Scottsdale company settles lawsuits over premium text messages

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- It's called cramming and it's a way companies slip extra fees onto your phone bill without you noticing.

In two separate lawsuits filed last year, a Scottsdale software developer called JAWA was accused of cramming charges onto cell phone bills through the use of premium text messages.

According to the suits, consumers were charged after navigating through websites looking for things like recipes, jokes and video game codes and requesting that information to be sent to them via text message.

But last year, Verizon sued JAWA, claiming it was all part of a “complex scam” to defraud customers by billing them a monthly fee of up to $10 for the text service.

JAWA’s owner, Jason Hope, denied the allegations last year when he sat down with 3 On Your Side.

He maintained consumers could clearly see what they signed up for and were aware of the charges.

Despite denying his company did anything wrong, the Texas Attorney General’s Office also filed suit against JAWA.

Recently, however, both cases were settled with JAWA agreeing to “clearly and conspicuously” state the terms of its services to consumers and pay $2 million in the Texas case.

Part of the settlement also requires JAWA to get permission from Verizon customers -- in writing -- before it can send them any premium text messages.