Sprint or Verizon customer? Deadline looms for your ‘cramming’ settlement

Local News
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Back in May, the State of Hawaii reached a settlement with Sprint and Verizon for “mobile cramming.”

The deadline for customers of Sprint and Verizon to collect their portions of the agreement is December 31, 2015. You may be eligible for a payment if you were, or are still, a customer of the two carriers after July 1, 2010.

Sprint and Verizon reached a nationwide settlement that included $158 million in payments, orchestrated by the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs’ (DCCA) Office of Consumer Protection (OCP), along with the Attorneys General of the other 49 States and the District of Columbia, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

“Mobile cramming” is placing charges for third-party services on consumers’ mobile telephone bills that were not authorized by the consumers. Consumers who were “crammed” saw charges, typically $9.99 per month, for “premium” text message subscription services (PSMS), such as horoscopes, trivia, and sports scores that consumers have never heard of or requested.

All four major mobile carriers announced they would cease billing customers for commercial PSMS in the fall of 2013.

Consumers can submit claims under the redress programs by visiting SprintRefundPSMS.com and/or 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.

Consumers who have questions about the redress programs can visit the program websites or call (877) 389-8787 (Sprint), and/or (888) 726-7063 (Verizon).

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