Lest you fear Verizon has gone mad with power by trying to charge people $2 for paying their bills online, take heart because the Interwebz have spoken. Less than 24 hours after news got around that Verizon was going to institute the convenience fee in January, the company has retracted the fee. A petition circulated online garnered nearly 50,000 signatures in just a few hours, and the FCC even started investigating. Nevermind how ironic it would have been to charge people a convenience fee for paying online, but what could Verizon have been thinking? Perhaps it was a publicity stunt. Verizon institutes the fee they know people will hate, and then they can call themselves the good guys by saying, 'see we listened to our customers.'
Here's the official word from Verizon--
At Verizon, we take great care to listen to our customers. Based on their input, we believe the best path forward is to encourage customers to take advantage of the best and most efficient options, eliminating the need to institute the fee at this time, Dan Mead, president and chief executive officer of Verizon Wireless said.
Several large corporations have recently felt the backlash of the online world including, Netflix, Bank of America and GoDaddy. Netflix tried to raise their prices, Bank of America tried to charge fees for debit card usage and GoDaddy heard the blow back for their support of a controversial internet regulating law called SOPA. It's been a pretty full month of news for Verizon, and not just because they nearly botched the release of the highly-anticipated Galaxy Nexus smartphone. Three times in December, Verizon's 4G signal network crashed and left users searching for the slower 3G connections. The two dollar fee was set to go into place January 15, and one consumer organization, Change.org, said that 95,000 people joined a campaign on its Web site urging Verizon to drop the fee.
The era of corporations walking roughshod over consumers without consequence is officially over, Ben Rattray, chief executive of Change.org, said in a statement.