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Van Hollen Sues Verizon for Improper Billing


MADISON - The Wisconsin Department of Justice, at the request of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, has filed an enforcement action against Verizon Long Distance LLC and Verizon North Inc. (collectively, "Verizon").   


According to the complaint, Verizon billed certain individuals for telecommunication and electronic communication services that the individuals did not order from Verizon.  Instead, the individuals subscribed to the services through Powercom Corporation, a company that was not related to Verizon.  The complaint alleges that the affected individuals were not Verizon customers for the telecommunications or electronic communications services at issue and that, therefore, Verizon was not authorized to bill them for those services.   


The complaint also alleges that as to certain of these individuals, the billings continued even after they called Verizon to dispute the charges. A copy of the complaint is available at:


Attorney General Van Hollen remarked, "A competitive market for communication services is good for the people of Wisconsin.  However, companies that wish to operate in this state must follow the rules that protect our citizens.  When they don't, we'll take appropriate action."    


The complaint seeks an injunction against the improper billing practices, civil forfeitures for each violation of Wisconsin law, restitution for affected Wisconsin customers, and an award of costs and attorney fees.  The case has been assigned to Dane County Circuit Court Judge John C. Albert.  It is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Phillip D. Ferris, with assistance from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.