State consumer protection officials have reached a nearly quarter-million dollar settlement with a Wisconsin Rapids cell phone company over coverage and billing issues.
State Division of Trade and Consumer Protection administrator Sandy Chalmers says the settlement with Element Mobile is worth $248,000, and sets up a clear process and timeline to identify what consumers are owed and making sure they are repaid.
The state recorded 671 complaints against Element Mobile in 2011. Most came between January and March after Element took over service from Verizon, which had bought Alltel Wireless but abandoned the area.
Chalmers says Element has agreed to stop collection efforts against customers with service issues. The company will also have to contact major credit bureaus and repair any damage done to consumer ratings.
Element spokeswoman Jackie Shea says they regret any problems customers had and are excited to be moving forward.
To begin the reimbursement process, the state will send out questionnaires to customers who filed complaints.
AUDIO: Matt Lehman reports (:36)