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Ear to the Ground

Verizon to Charge Customers for the Privilege of Paying Their Bills

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Posted on Dec 29, 2011
Robert Scoble (CC-BY)

Update: Verizon has responded to public outrage by canceling the outrageous fee described below. Original post follows.

Verizon Wireless has confirmed plans to charge a $2 “convenience fee” to customers who have the nerve to pay their bill with a credit card either online or over the phone.

The new fee goes into effect Jan. 15 and can be avoided by paying with other, less convenient, methods.

Verizon Wireless is the largest mobile network in the United States, with roughly one subscriber for every three Americans.  —PZS

Verizon press release via Engadget:

Customers Encouraged to Use Options to Avoid Single Payment Fee That Starts Jan. 15

Verizon Wireless offers customers numerous free and simple payment options and we encourage customers to use those options. Starting January 15, a new $2 payment convenience fee will be instituted for customers who make single bill payments online or by telephone. There are a couple of exceptions. See below. 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 who choose to make single bill payments in alternate payment channels (online, mobile, telephone). It is waived for those who pay by electronic check or enroll in AutoPay—we encourage customers to use those or other payment options that incur no fees. [See complete list below.] The telephone and online single payment fee, which takes effect January 15, will be disclosed up-front and throughout the transaction.

There are numerous payment options available to our customers where the fee is waived or where no fee applies. They include:

1. Electronic check online (My Verizon Online, My Verizon Mobile/Handset). Fee waived.

2. Electronic check via telephone. Fee waived.

3. Enrollment in AutoPay using credit/debit/ATM card or electronic check; fee does not apply

4. Online from the customer’s home-banking service provider website; fee does not apply.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. Paper check or money order mailed to the VZW remit address on customer’s bill; fee does not apply.

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By prosefights, December 31, 2011 at 5:13 pm Link to this comment

Forgot both of our Walmart $14.88 LG20G wall chargers on trip to Austin.

But brought car chargers.  Saved.

Senior citizens bill 74 and patty 71 [married 50 calendar years in 2012] charged their LG 420Gs this afternoon using wall wart.  Phone powered-off before charge.

When charge is complete two barely-audible beeps sound.  Verified on both phones.  Lifting the cover reveals charge complete message.  And admonishion to remove connector to save power.  LG 402Gs are green.

History.

Sprint cancelled son’s and our cell phone service on December 22, 2011.  We were on his plan.

We paid about $35-40/month for the service for about 15 years. Last phone was Motorola Razr.

We shopped about what to do for cell phone replacement.

We both wanted cell phones but not at about $79/month.

John at Walmart suggested $14.88 Tracfone solution. No contract.

bill bought one hour [double minutes. About $.15/minute] card for about $19.99 to evaluate phone.
Works great!  85 minutes remaining

bill bought patty phone but with 200 minutes card [450 acual minites. About $.09/minute]

Coverage on way to austin and back at least as good as Sprint and perhaps better.

Fry’s in austin visited to buy, after rebate, $9.95 Azus bluetooth dongle to download pictures from LG 420G over Bluetooth on a Toshiba L505DLS5007 which does not have built-in Bluetooth.  Works great.

Phone link.
http://www.prosefights.org/tracfone/tracfone.htm#austin

Educational trip link.
http://www.prosefights.org/fplwind/fplwind.htm

Wind and large-scale solar generation of electrity?

We continue to study problem.
 
Bill is going to try to get Bluetooth working with 8051 family forth.

http://www.prosefights.org/cs/c/c.htm

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By Art B, December 31, 2011 at 11:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So Verizon has rescinded this $2 fee.  Now they will simply fold that two dollar charge into their customers’ monthly bill some other, far less obvious, way.

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By BeReal, December 31, 2011 at 1:43 am Link to this comment

Well, looks like the Post Office will get a boost in business! And I’ve been considering giving up my land line (which only seems to get telemarketing calls anyhow) so ... one more push in that direction!

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By Norman, December 30, 2011 at 10:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Verizon has rescinded the fee, at least for now, saying that they heard their customers voice.

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By Ted, December 30, 2011 at 6:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Will never buy anything from Verizon.  Never.  Verizon, can you hear me now?

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By prosefights, December 30, 2011 at 6:48 pm Link to this comment

‘I love the way these companies operate. First, they offer and insist that you use their “convenient” ways of doing business with them. Later on, they start charging you additional fees for it. ‘

Shop around, especially at Walmart which may represent most of the cell phone providers?

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By MeHere, December 30, 2011 at 6:44 pm Link to this comment

I love the way these companies operate. First, they offer and insist that you use their “convenient” ways of doing business with them. Later on, they start charging you additional fees for it.

When it comes down to it, the only power we have against the abuse perpetrated
by big business is consumer power -however limited that may be. We cannot rely
on decent legislation since we cannot bribe legislators the way they do.  I
personally don’t let big business get away with anything and, often times, this has
worked well for me in having charges removed or service improved.

This abuse by business has also turned me into a very reluctant consumer. Regardless of how affordable a product may be, I will not buy it unless there is some quality to it and it fulfills a real need. More people need to practice this approach. Money is the only language they understand.  We’re all aware that they need money to run their business but, when a company is profitable enough, spends a lot in lobbies and not enough in taxes, and all they seek is to continually maximize their profits by taking the very last penny consumers have, that’s robbery.

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By prosefights, December 30, 2011 at 6:11 pm Link to this comment

Sprint cancelled corporate plan on December 22, 2011.

We were forced forced to find new service.

We wanted two phones ... but not for about $79/month.

Walmart employee John looks have solved problem with tracfone?

http://www.prosefights.org/tracfone/tracfone.htm

And we are introduced to Bluetooth pic file transfer.

http://www.prosefights.org/cs/c/c.htm

We’re going to do Bluetooth rather than USB in lecure series.

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By Vermonta, December 30, 2011 at 6:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Read the statement. Those who pay by mail (supporting the US Postal Service and keeping a real person employed opening envelopes and recording payments) would pay no fee. Why support the credit card companies?

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By Norman, December 30, 2011 at 5:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Time to do the T.B.T.F. phone[y] companies the same as Go-Daddy has been by those who believe in the peoples rights. Change phone carriers, regardless of what they do or say. Remember, they will throw you under the bus as well as take your money.

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A Bird in the Hand's avatar

By A Bird in the Hand, December 30, 2011 at 3:35 pm Link to this comment

These guys are taking the repubicrat approach to extortion..

Excellent comment NABNYC!

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By NABNYC, December 30, 2011 at 3:24 pm Link to this comment

The corporations want to end the government-run post office, privatize the system, and charge everyone $5.00 if you want to send anything through the mail.  Part of the reason is to force consumers to give businesses the right to grab money directly out of your bank account to pay the bills.  This $2.00 fee by Verizon is typical:  either pay online all the time, give them authority to take money directly from your account, or they will ding you to death with late fees on bills which are always due a few days before most people get paid—like on the 12th or the 25th of the month.  They know people will wait till their paycheck clears before writing out bills, will often miss the deadlines, and get dinged with absurd late fees.  You ever wonder why there is a late charge?  Do you really think they have to hire a special employee to come in to process your payment because it’s a few days late.

Blue Cross in California charges $2.00 if you want a paper bill.  Same thing.  We’re just being pecked to death by these businesses, yet people who call themselves liberals are gooing and gushing all over Obama, how wonderful he is, how cute, because we’ve entered yet another election season and all reason goes out the door, the groupie mentality takes over and people forget that they are working people and citizens, not cheerleaders.

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