Cramming is the practice of tacking on third-party charges to your bill by companies providing supposedly free services such as ringtones and celebrity news.

Basically you sign up for a free something and then have thirty seven different charges that you might have unknowingly agreed to based on believing the word “free”.

Unfortunately when you got crammed, Sprint and Verizon are usually less than helpful in resolving the situation, and more than helpful in attempting to ruin your credit if you don’t pay. Basically it will be a fight to not pay.

Sprint and Verizon have set up claims websites to distribute a $158 million settlement, but the deadline is December 31st, 2015 so you’ve only got a few days left to get your refund request in.

Sprint customers are eligible for a one-time refund of $7.00 for unauthorized charges that were not refunded. $7. Whoo hoo. That’s… kind of a laugh. If your charges were $21, you’re still out $14. Meh.

Verizon doesn’t list a cap (you can bet it’s $7,) but if your charge was $2.99 they won’t bother to settle with you according to their website. Claims under $3 won’t be considered.

Of course with this accepting the money probably waives any right to claims, but if it’s just a $5 false charge that was irking you, but not enough to spend 37 minutes on with support who will claim you authorized the charge for 10 minutes straight before finally sending it off to someone who will do something about it, it’s a start.

The Verizon refund site can be found here, and the Sprint refund site can be found here.

[AP via ABC7]