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MacRumors
Dec 30, 2011, 02:35 PM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/12/30/macrumors/)


http://cdn.macrumors.com/article-new/2011/06/verizonlogo-150x90.jpg

As noted by The Verge (http://www.theverge.com/2011/12/30/2670975/verizon-drops-convenience-fee), Verizon has announced (http://news.verizonwireless.com/news/2011/12/pr2011-12-30.html) that they are not going to charge the $2 'convenience fee' that was originally planned (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/12/30/verizon-to-charge-2-fee-for-one-time-payments-online-or-over-the-phone/) to go into effect on January 15th.Verizon Wireless has decided it will not institute the fee for online or telephone single payments that was announced earlier this week.

The company made the decision in response to customer feedback about the plan, which was designed to improve the efficiency of those transactions. The company continues to encourage customers to take advantage of the numerous simple and convenient payment methods it provides.

"At Verizon, we take great care to listen to our customers. Based on their input, we believe the best path forward is to encourage customers to take advantage of the best and most efficient options, eliminating the need to institute the fee at this time," said Dan Mead, president and chief executive officer of Verizon Wireless.The company had planned (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/12/30/verizon-to-charge-2-fee-for-one-time-payments-online-or-over-the-phone/) to charge customers $2 for one-time payments made online or over the phone.

Article Link: Verizon Drops $2 'Convenience Fee' Due to Complaints (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/12/30/macrumors/)



Moyank24
Dec 30, 2011, 02:41 PM
Well...that was quick.

mikes63737
Dec 30, 2011, 02:42 PM
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"95% of our customers switched back to paper billing in spite, get rid of that damned fee"

dwman
Dec 30, 2011, 02:42 PM
Power to the people. GoDaddy, BofA and now Verizon.

cvaldes
Dec 30, 2011, 02:42 PM
So they drop the fee after the FCC said they will investigate the legitimacy of the $2 convenience fee.

Still, Verizon has revealed their true colors. They will not be able to make consumers forget.

Oh well, all American mobile operators suck anyhow. Verizon is a 37" giant in a land of three-foot midgets.

:) :p :D

Hasn't been a good month for Verizon PR. This debacle is clearly of their own making. A pox on their houses.

charlituna
Dec 30, 2011, 02:44 PM
This had nothing to do with customer complaints.

They dropped the fee when the FCC came into the game. If not for that, they would have let it ride.

Peace
Dec 30, 2011, 02:47 PM
"which was designed to improve the efficiency of those transactions"

What a load of PR crap.

SPNarwhal
Dec 30, 2011, 02:59 PM
wouldn't it be cheaper for them to have more customers not use paper billing? less paper they need to buy, less ink they need to buy, less mailing they need to buy.

weirdos.

eNcrypTioN
Dec 30, 2011, 03:00 PM
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Glad to see this was shot down!

AgentElliot007
Dec 30, 2011, 03:03 PM
"which was designed to improve the efficiency of those transactions"

What a load of PR crap.

Hardly.

This is only a victory for the credit card companies. I wouldn't be shocked at all if their lobbyists were making phone calls like mad in the last week or so. It's easy to look at it as a $2 fee, but if you look deeper, the fee only served as a push for consumers to investigate alternative ways to pay electronically through their bank which were just as simple and convenient but also safer. Sure, Verizon would make more money once they stopped having to pay a credit card company 2-3% processing fees, but again, why should they piss money away when there's a new, better and safer solution for all parties involved? It makes no logical sense when you think critically about it.

If people took the time to understand the implications and stopped wielding this foolishly-conceived notion of "freedom" around like a sword, they'd see that transitioning to electronic payments directly from the banks via eChecks/wire transfers (auto-pay is completely different and still set up through Verizon) is just as simple if not simpler than paying online through Verizon, safer because your bank is the only one that has your account information, and yet still better for Verizon because instead of spending hundreds of millions of dollars per year to credit card companies, they could add to their profits which would make shareholders happy (which I don't care about but...) and then ideally lead to more money directed at maintaining, expanding and improving the network.

Again, the only winners here are the credit card companies, and they are absolutely not the one's that need any victories these days. Verizon and other corporations may have other issues worth discussing in terms of their ever-escalating bills and bandwidth caps and network progress and quality, but they're small fish compared to the credit companies.

iVoid
Dec 30, 2011, 03:11 PM
wouldn't it be cheaper for them to have more customers not use paper billing? less paper they need to buy, less ink they need to buy, less mailing they need to buy.

weirdos.

Yes it would be cheaper for them.

I always roll my eyes when a company asks to switch me to electronic billing for MY convenience. It's obvious it saves the company more that it helps me. Somehow the offers never seem to offer a discount for this benefit to me. :)

Personally, I'm an old fuddy duddy who likes to keep the paper bills for a while to verify the charges. Just don't seem to look at the electronic bills as closely as paper.

