Verizon To Refund Customers For 'Mystery Fees'

Verizon Wireless will issue refunds to customers who were unfairly charged "mystery fees," after an ongoing Federal Communications Commission investigation revealed that the fees were unwarranted.

Verizon maintains that the so called "mystery fees" were actually data charges, some of which were even applied to those customers who hadn't yet purchased a Verizon data package.

The wireless giant said that it decided to stop charging fees when customers signed on with a data plan and then quickly terminated it.

"In October and November, we are notifying about 15 million customers, through their regular bill messages, that we are applying credits to their accounts due to mistaken past data charges," Verizon said in a statement Monday. The company reported that it will be refunding more than $50 million to overcharged customers.

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The FCC said Sunday that Verizon's refund initiative was the culmination of a two-year investigation, started after receiving numerous complaints from consumers.

Next: Questions Longer About Verizon's Slow Response

"We're gratified to see Verizon agree to finally repay its customers," said Michele Ellison, FCC enforcement bureau chief in a statement. "But questions remain as to why it took Verizon two years to reimburse its customers and why greater disclosure and other corrective actions did not come much, much sooner."

Customers shouldn't expect a windfall, however. Verizon said that most refunds, which will be mailed to customers in the form of checks, will be somewhere between $2 and $6. Some users who got bilked for larger "data charges" will receive bigger refund checks.

The reimbursement comes as many Verizon customers anticipate a Verizon iPhone, which is rumored to be on the market some time in 2011. However, Verizon has pointed out that Apple has yet to make an iPhone compatible with the company's CDMA network.