Verizon customers recently received notices regarding a class action lawsuit settlement alleging the company unfairly charged and failed to properly disclose certain administrative fees.
With payments up to $100 per account, this settlement understandably grabbed people’s attention. However, some questioned whether this lawsuit is a scam designed to steal people’s information.
I analyzed the lawsuit from various angles to provide a comprehensive, unbiased perspective on its legitimacy. This article reviews the lawsuit background, settlement terms, eligibility requirements, opt-out/objection processes, related online complaints, and other critical details.
Let’s dive right in.
Overview of the Verizon Class Action Lawsuit
In early 2023, Verizon customers brought a class action lawsuit alleging the company charged unfair monthly Administrative Charges to post-paid wireless account holders without adequately disclosing these fees. While Verizon denied wrongdoing, the company agreed to settle the lawsuit in November 2023 on a class-wide basis.
The settlement established a $100 million fund to provide account credits up to $100 for current and former Verizon wireless customers who paid certain administrative fees during specified periods. Customers must file claims by April 15, 2024 to receive settlement funds.
Key Settlement Terms & Benefits
The settlement provides the following key terms and benefits:
- Eligible Class Period: January 1, 2016 through November 8, 2023
- Eligible Customers: Verizon post-paid wireless account holders who paid administrative fees during the class period
- Settlement Fund: $100 million
- Potential Payments: Up to $100 per eligible Verizon account
- Payment Method: Choice of virtual prepaid card, PayPal, Venmo, Zelle or paper check
Payments will equal $15 plus $1 per month administrative fees were charged/paid during the class period, up to a $100 maximum. If the fund cannot cover all valid claims, payments will decrease pro-rata.
Determining Your Eligibility to File a Claim
You qualify to file a settlement claim if:
- You held a Verizon post-paid wireless account at any time from January 1, 2016 through November 8, 2023; and
- Verizon charged you an Administrative Charge or Administrative and Telco Recovery Charge during that period which you paid
You should have received an email or postal notice if deemed eligible per Verizon’s records. These notices provide ID and confirmation codes required when filing a claim.
However, even without a notice, you can still file a claim by providing the requested account and contact information. The settlement administrator will then validate your eligibility using Verizon’s records.
Settlement Claim Filing Process & Requirements
The claim form asks for your:
- Contact information
- Verizon account details
- Notice ID/confirmation code (if you received a notice)
- Preferred payment method
Signing the claim form requires you to confirm under penalty of perjury you actually held the Verizon account(s) for which you are submitting a claim.
After filing, you will receive confirmation when the settlement administrator receives and processes your claim. Your ultimate eligibility depends on verification using Verizon’s account records.
Assessing Risks of Participating in the Settlement
Like any legal settlement, participating does come with some risks, albeit relatively low ones in this case:
Settlement gets reduced or denied: If too many customers submit valid claims, pro-rata reductions may decrease payments below the advertised $100 maximum. There is also a chance the court denies settlement approval altogether, eliminating payments entirely. Both scenarios seem unlikely given the large settlement size.
Personal data gets compromised: Anytime you provide private information online—even on legitimate sites—data breaches remain possible. Still, there are no indications of security risks associated with the official settlement website.
Overall, while legal settlements inherently carry risks, the potential benefits likely outweigh potential downsides for most eligible Verizon customers. Just don’t spend settlement money until it hits your account!
Opting Out of the Settlement (And Why You May Not Want To)
You can opt-out of the settlement to retain your legal rights to separately sue Verizon over these administrative fees in the future. However, there are some major caveats to note before requesting exclusion:
- You receive no settlement payment
- must cover any litigation costs yourself
- Class action settlements typically provide larger recoveries than individual lawsuits
- Verizon has greater financial resources to fight individual legal claims
Unless you already have a high-value claim prepared against Verizon backed by an attorney, opting out seems an unwise gamble. You essentially forfeit a free and easy cash settlement for highly uncertain prospects.
To opt out, you must mail a signed letter postmarked by February 20, 2024 with your name, address, phone number, Verizon account number and a clear statement communicating your request for exclusion.
Objecting to the Settlement (And Why You Might)
You can formally object to settlement terms by submitting a written statement to the settlement administrator outlining your objections and any supporting evidence postmarked by February 26, 2024. Valid objections get considered during the final court approval hearing on March 22, 2024.
