Tech, Autos, & Gear in Layman's Terms Since 2006

December 30, 2011 • Editorials

Thank You For Calling Verizon Wireless, How May I Collect an Extra $2 (or not)?

Sorry about the Better Off Dead image, but when I saw this at Droid-Life yesterday that was all I could think of … Verizon Wireless as Johnny chasing Lane across the field and down the mountain in search of the $2 paper money.

Here is the image more related to the new policy:

According to the report from the AP:

Verizon Wireless, the country’s largest cellphone company, said Thursday that it will start charging $2 for every payment subscribers make over the phone or online with their credit cards.

The company said this “convenience fee” will be introduced Jan. 15.

The fee won’t apply to electronic check payments or to automatic credit card payments set up through Verizon’s AutoPay system. Paying by credit card in a Verizon store will also be free, as will mailing a check.

When I mentioned it to my wife, she said “No way! Isn’t it bad enough that we have to call almost every month due to those phantom data charges?” We typically pay using our debit card on my wife’s phone every month, but might have to rethink that – we certainly aren’t paying them $2 MORE for the privilege!

The obvious answer is that they want you to auto-pay to reduce their costs. But taking yet another customer-hostile step won’t endear them to those paying the bills. In fact, it is the sort of thing that will lead those with options to seek other carriers. Our signal with Verizon is SO strong everywhere that there is no way I can see us moving … and I haven’t checked the store but I am pretty sure we’ll have decent LTE coverage by the time the Droid 4 arrives.

UPDATE: As this was waiting to be posted, CNN carried the breaking news that “Verizon Wireless to scrap proposed $2 fee for one-time payments, citing “customer feedback.” ” This was right after Bloomberg reported Verizon defending the fee.

Engadget has the press release from Verizon:

Verizon Wireless Will Not Institute Single Payment Fee

Verizon Wireless has decided it will not institute the fee for online or telephone single payments that was announced earlier this week.

The company made the decision in response to customer feedback about the plan, which was designed to improve the efficiency of those transactions. The company continues to encourage customers to take advantage of the numerous simple and convenient payment methods it provides.

“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,” said Dan Mead, president and chief executive officer of Verizon Wireless.

So … while it seems like this is now resolved, I am more cynical than that – Verizon WILL get that revenue … somehow. What do you think?

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