Ruwe v. Cellco Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless Settlement
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Frequently Asked Questions

Please find below answers to frequently asked questions

  1. What is this lawsuit about?
  2. What are the terms of the proposed settlement?
  3. Am I member of the class?
  4. How much will my settlement be?
  5. How do I receive money from the settlement?
  6. May I object to the proposed settlement?
  7. How do I ask the Court to exclude me from the Settlement?
  8. When is the Fairness Hearing?
  9. How can I get more information on the proposed settlement?
  10. As a member of the class will I be required to pay the lawyers any fees if the class action lawsuit were lost?
  11. I had multiple cell phone numbers that were charged late fees but the Claim Form only lets me list one number.
  12. I don't remember my Verizon account number/I don't remember my Verizon phone number.
  1. What is this lawsuit about?

    The lawsuit claims that Verizon Wireless violated California consumer protection law by imposing a flat $5 late fee on overdue bills, and by imposing a flat $15 reconnect fee to reinstate service on a line that has been impaired due to non-payment. The suit seeks to recover monetary damages and restitution, and declaratory and injunctive relief. Verizon Wireless denies any wrongdoing and denies the Plaintiffs’ allegations. Verizon Wireless contends that the late fee and reconnect fee are legal and proper. The Court has not decided whether Verizon Wireless or Plaintiffs are correct. By issuing this Notice, the Court is not suggesting that the Plaintiffs would have won or lost this case. This Notice is to inform you about the settlement and that you must make a decision about it.

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  2. What are the terms of the proposed settlement?

    The settlement provides that Verizon Wireless will pay $10 million into a fund that will include money for class members to be provided on a pro rata basis, after deducting payment of the costs of administering the settlement, including the costs of this notice, attorneys’ fees, costs of the litigation and any payments allowed by the Court to the named plaintiffs, known as the “class representatives.” This money is referred to here as the “Common Fund.” The settlement does not relieve class members of any existing or future obligations to pay any charges or fees they owe to Verizon Wireless.

    The settlement will release claims that subscribers may have against Verizon Wireless relating to $5 flat late fees and $15 reconnect fees for the period of time described above, unless the individual excludes him or herself from the settlement. Specifically, the settlement will release the claims pled or could have been pled in the Ruwe v. Cellco Partnership case.

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  3. Am I member of the class?

    You are a member of the class if you are or were a Verizon Wireless customer in California with a contract with Verizon Wireless for personal wireless telephone service who was charged or paid a flat $5 late fee on an overdue bill from June 12, 2003 to April 26, 2012; and/or a $15 reconnect fee from December 1, 2004 to April 26, 2012.

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  4. How much will my settlement be?

    If approved by the Court, payments will be made to class members on a pro rata basis out of the net proceeds of the settlement (the amount available after deducting payment for payment of the costs of administering the settlement, including the costs of this notice, attorneys’ fees, costs of the litigation and any payments allowed by the Court to the named plaintiffs) based on the type and number of late or reconnect fees paid by a class member.

    If you are an eligible Class Member, your share of the net proceeds of the settlement will be based upon the ratio of your loss to the losses of other class members. Verizon Wireless has provided the claims administrator with information to confirm the number of late or reconnect fees paid by any one class member. The exact amount that any one class member will be paid will depend on the number of class members who submit valid claims and the number of fees paid by those class members.

    Valid claims for the $5 late fee will be valued at a third of the value of valid claims for the $15 reconnect fee (reflecting the different value as the $5 late fee compared to the $15 reconnect fee). For example, if after receiving all valid claims, the claims administrator determines that late fee claims will be paid out at an amount of $2 per claim, then each valid claim for a reconnect fee will be paid out at an amount of $6 per claim. Similarly, if after receiving all valid claims, the claims administrator determines that late fee claims will be paid out at an amount of $4 per claim, then each valid claim for a reconnect fee will be paid out at an amount of $12 per claim. The claims administrator will confirm the number of late or reconnect fees paid by each class member through information provided by Verizon, and will disburse payments accordingly.

