Verizon Kills $2 Fee Plan After Customer Backlash, FCC Review

Verizon Wireless has decided to kill its plan for a $2 “convenience fee” on one-time bill payments made online or over the telephone – a day after word spread and customers vented their anger on the company’s Facebook page.
The sudden pullback also came after the Federal Communications Commission, the U.S regulator over the telecommunications industry, said today it is reviewing Verizon’s now-rescinded $2 fee.
“The company made the decision in response to customer feedback about the plan, which was designed to improve the efficiency of those transactions,” Verizon said in a statement on its website. “The company continues to encourage customers to take advantage of the numerous simple and convenient payment methods it provides.”
The announced plan and reversal are reminiscent of the doomed $5 debit card fee by Bank of America three months ago, which also caused a public furor and a national consumer revolt that spread to include other big banks with similar plans.
It was unclear how many customers would have been effected by the $2 fee for one-time bill payment using a credit or debit card online or over the phone. Those customers who agreed to regular automatic debits or those paying with paper checks over the mail would not have been affected.
“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.

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