Tags: verizon | cancel | fee | outrage

Verizon Wireless Cancels $2 ‘Convenience Fee’ After Backlash

Friday, 30 Dec 2011 04:53 PM

Verizon Wireless, the largest U.S. mobile carrier, canceled a planned $2 “convenience fee” for online and phone bill payments after a backlash from consumers and scrutiny from the Federal Communications Commission.

The company made the decision in response to customer feedback, according to a statement today on the carrier’s website. The company yesterday said it planned to impose the fee on users who make single bill payments on a month-to-month basis online or by phone.

Customers began criticizing Verizon Wireless on Twitter and online-discussion forums yesterday after the Basking Ridge, New Jersey-based company disclosed the fee, with some setting up online petitions and calling for consumers to boycott the carrier. The FCC today said it was “concerned” about the plan and that it would investigate.

“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,” Dan Mead, chief executive officer of Verizon Wireless, said in the company’s statement.

Verizon Wireless said earlier it would add the fee to address costs it incurs for processing the single payments. The charge wouldn’t have applied to customers who enroll in automatic payment plans, use electronic checks, pay at a Verizon Wireless store, send in checks or pay through their online banking website.

Verizon Communications Inc., which co-owns the wireless business with Vodafone Group Plc, rose 0.3 percent to $40.18 at 3:37 p.m. New York time. The stock had advanced 12 percent this year before today.

Boosting Earnings

Last month, a consumer backlash led to Bank of America Corp. canceling a $5-per-month fee for debit card users.

Verizon Wireless is driving up profit at parent Verizon Communications as it gains users for Apple Inc.’s iPhone and Google Inc. Android devices, which let users browse the Web, watch video and stream music. Third-quarter net income at New York-based Verizon Communications doubled to $1.38 billion from $659 million a year earlier.


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Verizon Wireless, the largest U.S. mobile carrier, canceled a planned $2 convenience fee for online and phone bill payments after a backlash from consumers and scrutiny from the Federal Communications Commission.The company made the decision in response to customer...
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