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  5. How do I receive money from the settlement?

    You must submit a claim form available through this website if you want to keep the possibility of getting money from this lawsuit. Keep in mind that if you do nothing or if you submit a claim form you will not be able to sue, or continue to sue, Verizon Wireless – as part of any other lawsuit – under state or federal law about any issues relating to the validity of the flat $5 late fee or the $15 reconnect fee, or the propriety of their assessment or collection during the time periods described above.

    Claims forms may be submitted electronically through the website at www.verizonwirelesssettlement.com or by first class mail to:

    Verizon Wireless Settlement
    c/o Gilardi & Co. LLC
    P.O. Box 808054
    Petaluma, CA 94975-8054

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  6. May I object to the proposed settlement?

    If you are a class member, you can tell the Court that you don’t agree with the settlement or some part of it. You can give reasons why you think the Court should not approve it. The Court will consider your views. If you do not file an objection to the settlement and attend the settlement fairness hearing, discussed below, you waive your right to appeal the settlement.

    To object, you must send a letter saying that you object to the settlement in Ruwe v. Cellco Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless. Be sure to include your name, address, telephone number, your signature, and the reasons you object to the settlement. Mail the objection to these two different places postmarked no later than October 2, 2012 to:

    The United States District Court, Northern District of California
    450 Golden Gate Avenue
    San Francisco, CA 94102

    and Class Counsel:

    Jeff D. Friedman
    Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP
    715 Hearst Ave., Suite 202
    Berkeley, CA 94710

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  7. How do I ask the Court to exclude me from the Settlement?

    If you are a member of the class and you already have your own lawsuit or arbitration against Verizon Wireless for the claims described in paragraph 2 of this notice, and want to continue with it, you need to ask to be excluded from the class. If you exclude yourself from the class – which means to remove yourself from the Class, and is sometimes called “opting-out” of the Class – you won’t get any money or benefits from the settlement. However, if you exclude yourself, this lawsuit will not interfere with any rights you have to sue or continue to sue or arbitrate against Verizon Wireless in a separate case. If you elect to exclude yourself because you want to pursue your own claims against Verizon Wireless, you should assert such claims promptly to protect against them being lost due to the passage of time. If you exclude yourself, you will not be legally bound by the Court’s judgments in this class action. To ask to be excluded, you must send a letter, postmarked by October 2, 2012, to the Class Counsel appointed by the Court:

    Jeff D. Friedman
    Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP
    715 Hearst Ave., Suite 202
    Berkeley, CA 94710.


    In your letter, be sure to reference your Verizon Wireless telephone numbers if you know them and remember to sign the letter.

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  8. When is the Fairness Hearing?

    On November 16, 2012 at 9:00 a.m., a hearing will be held in Courtroom 11 of the San Francisco Courthouse of the United States Federal District Court for the Northern District of California, located at 450 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94102, to determine whether the Settlement should be approved by the Court as fair, reasonable, and adequate, and whether judgment should be entered thereon.

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  9. How can I get more information on the proposed settlement?

    You can view the Third Amended Complaint that the Plaintiffs submitted, the Court’s Preliminary Approval Order, and other case-related documents here. Please do not contact the Court. Please also do not contact Verizon Wireless or the lawyers for Verizon Wireless.

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  10. As a member of the class will I be required to pay the lawyers any fees if the class action lawsuit were lost?

    No, you will not be required to pay anything as a result of being a member of the class.

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  11. I had multiple cell phone numbers that were charged late fees but the Claim Form only lets me list one number.

    We have a record of the total number of fees for all phones under the same customer account during the class period which will be used in the calculation of the settlement payment.

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  12. I don't remember my Verizon account number/I don't remember my Verizon phone number.

    Please enter your best guess when filing the claim.

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