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By Paul Barbagallo
Verizon Wireless has reversed its decision to charge a $2 “convenience fee” to customers who make one-time payments using credit or debit cards over the phone or online, bowing to pressure from customers, consumer groups, and the Federal Communications Commission.
Verizon made the decision late Dec. 30, less than two days after announcing the new fee, which was set to take effect Jan. 15.
After consumers railed against Verizon for the fee on internet message boards, the FCC had issued a statement saying it was “concerned”about the company's actions and planned to look into the matter.
The fee would have been charged to Verizon customers who pay individual monthly bills over the phone or on the internet, but not customers who pay with an electronic check or are enrolled in an automatic payment option.
“We take great care to listen to our customers,” said Dan Mead, president and CEO of Verizon Wireless, in a statement late Dec. 30. “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.”
The fee was meant to encourage consumers to pay their bills via other methods less costly to Verizon, such as autopay, where they give Verizon permission to charge their credit card or bank account automatically each month.
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