Verizon has agreed to a $1.7 million settlement with Maryland over alleged hidden charges to FiOS customers, the Attorney General’s Office announced on Wednesday. Verizon will pay $1.375 million in restitution and $325,000 in penalty and costs to the Consumer Protection Division. Current customers will be reimbursed directly by Verizon, and former customers will be notified by the division. “Verizon’s activities when it was rolling out FiOS established it as one of our office’s biggest complaint generators,” Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler said in a statement. Verizon allegedly failed to deliver promised promotional items to new customers, didn’t disclose that bundled prices did not include the cost to lease equipment and charged early termination fees when customers canceled after they did not receive what they had been promised.
Verizon issued the following statement:
“This settlement concludes an investigation that dates back to 2008, when Verizon was a new entrant in the pay-TV market. In the ensuing years, the improvements and enhancements we have made in serving customers have addressed many of the issues raised by the Consumer Protection Division. That’s borne out by numerous independent customer satisfaction studies in which Verizon FiOS ranks highest among pay-TV providers. While Verizon’s advertising practices complied with all laws and regulations, it’s in the best interest of all parties for us to resolve this long-running matter so that we may continue our focus on providing Maryland consumers with a superior product and a good customer experience.”