Verizon fee

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.

Source: PhoneScoop; Verizon Wireless

 
There are 110 comments

Dripz167 says:

... really VZW?

svargas05 says:

Here at VZW we pride ourselves for getting what you pay for.

Sooooo....in order to pretend that you're getting awesome and unbeatable service, we're adding little fees here and there.

glennsardone says:

New 2 dollar online payment charge is terrible. It is actually less expensive for them to take the payments online. In store seems to be the most costly requiring an actual store and employees. I run an online business and it takes much less time to process online payments than ones taken in person or mail payments.

droid4more says:

This was dropped by VZW and will not happen so no worries

atlas9171 says:

This is just stupid

crxssi says:

Using autopay is extremely dangerous. You are giving a company blanket permission and ability to take any amount of money DIRECTLY out of your account, anytime they like, with no notification.

I would STRONGLY recommend people SERIOUSLY think about it before allowing such an arrangement.

HAAS599 says:

This

I had my car payment on auto pay until it was double charged and caused an overdraft. Fees and credit issues insued.

milesmcever says:

If you do decide to autopay just make sure you do it right NEVER I REPEAT NEVER use your primary checking account to do autopay. Create a second checking account and have it come from there for the main reason if you run into any problem like CRXSSI is warning about you can close that part and not screw up your bank account. Just a tip that can save you and your bank lots of time.

mharr says:

Or, just autopay to credit card like Amex. You can contest any erroneous charges (usually removed immediately until mediated) and, as a bonus, earn points.

Adamd1169 says:

interestingly enough the way credit cards pay for points is by charging companies to accept credit cards as forms of payment. And that is part of why Verizon is passing the charge on to us. I just find it amusing that we perpetuate the problem while at the same time complaining about it.

crxssi says:

That is not what they mean by "autopay" (using a credit card). Their definition of autopay is straight to your bank account.

ScottJ says:

No. Autopay simply means automatic payment in many forms.

Ardrid says:

I think you're being a tad bit hyperbolic. Auto-payment arrangements don't give companies the ability to debit your account at anytime for any reason. The terms of auto-payment are very specific as to when and what a company can debit. Anything in violation of that agreement is considered unauthorized and should be flagged as such by your bank.

That said, there is nothing scary or dangerous about auto-payment. Just use a bit of common sense and proactively monitor your accounts like you would do if you were writing a paper check. I've been doing it for nearly a decade and never once have I had an issue.

Auto-payment arrangement DO give companies access to pull money from your account. What you're trusting is that those companies will remove they money correctly and on-time, something that I have been personally burned badly on.

It was actually T-Mobile, years ago that was offering this and I did it, the $120 family plan bill turned into a $1200 nightmare that took months to resolve.

So, YES, there is something dangerous about auto-payment. Monitoring your accounts will only see the incorrect transaction after it occurs. Much safer to get online and pay your bills electronically.

And considering that Verizon in this case is taking electronic transfers from various bank accounts and NOT charging a fee, why is a voluntary electronic payment suddenly costing $2? Doesn't make sense.

dorelse says:

Auto-payment arrangements absolutely give companies carte blanche access to your accounts.

Read the fine print, just because you haven't been burned, doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

If their computer system says, take $1000.00 from Joe's Checking account...it does. There's no safeguards to say, 'Oh, Joe's contract is for $100.00 a month, we can only withdraw that much.' If the computer system reads $1000.00 is owed...that's what it takes.

And...while you're reading the fine print...who's responsible for any overdraft fees? Or money transfer fees your bank imposes on you to cover their mistaken withdrawn amount? You! Plus lost interest, and the time & effort it takes to get that money back.

Just b/c you haven't had an issue...doesn't mean you're protected...you've just been fortunate.

You really need to read the fine print, its naive to think the terms written by their lawyers, are there to protect you!

crxssi says:

Sorry, Ardrid, but you are wrong. Auto-pay arrangements certainly do give the company the ability to take any amount of money from your account, at any time. You need to read the fine print that is in those agreements. There is no methodology for the bank to magically restrict how much money, when, or how often.

