Verizon Wireless, Sprint settle allegations of bogus charges

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois consumers who believe third-party vendors charged their cellphone bills phony fees can submit restitution claims after a $158 million settlement with Verizon Wireless and Sprint.
The nationwide settlement over “mobile cramming” was announced Tuesday. Verizon will pay $90 million and Sprint $68 million to settle charges that they allowed charges on bills.
Federal regulators say the companies partnered with third-party vendors that sell premium text messaging services, such as horoscopes and sports scores. But consumers who hadn’t signed up for the services were billed anyway, typically about $9.99 monthly.
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says the settlement is a “major victory” for consumers.
Last year, T-Mobile agreed to pay $90 million for cramming while AT&T Mobility agreed to a $105 million settlement.