprint that the deadline to seek a share of a $120 million settlement is Thursday.
The settlement relates to a practice known as “bill cramming,” in which eligible customers experienced unauthorized third-party charges on their bill going back to July 2010. Customers would be billed for commercial premium text message subscription services they did not request for such things as ringtones, horoscopes, trivia or sports scores. Those fees could be small, one-time fees or recurring fees of $9.99 per month.
The settlement was announced in May, part of a nationwide effort by all 50 attorneys general nationwide, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission. Similar settlements were reached with AT&T in October 2014 and with T-Mobile in December 2014. All four carriers announced that they would cease the practice in fall 2013 after an investigation began.
“If your Verizon or Sprint cellphone bill was higher than expected in the last few years, you may be entitled to a refund,” DeWine said. “Hundreds of thousands of Ohioans were estimated to qualify under these settlements, and we’re encouraging eligible customers to submit a claim by the Dec. 31 deadline.”
Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.