FCC

The FCC, who has surprisingly been all up in every carriers business as of late has now spoken about Verizon's $2 convenience fee that will go into effect as of January 15th.

“On behalf of American consumers, we’re concerned about Verizon’s actions and are looking into the matter,”

What, exactly that means in anyone's guess -- but given other carriers have been charging such things for years now, we'll just have to wait and see what they have to say about Verizon now starting it up. In the meantime, enjoy this soundbite.

Source: NYTimes

 

Reader comments

FCC concerned about Verizon’s $2 convenience fee, looking into the matter

36 Comments

"We're from the government and we're here to help", more often than not translates to "Where's our cut?".

What is wrong with the $5 savings? I'm perfectly fine with companies giving discounts for opting out of paper bills in favour of online, and setting up auto-pay/electronic payments instead of mailing payments in envelopes.

Verizon's new fee is dopey, and will lose customers.

The FCC should stay the hell out of it. The Free Market will work. Look for Big Red to reverse this decision within a week, like Bank of America did when their customers get through with them.

Government is always the problem...never the solution.

Yeah, life was a hell of a lot better in the 19th century before GOVERNMENT ruined the taste of food by demanding that companies really cut down on the rat feces and worker fingers in their products, then GOVERNMENT decided that 10-year-olds needed to be protected from working 70 hour weeks in disgusting factories (wusses!), and GOVERNMENT got all huffy and demanded that people's savings be protected if the bank went out of business...yeah, that all made things a lot worse. I HAVE THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO LIVE IN A MAD MAX MOVIE DAMMIT!!!1

yep,it will work it self out. There's plenty of ways to avoid this fee in the first place... so..... who cares.

This is either going to go nowhere or have rather sweeping repercussions. Here's why:

Currently, companies like Comcast charge you $5 if you pay your bill by calling in or $2 if you go into a service center. It's free if you pay online. What happens to all those "carrier convenience fees" if the FCC decides Verizon can't do the same?

...and that's just FCC regulated businesses. What happens when people who've suffered "convenience fees" for paying utilities get wind of this?

the fee for calling someone is fine... i have a problem with the fee when i pay online and have to pay a fee for vzw doing nothing.

Verizon isn't the first company to do this. But it really makes no sense! It seems like it takes them more personal and processing costs to handle analog payments (checks) than digital payments.

As well they should. It is an arbitrary, unnecessary fee. It creates no more or less drain on resources whether you pay online regular or autopay. It's an extremely mild form of extortionist style coercion, pushing people into a service that increases the likelihood that their bill could be drawn on insufficient funds incurring fees and interest. Wonder if Visa talked them into it in the first place.

Companies have been paying the credit card companies processing fees since the dawn of the plastic card so they can't pull that we get charged so we have to pass it off nonsense. The reason companies take cards in the first place is because most Americans have enough cash at all times to make small purchases or pay a bill and can easily use them to complete transactions fast and easy. If what companies are saying now is this is all annoying that there are these credit card transaction fees then lets all get rid of them and start writing checks and taking cash out again.

The point here is that the fcc is trying to make sure that companies don't keep trying to take advantage of the consumer, like the whole att-tmobile deal which was going to raise prices. The problem with this fee is that they are charging you for online payments which is ridiculous. Online your not talking or dealing with a human. On the phone and in the store your dealing with an actual human which verizon has to pay so in that sense I see the fee being charged. But the whole point of online transactions is to avoid paper waste and no human interaction which saves money. so already thats saving money. Verizon is just trying to see how far they can go. I'm glad the fcc is looking into it. Maybe other fees that companies charge may be looked at also. Us regular hourly workers need all the help we can get. I don't think the corporate idiots at verizon or for that matter any company care about the little consumer.

If this goes thru, go to your local Verizon store and pay with mixed change.

That should cost them more than $2.

Even banks are learning from Verizon's poor choice:

"Banks may get a better response from consumers if they bundle services under one fee, so that no single service seems overpriced, says Nicole Sturgill, a research director in the retail banking and cards practice at TowerGroup."

source: americanbanker.com/issues/176_252/expedited-bill-pay-convenience-fee-verizon-1045308-1.html

Even banks are learning from Verizon's poor choice:

"Banks may get a better response from consumers if they bundle services under one fee, so that no single service seems overpriced, says Nicole Sturgill, a research director in the retail banking and cards practice at TowerGroup."

source: americanbanker.com/issues/176_252/expedited-bill-pay-convenience-fee-verizon-1045308-1.html

Even banks are learning from Verizon's poor choice:

"Banks may get a better response from consumers if they bundle services under one fee, so that no single service seems overpriced, says Nicole Sturgill, a research director in the retail banking and cards practice at TowerGroup."

source: americanbanker.com/issues/176_252/expedited-bill-pay-convenience-fee-verizon-1045308-1.html

BreakingNews
Update: @CNNMoney reports Verizon Wireless said it will scrap proposed $2 fee for 1-time payments, citing 'customer feedback'

That was fast, was that even 24 hours?

There's also a convenience fee involved when I want to pay for a parking ticket online with my credit card. Can FCC also concerned about that?

The FCC is comprised of different Bureaus within the agency and one of those are The Bureau of Consumer and Government affairs. They develop and implement FCC consumer protection policies.

Consumer protection consists of laws and organizations designed to ensure the rights of consumers as well as fair trade competition and the free flow of truthful information in the marketplace. The laws are designed to prevent businesses that engage in fraud or specified unfair practices from gaining an advantage over competitors and may provide additional protection for the weak and those unable to take care of themselves. Consumer protection laws are a form of government regulation which aim to protect the rights of consumers. Consumer protection is linked to the idea of "consumer rights" (that consumers have various rights as consumers), and to the formation of consumer organizations, which help consumers make better choices in the marketplace and get help with consumer complaints.

This is no different than the gas companies charging more money for use of a credit card than cash. where was the outrage when that happened?

It seems to me that... and I am not sure of vw's books.... either they just suddenly realized that they have been missing out on this extra fee that all their friends are in on, or they are secretly in a bit of financial trouble and could use the extra $24 per year per customer.