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   October 28, 2010 Jen Howard, (202) 418-0506



                              IN RECORD SETTLEMENT

      Verizon Wireless to pay largest-ever settlement and consumer refund

   Washington, D.C. -- Today, the Federal Communications Commission's
   Enforcement Bureau announced an historic consent decree with Verizon
   Wireless -- including a record $25 million payment to the U.S. Treasury --
   regarding "mystery fees" the company charged its customers over the last
   several years. The payment is the largest in FCC history and the
   settlement concludes the agency's ten-month investigation into these
   overcharges. In addition to Verizon Wireless's payment to the Treasury,
   the company will immediately refund a minimum of $52.8 million to
   approximately 15 million customers and ensure that consumers are no longer
   charged the mystery fees.

   "Mystery solved: today's settlement with Verizon Wireless is about making
   things right and putting consumers back in the driver's seat," said
   Michele Ellison, Chief of the FCC's Enforcement Bureau. "Today's
   settlement requires Verizon Wireless to make meaningful business reforms,
   prevent future overcharges, and provide consumers clear,
   easy-to-understand information about their choices. I am gratified by the
   cooperation of the Verizon Wireless team in the face of these issues, and
   pleased they are taking the high road."

   The Enforcement Bureau began investigating Verizon Wireless in January
   2010 after large numbers of consumer complaints and press reports about
   unexplained data charges. The investigation focused on "pay-as-you-go"
   data fees -- charges of $1.99 per megabyte that apply to Verizon Wireless
   customers who do not subscribe to a data package or plan.

   The investigation found that approximately 15 million "pay-as-you-go"
   customers were or may have been overcharged for data usage over the course
   of three years, from November 2007 to the present. According to the
   settlement, the erroneous mystery fees from Verizon Wireless were caused

     * unauthorized data transfers initiated automatically by applications
       (like games) built into certain phones;

     * accessing certain web links that were designated as free-of-charge
       (e.g., the Verizon Wireless Mobile Web homepage);

     * unsuccessful attempts to access data when there was insufficient
       network coverage to complete the requested data transfer; and

     * unwanted data transfers initiated by third parties and affecting
       customers who had content filters installed on their phones.

   This action is part of the FCC's ongoing commitment to empowering and
   protecting consumers. Earlier this month, as part of its Consumer
   Empowerment Agenda, the FCC proposed rules to prevent bill shock --
   sudden, unexpected increases in consumers' monthly mobile bills.

   To ensure that all affected consumers are repaid and the mystery fee issue
   is resolved, Verizon Wireless has agreed to key consumer protection
   measures, including:

     * No more mystery fees: Verizon Wireless must cease charging customers
       the incorrect fees. In addition, the company has agreed to take
       affirmative steps to prevent future unauthorized data charges.

     * Immediate repayment of 15 million customers: Customers who have been
       identified by Verizon Wireless as being potentially overcharged for
       data usage will receive refunds or credits on their October or
       November bills.

     * Right to appeal: Verizon Wireless's repayment obligations are not
       capped at the estimated $52.8 million in refunds identified by the
       company. Customers who do not receive a refund but believe they had
       unauthorized data charges have a right to appeal, receive a good-faith
       review, and reach resolution within 30 days. Verizon Wireless is
       required to disclose any unresolved complaints to the FCC.

     * Commitment to offer data blocks on request: Verizon Wireless must
       offer data blocks to any customer who seeks to avoid data charges on
       his or her bill.

     * Improved customer service: Verizon Wireless must launch several new
       customer service initiatives to provide more information and more
       options to consumers. These include:

        * Plain-language explanations of "pay as you go" data charges and
          data plans, and the available tools to reduce those charges;

        * An online video tutorial to help consumers understand their bills;

        * Enhanced training on pay-as-you-go data charges to Verizon
          Wireless's customer service representatives who interface directly
          with consumers and respond to consumer questions or complaints.

     * Data Charge Task Force: Verizon Wireless must create a Data Charge
       Task Force, staffed by specially trained customer service experts who
       will monitor and resolve data charge complaints and other data
       charge-related issues going forward. The Task Force will issue regular
       reports to the FCC so the agency can ensure compliance.

     * Strong accountability and compliance monitoring: Verizon Wireless must
       submit periodic reports to the FCC on its refund, training, and
       customer service initiatives (including information on specific
       complaints) to ensure the company's compliance going forward.

   "There is nothing more satisfying to the public spirit than to right a
   wrong or rectify an injustice," said Ellison. "We salute the consumers who
   had the tenacity to call attention to this problem. We will continue to
   monitor the company's compliance going forward. And, consumers, if you
   need us, our lights are always on."




   Federal Communications Commission

   445 12th Street, S.W.

   Washington, D. C. 20554

   This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the
   full text of a Commission order constitutes official action.

   See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

                                        News Media Information 202 / 418-0500


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