SirChadwick
Dec 30, 2011, 03:13 PM
Great! That saves me the trouble of setting up an automatic PAPER check being sent via SNAIL MAIL.

It's just a game to suck more money out of their customers. It reminds me of when Ma Bell would charge for touch tone phone service over rotary dial even though the technology was cheaper for them to run.

Yes I'm old and have seen technology fees gimmicks before.

AgentElliot007
Dec 30, 2011, 03:16 PM
wouldn't it be cheaper for them to have more customers not use paper billing? less paper they need to buy, less ink they need to buy, less mailing they need to buy.

weirdos.

Again, incase you don't know, there's a 2-3% credit card processing fee on every transaction we make with a credit or debit card (unless we use our pin on the debit). So if we pay Verizon $100 for our bill, they get $97-98. If we set up electronic payment through our bank via wire billing or eChecks, you can still skip all the paper on their end, eliminate the 2-3% processing fees that go to the credit card companies and minimize liability in having to process subscribers secure account information. Meanwhile, we consumers still have the ease and convenience of paying electronically and all of our account information stays with the bank, so it's more secure for us.

It would've been a win-win if they stuck to their guns and continued to encourage/push people to set up bill paying through their banks. We will all be doing more and more of that in the next few years anyways because it's safer and ultimately more convenient to be able to pay all monthly bill payments from one centralized space.

This has made my life infinitely easier than paying online with a credit card:

https://www.chase.com/online/services/bill-pay-demo.htm

I have all my monthly billers set up to be paid there and I can schedule payments or pay manually whenever I'd like. I can just login on the Chase app on my iPhone or iPad or go to chase.com and it's all on one page. I get all my statements via e-mail and then just login on the iPhone and pay them. It's easier and it's safer.

And sure, Verizon is able to make more money by keeping that 2-3%, but does anyone actually think it's better that it's going to Visa or Mastercard? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?

rdowns
Dec 30, 2011, 03:16 PM
Great news, now I won't have to worry about ATT trying to pull the same crap. If you don't think they already have credit card fees baked into their model, you're a moron. This was simply an attempted money grab by them and their customers called their bluff.

Mark my words, they'll find a way to add some fee to screw their customers. I give it a few months, at most.

I choose to pay as many bills as possible with my credit card. I like the year end statements, ease of finding any transaction and oh yeah, my cash back. :D

rockman0
Dec 30, 2011, 03:25 PM
Wow. This complaining "crap" actually works! Guess my parents were wrong...

Now, let's have an uproar about them ditching the Unlimited data plan and Early Upgrade program. Who's with me!?

AgentElliot007
Dec 30, 2011, 03:25 PM
Yes it would be cheaper for them.

I always roll my eyes when a company asks to switch me to electronic billing for MY convenience. It's obvious it saves the company more that it helps me. Somehow the offers never seem to offer a discount for this benefit to me. :)

Personally, I'm an old fuddy duddy who likes to keep the paper bills for a while to verify the charges. Just don't seem to look at the electronic bills as closely as paper.

The money they save on printing and mailing paper statements pails in comparison to what they lose when we pay online with a credit card and they have to pay 2-3% credit processing fees on every transaction to the credit card company. My bill with Verizon is about $260 a month (family plan, 4 iPhones, 1 voice-only phone, family texting, 25% corporate discount hanging around from an old part-time retail job). If I pay with a credit card and they're only paying 2% to the credit companies, they're losing about $62.40 a year on me alone, and that's just so I can pay with a credit card. It doesn't cost them anywhere close to $62.40 a year to send me paper bills and process my checks. I think a generous estimate would be $15 a year to send me bills and process and verify my physical checks.

Spread that out over 107 million subscribers. Even if only 10% of subscribers are paying by credit card (it's likely a great deal more), you're still talking hundreds of millions of dollars lost in credit processing fees. For years, this was a cost of doing business as many have suggested, and they swallowed it because there wasn't a better way. But now, there are many better ways for not only them but us, so they tried to make a move. I don't fault them for it. I'd fault them for plenty of things before this. This makes sense and in my mind would've added up to progress.

Misaki
Dec 30, 2011, 03:35 PM
This is only a victory for the credit card companies.

... the fee only served as a push for consumers to investigate alternative ways to pay electronically through their bank ...

This, and recurring electronic billing. Because paying the bill means you agree with the charges. Absolutely nobody should use recurring electronic billing for a cell phone for this reason alone.

