M&S represented plaintiffs Junto Investments and James Cogan who alleged that Verizon continued to charge them for services after the services stopped. The service in question was non-dialtone phone lines routinely used for burglar alarm service, monitoring, telemetry and other similar services.
These “non-switched analog circuits” can easily become non-operational due to a variety of causes from discontinuing a burglar alarm service which used the line to the destruction of wiring during remodeling. Once the line becomes non-operational the customer is, by definition, no longer using it. Despite this, Verizon continued to charge people– which generally went unnoticed– for this service that it was no longer providing.
Under the settlement all New Jersey Verizon customers who were being billed for non-switched analog circuits were notified that this was the case. Customers could then request Verizon technicians to conduct an on-site inspection of the wiring. If this inspection determined that the circuit was unusable the customer received a refund equivalent to two years of service charges.
If the inspection determined that the circuits were usable the customer could cancel the service and the charges would cease immediately. The settlement thus also provided relief to those who had functioning service but were not using it.