We covered Verizon’s nationwide data network outage just yesterday, now it looks like Verizon is going to give its customers another reason to be mad at them: the folks over at Droid-Life have gotten their hands on snapshots showing off certain internal Verizon documents stating that it will be implementing a new “convenience fee” in the near future. According to the documents, Verizon would be charging customers an additional $2 if they pay their bills over the phone or online. The measure will be in effect on January 15, 2012. Talk about holiday presents, as a Verizon customer, you might expect some compensation for 12 hours of your data network outage, but you get this instead.
For those interested, this “convenience” fee” could also be avoided by the following means:
- Electronic check online (My Verizon Online, My Verizon Mobile/Handset). Fee waived.
- Electronic check via telephone. Fee waived.
- Enrollment in AutoPay using credit/debit/ATM card or electronic check; fee does not apply
- Online from the customer’s home-banking service provider website; fee does not apply.
- 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.
- 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
- Paper check or money order mailed to the VZW remit address on customer’s bill; fee does not apply.
As to why the carrier is pulling such a move, the official reason is unclear. Many reviewers believe Verizon wants their customers to pay for growing pains (and outages) of its network. Sure, these tricks listed above all constitute inconvenient ways to get around this convenience fee. You can either head down to the closest Verizon store to pay your bills by hand, or you can set up auto-pay by electronic checks (ACH) for your account if you’d like to avoid this $2 fee. And while it doesn’t seem like a lot of money, nobody wants to incur any unnecessary fees in their monthly expenses, especially with wireless bills are already full of additional “fees and taxes”.
Then, there’s always a radical method of saving on that “convenience fee” available; drop Verizon altogether. It’s not to say that other carriers are lesser evil, but shopping around will never hurt.
[Update: Verizon has dropped the convenience fee after much consumer outcry. The official announcement was issued yesterday.
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.