Verizon scraps planned fee for card payments
Posted December 30, 2011
NEW YORK — After a customer backlash, Verizon Wireless is dropping a plan to start charging $2 for every payment subscribers make over the phone or online with their credit and debit cards.
In a statement on its website Friday, Verizon says "customer feedback" prompted the decision to drop the "convenience fee" it wanted to introduce on Jan. 15.
After the company announced the fee Thursday, websites lit up with criticism from coast to coast.
"I think it's really ridiculous that they want to charge more and more and more," said Lorraine Sedlock, a Verizon customer in the Triangle. "They are trying to get everybody to have a cellphone, and you know we don't have house phones any more, and they are just trying to make more money."
Verizon, the country's largest cellphone company, wanted to steer people to electronic check payments and automatic credit card payments.
A petition on Change.org against the fees had gathered more than 57,000 names on Friday afternoon, and the Federal Communications Commission said it planned to review the fee.
Scores of people commented on WRAL News' Facebook page about switching their service from Verizon to another carrier, although some noted that the company was simply passing along a cost of doing business.
"It's totally unfair," said Edna Ulsamer, a Verizon customer in the Triangle. "Everybody wants more, and people have less."
After word of Verizon's reversal spread, Facebook commenters praised the decision and the united front by customers that led to the fee's demise.