Verizon blames built-in phone software for overcharges

Verizon Wireless says the problem has been fixed

Verizon Wireless stands ready to hand back millions of dollars to customers who were overcharged on their mobile phone bills due to built-in phone software that accesses the network on its own.

Over the next two months, Verizon will notify 15 million customers that they were mistakenly overcharged and that they will be given credits to their accounts. Many of the credits will be refund checks for $US2 to $6, though some will receive larger credits or refunds, Verizon said in a statement.

"As we reviewed customer accounts, we discovered that over the past several years approximately 15 million customers who did not have data plans were billed for data sessions on their phones that they did not initiate," the company said.

Instead, built-in phone software accessed the mobile network or the Web, incurring charges.

Verizon said the activity should not have incurred charges and that it has fixed the problem so there will be no such data charges in the future.

Verizon Wireless could not be immediately reached to say what kind of built-in phone software caused the over-billing.

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