Verizon Wireless will be charging customers a $2 “convenience fee” for single bill payments made online or over the telephone.
The fees will start Jan. 15, 2012.
“The fee will help allow us to continue to support these single bill payment options in these channels and is designed to address costs incurred by us for only those customers,” said Verizon in a statement.
Customers can still avoid the $2 fee with the following options:
*Electronic check online (My Verizon Online, My Verizon Mobile/Handset). Fee waived.
*Electronic check via telephone. Fee waived.
*Enrollment in AutoPay using credit/debit/ATM card or electronic check; fee does not apply
*Online from the customer’s home-banking service provider website; fee does not apply.
*Credit/debit/ATM card, electronic check or cash at a Bill Payment Kiosk, Panel or with a representative at a Verizon Wireless Communications Store; fee does not apply.
*Use of a Verizon Wireless Gift Card or Verizon Wireless device Rebate Card to pay a bill in-store, online or by telephone; fee does not apply
*Paper check or money order mailed to the VZW remit address on customer’s bill; fee does not apply.
Many customers (and former customers) of Verizon are outraged by this move.
“I will be leaving Verizon like many others...$2 fee to pay my bill online, a very dumb move,” wrote one commenter on Verizon’s Facebook page.
“Charge me a $2 fee to pay you! I don't think so!” wrote another.
“2 processing fee is an OUTRAGE! I'm switching carriers! This will cost you like the NETFLIX move!” wrote a third.
Indeed, Verizon’s proposed $2 “convenience fee” and the ensuing backlash is reminiscent of happened with Bank of America’s proposed $5 debt card fee and Netflix’s proposed price increase.
In both cases, the companies arguably suffered more from the backlash they received than from the benefits they sought to gain from the fees/price hikes.
Will Verizon suffer a similar fate? Vote in the poll below.