Customers will be able to recover the full amount of the unauthorized charges or obtain a $40 refund by submitting claims on forms that will be available at www.verizonthirdpartybillingsettlement.com. The lawyers said the website and a toll-free number (1-877-772-6219) will be working by March 9, 2012.
There is no dollar cap on the recovery under the settlement, but class members must submit their claims by Nov. 15, 2012.
"Verizon does not tolerate cramming," Verizon spokesman Bob Elek said when asked for a comment on the settlement. "This settlement recognizes that some of our wireline customers were subject to cramming by third party services providers, and provides another way to make customers whole for those unwarranted charges, in addition to the process we offer any customer today who tells us they have been crammed."
The law firms that announced the settlement include Jacobs Kolton, Chtd., David Schachman & Associates, P.C., Keller Grover LLP and Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP.
The suit alleges that Verizon billed its customers for third-party charges that weren't authorized in violation of state and federal law.
Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong, of the U.S. District Court in Oakland, Calif., has preliminarily approved the settlement.