Verizon reaches $800K agreement with Massachusetts

Bryan Cohen Dec. 19, 2011, 12:19pm


BOSTON (Legal Newsline) - Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced an agreement on Friday with Verizon New England Inc. worth more than $800,000 to resolve allegations that it overcharged numerous cities and towns.

Verizon allegedly overcharged its clients for telephone services provided under a statewide contract. Coakley's office alleges that due to a systemic billing error, the company repeatedly overcharged hundreds of towns and cities, including numerous invoices sent after the company became aware of the error.

"Businesses contracting with the commonwealth must ensure that their invoices are accurate and that any errors are completely corrected in a timely manner," Coakley said. "This agreement ensures that cities and towns are repaid for losses on account of these billing errors. We would like to thank Inspector General Gregory Sullivan and his team for their work to uncover these overcharges and his cooperation with our office to resolve this matter."

Verizon has since refunded $1.5 million in total for the overcharged amounts. Under the terms of the settlement, Verizon will pay an additional $800,000, which includes a payment to the state for court costs and an amount equal to twice the interest that would have accrued on the overcharged amount. Each of the allegedly overcharged entities will be compensated from this fund for the delay in issuing refunds.

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