Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why did I receive a Notice?

    You were sent a Notice because records indicate that you may be a Class Member in this class action lawsuit. The Notice summarizes a proposed Settlement of a class action lawsuit and describes your options before the Court decides whether to approve the Settlement. The proposed Settlement resolves a lawsuit over Verizon’s sale of its CustoPAK telephone service.

    To view a copy of the Notice, click here.

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  2. What is the Settlement about?

    The Settlement resolves a lawsuit over Verizon’s sale of its CustoPAK telephone service. If you currently have Verizon telephone service, you can use the Claim Form to change your telephone service to a less expensive alternative without paying any change fees. In addition, if you complete and mail one or more of the Claim Forms you may also receive a refund of certain amounts you have paid to Verizon in the past.

    CustoPAK is a telephone service offered to small business customers that provides a bundle of calling features, including Call Waiting, Call Forwarding, intercom calling, and Three-Way Calling, among others. Two of CustoPAK’s several features, such as an intercom, can only be used if a customer has more than one phone line operating on the same CustoPAK system. In addition, CustoPAK’s features cannot be used by a customer if the CustoPAK line is devoted to exclusive use by a Machine Dialer. In addition, Machine Dialers may be programmed not to make any Long Distance calls, and accordingly do not require, and cannot use, long distance telephone service. A Machine Dialer is defined in this case to include a device, such as a fire or burglar alarm, which is programmed to make a telephone call, or a telephone which can only connect to a single other telephone number – such as an elevator phone.

    The Settlement provides that current CustoPak customers will have the option to convert their service to less expensive dial tone service (also known as “plain old telephone services,” or “POTS”). It also provides that customers with a Machine Dialer may cancel Long Distance service. This may be appropriate if the Machine Dialer does not make long distance calls. If the customer chooses to cancel Long Distance service as a part of this Settlement, Verizon will waive any change or early termination fees that would ordinarily be applicable. Further, the Settlement provides that current customers who elect to change their services and certain former customers have the ability to submit a Proof of Claim to receive a refund of certain charges paid in the past.

    You should read the entire Notice carefully because your legal rights are affected whether you act or not.

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  3. What is a class action lawsuit?

    A class action is a lawsuit in which one or more individuals sue a company, person, or other entity on behalf of all other people who are in a similar position. Collectively, these people in a similar position are referred to as a “class” or “class members.” In a class action, a court resolves certain legal issues, claims, and defenses for all class members in one lawsuit except for those individuals who ask to be excluded from the class (see below for more information about excluding yourself from the Class).

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  4. What is this lawsuit about?

    This class action lawsuit was brought on behalf of persons and small businesses located in New Jersey who, between June 23, 2003, and December 31, 2022, purchased CustoPAK telephone service from Verizon.

    Frank Greek & Sons, Valley Plaza Realty, Highview Properties III, Highview Properties I and Tices Properties, (collectively referred to as “Plaintiffs” or “Class Representatives”) are the named plaintiffs and the representatives on behalf of all members of the Class in the lawsuit. The Defendants in the lawsuit are Verizon New Jersey, Inc., and NYNEX Long Distance Company (collectively referred to as “Defendants”). Plaintiffs claim that Defendants sold CustoPAK telephone service, and Long Distance, to customers who had stated their intention to use the telephone line to which such service was applied exclusively to service a Machine Dialer, and that Verizon sold CustoPAK service to customers who maintained only a single CustoPAK telephone line. Verizon denies these allegations and asserts that it only sold CustoPAK and Long Distance service to customers who affirmatively consented to those services.

    For purposes of this case, a Machine Dialer is a device that is programmed to make a telephone call to a single predetermined telephone number. This includes burglar and fire alarms, credit card verification devices, as well as elevator, security or entryway telephones used to communicate with an access provider.

    Based on these allegations, the Plaintiffs filed a Complaint asserting the following claims against Defendants: (1) Unjust Enrichment and (2) Violation of the Consumer Fraud Act. Verizon denies all allegations of fault, wrongdoing, or liability in the Action and do not concede any infirmity in their defenses.

    Counsel for the Parties have conducted extensive settlement discussions, following a period of significant discovery, in an effort to accomplish a global compromise and settlement. Based on the research, investigation, and analysis conducted to date, the Parties consider it desirable and in their best interests, and in the interests of the Class Members, to enter into the Settlement, taking into account the risks, uncertainties, delay, and expense associated with the litigation of the Action. The Parties agreed that, by entering into the Settlement, no Party will be deemed to have admitted in any way any claims or contentions made by other Parties or to have diminished in any way the validity of any claim or contention asserted by that Party with respect to the Action.

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  5. Who is a Class Member?

