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Verizon

December 31st, 2011 at 07:30 am

So, I think I have been pretty clear that I do not do auto pay. I am way too much of a control freak about that. Too easy to think, "Well, the bills are paid, so whatever - I will look at them later." I think mostly it would drive me nuts to not have more control over payments being made. I set up the gym (a whopping $15/month) as auto pay and a couple of city utilities who would only let me pay by credit if it was automatic. But, that's about it. When it comes to bigger bills and giant corporations, I couldn't do it. I want to be able to choose not to pay a bill when I don't agree with it, etc. It is MUCH easier to dispute bills before you pay them - trust me. & I only allow regular payments to my credit card. More recourse when there is a disagreement - doesn't screw up my bank account if THEY make a mistake, either.

SO. I just saw this:

[url]http://www.mymoneyblog.com/verizon-wireless-2-payment-f...

"On December 29th, Verizon Wireless announced via official press release that “Starting January 15, a new $2 payment convenience fee will be instituted for customers who make single bill payments online or by telephone.”

A day later, on December 30th, after a barrage of consumer complaints and a possible FCC investigation, Verizon retracted their fee.

Sigh, Verizon. You do realize you’re charging us to pay you, right?"

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Where was I? I hadn't even heard all of this.

I have also said that I don't do business with big banks, giant corporations, big cable, etc., etc. BUT Verizon is the one shining example. They have always been affordable and pleasant and no issues in over 10 years.

*This* would be a horrible precedent. One I am not sure I could put up with. So I am relieved to see they changed their minds. OF course, as Mr. MyMoneyBlog said, they could certainly offer a discount to those who pay automatically or work it out in a more hidden way over time. But, that is the more PR thing to do. Any of that is certainly better than "pay us to pay us!" I mean, it didn't occur to them that people would be pissed about that?

ETA: I know better to take secondhand commentary as gospel. I do usually look at the source, but hadn't bothered in this case. Anyway, I just read the Verizon press release and it was a REALLY BADLY WORDED PR kind of thing that basically says they will charge a $2 convenience fee to customers who pay one-time with credit card. Um, from my experience this is very standard. To be clear, they are not charging people to pay by check, to pay by EFT, or to pay with online bill pay. Only with credit card. This is not how I read it, initially, so I am way less outraged! I've never had anyone pull a switcheroo like that, but whatever. Many many many businesses pass on the cost of credit card merchant fees to their customers. Those are the ones I don't use my credit cards with. Lord knows why they worded the press release in that manner - it does come across to charge every customer $2 to pay their bill, then lists all the exceptions (all-non-creditcard payments, and auto pay).

Of course, I do admit in an era where most businesses are dropping charge card fees, that this is pretty backwards. I had mentioned that as of 2011 the only holdouts seem to be the government and any mortgage company. Oh, and PG&E - who seems to be in the dark ages. I can't charge my mortgage, I can't pay the county utility (though all the city utilities are fine with no-fee credit payments), I can't charge payments made to the IRS or state or county without being charged a fee. & PG&E. & Verizon wants to be added to that very narrow list??? I suppose after thinking about it, it is still pretty stupid. But I am sure they will find a way to get that money back another way.

2 Responses to “Verizon”

  1. mjrube94 Says:

    MM, I have my checking account at Bank of America and I'll be moving it in the new year to a credit union. Back in the fall, BOA said they were going to charge customers who use their debit card, even once in a month. After there was much outrage, they changed their mind, but just the fact that they were considering it was enough to put me over the edge. It's amazing the things these companies dream up to separate customers from their money!

  2. PNW Mom Says:

    I saw the Verizon article in the paper this morning....these companies really must think people are stupid these days.....the article also said that companies also tend to put out this kind of bad news around the holiday season because they don't think people are paying attention.

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