Cyrilmak says:

I agree 110 percent. Verizon will no longer be getting my money after July 2012. Sprint on the other hand will see a return of an old customer.

milesmcever says:

This is normal I had to pay 3.95 each to pay my Gas bill, my power bill, and my UVerse bill(AT&T PEOPLE), since I'm out of checks and had to use my debit/credit card.

this is America? land of the fee

rj160202 says:

I hear Russia and North Korea are taking citizenship applications. Maybe you want to apply if America is charging you too much?

ScottJ says:

Your jingoistic rhetoric needs updating. Russia is now capitalist and relatively free. Just swap Russia out with Iran or another closed society and your nonsensical rantings will at least not be as outdated.

shhon75 says:

I like that... Do mind if I use it?

do what you want.. because in my america, you can use proprietary things to improve the world without getting sued. so please use whatever.. I'm not like the others lol

Cyrilmak says:

Actually the Canadians still have it far worse. 3 to 4 year contracts and data prices that make Verizon's look cheap.

hmmm says:

Just pay each month using your checking account and it costs nothing and doesn't give them permission to take money directly without your knowledge.

brown3h says:

Couldn't this be used to get out of your VZ contract early? Without an ETF? Passing additional fees on to the customer is a violation of your original contract.

ScottColbert says:

No, because it's not a mandatory fee, there are ways around it.

brown3h says:

Booooo!

lherch says:

What if you've been banned from both local stores for "swapping" phone too often? I'm a phone junkie and I was purchasing new phones at full price from my local stores and if I didn't like them, I sold them on Craigslist, most I've kept. My money, my choice or so I thought until I was told that I was no longer allowed in either store and would have to use the internet or phone to purchase any more phones.

If I'm banned from the only local stores around here, and can't continue to pay online without a fee, isn't that a violation of my contract?

brown3h says:

If you're paying full price for the phones, why in the world would they ban you? That's bizarre. It's not like you were buying all of their stock of phones. If you were, I could understand refusing to give you said phones, but I wouldn't ban you from the store. You would be a loyal customer at that point.

You would need to contact Verizon about your specific scenario, but I believe you *can* pay with your checking account (this is different than debit) online without any fee. This $2 fee is a credit/debit card fee. Whomever VZ uses for CC payments is now charging them more money to process these payments. Instead of sucking it up and paying it, they're passing that fee onto the customer.

EDIT: I just re-read the actual memo. You can still use your credit/debit card for payment without a fee if you sign up for *Auto-Payment*

Phones purchased at full retail screw up the sales associate's ARPU (average revenue per upgrade) and their commission. It's quite common for stores to (usually politely) ask customers who want to purchase at full retail to do so online for this very reason.

As for being banned I am not sure they can do that for just buying devices full retail. They an refuse to sell to you but prevent you from coming into the store, playing with the demo models, or paying your bill I dont think such a ban would stick.

That being said you an still pay online with a cheeking account electronic check.

Sprint had done something similar to me a few years back.

They introduced their new "Spending Limit" charge of $4.99 per month to my account, which was after my contract started. I called and complained & after the 3rd call, was told I could port my number out & the ETF would be waived, which they charged, then credited.

But, I am not sure if this applies in this scenario. I'm sure Verizon has lawyers to keep loopholes similar to that from being found.

androiphone says:

eh so just pay by direct debit?

in the UK (and I assume all of Europe) you get charged £5 a month for paying by any way apart from direct debit.

looks like for once (and I mean once) the US has it better off, of course we get far better tariffs and a far better prices, but you get more ways to pay without a fee.

Saiyajin says:

Maybe to cover the extra costs of continually repairing the most reliable LTE network?

joewyno says:

How much can I get back for the 4g LTE service going down weekly? Thank you Verizon for ruining my birthday!!!!!

ScottColbert says:

Heh, first world problems. If that ruined your birthday, you have issues.

