Consumers are facing a deadline to claim refunds from a $158 million federal settlement with Sprint and Verizon over unauthorized charges placed on wireless phone bills.
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. The deadline to apply for a refund is Dec. 31. Claims can be made online or mailed.
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.