Early last week I heard about the new $2 fee Verizon instituted. The fee would be for all payments made by phone or online. I was ready to write an article about the fee, and how to avoid it, when something strange happened. Verizon changed it’s mind and will not be instituting the fee.
The fee was originally going to start January 15th and would apply to all phone and online payments except: payments made by check, payments made by electronic check on the Verizon website, payments made through AutoPay, payments made from a financial institution’s online bill pay, going into a Verizon kiosk or store, or payments made using a Verizon gift card or rebate. Verizon said that they wanted to continue to offer excellent service so they needed to ask customers to bear the costs incurred from collecting payments.
Yep, you heard that right. They wanted customers to pay for the costs of having customers pay their bills. I would also argue that they wanted to have access to your accounts. It seems that the method Verizon would have preferred that you use is allowing them to automatically debit your account when your bill is due. If you’ve ever had a cell phone company, cable company, internet company, credit card company, etc. overbill you then you understand why granting a company entrée into your financial accounts might not be a good decision.
At any rate, it doesn’t matter because guess what happened? People like you and I started talking about what a bad idea this was. We posted, and blogged, and tweeted and Facebooked, and generally let Verizon know that we were not going to let this fee stand without a fight. They heard us loud and clear. As of December 30, 2011 Verizon has decided that the fee would not to into effect. Just like that.
We have a voice. We have agency. We can, and do, change the way companies interact with us all of the time. Good job, readers.
Shay Olivarria is the most dynamic financial education speaker working today. She has written three books on personal finance, including Amazon Best Seller “Money Matters: The Get It Done in 1 Minute Workbook”. She's been quoted on Bankrate.com, FoxBusiness.com, and The Credit Union Times, among others. To schedule Shay to speak at your event or to find out more about her work, visit her at www.BiggerThanYourBlock.com.
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