Unibrow says:

his issue is VZ ruining his birthday, also you get bonus points for coining the phrase "first world problems."

ScottJ says:

I know. Every complaint that isn't "I'm hungry", "Can someone do something about these flies?", "Can you please stop oppressing me?", and "Too much malaria" is a so-called "first-world problem". So what? The rich guys at the top that suck up all of our dough are even further removed from the hard-scrabble existence of the majority of humanity across the globe.

osutuba says:

Actually, MC Frontalot has a song called "First World Problems", so give credit where credit is due.

Just a Guy says:

Auto pay is nice, but I had something happen similar to a previous post. Bank of America took my house payment out twice and caused me and my wife to over draft and then said it would take up to SEVEN days to return the extra payment! I couldn't believe they could take the money out that quick, but then take days to return it.

My question about this though would be does the $2 apply if you pay through the My Verizon app?

nemov says:

I really dislike Verizon, but my guess is this has to do with the Dodd-Frank Act. When in doubt blame the stupid goverment. The banks are looking for ways to make up for lost revenue. This is perfect. No one will blame the banks.

khelek says:

This.

The law of unintended consequences. Just like banks starting to charge for having a debit card, you'll see more and more of this because the government has decided it's unfair for banks/credit card companies to make money. So to keep share holders happy, banks/CC companies have to find other ways to make up for lost profit, passing it on to other companies or, in the case of banks, customers directly. And, in this case, VZW is passing it on to us.

Thank you for posting what I wanted to, nemov.

ScottJ says:

That.

It couldn't be greed. Never.

ScottJ says:

"When in doubt blame the stupid goverment."

No. When in doubt, stupid people blame the government.

lilzone says:

The carrier I work for will charge $3 dollars if you come into the store and pay, and $5 to make payment over the phone with a rep. Only way out of a fee is to pay online.

And while you maybe talking about Sprint, I feel you're talking more about T-Mobile.

Seems T-Mobile might be trying to make up for not charging as much as the other 3 carriers.

I am not a fan of T-Mobile anymore after they screwed me over doing a payment arrangement and they said to do a payment arrangement, they must have my checking account information to do direct debit. Worst mistake I ever made. Like giving them a blank cheque! They charged me twice on the same day, then overcharged me on the final payment, causing an overdraft, and they never even apologized for either of their blunders, nor did they credit $35. for the NSF fees they caused by overcharging by $200., and I almost never go in the red.

Lesson learned, never give a company your checking details (unless it is a 1-time payment through the automated system) bc it really is a blank cheque for them.

crxssi says:

You just described "Autopay", which is why I keep warning people it is VERY DANGEROUS.

They have some balls for putting this out there with all the outages lately.

They should really consider fixing whats broken instead of charing us for what is not broken.

VDub2174 says:

"Hey, we know that you can't use 4G right now but we wanted to let you know that we're gonna charge you for paying your bill over the phone or by CC online."

TvTechGuru says:

Haha glad I just left Verizon then! That's dumb. I used to pay my bill with them through the My Verizon app using my debit card too. It was convenient. But I'll be darned if I would pay $2 to do that.

Edwill86 says:

This is nothing new. want to pay your car loan payment online..guess what $3 fee. want to pay your parking ticket online...$2 fee
vzw is just showing its hand. they could have just as easily added the $2 to its "Monthly fees" section and no one would be the wiser.

inc2fit says:

Are you telling me that fee wasnt already built into pricing?
So maybe using the bathroom at restaurants should be charged.
What about cup fees when you buy a cup of coffee?

I own a gym. Ill start charging cleaning fees.

Its all nonsense. They know it, we know it... But they also know no one will jump ship and pay 350 termination fees either. SCAMMING...

svargas05 says:

Funny random fact:

In France, some public restrooms you must pay to use!!!!

It's a cold world out there, folks. Wear a jacket!

I agree with you though, F'ing ridiculous!

