Verizon has agreed to pay $100 million to settle a class-action lawsuit that claimed the wireless carrier didn’t properly disclose a monthly “Administrative Charge” for its service.
Plaintiffs in the class-action suit allege that the fee, which appeared on the bills of post-paid subscribers, wasn’t properly disclosed. “Verizon’s representations and advertisements regarding the price of its post-paid wireless service plans were misleading because the prices did not include the Administrative Charge, and that Verizon implemented and charged the Administrative Charge in a deceptive and unfair manner,” the plaintiffs said in the settlement agreement.
The New York-based telecommunications company isn’t admitting any wrongdoing, and said in the settlement agreement it would continue to charge the fee and expects to increase it from time to time in the future. It had agreed to the settlement to avoid further expense and interference with its business, but will also change its customer agreement with a new disclosure on the charge.
The crux of the case came down to the question of whether the Administrative Charge is justified, or whether the dramatic increase — it rose 70% on June 2022 to $3.30 per line — just masks a price hike to boost revenue, as the plaintiffs claim. Verizon claims the fee is legitimate, and something it has had on its wireless bills since 2005.
“Verizon clearly identifies and describes its wireless consumer Admin Charge multiple times during the sales transaction, as well as in its marketing, contracts and billing,” said a company spokesman. “This charge helps our company recover certain regulatory compliance, and network related costs. As always, our Company stands committed to transparency and the clear disclosure of all consumer charges and fees.”
Regardless, Verizon has agreed to pay $100 million into a settlement fund.
Any Verizon current or former post-paid customer who paid the fee between January 1, 2016, and November 8, 2023, is eligible for a piece of the settlement. The settlement calls for individual payments of up to $100 per account, with the final amount depending on how long you were a customer and how many Administrative Charge payments you made.
You can submit a claim here.