Verizon to slap fee on certain payment methods

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Verizon customers are up in arms over the company's announcement that it plans to slap a $2 fee on people making single payments online or by telephone.

The company plans to start charging the fee from January 15th. It will apply only to one-off payments on the phone or online: customers who use AutoPay, mail checks, use electronic checks or electronic banking won't be charged.

"The fee will help allow us to continue to support these single bill payment options in these channels and is designed to address costs incurred by us for only those customers who choose to make single bill payments in alternate payment channels (online, mobile, telephone)," says Verizon.

"It is waived for those who pay by electronic check or enroll in AutoPay - we encourage customers to use those or other payment options that incur no fees."

But this explanation has failed to placate many customers, with several petitions springing up online encouraging customers to complain.

"As a Verizon customer for the past six years, I consider the idea that I could be charged money by you as a reward for my prompt, efficient online monthly payments a slap in the face, and I won't accept it, and I don't believe your millions of other customers will either," says one.

Verizon certainly isn't the first company to start charging a fee for credit card payments, which involve paying merchant fees to a third party. Internet payments are another matter, however. The fee is likely to hit less-well-off customers, who are more likely to be paying their bill at the last minute.

It's not great timing for Verizon, which is already unpopular with its customers following two service outages this month.