Christmas may be over, but if you're a Verizon or Sprint customer, you still have a few days left to get one more small gift. Although the two companies might not see it that way.
That's because Verizon Communications and Sprint have to refund $158 million to customers, due to a settlement regarding what's known as "cramming." Verizon is responsible for $90 million, while Sprint is responsible for $68 million.
What is cramming, exactly? It's where fees are charged without the authorization of the customer for services they never wanted or asked to receive.
After a detailed investigation, both companies were caught charging customers these additional fees for premium third-party text messaging services, sports tips, astrology services and even celebrity gossip. These fees were typically around $9.99 per month, and brought in millions of dollars for the companies. Of those unauthorized fees, both companies pocketed around 30% of the amount billed.
As a customer, it's likely that you didn't even know this was happening. Some of the services were only mentioned in the fine print, and many customers don't regularly review their bills - especially when they haven't requested additional services, or authorized any changes to their plan.
If you suspect your bill included these hidden fees, the deadline to claim your refund is quickly approaching. You have until December 31, 2015, to submit the settlement request form.
Click the links below to access the form for your carrier: