Frequently Asked Questions
  1. What is this lawsuit about?
  2. Why is this a class action?
  3. Why is there a settlement?
  4. How do I know if I am a member of the Settlement Class?
  5. What does the Settlement provide?
  6. What are “unauthorized third-party charges”?
  7. How much will my payment be?
  8. How can I get a payment?
  9. How do I fill out my Claim Form?
  10. What happens after I send in my Claim Form?
  11. When should I get my payment?
  12. What am I giving up to get a payment or stay in the Class?
  13. How do I opt out of the Settlement?
  14. If I excluded myself, can I get money from this Settlement?
  1. Do I have a lawyer in this case?
  2. How will Class Counsel and the Named Plaintiffs be paid?
  3. How do I tell the Court that I like or don’t like the Settlement?
  4. What’s the difference between objecting and opting out?
  5. When and where will the Court decide whether to give final approval to the Settlement?
  6. Do I have to come to the hearing?
  7. May I speak at the hearing?
  8. What happens if I do nothing at all?
  9. Are there more details about the Settlement?
  10. I requested my third party billing summary be emailed to me and I have not received it yet.

BASIC INFORMATION

  1. What is this lawsuit about?

    The lawsuit claims that Verizon placed charges from third-party companies on its bills and collected money from those charges, even though the customers had not knowingly authorized the charges. The lawsuit asks the Court to require Verizon to pay customers the money it collected for all third-party charges that the customers did not authorize. Verizon denies it did anything wrong or that it has any liability for third-party charges.

    You may have been billed and paid for third-party charges over a period of months without having noticed it. As part of the Settlement, if you request, Verizon will provide you, free of charge, a summary of all of the Third-Party Charges that you were billed from April 27, 2005 through February 28, 2012. You can review this information to determine if any of these charges were unauthorized and use the summary to support a Full Payment Claim. The purpose of this lawsuit is to reimburse all present and former Verizon customers for all unauthorized charges they paid.

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  2. Why is this a class action?

    In a class action, one or more people, called Class Representatives (in this case Desiree Moore and Karen Jones), sue on behalf of people who have similar claims. All these people with similar claims are Class Members. One court resolves the issues for all Class Members, except for those who exclude themselves from the Class. For purposes of settlement only, the parties have agreed, and the Court has determined, that the case shall proceed as a class action.

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  3. Why is there a settlement?

    The Court did not decide in favor of Plaintiffs or Defendants. Instead, both sides agreed to a settlement, which, if finally approved, brings the litigation to an end. That way, Plaintiffs and Defendant avoid the cost, delay, and uncertainty of moving forward in litigation to trial and possible appeals, and the people affected will get compensation and certain specified injunctive provisions will go into effect designed to prevent cramming in the future. The Class Representatives and the attorneys for the Settlement Class think that the settlement is best for all Class Members, as does the Mediator who facilitated this Settlement over a matter of many months.

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WHO IS IN THE SETTLEMENT
To see if you will get money from this Settlement, you first have to determine if you are a Class Member.

  1. How do I know if I am a member of the Settlement Class?

    The Court decided that everyone who fits this description is a class member, subject to further consideration at the Final Approval Hearing: All current and former Verizon landline customers who between April 27, 2005 to February 28, 2012 were billed for third-party charges submitted to Verizon by Billing Concepts Inc. a/k/a Billing Services Group Clearing Solutions or BSG d/b/a USBI and ZPDI, ACI Billing Services Inc. d/b/a OAN, Enhanced Services Billing, Inc. d/b/a ESBI, and HBS Billing Services Company (collectively, “Billing Concepts Inc.”), The Billing Resource d/b/a Integretel, The Billing Resource LLC (collectively, “The Billing Resource”), ILD Teleservices, Inc. (“ILD”), Transaction Clearing, LLC (“Transaction Clearing”); and PaymentOne Corp., d/b/a PaymentOne or Ebillit (“Payment One”).

    You are not in the Settlement Class if:

    1. you were billed for only the following charges: (a) message telephone services (“MTS”) usage charges; (b) charges that relate to a change in the customer’s primary interexchange carrier (“PIC”); (c) charges billed by local telephone companies purchased from Verizon by Frontier Communications Corporation, FairPoint Communications, Inc., and Hawaiian Telcom; or
    2. you are a judicial officer to whom the Action is assigned; or
    3. you are the U.S. government or any State government or instrumentality thereof.

    If you are still not sure whether you are included, you can ask for free help. You can call the Settlement Administrator at 1-877-772-6219 or you can contact any of the Class Counsel identified in Question"If I excluded myself, can I get money from this Settlement?" below.

