Local News

MSN Agrees To Reimburse Computer Users For Costly Internet Glitch

Posted June 12, 2001 7:42 a.m. EDT

— The

Microsoft Network

(MSN) has agreed to pay back dozens of people who received huge Internet phone bills by mistake.

An investigation by 5 On Your Side in March looked into a

MSN glitch

that caused users to be billed long distance charges for Internet access.

Gabrielle Schmidt is just one of nearly 80 MSN customers who were shocked by last month's phone bills. "My phone bill was $520," she says.

Combined, complainants were billed more than $13,000 in unexpected charges.

For about a month when the Wake County customers accessed the Internet, they were routed to a long distance Chapel Hill number -- a number they did not know they had been switched to.

John Bason, a spokesman for the North Carolina Department of Justice, says the situation definitely needs to be addressed.

"There certainly is a problem. What is yet to be determined is what that problem is, whose fault it is, and what's going to happen as a result of it," he says.

Microsoft is telling the Attorney General's office that the error was theirs and agreed to pay back consumers. Any MSN customers who were erroneously billed must file a complaint with the Attorney General's office at 919-716-6000 .

You will need to include copies of phone bills, screen shots from their computers and letters of explanation in your complaint.


Monica Laliberte


Robert Meikle

5 On Your Side Producer:

Lori Lair