Verizon abandons $2 'convenience fee' after consumer backlash
Verizon Wireless announced on Friday, after one day of consumer backlash and interest from a federal regulator, that it has decided to scrap a $2 "convenience fee" for credit and debit payments made either online or by phone.
"At Verizon, we take great care to listen to our customers," said Dan Mead, Verizon Wireless' president and CEO, in a statement. "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 decision to not implement the controversial fee came down "in response to customer feedback about the plan, which was designed to improve the efficiency of those transactions," Verizon said in the statement.
The $2 fee was supposed to go into effect on Jan. 15 and be charged to customers each time they paid their bills with a credit or debit card -- unless that customer was enrolled in automatic bill-paying options that can charge credit and debit cards or withdraw money directly from bank accounts.
The decision also came after the Federal Communications Commission said on Friday that it would look into the charge as well as an online petition at the website Change.org that contended the fee was unnecessary.
When Verizon introduced the fee on Thursday, it said it was doing so to help cover the costs of processing fees taken from credit and debit payments by credit card companies.
-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Photo: A Verizon Wireless store in Portland, Ore. Credit: Don Ryan/Associated Press