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THE SETTLEMENT BENEFITS (WHAT YOU GET FROM IT)

  1. What does the Settlement provide?

    The Settlement provides the following to Class Members: (1) payments of money to Class Members who submit valid Claim Forms (called “monetary relief”), (2), a process for providing information about third-party charges that present and former customers were billed in order to file a Full Payment Claim and information about “bill blocking” to prevent the placing of unauthorized charges on bills in the future, and (3) required changes to Verizon’s business practices (called “injunctive relief”).

    1. Monetary relief:Verizon has agreed to pay Class Members who properly submit a Claim Form either (a) a “Flat Payment Claim” of $40, or (b) a “Full Payment Claim” in the amount the Class Member actually paid Verizon for unauthorized Third-Party Charges. Some class members may have a claim for less than $40. Class counsel contends that some class members may have a claim for hundreds of dollars or more. A Class Member can choose to file either type of claim (a Flat Payment Claim or a Full Payment Claim), but not both. Those options are described in Question "What happens after I send in my Claim Form?", below.
    2. Summary of Third-Party Charges and Information Regarding “Bill Blocking":

      “Summary of Third-Party Charges.” You may have been billed for third-party charges over a period of months without having noticed it. You can use the summary you receive from Verizon in order submit a Full Payment Claim to receive back 100% of all unauthorized Third-Party Charges you were billed and paid during the Class Period.

      “Bill blocking”: If you are current Verizon customer, you also have the right to place a free “block” on your phone number so that certain third-party charges will not be allowed to be placed on your bills in the future. You can do so by contacting Verizon customer service at 1-800-837-4966. If you later wish to remove the block, you may do so for free by contacting Verizon customer service at the same 800 number.

      Injunctive relief: As part of the proposed Settlement, Verizon has agreed to make various specific changes to its business practices that are designed to reduce cramming in the future. These changes are described in more detail in Section II of the Settlement Agreement. To download a copy of the Settlement Agreement to see the specific injunctive provisions, please click here.

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  2. What are “unauthorized third-party charges”?

    Third-party charges are charges for products or services that are provided by third-party companies (i.e., not Verizon) but are billed on your Verizon telephone bill. There are hundreds of companies that bill such charges on Verizon customers’ telephone bills. Examples of the types of products and services are: voicemail, email, fax, web page services (design, hosting or marketing), diet plans, identity protection, yellow page services, and others.

    Unauthorized third-party charges are third-party charges that you were billed on your Verizon landline phone bill that you did not knowingly authorize. The practice of imposing unauthorized charges on bills is commonly called “cramming.”

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  3. How much will my payment be?

    Each Class Member who submits a timely and valid Flat Payment Claim will receive a payment of $40. Each Class Member who submits a timely and valid Full Payment Claim Form will receive a payment in the amount of all unauthorized Third-Party Charges properly listed in his or her Claim Form.

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HOW YOU GET A PAYMENT (SUBMITTING A CLAIM FORM)

  1. How can I get a payment?

    To qualify for payment, you must submit a Claim Form.

    If the Settlement is finally approved by the Court, and if you properly and timely submit a Claim Form that is approved by the Settlement Administrator, you will automatically be sent your settlement payment. If you are a current Verizon customer at the time payments are processed, Verizon has the option to provide a credit on your Verizon bill. Otherwise, you will receive a check in the mail.

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  2. How do I fill out my Claim Form?

    Group One - The deadline to file a claim was November 15, 2012. The deadline has now passed.

    Group Two – The deadline to file a claim was June 7, 2013. The deadline has now passed.

    Group Three – The deadline to file a claim was October 21, 2013. The deadline has now passed.

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  3. What happens after I send in my Claim Form?

    First, Verizon or others entities involved in the Third-Party Charges have the opportunity to challenge Claim Forms on specified bases. Click here for a full explanation of the challenge process as set forth in the Settlement Agreement. If a challenge is made to your claim, you will be notified and given an opportunity to respond and to receive, free of charge, the assistance of Class Counsel.

    The Settlement Administrator will then decide who is correct. This decision is final and not appealable. The Settlement Administrator will inform the Class Member and the entity issuing the challenge of its decision.

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  4. When should I get my payment?

    The Court held a Final Approval Hearing on July 9, 2013 and the Court has approved the Settlement. Everyone who sends in a Claim Form can check on the progress of the Settlement by checking this website. Please be patient.

    We will provide regular updates of the status of the Settlement on this website.

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  5. What am I giving up to get a payment or stay in the Class?

    Unless you exclude yourself, you are staying in the Class, and that means that you can’t sue, continue to sue, or be part of any other lawsuit against Verizon or other released parties about the issues in this case, as defined in the Settlement Agreement. It also means that the terms of the Settlement Agreement and all of the Court’s orders will apply to you and legally bind you. Click here to see the exact terms of the Release in this case.

