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Verizon will charge fee for paying bill

Shades of Bank of America or Netflix: Verizon's new $2 fee for paying a bill with a credit card has customers fuming.

By Karen Datko Dec 29, 2011 6:23PM

Could Verizon Wireless be following the likes of airlines and big banks -- nickel-and-diming customers with new fees for things that used to be free?

 

Starting Jan. 15, Verizon will charge customers at $2 fee if they pay their bill with a credit card online or over the phone. There are lots of ways to avoid the fee -- and Verizon users should take advantage of them -- but the backlash is already building.  Post continues below.

Mashable reader "Ryan Smith" wrote, "I think they missed Bank of America (and other banks) and Netflix's bad PR with trying to implement new fees. Don't companies learn from others' mistakes?"

 

Verizon offered some justification for the fee, but Paul Miller on The Verge isn't buying it:

Verizon claims that the fee covers its ability to "continue to support these bill payment options" (you know, because all your regular bill dollars are being used entirely to improve your wireless service) but there's no way it's more costly for Verizon than processing the old fashioned, handwritten paper checks we used to pluck out of furrowed fields and send to Big Red on the Pony Express.

At least you can avoid the fee, by:

  • Yes! Paying the old-fashioned way, with a check in the mail.
  • Enrolling in Verizon's AutoPay, allowing the company to tap a credit, debit or ATM card or bank account on file. This appears to be Verizon's preferred option.
  • Paying by electronic check at a Verizon website.
  • Using your bank's online bill pay.
  • Paying at a kiosk or Verizon store.
  • Paying with a Verizon gift card or rebate.

Before you're assessed the $2 "convenience fee," you'll be offered other free options, a Verizon memo says. (You can find the company's press release on Engadget.)

 

Don't you hate this stuff? Did processing your single online bill payment suddenly increase in cost? We deserve more explanation from the company.

 

Marguerite Reardon offered some speculations at CNET:

My guess is that the company that clears these payments is charging Verizon a fee that Verizon is passing on to customers. Still, it seems ridiculous that paying a bill online or by phone could cost Verizon more than processing a hand-written check or money order that is sent to the company through the regular mail.

Mashable says AT&T charges a fee if you call a customer service rep to pay your bill. Sprint charges some customers an extra $4.99 if they don't use its autoplay plan. 

 

A comment by "Mo Bile" at Mashable summed up customers' frustrations:

Paying a fee to pay the bill online?? Have these companies completely gone off their rockers?? ATMs were brought in to save money from tellers and the next thing you know there are ATM fees. Online bill payment was brought in to save processing costs for paper bills and now they want to charge for that??? Someone wants their online presence to have a bill pay "revenue" stream apparently. Unbelievable.

What do you think. Tempest in a teapot, or is this another tone-deaf company taking unfair advantage of customers?

 

More on MSN Money:

880Comments
Dec 29, 2011 7:05PM
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I just went back to paper statements and called customer service to say the $2 fee is a bad idea. Maybe they won't reverse this dumb fee, but we can at least take steps to avoid it. A stamp is much cheaper than $2.

 

Thanks Verizon for "helping" the environment by killing more trees!

Dec 29, 2011 6:48PM
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Another bunch of the 1% ripping off the masses......
Dec 29, 2011 7:00PM
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I don't know if Verizon reads this, but you can bet I'm gone as a customer when my contract is up. Meantime I'm going on their web site to express my outrage.
Dec 29, 2011 6:54PM
Dec 29, 2011 6:58PM
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I went back to paying all my bills via US mail. Help out the post office and make GREEDY companies and Big Banks wait a few more days.
Dec 29, 2011 8:12PM
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How about everyone discontinue their paperless bill and make them send you a paper bill (probably an average of 25 pages)?  Tell them we'll go paperless again when they remove the $2.00 charge to pay the bill!  Open-mouthed
Dec 29, 2011 9:13PM
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I think this is great.  Mail us a bill with an envelop included and we mail it back....This will help the Post Office, they will sell stamps, and have extra mail to sort.   Verizon will have to hire people to process the payments....More jobs for the unemployed......And we will not have to pay the extra fees!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Dec 30, 2011 9:09AM
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F U verizon I'm going to drop  you go to hell
Dec 30, 2011 9:34AM
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Due to the state of the economy maybe we need to go back to doing business the old way. If verizon wants to charge a fee for paying online or by credit card than maybe we should start paying by Banks Bill Pay or send out a paper check. Sending a paper check would be better as it would help save postal jobs and also cause the company to have someone process all those paper checks there by creating jobs lost by online bill pay. We the people would benefit more than the companies. I also agree that we should stop with the online statements and make the companies wanting to charge us for everything send them out. costing them postage and manpower sending these statements out.
Dec 30, 2011 8:38AM
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Maybe some of you will listen to what I am going to say about all of these fees......