    The Court has defined three Classes: a Machine Dialer CustoPAK Class; a Machine Dialer Long Distance Class; and a Single-Line CustoPAK class. These classes are defined as follows:

    • The Machine Dialer class is defined as “Those customers who have, or at any time during the Time Period have had, CustoPAK service for a line which is identified in Verizon business records as utilizing such line only for a Machine Dialer.”
    • The Machine Dialer Long Distance Class is defined as those customers who are identified on Verizon business records as, at any time during the Time Period, maintaining a Machine Dialer where the Machine Dialer which the customer identified to Verizon as the device that would utilize the line does not make long distance or toll calls, but where the Class Member is billed for a Verizon long distance plan for which Verizon maintains records showing whether long distance calls are placed by the customer.
    • The Single Line CustoPAK class consists of two subclasses:
      • Subclass A includes all customers who maintained a single line CustoPAK system at any time from the beginning of the Class Period until July 1, 2011.
      • Subclass B includes all customers who maintained a single line CustoPAK system in existence from July 1, 2011, until the end of the Class Period, when amount paid by such customers for such account was greater than they would have paid if they had purchased regular telephone service from Verizon, plus whatever features were in fact operational on their CustoPAK account.

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  6. What relief does the Settlement provide?

    You have a right to know about the proposed Settlement of this lawsuit and your options before the Court makes a final decision about whether to approve the Settlement. The Court preliminarily approved the proposed Settlement Agreement on June 27, 2023. If the Court grants Final Approval of the Settlement, the Court will not conduct a trial. Instead, Class Members who timely file an allowed Proof of Claim will receive certain compensation and other relief. You could receive hundreds or even thousands of dollars. A complete copy of the Settlement Agreement is available here, or you may send a written request to the Settlement Administrator, at the following address:

    Valley Plaza Realty v. Verizon
    Settlement Administrator
    P.O. Box 3818
    Portland, OR 97208-3818

    Under the terms of the proposed Settlement, Defendants agree to provide the following relief to each of the classes defined in FAQ 5.

    1. Former Verizon customers may submit a Proof of Claim, which will be paid according to the criteria set forth below.
    2. For current Verizon customers, who are Machine Dialer CustoPAK Class Members, Machine Dialer Long Distance Class Members, or Single Line CustoPAK Class Members, the customer may elect to convert its service to a less expensive service that better suits its needs, from CustoPAK to POTS, or to eliminate Long Distance service, and Verizon will waive any change or early termination fees that would ordinarily apply to such requests. For current Verizon customers, such an election to change service is a prerequisite to the ability to claim a refund by submitting a Proof of Claim, which will also be paid according to the criteria set forth below.
    3. For Machine Dialer CustoPAK Class Members who submit Proofs of Claim, the Settlement Administrator will determine the number of months the customer was charged for CustoPAK service on a line noted for a machine dialer during the Class Period and provide a refund representing the difference between (x) the tariffed (or Product Guide) rates for CustoPAK, plus the value of the message units included for free in the base price of POTS, and (y) the tariffed (or Product Guide) rates for POTS, plus the Subscriber Line Charge, during those months.

    In addition, relief will be provided as follows to those current members of the Machine Dialer class who maintained an “Orphan Line,” defined as a single CustoPAK line, which was the only CustoPAK line on the account not serving a Machine Dialer. For Class Members who are current customers with “Orphan” lines, as defined above, and who submit Proofs of Claim and elect to convert their current service to POTS, the Settlement Administrator will determine whether the customer selected (or activated) the Calling Waiting, Call Forwarding, Speed Dialing, or other calling features, and in light of that information will provide a refund, if any, of the difference between (1) the tariffed (or Product Guide) price for CustoPAK and (2) the tariffed price for POTS with those calling features added for additional, a la carte charges, to the extent that there is a difference. For the avoidance of doubt, this potential refund shall not be available for customers who no longer, at present, have an “Orphan” line.

    1. For Machine Dialer Long Distance Class Members who submit Proofs of Claim, the Settlement Administrator will determine the total amount of minimum monthly fees for that service during the Class Period until such time as the customer cancelled the service and will provide a refund to the customer of those fees.
    2. For Pre-July 1, 2011, Single-Line CustoPAK Class Members who submit Proofs of Claim, the Settlement Administrator will determine the number of months during the Class Period when the customer paid for that service and will prove a refund for the difference between the tariffed rates for CustoPAK and POTS during those months.
    3. For Post-June 30, 2011, Single-Line CustoPAK Class Members who submit Proofs of Claim, the Settlement Administrator will determine whether the customer selected (or activated) any of the features that a CustoPAK customer may select (such as Calling Waiting, Call Forwarding, or Speed Dialing). Any customer who selected those features will not be entitled to a refund. Customers who did not select any of those features shall be entitled to a refund of the difference, if any, between (1) the tariffed (or Product Guide) price for CustoPAK, and (2) the tariffed price for POTS with those calling features that are automatically included within CustoPAK and are only included with POTS for additional, a la carte charges, and which can be used if the customer’s system only has a single line.

