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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Wasden announces ‘cramming’ settlement with Sprint, Verizon; Idaho customers eligible for refunds

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden has announced settlements with Sprint and Verizon Wireless over allegations of imposing unauthorized charges on Idaho customers’ mobile phone bills, a practice known as “cramming.” It’s part of a larger $158 million settlement between the two companies, 49 states, the District of Columbia and two federal agencies. “The settlement is a victory for consumers who are now eligible to receive refunds and for holding Sprint and Verizon accountable for their past actions,” Wasden said in a statement.

In October, Idaho joined other states and the feds in a similar, $105 million settlement with AT&T; another $90 million settlement was reached in December with T-Mobile.

In the Sprint and Verizon case, customers were typically charged $9.99 per month for “premium” text message services, from horoscopes to sports scores. Under the settlement, about 50,000 Idaho Sprint customers and 125,000 Idaho Verizon customers are eligible for refunds for charges they didn’t authorize; the companies also agreed to stop the practice; give full refunds for any unauthorized third-party charges; and move third-party charges to a separate section of bills to better identify them, along with information on how to block them. There’s more info here on how to apply for refunds under the settlement.


Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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