Beyond ETF: Verizon Denies Phantom Internet Access Fee

While Verizon’s early-termination fee has been making headlines in recent days, several hundred customers have come forward to say they were charged a “phantom” $1.99 fee for accessing the Internet, even though they claim they never did.

After reports by several publications, Verizon finally came forward and issued a response, included in a letter to the FCC about its ETFs. Essentially, it says customers must go beyond the Verizon Wireless home page – deeper into the mobile Web – to be charged the fee. That function should keep people from being charged accidentally, just by clicking a button on their phones. Yet, hundreds of people say they were charged, despite steering clear of the Internet on their phones.

The FCC is yet to make any rulings on either complaint. The company has justified doubling its early-termination fee on smartphone users, saying it’s due to advertising and the high cost of investing in broadband networks.

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