    Payments to Class Members pursuant to the above criteria could be substantial, and based upon the type and length of service, could amount to hundreds of dollars.

    The Defendants have also agreed to injunctive relief, pursuant to which they will explain to new customers that CustoPAK and long distance service may not be appropriate products if the customer intends to use a telephone line exclusively to service a Machine Dialer and that the customer should consult the manufacturer or provider of the Machine Dialer to determine whether long distance service is necessary.

    Defendants also agree to pay attorney’s fees and reimburse litigation expenses, as awarded by the Court, in an amount not to exceed $4,950,000.

    All Class Members, except for those who opt out, will release all claims against Defendants that were or could have been raised in this lawsuit.

    This Settlement reflects an evaluation of the claims and potential recovery, considering the facts as known to counsel after discovery and careful investigation, the likelihood of prevailing at trial, the likelihood that this lawsuit, if not settled now, would take a longer amount of time to litigate to finality, and considering the likelihood of any appeals.

    In addition to and separate from the relief described above, Defendants have agreed to pay the Service Awards approved by the Court to the Class Representatives, in an amount not to exceed $50,000 in the aggregate; and the expenses associated with the administration of the Settlement, including the expenses associated with Claims Resolution Procedures and Distributions, (which itself includes) processing and reviewing Proof of Claim Forms, and the costs of the Arbitrator, if any, retained to resolve disputed Claims); and printing and mailing Distribution checks to members of the Settlement Class; and the fees and other expenses of the Settlement Administrator.

    If the Settlement is overturned on appeal, no payments will be made to the named plaintiffs, Class Members or Class Counsel.

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  7. How could I have filed a Proof of Claim?

    In order to receive a refund from the Settlement Fund, you must have filled out the Claim Form and submitted to the Settlement Administrator no later than September 15, 2023.


    If you have any questions regarding the Proof of Claim, you may contact the Settlement Administrator by calling 1-855-967-6006 (Toll-Free).

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  8. Who represents me? Will I have to pay the lawyers?

    The Court has appointed lawyers, including Jerome M. Marcus of Marcus & Marcus LLC and Jonathan Auerbach of the Resolution Strategy Group, LLC, to represent you and all Settlement Class Members. Together, the lawyers are Plaintiffs’ Class Counsel. You need not pay these attorneys because, pursuant to the Settlement, the Court will award these attorneys a fee paid by Verizon. These attorneys are experienced in handling similar cases and class actions involving consumer law disputes. Contact them at the following addresses:

    Jerome M. Marcus, Esq.
    Marcus & Marcus LLC
    P.O. Box 212
    Merion Station, PA 19066
    Jonathan Auerbach, Esq.
    Resolution Strategy Group, LLC
    614 S. 4th Street, #216
    Philadelphia, PA 19106

    You do not need to hire your own lawyer because Class Counsel are working on your behalf. If you would like your own lawyer, you have the right to retain one at your own expense. You are not responsible for any costs or attorneys’ fees incurred in this lawsuit (unless you hire your own separate lawyer).

    Class Counsel will request an award of attorneys’ fees and reimbursement of litigation expenses that, in the aggregate, does not exceed $4,950,000. Defendants have agreed not to oppose this request. If the Court approves the proposed Settlement, the attorneys’ fees and litigation expenses of Class Counsel will be payable from the Settlement Fund.

    The Class Representatives will also ask the Court for a service award of up to $50,000 in the aggregate for their costs, time, and effort acting as Class Representatives and for their willingness to bring this lawsuit and act on behalf of other consumers. The Service Awards, if approved, will be paid directly by the Defendants, and will not be paid from the Settlement Fund.

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  9. How could I haveI excluded myself from the Settlement?

    You could have excluded yourself from the Settlement (also known as “opting out”) by sending a written request, postmarked no later than September 15, 2023, to the Settlement Administrator, Class Counsel, and Counsel for the Defendants by U.S. Mail.

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  10. How could I have told the Court that I do not like the proposed Settlement?

    To object to the proposed Settlement, you must have filed a written objection with the Court, and sent a copy of the written objection to Class Counsel and Counsel for the Defendants, postmarked no later than September 15, 2023.

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  11. How do I get more information about the Settlement?

    The complete Settlement Agreement along with other Settlement-related documents can be found on the Documents page of this website. The pleadings and other court records in this litigation may also be examined and copied during regular office hours at the Middlesex County Courthouse, 56 Paterson Street, 2nd Floor, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08903-0964.


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