Potential reasons customers might object include:
- Eligibility restrictions or claim requirements seem unfairly narrow
- Settlement fund feels inadequate given number of customers impacted
- Attorney fee request appears excessive compared to settlement benefits
The court will assess the merits of submitted objections when deciding whether to grant final approval. Note that objecting does not prevent you from filing a claim and receiving an individual settlement payment if the deal gets court-approved.
Analyzing Online Reviews & Complaints
Beyond the formal legal filings, analyzing independent online reviews and complaints can shed light on real customer experiences with this settlement and Verizon’s administrative fees.
Positively, while some complex class actions spur complaints about convoluted filing procedures, comments regarding this settlement’s claim process remain few. Most shared frustrations stem from customers simply misunderstanding eligibility terms or deadlines rather than systematic issues.
However, reviews do highlight customers’ widespread dissatisfaction and distrust regarding Verizon’s broader fee practices:
“Verizon loves finding new ways to nickel and dime customers. This lawsuit called them out for administrative fees I knew nothing about yet paid for years. And you wonder why long-time customers drop your services?”
“$100 settlement when Verizon knowingly overcharges millions per month? Where’s the punishment? This changes nothing…they’ll continue ripping people off.”
Indeed, many customers expressed doubt whether a $100 million settlement adequately deters a company of Verizon’s size from similar conduct in the future. Individual payments may provide a welcome surprise bonus but likely fail prompting meaningful policy changes.
Critical Questions Remaining About the Settlement
While the settlement administration process meets legitimacy standards so far, some questions bear monitoring as final approval hearings commence:
How many claims get filed? If claim rates significantly exceed settlement estimates, fund inadequacy could result in substantially reduced payments. Updates around claim filing totals and projected payment calculations merit attention.
Do objections influence terms? Plaintiffs referenced general “premium” phone service charges in initial filings but excluded these fees from final settlement. Will objections prompt greater accountability around these omissions?
Does the judge require more disclosures? While Verizon maintains no wrongdoing, the judge could push additional fee transparency reforms during his fairness evaluation given customer deception allegations.
What assurances exist around future charges? Absent further court intervention, little prevents Verizon from introducing replacement administrative fees down the road using similarly opaque tactics. Monitoring regulatory engagement post-settlement seems prudent.
How smoothly does payment distribution proceed? Pressuring Verizon is one thing—efficiently dispatching millions of digital payments is another. Success gauging settlement performance depends partly on claimant payment satisfaction levels.
Staying updated as final approval and payment distribution approaches should reveal more clarity around responses to these lingering questions.
Is the Verizon Class Action Lawsuit 2024 Settlement Scam or Legit?
After thoroughly analyzing available lawsuit evidence and settlement information, no obvious signs suggest this pending legal resolution involves a scam, unlike some fraudulent class action schemes targeting claimants’ data or money.
Various factors support the settlement’s legitimacy:
- Served notice through established third-party administrator
- Utilizes court-reviewed communication methods
- Hosts claims site on standard .com domain tied to settlement
- Does not require any upfront fees/payments to participate
- Provides direct payment election through digital platforms
- No worrisome complaints around website security or data sharing
Perhaps most convincingly, Verizon itself confirmed the settlement’s validity in public filings. It remains improbable a Fortune 100 corporation would openly corroborate false legal proceedings risking reputation and stock price damage if an outright scam existed.
So while customers understandably question whether this legal resolution fully rectifies Verizon’s billing issues, pending evidence clearing pinpoints con artistry seems lacking.
Should You File a Verizon Class Action Settlement Claim?
Bottom Line: Filing remains advisable for most eligible Verizon customers.
Given ease of online filing and income upside absent meaningful risks, the majority of impacted Verizon subscribers should complete claim forms—with a few exceptions:
- If missed February opt-out deadline to retain legal rights
- Object to settlement terms and still await final rulings
- Already commenced individual Verizon legal proceedings
- Strongly oppose class action legal vehicles on principle
For all other former and present Verizon wireless account holders encompassed by the class definition, the convenience of potentially receiving up to $100 in free money hands down warrants tolerating five minutes submitting payment election forms.
Just brace expectations pending fund distribution results whilemonitoring customer complaints and regulatory fallout that could precipitate more enduring billing policy shifts. Though modest, securing these administrative charge refunds through class legal channels Doubtlessly beats leaving grievances unaddressed.
While this Verizon settlement may not constitute perfect justice all can celebrate unconditionally, within our imperfect world, modest moves nudging powerful institutions toward accountability still merit applauding…and your promptly filed claim!