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182K ex-Centennial clients to split $1M in suit settlement

The TRB approved the settlement agreement earlier this year. (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual)

The TRB approved the settlement agreement earlier this year. (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual)

A group of 182,442 customers of the defunct Centennial de Puerto Rico will be splitting about $1 million after winning a class-action suit against the carrier that is now part of AT&T Puerto Rico over improperly collected municipal tax fees from July 2009 to December 2009.

The case is the result of complaints filed at the Puerto Rico Telecommunications Regulatory Board in October 2009 by two former customers who represented the class rejecting the collected taxes. While the settlement is for a little more than $1.3 million, the amount to be divided is less after attorney fees and other expenses are subtracted.

On Friday, the group represented by a battery of attorneys, began receiving letters notifying them of the agency’s decision and letting them know that they will be receiving a check in the mail for what they are owed.

The amount a particular customer and member of the class will receive will depend on the length of time they were charged and paid for the fee, not to exceed more than $4.80 per line (since the charge was in place for no more than six months), said Rosie Montalvo, spokeswoman for AT&T.

The settlement put an end to several years of litigation, which involved AT&T once it picked up Centennial.

“AT&T takes pride in offering the products and services consumers want, and in billing customers clearly and accurately.  AT&T agreed to settle this case to put the matter behind and to avoid the expense and uncertainty of litigation.  There was no finding of fault in the case, and we are pleased that this matter is coming to a conclusion,” Montalvo said.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 29 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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