In what’s turning out to be a great day for consumer causes, Verizon will drop its proposed $2 convenience fee for paying your bill online or over the phone. Yesterday an internal memo surfaced revealing the nation’s largest carrier planned instituting the new payment policy this January.
The changes were supposed to encourage customers to pay via electronic check or AutoPay, but Verizon’s subscribers had other plans. Users took to Twitter, Facebook, and Change.org to attack the plan. As a result of the immediate and furious lashing the company took, the fee has been pulled.
“Verizon Wireless has decided it will not institute the fee for online or telephone single payments that was announced earlier this week,” the company’s press release reads. “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.”
By acting quickly Verizon likely missed having a GoDaddy-sized boycott on its hands, as well as a possible FCC investigation—and once again we have the Internet to thank for giving control to consumers. Bank of America was put into a similar position (with a similar outcome: backpedaling) earlier this month when it attempted to charge users a $5 monthly fee to use their debit cards.
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