National News

Verizon scraps planned fee for card payments

Posted December 30, 2011

— 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.

Verizon Wireless store sign Public pressure forces Verizon to back off planned fee

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.

42 Comments

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  • babscash Dec 30, 2011

    All we have to do is complain and they drop the charges....that's what the PEOPLE are for....the system can work as long as we have legit concerns and express them.

  • esteryates69 Dec 30, 2011

    They all charge to much all ready.I do not plan to renew my plan when it expires.

  • TheAdmiral Dec 30, 2011

    The cost of doing business is just that. Verizon knows and understands that they have to absorb Credit Card Fees and they can not charge for them.

    What will happen is that that $2 will be moved to some other line, and then another raise will come through. And it will be because of the same thing.

    The point here is that Verizon makes BILLIONS. They do not need to raise the rates.

    Now, being a small business person, I can tell you that if my fees go up - those get passed on to the consumer. Plain and simply - I am in business for my customers - not the people who gouge me. So I take my meager profit (not even on average 5%) and pass on the 21 or 22% to the card companies.

  • westernwake1 Dec 30, 2011

    There are a number of articles on the web about the FCC's involvement in this issue which caused Verizon to quickly discard the idea of charging this abusive $2 fee. Here is one of them.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/fcc-concerned-about-verizon-fee-and-is-looking-into-the-matter/2011/12/30/gIQAfatuQP_story.html

    Sorry for the long url. As a Verizon customer it is time to thank the FCC.

  • westernwake1 Dec 30, 2011

    "And no, I don't think that Verizon was "going to rip people off" by wanting to charge $2 for a credit card transcation." - TomLynda

    Let's just assume that it was acceptable for Verizon to charge the customer the merchant credit card fees that Verizon must pay (it's not but let's just say). From earlier regulatory filings the average monthly cell phone customer bill was just over $98. The credit card fees to a large company like Verizon were ten cents plus 1.01%. Giving fees of $1.09 total on average per customer for credit card processing.

    If it costs Verizon $1.09 on average to process a credit card bill then why is it reasonable to charge customers $2.00?

    Is the additional 91 cents just a rip-off charge that customers should bear.

    Can you hear me now!

  • TomLynda Dec 30, 2011

    This is fun guys. Using our freedom of speech, but I have things to do, so I'm signing off.

    Some good point by the various posts.

  • westernwake1 Dec 30, 2011

    "Capitalism. It's a beautiful thing." - RKBA

    Written contracts. They are a beautiful thing.

    In this case it is why Verizon had to back down quickly. The FCC told them that this is a regulatory issue.

  • TomLynda Dec 30, 2011

    zenithcadet1:

    I don't have a 4G phone either. Don't need it. Wish my bill was as low as yours. And no, I don't have money buring a hole in my pocket. Far from it. I'm supposed to be retired, and on a fixed income, so it's hard for me also. I commend you for being an older college student. You will succeed, just hang in their. I have lived on peanut butter too in days gone by. Hope you get your degree and succeed.

  • soyousay Dec 30, 2011

    You missed the big print...they would charge you monthly..automatically without that annoying customer backtalk...any amout they wanted...then you try to get through to them to correct it

  • TomLynda Dec 30, 2011

    "force congress to make them stop the 2 year contract"

    Just what we need. More government involvment in private enterprise. The 2 year contract helps one to get the new phones at a very low price.

    I'd rather let the different companies set their own rates, etc. Then we have lots to choose from, and we don't have the government putting it's nose where it doesn't belong. If we don't like one particular company, simple, go to another one. I compare before I buy anything.

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