This is complete BS. I hope there is a revolt like what occured with the big banks jacking up checking account fees etc. Occupy Big Red.

nickacs says:

I'd like to occupy your Mom. It costs $2 too, but hey, she's good! LMAO maricon

shhon75 says:

I was considering switching to Verizon, but this type of nickel and diming keeps my away. This fee reminds me of Bank of America debit card usage fee. Shameful… People we need to fight these types fees!!

Viper says:

THANK YOU PHIL for accurately reporting this. The MORONS at Phandroid just said that you will get charged the fee if you pay by phone or online no matter what method you use. Caused quite a ruckus over there.

We do try. :) (And thanks yourself.)

JtothaR says:

Hey Phil, you guys need to grow a pair and stop "Queueing my comments for moderation". It's a real puss move. I'm not even saying anything that provocative.

VDub2174 says:

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that you call one of the people that run the site a puss.

carter17 says:

I think people are going a lil crazy I was going to switch to Verizon, but not now they charge 2 dollars to pay ur bill. Come on people its 2 dollars. Not that I agree with charging the money but still its not that crazy I have to pay 6 dollars to pay my car payment

dmchenry35 says:

And so you think its okay to have to pay, to pay your bill then? Just because you're accepting the $6 monthly shaft on your car payment, doesn't mean those of us who enjoy paying online with safe and secure methods should be charged $2 a month (which works out to $48 over your contract).

Really people who justify one evil using another evil should just move to North Korea or Mexico. This isn't how shit should be and you know it.

guruffl says:

!!!!PIGS!!!!

How nice of Verizon to do this after yet another outage with their most unreliable network.

Kmcferrin says:

Doesn't affect me since I pay electronically via my bank's online bill payment system (NOT via autopay). But if you want to send them a little protest, everyone should stop paying through the highly efficient and cost-effective electronic means and just start sending in handwritten checks. Even with MICR and automated check processing systems, it still costs a fortune to process stacks of paper checks as opposed to eletronic payments.

mupi says:

You know this brings up an VERY interesting point.

Someone mentioned a few posts back about "unintended consequences" of the Dodd-Frank bill. Maybe this isn't so much an unintended consequence as we would like to think.

Who would benefit the most if people start writing (and mailing...) paper checks each month to avoid debit/credit card surcharges?

That's right, the good old US Post Office. I read somewhere not too long ago that the volume of mail has dropped to something like 25% of what it was 10 years ago, due primarily to online/paperless statements and then online payments.

Back when debit cards were really just taking off, it wasn't at all uncommon to get charged for using a debit card, even at the grocery store. Once people realized the convenience factor, and they really began to catch on, that trend went away. Everyone wins, except the post office. But if we force the banks to charge more for the service, we can drive people back to mailing payments to the post office.

Maybe I'm being too tin-foil-hat.

TBolt says:

Ridiculous.

o4liberty says:

More fees in a bad economy! They will probably use the fee for their new 4G service that is down once a week LMAO!

chubb says:

Years ago with t-mobile it was 5 dollars to pay over the phone.
Free online. I just auto pay with my ING account. They notify me by email everytime an external withdrawl is taken havent had a problem with verizon so far.
Forgot to add that T-Mo charged 5 bucks a month extra if I wasnt signed up for auto pay.

VZW's new motto: "We're not happy until you're not happy."

adude007 says:

I sent an email to Visa asking about this. I got the following response:

Check Out Fees (Surcharges)
In general, Visa merchants in the U.S. are not permitted to pass on the merchant's transaction fee to the cardholder as a Visa "service charge," "service fee," or surcharge," even on sale items. A merchant may offer a discount for cash, check, and, effective July 21, 2010, debit, credit or prepaid. However, the cardholder must be made aware of this prior to entering into the transaction.

Please notify the disputes area of the financial institution that issued your card of any merchant practices that you feel are inappropriate. Your card issuing bank has access to the appropriate Visa rules and regulations as well as to the Visa complaint forms, which should be used by your bank to document and file merchant complaints. It is not necessary for your bank to be the offending merchant's financial institution in order to file a complaint for you.

