Media Center

Van Hollen Obtains Consent Judgment Against Verizon Long Distance LLC

 

MADISON – Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announces that the Wisconsin Department of Justice, on its behalf and on behalf of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, has obtained a Consent Judgment against Verizon Long Distance LLC.

 

The Consent Judgment resolves a lawsuit filed by the State in June of this year. The complaint which commenced that litigation alleged that the defendants had billed certain customers for telecommunications/electronic communications services which were subscribed to through another carrier. The complaint alleged that the affected telephone customers were not Verizon telephone subscribers for the telecommunications/electronic communications services at issue. The complaint alleged that Verizon Long Distance LLC billed the Wisconsin customers for the services at issue using Verizon North Inc. as its billing agent or otherwise engaged Verizon North Inc. to bill the affected Wisconsin customers for the services at issue. The complaint also alleged that as to certain customers, the billings continued even after the customers called Verizon North Inc. to dispute the charges.

 

Under the terms of the Consent Judgment, Verizon Long Distance LLC is required to pay $190,000.00 which is made up of civil forfeitures, statutory surcharges, and attorneys fees. In addition, the Consent Judgment requires Verizon Long Distance LLC to provide full credit and restitution to all of the affected Wisconsin residents or entities. The Consent Judgment also imposes certain injunctive relief. As part of the resolution of this lawsuit, the State of Wisconsin's claim against Frontier North Inc., formerly known as Verizon North Inc., was dismissed.

 

The case was originally investigated and referred to the Wisconsin Department of Justice by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Phillip D. Ferris. The Consent Judgment was rendered by Dane County Circuit Court Judge John C. Albert on December 17, 2010.