Deadline approaching for Verizon, Sprint 'cramming' settlement

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Sunday, December 27, 2015

Verizon and Sprint customers take notice: the deadline to get a piece of the $158 million 'cramming' settlement is almost here.

Customers have until Dec. 31 to submit claims for a refund for the settlement that was announced in May.

Verizon Wireless and Sprint agreed to settle an investigation by the FCC, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, state attorneys general found the companies billed customers millions of dollars in unauthorized third-party products and services.

The FCC recommends that consumers review their monthly phone bill statements and take action if an unknown or suspicious charge is listed.

The practice is known as cramming. U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, said the practice has become widespread and causes substantial financial harm to subscribers.

Websites have been set up for Sprint and Verizon customers so they can seek restitution.

Both companies agreed to settle allegations that customers may have been charged for unauthorized third-party services on their bills by companies providing services such as ringtones, horoscopes and celebrity gossip. Customers are eligible for full refunds of the unauthorized charges.

To submit a claim, visit Sprint's or Verizon's settlement websites. and the Associated Press contributed to this story.