As an alternative, to report merchant practices that you feel are inappropriate, you may wish to contact the Visa Global Customer Care Services at 1-800-VISA-911 (1-800-847-2911) or go to our website at www.visa.com. When calling, please advise the representative that you were referred to file a complaint. The staff will be able to initiate a complaint form over the phone.

twolanebt says:

THANX!

Astrodroid says:

OK so I'll send you a paper check that you have to pay people salary and benefits to sort and open and feed into the check scanner. Sounds awesome and very 2012.

TBolt says:

I guess now I have a reason to try out the free online bill pay feature on my checking accounts. I just hope this article is right - that those forms of payment are still penalty-free.

p51d007 says:

All Verizon users should pick a month, and MAIL their bills on the same day. When the log jam of bills come in, plus, the delay in the check processing to clear, Verizon might change their tune.

cowboys2000 says:

Most large companies process checks electronically. Thus the days of "float" are pretty much over. Refer to Check 21 Law that started back in October 2005.

ScottJ says:

My guess is that it's still more money to process a check than an electronic transaction.

cowboys2000 says:

Sprint charges a monthly fee for customers With Account Spending Limits. I have been a customer for over 6 years with a limit of $1,000 a month. We only have 3 lines on the family account. I have been current the entire time. About 18 months ago, they stared charging a $4.99 monthly "fee" for not having auto bill pay. With their history of incorrect bills and at least 1 of my lines getting slammed with charges at least once a year, I have not signed up for auto pay.

My point is, all carriers charge some pretty bogus fees to increase your bill. Read your bill people!!!

Unibrow says:

I have sprint and a family plan and I do NOT have auto pay nor have I ever seen this mysterious charge.

dorelse says:

Me either.

crxssi says:

He said accounts with SPENDING LIMITS (inotherwords, accounts for people who have poor/no credit).

I have never seen any fees like this from Sprint, either.... but I don't have a limited account.

tronthedon says:

This is correct.

Although, I still have a laugh at the retarded logic behind it. Yes, let's charge the people who have trouble paying their bills even more. That way, they will always pay us!

VDub2174 says:

I had an account spending limitfor only the first year I was with Sprint. After that year, they took me off that program. That's how I thought it worked.

ticktekk says:

I find it interesting that Bank of America wanted to charge for debit card use because the government put a limit on what they could charge companies like Big(put you in the)Red for accepting debit cards, and now that the vendors are protected from larger fees this one wants to charge us for using our card to pay them. Smacks of greed, collusion and laughing all the way to the bank if IMO.

ticktekk says:

I find it interesting that Bank of America wanted to charge for debit card use because the government put a limit on what they could charge companies like Big(put you in the)Red for accepting debit cards, and now that the vendors are protected from larger fees this one wants to charge us for using our card to pay them. Smacks of greed, collusion and laughing all the way to the bank IMO.

gilligan156 says:

You get a notification several days before auto pay goes through for you to review for problems. Ive always used auto pay and ive never felt at risk or had any problems.

Hand_O_Death says:

This is nothing, I have the Mrs. car bill on AutoPay now because it was $15 for paying online or over the phone. $15!!!!!!! (Damn Citizens Bank)

Driven says:

I really would not mind being on auto pay at all IF....Verizon wasn't horrible with their billing. Being back to one line, not a single problem, having two lines it was literally messed up more than it was right. I'd like an option that it only auto-pay a set amount(what the bill usually is) in case of errors I'm not getting auto-withdrawn for $220 or something stupid....

crxssi says:

Autopay is a huge and unnecessary risk. Especially for any type of billing that varies from month to month.

myalover says:

There's no doubt in my mind that this has something to do with the debit card interchange laws that recently went into effect. The government has set limits on what the merchant services side of the transaction can charge to the merchant. This causes a chain reaction of fees the customers end up paying.

The bank can no longer charge the normal fee for processing your CC payment, so they increase the other fees to their business customer (Verizon) to replace some of that non-interest income. Verizon starts seeing their cost go up in another way, so they need to replace that fee income in another way (a charge to make your payment).

