We're used to getting nickled-and-dimed by our wireless carriers, but this is just getting ridiculous. Verizon confirmed to PhoneScoop today (update: and issued a press release - link below) that it's set to start charging a $2 "convenieince" fee for paying your bill come Jan. 15. With a few caveats, of course. Here's the breakdown:
You'll be charged the $2 if you:
- Pay with a credit or debit card online
- Pay with a credit or debit card via Verizon's call-in channels
Now that's not necessarily a complete stroke of evil by Verizon -- it wouldn't surprise us at all to learn that Verizon's getting charged more for those transactions by whichever service it uses. Passing the buck to the customer isn't new, but nor does it make it any easier to swallow.
The "good" news here is that there are ways to avoid that $2 fee. You can:
- Pay by electronic check
- Use auto-pay -- which allows you to pay via debit or credit card, or electronic check
- Direct bill pay via your bank
- In-store payments
- Verizon gift, rebate or rewards cards
- An old-school paper check mailed to Verizon
It's pretty clear that Verizon's looking to push people toward automatic bill payments. But we'd rather see Big Red use a carrot than a stick here. Perhaps discounts for using auto-pay instead of penalties for using completely reasonable and accepted payments might be a better way to go, especially given that Verizon is very much in the doghouse of late.