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EXCLUDING YOURSELF FROM THE SETTLEMENT

If you don’t want a payment from this Settlement, but you want to keep your right to sue or continue to sue Verizon or other released parties on your own, about the issues in this case, then you must take steps to exclude yourself from this case. (See Question “If You Do Nothing”, below.) If you have a pending lawsuit, speak to your lawyer in that lawsuit immediately, because you may have to exclude yourself from this Class to continue your own lawsuit. This is called excluding yourself from – or opting out of – the Settlement Class.

  1. How do I opt out of the Settlement?

    To exclude yourself from the Settlement, you must send a letter saying that you want to be excluded from Moore v. Verizon. This is called an “Opt-Out Request.” You must include your name, current address, current telephone number, and signature, as well as the Verizon telephone number(s) for which you want to preserve your right to sue. To be valid, your Opt-Out Request must be received by the Settlement Administrator or postmarked by August 17, 2012. It must be sent to the Settlement Administrator at: Moore v. Verizon Settlement Administrator, PO Box 4655, Portland, OR 97208-4655. You cannot opt out by phone.

    If you opt out, you will not get any Settlement payment, and you cannot object to the Settlement. But you will not be legally bound by anything that happens in this lawsuit, and you may be able to sue (or continue to sue) Verizon or the released parties in the future, subject to questions about what courts call statutes of limitations (time limits within which certain claims must be made).

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  2. If I excluded myself, can I get money from this Settlement?

    No. If you excluded yourself, you cannot receive any payment from this Settlement. But you may sue, continue to sue, or be part of a different lawsuit against Verizon or other released parties.

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THE LAWYERS REPRESENTING YOU

  1. Do I have a lawyer in this case?

    The Court appointed the following attorneys to represent you and the Settlement Class:


    John G. Jacobs
    Bryan G. Kolton
    JACOBS KOLTON, CHTD.
    55 West Monroe Street, Suite 2970
    Chicago, Illinois 60603
    Telephone: (877) 593-2088
    verizonsettlement@jacobskolton.com
    David Schachman
    LAW OFFICES of DAVID SCHACHMAN, P.C
    55 West Monroe Street, Suite 2970
    Chicago, Illinois 60603
    Telephone: (877) 593-2088
    verizonsettlement@schachmanlaw.com
    Jeffrey F. Keller
    KELLER GROVER, LLP
    1965 Market Street
    San Francisco, California 94103
    Telephone: (415) 543-1305
    verizonsettlement@kellergrover.com
    Michael W. Sobol
    LIEFF CABRASER HEIMANN & BERNSTEIN, LLP
    275 Battery Street, 29th Floor
    San Francisco, California 94111-3339
    Telephone: (415) 956-1000
    www.lchb.com
    verizonsettlement@lchb.com

    Together, the lawyers are called Class Counsel or Plaintiffs’ Counsel. You will not be charged for these lawyers’ work in securing the Settlement benefits for you and the other Class Members. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.

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  2. How will Class Counsel and the Named Plaintiffs be paid?

    To date, Class Counsel have not received any payment for their work in prosecuting this lawsuit on behalf of the Settlement Class, nor have counsel been reimbursed for their out-of-pocket expenses. Class Counsel will ask the Court to approve payment of $7,500,000 to them for attorneys’ fees and expenses and payment of $5,000 each to Desiree Moore and Karen Jones for their services as Class Representatives. The fees would pay Class Counsel for their efforts in investigating the facts, litigating the case, negotiating the settlement, and implementing the settlement on behalf of the Settlement Class on a purely contingent basis. The Court may award less than these amounts. The Settlement Class will not be required to pay any portion of the fees, expenses or incentive awards paid to the Representative Plaintiffs. Verizon will separately pay such amounts as the Court awards. Verizon has agreed not to oppose Class Counsel’s request for these fees, expenses, and payments. In addition, Verizon will also pay the costs of providing Notice to the Settlement Class and the charges of the Settlement Administrator to administer the Settlement.

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COMMENTING ON (INCLUDING OBJECTING TO) THE SETTLEMENT

You can tell the Court what you think about the Settlement.

