I received a notice in the mail stating that I could receive benefits from Verizon Wireless as a result of a class action settlement. The lawsuit alleges that the mobile phone company failed to provide free roaming as part of Verizon’s “America’s Choice II” calling plan. The plan documentation stipulated that there would be no roaming charges in certain cases, but the company allegedly charged consumers for roaming anyway.
Any customer who was part of this plan is automatically entered into the settlement class, and if the judge rules against Verizon Wireless, customers will receive 25 additional wireless calling minutes, expiring after one year, than can be used to cover monthly overages. This works out to about two extra minutes a month, so it’s not exactly a windfall. Anyone who prefers a different form of compensation, including anyone who is no longer a customer of a Verizon Wireless plan that includes a monthly minute allowance, can opt to receive a transferable PIN for 40 calling units, valid for two years. The number of minutes that these 40 units represent depends on the countries you call.
In addition, if you’d like to exclude yourself from the class action and hold onto your rights to sue Verizon Wireless independently for loss due to the company’s roaming charges, you can do so until September 27.
If the judge rules in the plantiff’s favor, the fees to lawyers and class representatives won’t affect the compensation to customers. The attorneys are asking for $6 million from the judge to pay for their work over the past five years, and the class action representatives are asking for $20,000 each for their work. Verizon Wireless would have to pay the fees as determined by the judge in addition to providing the free minutes to customers in the class.
You can find more information about this class action lawsuit at cowitsettlement.com.
Published or updated August 10, 2011.