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Did Verizon and Sprint hit you with bogus cramming charges? How to get your money back

Published May 12th, 2015 4:46PM EDT
Verizon Sprint $158 Million Cramming Settlement

Like their rivals AT&T and T-Mobile, Verizon and Sprint have also agreed pay back their customers who got hit with bogus cramming charges. The Federal Communications Commission announced on Monday that Sprint and Verizon would fork over a combined total of $158 million to settle the matter and most of that money will be going directly back to consumers.

FROM EARLIER: New site aims to fix a big source of buyer’s remorse for Apple Watch owners

For those who don’t know, “cramming” refers to the practice of billing customers for $9.99 subscriptions to ringtones and premium text message services that they never signed up for. All four major U.S. carriers got to keep a portion of these ill-gotten subscription fees, which they now have to pay back.

In total, Verizon is paying $90 million, including $70 million that’s been earmarked for consumers who have been hurt by cramming charges. Sprint, meanwhile, has agreed to pay $68 million, of which at least $50 million will go to consumers. Any money left over goes to the state governments that participated in the lawsuits against the carriers.

If you’ve fallen victim to cramming on Verizon, you can apply for your refund at this website and you can call the FCC to ask questions about your potential refund by calling 1-888-726-7063. Sprint customers, meanwhile, can submit their claims at this website and can ask the FCC about their situation by calling 1-877-389-8787.

The deadline to submit a claim is December 31st, 2015.

Prior to joining BGR as News Editor, Brad Reed spent five years covering the wireless industry for Network World. His first smartphone was a BlackBerry but he has since become a loyal Android user.