  1. How do I tell the Court that I like or don’t like the Settlement?

    If you’re a Class Member, you can object to the Settlement if you don’t like any part of it. You can give reasons why you think the Court should not approve it. The Court will consider your views. To object, you must send a letter saying that you object to the Settlement in Moore v. Verizon, Case No. CV 09-1823 SBA. Be sure to include your name, current address, current telephone number, the Verizon telephone number that makes you a Class Member in this Settlement, your signature, and the reasons you object to the Settlement (including all factual and legal support for your objection). Also be sure to state whether you intend to appear at the Final Approval Hearing, and, if you intend to appear through counsel, counsel’s name, address, and telephone number. Mail the objection, postmarked no later than January 18, 2013, to all of the following:

    • Clerk of the Court at 1301 Clay Street, St. 400 S., Oakland, CA 94612
    • John G. Jacobs at 55 West Monroe Street, Suite 2970, Chicago, IL 60603 (Plaintiffs’ Counsel)
    • Henry A. Weissmann, 355 S. Grand, Ave., 35th Fl., Los Angeles, CA. 90071-1560 (Verizon’s counsel)
    • Moore v. Verizon Settlement Administrator, PO Box 4655, Portland, OR 97208-4655

    No one will be permitted to appear at the Final Approval Hearing to present an objection unless that person has complied with the requirements set forth for filing a timely written objection. No appeal may be taken from the approval of this Settlement unless the person appears in person or through counsel at the Final Approval Hearing, unless excused in advance by the Court for good cause shown.

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  2. What’s the difference between objecting and opting out?

    Objecting is simply telling the Court that you don’t like something about the Settlement. You can object only if you stay in the Class. Excluding yourself (opting out) is telling the Court that you don’t want to be part of the Class. If you exclude yourself, you have no basis to object because the case no longer affects you.

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THE COURT’S FINAL APPROVAL HEARING

The Court will hold a Final Approval Hearing to decide whether to give final approval to the Settlement. You may attend and you may ask to speak, but you don’t have to. No one will be permitted to appear at the Final Approval Hearing to present an objection unless that person has complied with the requirements set forth for filing a timely written objection.

  1. When and where will the Court decide whether to give final approval to the Settlement?

    The Court held a Final Approval Hearing on July 9, 2013 and the Court approved the Settlement.

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WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DO NOTHING

  1. What happens if I do nothing at all?

    If you do nothing, you will receive no Settlement payment. You also won’t be able to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against Verizon about the legal issues in this case, ever again (unless you exclude yourself by following the steps in Question "How do I opt out of the Settlement?" , above).

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HOW TO GET MORE INFORMATION

  1. Are there more details about the Settlement?

    This Notice summarizes the proposed Settlement. More details (including the Settlement Agreement, the Complaint, the Claim Form, and other documents relating to the lawsuit and the Settlement) are all available by clicking here.

    Please do not call the Court or Verizon to inquire about this Settlement. They will be unable to help you.

    By order of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

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THIRD PARTY BILLING INFORMATION

  1. I requested my third party billing summary be emailed to me and I have not received it yet.

    If you already requested that your third party billing summary be emailed to you, but have not received it, please check your email security settings as the email with your third party billing summary attachment may have been inadvertently directed to your spam, junk E-mail, or quarantined email folders.

    If you are still unable to locate the email with your third party billing summary attachment, you can check on the status of your billing summary request by emailing the Settlement Administrator at questions@verizonthirdpartybillingsettlement.com or by calling the Settlement Administrator at 1-877-772-6219 and requesting an update on the status of your billing summary request.

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  2. How do I access/open/edit the third party billing summary that I received in my email?

    If you received your third party billing summary by email, it will be attached to the email as an RTF formatted (or Rich Text Format) document that most word processors, such as Microsoft Word and Mac OS's TextEdit, are able to open and edit. If your default word processor does not allow you to open or edit the billing summary attachment (i.e., it won't allow you to view the summary, or place an “X” to indicate which charges were unauthorized), please try opening the attachment with another word processor.

    If you are able to open the summary, but not edit it, you can print it out and manually edit it (i.e., write an “X” on the summary to indicate which charges were unauthorized) and then scan and save the summary as one of the following file types: .pdf, .rtf, .doc, or .jpg. Once you have done so, you can upload the file to the online claim form. Or, you can print out and mail the completed billing summary (i.e., marked with “X” to indicate which charges were unauthorized) along with a completed claim form to Moore v. Verizon Settlement Administrator, PO Box 4655, Portland, OR 97208-4655.

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  3. How do I upload the third party billing summary?

    To upload the billing summary, please click the “Browse…” button in the ‘Choose Claim Type’ section of the online claim form and open the folder where you saved the billing summary to your personal computer, USB flash drive, or other data storage device. The summary must be saved as one of the following file types: .pdf, .rtf, .doc, or .jpg. Then, select the saved file and press the “Upload” button. If you successfully upload the billing summary, the file name will appear below the “Upload” button. See the example below.

    Upload

    You will be given the option to delete the file if you need to make any corrections to the billing summary. If you do not need to make changes, move to the next section of the online claim form and submit your claim.

    If you are unable to upload the billing summary to the website, you can print out and mail the completed billing summary (i.e., marked with “X” to indicate which charges were unauthorized) along with a completed claim form to Moore v. Verizon Settlement Administrator, PO Box 4655, Portland, OR 97208-4655.

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