I pretty much followed the normal progression of a cell phone customer, specifically Verizon Wireless, from 1998. I first purchased a pre-paid phone in college. Once I started using it more, in graduate school, I transferred my number onto a plan. I added texting once that started getting popular. My roommate and I consolidated plans and made that our primary telephone service. We even added the bare-bones data plans to our normal handsets. We finally made the plunge into full data plans with smartphones last year, and I’m now on my own plan moving along with my own life.
But there was a time before we adopted the bare-bones data plans where Verizon started instilling a $1.99 charge if your phone ever accessed data. So if you hit a button by mistake or if the phone decides to become self-aware, you get charged. And it happened every month for me and my roommate over the course of a year. We even had them block all premium services to our phones, and it seemed like the phones still wanted to make us get charged $4 per month.
Think about it, lets say I wasn’t detail oriented and I didn’t read my bill (the way my roommate was), at $4 each month, they’d be draining about $50 per year from us, without us knowing. I suspect this happened to a lot of people.
I actually was crazy enough to call every month to make them credit my account for these charges. The same thing happened every time. I noticed it on the bill, I called and got accused of downloading Vcast music or shows on specific days, I argued that I would never access Vcast (and at a point it was fully disabled), the lady would speak to a supervisor, and the supervisor would credit the account and tell me there was a flag on my account and that they would check for the following cycle before the bills were drafted. This never happened, and I had to call every month, but they never got away with the charge on my bill.
So, I’m not expecting any kind of refund from this, because I already made sure my own money was in my pocket, but I can imagine that if people don’t start coming forward, Verizon might start “forgetting” who they owe money to.
Just a hunch