Verizon Landline Fees Class Action Lawsuit Filed in Massachusetts Federal Court

The Verizon Landline Fees Class Action

On July 3, 2013, after a one year investigation by this office, Verizon is facing a class action in federal court.  The case involves allegedly unfair fees imposed on Verizon landline accounts.

Verizon building - Hyannis MA

Verizon building – Hyannis MA

Verizon’s Billing Practices

The class action complaint alleges:

  • An unlawful practice of Verizon of charging unauthorized minimum monthly account fees for long distance service to Verizon landline customers.
  • That the Plaintiff was been charged minimum monthly fees for long distance service; that is, he was charged for not using long distance service.
  • These minimum monthly charges were identified on Plaintiff’s statements as a “VES FirmRate Advantage Shortfall Charge” and were in addition to the standard voice-services charge paid by Plaintiff and the per-minute long distance charges Plaintiff paid for his actual use of long distance services.
  • Plaintiff was also double billed, and paid for, long distance, as described below, and in one month was charged for, and paid, an unexplained shortfall charge of $45.00.
  • Verizon has been charging its landline telephone customers minimum monthly fees for long distance service in an unfair and deceptive manner.
  • These fees have been identified by various names (on Verizon’s bills, on Verizon’s webpages, and in other sources and materials), including the following:
    • “Monthly minimum charge for long distance”
    • “Minimum Monthly Spend Levels”
    • “Minimum Spend Levels” or “MSL”
    • “Minimum Monthly Charge” or “MMC”
    • “VES FirmRate Advantage Shortfall Charge”
    • “Minimum Spend Levels (COMM)”
  • Verizon Landline subscribers receive no advance disclosure or notice of these fees prior to the time that they order and agree to receive and pay for landline service from Verizon

The Verizon FIOS Bundle Class Action

A different recent class action lawsuit describes Verizon as the “41st largest corporation in the world, with revenues of over $100 billion per year, or roughly $10 million each hour of every day.”  The class representative is a former Princeton University Professor. The case is about overbilling allegations related to the Verizon FIOS “triple play” (phone, TV and Internet) and “double play” (phone and TV / phone and Internet) services.

Verizon: miserable customer service + outrageoous bills = class action lawsuit

What the Complaint Alleges:

Bait and switch

  • “TV and Internet at a promised rate of $99 per month. Despite this false promise, Verizon bills up to $300 per month or more for the service.”


  • “charged for years for a phone line that never was in service and which he never made any calls from”
  • “over-charged him by assessing fees on his working lines while those lines were out of service, often for months at a time”
  • “over-collected state sales and tax and unlawfully listed other fees”

The Class
The suit seeks to provide a remedy to the following group:
All persons who contracted with Verizon for Bundled Services and/or FIOS services such as “triple play” and “double play” that promised a fixed and discounted rate and who;

  • did not receive such discounted bundled rate but were instead billed a higher amount for individual services;
  • received unauthorized charges on their bill for “operator assisted” calls and third party billing;
  • never received credits on their bill for periods during which service was not provided;
  • never received itemized monthly bills from Defendant;
  • never received the promotion gift (such as a TV) promised by Defendant for signing up for bundled or FiOS service;
  • received various other unauthorized and unlawful fees and charges.

If you have experienced overbilling issues related to FIOS, you are invited to contact us.

Recent Complaints About Verizon

Pissedconsumer (1,234 Complaints)

Ripoffreport (2704 Complaints)

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Verizon “VES” and “Minimum Spend Levels”Does Verizon impose surprise fees and charges?



Verizon Voice Services

  • “VES Charge”
  • “VES FirmRate Advantage N”
  • “VES FirmRate Advantage Shortfall Charge”
  • “VES Federal Access Charge”
  • “VES Carrier Cost Recovery Charge”
  • “Minimum Spend Levels (COMM)”
Verizon Surcharges and Other Charges
  • Late Payment Charge
  • Verizon Property Tax Recovery Charge
  • VES Carrier Cost Recovery Charge
  • VES Long Distance Access Charge
  • VES Long Distance Administrative Charge
  • Federal Universal Service Fee
  • Federal Subscriber Line and Access Recovery Charge

How have businesses and consumers been affected by Verizon’s landline billing practices?

We are not exactly sure how Verizon VES charges have been applied in various markets in America.  As part of this investigation, we are particularly interested in hearing from Verizon business customers who have experienced unusual or unfair charges throughout the United States.

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Complaints about Verizon:

Information About Verizon:

Verizon is a for-profit corporation, organized under the laws of Delaware with a principal place of business at 140 West Street, New York, New York 10007. Verizon is publicly held trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol VZ.  The company is led by Lowell C. McAdam, who is Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer.  His total compensation for 2013: $14,049,100.


Lowell C. McAdam — with annual pay of $14 million year to chisel small businesses and consumers?


Filed under Class Action Investigations, Class Action Lawsuits

5 responses to “Verizon Landline Fees Class Action Lawsuit Filed in Massachusetts Federal Court

  1. Richard Burgess

    NJ Verizon residential landline charges now include a bundled monthly “Federal Subscriber Line and Access Recovery Charge” of $12.41. My understanding is that the SLC is capped at $6.50 per line, and the ARC at $1.00 per line. To me, it does not sound like it adds up, and it sounds like the basis for a class action.

  2. angriguy

    Verizon charge me extra fees every month, wanting to pull phone out of wall and chase a verizon executive down the street with it. every time the bill has extra fees and charges that no one can explain or understand. VES charge. minimum spend level. What all of this mean?. class action against verizon = good idea.

  3. Verizon VES every month i call, they take it off, they charge, i call, they charge, etc. no one can explain what this fee means. It is billing abuse

  4. I have Verizon Solutions for Business Bundle Includes;
    Solution Bundle Line 2 yrs. contract
    Voice Line
    Calling Features Unlimited Nationwide Calling
    High Speed Internet.

    These are my charges charges each month.

    Taxes, Governmental Surcharges and Fees
    E-911 tax $.75
    Federal Excise Tax $.23
    •“VA Communication Sales Tax” $2.15
    •“VA Public Rights-of-Way Use Fee” $.97

    Taxes, Governmental Surcharges and Fees $4.10

    •“Minimum Spend Levels (COMM)”

    Verizon Surcharges and Other Charges

    “VES Carrier Cost Recovery Charge” $.36
    Federal Subscriber Line and Access Recovery Charge $7.74
    Federal Universal Service Fee $4.33
    VES Long Distance Access Charge $1.85
    VES Long Distance Administrative Charge $.74
    VA Cost Recovery Surcharge $.05

    Total Verizon Surcharges and Other Charges $20.48

    I should not be charge for long distance for calling to 202 and 301 because I have Unlimited Nationwide Calling.

    I used my cell phone 99% to make a phone calls. When I called Verizon each time they transferred me to deferent departments. I have to wait up to an hour.

  5. E Boehme

    Doesn’t the U.S. constitution say ‘no double taxing’ What is actually being done to stop this. I’m paying about $24.00 a month in fees.

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