Bryan Cohen Feb. 18, 2014, 3:15pm

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Legal Newsline) -- Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi announced Friday that claim forms were mailed to more than 17,000 Floridians who were allegedly billed for unauthorized charges by a Pinellas County-based company.

Bondi's office reached a settlement in December with DADATA Inc. and its client companies after they allegedly charged consumers' telephone bills for e-fax, voicemail and other services without the consumers' consent.

Under the terms of the agreement, the companies must refund all charges billed since July 1, 2009 to eligible Floridians who did not consent to the services for which they were charged.

Depending on the number of claims made, the total settlement fund may be about $2.3 million. Refund checks are anticipated to average $134 per individual, with some refunds as high as $700.

Claim forms must be submitted by April 12.

"This settlement will provide refunds to customers who paid for added services charged on their telephone bills that they never authorized," Bondi said.

"My office will continue to hold companies accountable for billing practices to ensure that consumers are not being charged for services that they did not authorize."

Bondi said claim forms also may be printed out for mailing or completed and submitted online.

Customers who previously received a refund or some credit may still be eligible to file a claim for additional money, the attorney general said.

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