Verizon Wireless $2 Payment Fee: Another Public Relations Fail

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On December 29th, Verizon Wireless announced via official press release that “Starting January 15, a new $2 payment convenience fee will be instituted for customers who make single bill payments online or by telephone.”

A day later, on December 30th, after a barrage of consumer complaints and a possible FCC investigation, Verizon retracted their fee.

Verizon said it listened to its customers and made the decision based on customer input after many complained and some threatened to leave the service if the fee was instituted. A spokesman said that the company had just wanted to encourage consumers to pay their bills via different methods such as autopay, where they give Verizon permission to charge their credit card or bank account automatically each month.

Sigh, Verizon. You do realize you’re charging us to pay you, right? Just like Bank of America wanted to charge people $5 to access their own money? Maybe read one of the 17 behavioral economics books on the shelves right now. Suggestion: reward customers with a $2 discount for enrolling on monthly autopay instead. Yes, you could quietly jack up the monthly bill by $2 later on, but at least that way it’s easy to see when comparison shopping between carriers.

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  1. Wait, what!? They just wanted to encourage customers to pay using some other source like autopay? Here’s an idea Verizon, instead of punishing them if they don’t use autopay why not reward them when they do? Give a 5% or 10% discount to consumers who use your autopay service. Catch more friends with icecream. (I don’t like flies)

  2. After this and the BoA debacle, I can’t help but laugh out loud! You’d think these huge companies will now look into upgrading their PR teams after taking some (deserved) backlash from these ridiculous stunts.

  3. This may backfire on us. Now they will increase everybody’s bill by $2, not just those that choose certain payment methods.

  4. How did I miss that? I am glad others complained – I would have been pretty PEEVED.

  5. This was seriously one of the stupidest moves of 2011. As you said, we have to pay to pay you? Ridiculous! I laughed out loud when they denounced the $2 fee after one day. Nice try Verizon.

  6. I just pay all of my bills via my banks free online billpay. Who wants to access each individual website anyway? When my bank decides to charge a fee i’ll go back to writing checks and using stamps.

    I will not pay fee for a service that already saves a company money over processing paper checks!

  7. The uproar over this is baffling. Do people just not autopay on their credit cards? Really, why would you pay for a cell phone bill with anything other than a credit card? Strange.

  8. Verizon actually tried to charge this fee a while back. I remember getting an E-mail almost an year ago regarding a convenience fee for using credit card for payment… then after a couple week I got another E-mail saying they were postponing the fee.

    So this is the second time they fail…

  9. As a Verizon customer, I am glad they retracted the fee. I am sure they will find another way to slip it in somewhere else.

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