Throw in the savings of getting customers to switch to autobill (Probably more than $2 a month) and they now have not only replaced their fee income that was lost, but they'll likely increase it.

It's a sad story all the way around, and we all end up paying.

ScottJ says:

Nah. It's most likely just greed. It's the American way.

Dhamp2g says:

I dont miss VZW one little bit.

AlexVGMI says:

Can someone clear up if you are hit with the $2 if you pay via the Verizon App? Doesn't seem to be explained as it is paying via phone, but not a phone call. I would figure it is a form of direct payment, but it's using data so that could mean on-line?

Paying with the My Verizon app is the same as paying online, as is going into the store and using their littler My Verizon express panel. The point here is not HOW you pay the bill but rather that you are doing it via credit/debit card. Do it via eChek (as I usually do) and you will be fine).

EDIT: Scratch that I read the actual Verizon press release and the express panel in store will also allow you to do it via credit/debit card without being charged.

mrbizzy72 says:

Verizon is on a roll... They've mastered the art of making their customers appreciate getting screwed.

Stamp .44

icu says:

BREAKCLUSIVE! The cell carriers are massive tools.

They are the blonde rich guys from 80s teen movies. Phones want to be WITH them and users want to drown them in a bucket of Icy Hot.

sURFNmADNESS says:

Going to enjoy stopping at VZB each month just so I can pay my bill then. Nothing like taking my time at the window to keep another person from signing up. Think I will take my time each time too.

bontjes says:

It just doesn't seem right to charge you..to pay your bill. It's too bad that all Verizon customers can't band together and go in on roughly the same day to pay our bill in the store. Could you imagine if every store had hundreds of customers an hour just to pay their bill? I bet they wouldn't like that! They wouldn't get anything done!

captmeach7 says:

I would rather pay 2 bucks to verizon each bill than the 5 bucks Sprint charges me a month to not have autopay set up. But that's my only real issue until my contract is up, then i'll complain about the 10 bucks extra for so called premium data.

natew says:

I'm going back to using the good ol US Postal Service. $.44 to mail a check that Verizon is going to have to pay someone to process.

dcreed says:

I guess I'll find my checkbook and mail 'em a check. Or walk into the store I drive by and make 'em take a check.

dcreed says:

Come to think of it, I'll stop in the Verizon store and pay my bill with dimes.

twolanebt says:

I have a penny jar. Do you think they'll mind counting them???

osutuba says:

All I can say is thank goodness I'm not with Big Red.

RustyU says:

Payment by variable direct debit is par for the course in the UK, and often you get a discount for doing so (read: they charge for other options).

It's really not evil, and the DD guarantee safeguards you from cock-ups.

I had no idea the US didn't already have this.

djstnick says:

I'll avoid the 2 dollar surcharge by using autopay, and not voting for politicians that support legislation that make it more expensive for companies/banks to do business due to increased oversight/regulations.

rsjrny says:

I really do not see a problem with this. There are MANY options available to pay the bill without being charged the fee.

Since the credit companies are charging more for their processing fees is Verizon just suppose to cover it for you? I think not.

twolanebt says:

That is called the price of doing business. EVERY other business in this great country accepts credit cards without a fee. It is greed - plain & simple.

twolanebt says:

Here is how to charge Verizon $2.00 to process your payment:

Mail your payment. The 50 cents for a stamp and an envelope saves you $1.50 The time and effort will cost Verizon about the same.

OR better yet Mail in a MONEY ORDER. Just to make it more difficult and make them re-think their greed.

Last but not least use a money order from your local "Quickie Mart". These are a business's nightmare. They take forever to process and must be manually processed. NOW you get to charge Verizon to process your payment.

Bad GREEDY move on Verizon's part. Shades of NetFlix - who will never recover market share and stock value.

This on top of a 4G network that has been the worst in the industry!
I will wait until my contract is over and move on.