Verizon Wireless Pays Biggest FCC Fine Ever Over Bad Business Practices

Those Verizon Wireless mystery fees” have landed the wireless carrier in big trouble with the FCC.

On Thursday, the FCC said it has reached a record settlement with Verizon over the false data charges, a move that will end the regulators 10-month investigation into overcharges. The FCC late last year started looking into consumer reports about bills for undesired data access that kept appearing, in $1.99 increments, on statements.

Earlier this month, Verizon said it would refund about $52.8 million to 15 million subscribers for data charges they hadnt requested. Most were voice-only users who triggered unintended Web access but, upon discovering they had opened Verizons mobile browser, closed it without downloading or streaming content.

Verizon now will pay the FCC $25 million bringing to $77.8 million the total costs associated with the mystery fees” case. The money will go into a U.S. Treasury account.

FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief Michele Ellison praised the settlement, saying it is about making things right and putting consumers back in the drivers seat.”

Verizon Wireless will make meaningful business reforms,” she added, to prevent future false charges, and give subscribers clear, easy-to-understand information about their choices.”

For its part, Verizon Wireless the nations largest mobile operator with 90 million customers didnt issue a statement on the matter.

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