Stop making it easy for the banks,credit cards and the rest to do business with you.

Stop all E-Statements and start paying by check.  They all claim it's the cost of doing business.
Really, well I am pretty sure that they have all saved a TON by not mailing statements or processing checks.........So...​..Lets go back to the 'old' way.  Maybe it will create JOBS.
Some one will have to process the checks.  And they will need paper to print the statements.

And it would help the Post Office........ Hit 'em where they live ....the cost of doing business.
No one can convince me that it is more expensive to process electronic transactions verses paper checks.

Peace to All


Dec 30, 2011 9:34AM
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I am retired and perfectly willing to pay Verizon on a daily basis that portion of their bill that is due.  35 cents, 82 cents, 68 cents, whatever.  I'm thinking that if we can get about 100 seniors to clog up Verizon offices on a daily basis making partial payments and demanding receipts, the angst that causes might have Verizon reconsidering their position on the bill payment fee. 
Dec 30, 2011 9:21AM
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Dave R made a great point.  EVERYONE WHO HAS CHOSEN TO HAVE PAPERLESS STATEMENTS SHOULD RENEGE AND START ACCEPTING PAPER AGAIN. THIS GOES FOR EVERY BILL YOU PAY ONLINE.  The cost of processing checks is very expensive.  You will also help the economy by creating american jobs instead of abolishing them.  I for one have NEVER CANCELED paper statements as i saw this coming a mile away.
Dec 29, 2011 11:10PM
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Sorry Verizon, just like Netflix or BOA I will drop you faster then I can spit.  I pay with a credit card Amex since I use the telephone for work, and Amex gives a year-end statement for tax purposes. 

 

Maybe losing my 3600 a year is not that important to you, but that's 4 phones & and 4 lost customers. 

 

Hope they reconsider, if not they are out.  I have no loyalty to them or any other company. 

 

I have also contacted them both on their website and by telephone.

 

Balls in your court Verizon. 

 

 

Dec 29, 2011 11:06PM
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I think we should start charging Verizon a $5 fee for sending us paper bills in the mail. That would cover the cost of walking to the mailbox, risking paper cuts opening the envelope, and our trash hauling fee for disposing of the excess paperwork. I'm sure if I think hard enough I can come up with a few more rediculous reasons; but you get the point.
Dec 30, 2011 1:22PM
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Verizon customers should show up at the local store and pay their bills in pennies........Smile
Dec 30, 2011 9:33AM
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Have been a Verizon customer with a 4 phone family plan for 8 years.  My recent 2 year contract just ended so I called to ask about the fee plus see if I could get a better rate on my current family package.  No go, Verizon played hard ball and offered me no break (other than the same offer of $50 off on some new phones that was a current promo).  I cancelled, switched to T-Mobile.  I now have a 4 smart phone package for $75/month less than I was paying with Verizon, plus no $2 online fee (at least not yet!)
Dec 29, 2011 7:47PM
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Greed is an understatement!.

Only in America can people be charged a fee to pay their bills!.  Am I dense or stupid in thinking that there is something radically wrong with that concept?. I mean, If I'm a Verizon wireless user, Verizon is going to charge me $2.00 for the privledge of paying my bill!!!. Does anyone or everyone see the criminality of that?.

Anyone that uses Verizon wireless should cancel their accounts immediately. People, you have the power to bring these greedy SOB's to their knees, if you would only use that power.

Dec 30, 2011 9:57AM
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Hey Verizon, I'm not sure about the rest of the people or the businesses that use your service, but the push to make us all go paperless has saved you tons of money, and now you want to charge us more?  I do believe I'll take my personal account and my business accounts totaling about $5,000 a month, and move them to a pay as you go plan from some other service provider.  Your CEO's and Financial strategists continue to find ways to stick it to the people while your profits go through the roof.  Here's my 2 dollars this month.  You can bury it as far up your colon as your arm can reach.
Dec 29, 2011 8:47PM
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Since Verizon is so interested on making money, let's all just cancel paperless billing.  They will now have to pay for the paper, stamp, and provide a return envelope to be used to pay the bill.  Now we can Nickel and Dime them........
Dec 30, 2011 8:56AM
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Has anyone over at Verizon bothered to read the news concerning these ludicrous fees...BOA, Wells Fargo, etc?

Do they actually think we're that stupid not to revolt?

How about this...As a method of getting our point across...for the next three (3) months, everyone submit payment via "paper check" and cancel all other forms of payment.

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