With a credit card, you can call the CC issuer and have the charge reversed if you plan on disputing the charge (but if you're paying manually you'd not pay an absurdly high bill in the first place.) With your bank you are out the money, end of story. Let's tack on some overdraft/NSF fees while we're at it.

I don't know who VZ thought they were going to pull the wool over, like BAC's wanting to charge fees for accessing your own money.

Sure, sometime in the future there might be a safe and effectively free way of sending money anywhere. (EFT/ACH is free, but not safe in North America, however in Australia, EFT is the norm. In North America, the credit card is the norm.) There is too much redtape involved in North America to get over the banks inertia to make it safer (either one-time use codes or deposit-only codes) for transfers between banks and credit unions without having to physically go withdraw the money from an ATM and hand it to someone else for them to turn around and put it right bank into the same ATM. No instead we write a check, which may cost both the check writer and receiver a fee, and it's held for a week.

ilp
Dec 30, 2011, 03:35 PM
This has nothing to do with credit card fees. They are eliminating SINGLE payments. You still could've been doing monthly credit card payments without the fee.

What they want is to incentivize you to have recurring deductions, credit or debit, so that they are more likely to have their bills paid on time. This way you can't forget to pay. You also stop checking your statement as much, because you don't need to inspect the payment amount every time before you pay. This means that if you get overcharged or get hit with crazy overuse charges, you won't notice it, since you have the automatic credit/debit (And you may not be checking your statements as thoroughly).

Shrink
Dec 30, 2011, 03:37 PM
Sort of stepped on their corporate dick, now trying to step off gracefully.

Can't be done.:D

bwillwall
Dec 30, 2011, 03:55 PM
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Why would they charge for that? I thought they wanted people to pay online?

rmhop81
Dec 30, 2011, 04:02 PM
Hardly.

This is only a victory for the credit card companies. I wouldn't be shocked at all if their lobbyists were making phone calls like mad in the last week or so. It's easy to look at it as a $2 fee, but if you look deeper, the fee only served as a push for consumers to investigate alternative ways to pay electronically through their bank which were just as simple and convenient but also safer. Sure, Verizon would make more money once they stopped having to pay a credit card company 2-3% processing fees, but again, why should they piss money away when there's a new, better and safer solution for all parties involved? It makes no logical sense when you think critically about it.

If people took the time to understand the implications and stopped wielding this foolishly-conceived notion of "freedom" around like a sword, they'd see that transitioning to electronic payments directly from the banks via eChecks/wire transfers (auto-pay is completely different and still set up through Verizon) is just as simple if not simpler than paying online through Verizon, safer because your bank is the only one that has your account information, and yet still better for Verizon because instead of spending hundreds of millions of dollars per year to credit card companies, they could add to their profits which would make shareholders happy (which I don't care about but...) and then ideally lead to more money directed at maintaining, expanding and improving the network.

Again, the only winners here are the credit card companies, and they are absolutely not the one's that need any victories these days. Verizon and other corporations may have other issues worth discussing in terms of their ever-escalating bills and bandwidth caps and network progress and quality, but they're small fish compared to the credit companies.
don't offer up that form of payment in the 1st place if you are going to charge customers for it. Things became advanced and all the sudden all these major companies accept credit card payments to get you off of the old fashioned way of sending in a payment by check. Now that everyone is hooked to paying that way they want to charge everyone a $2 fee. Do these CEO's have any clue what they are doing? Who in their right mind thinks it's a good idea to charge a fee for payment like Verizon did or charge $5 to use your debit card like Bank of America??

You are all the sudden concerned with how credit card companies operate? Look at the greed and profit that cell phone companies have been charging on customers for years. You aren't angry that you pay $250/month for CELL service? That is a car payment. Sounds like someone doesn't know how to manage a credit card and is mad about all the latest regulation with those.

Gemütlichkeit
Dec 30, 2011, 04:07 PM
People need to keep this up. Vote with your wallet.

gmanterry
Dec 30, 2011, 04:18 PM
Great! That saves me the trouble of setting up an automatic PAPER check being sent via SNAIL MAIL.

It's just a game to suck more money out of their customers. It reminds me of when Ma Bell would charge for touch tone phone service over rotary dial even though the technology was cheaper for them to run.

Yes I'm old and have seen technology fees gimmicks before.
I'm retired but my old job included programming the phone switch for a government agency. The fees you pay the phone company are a total ripoff. Caller ID, for example, is a one time two minute programming job and requires no maintenance. They still charge you monthly for the service although it cost them nothing except a one time expense of a few minutes of time of a programmer. All add ons are just the same. What a scam!

wordoflife
Dec 30, 2011, 04:27 PM
That was easier than what I thought it'd be. Nice.

jontech
Dec 30, 2011, 05:10 PM
wow I didn't have time to get worked up about it, call customer service, threaten to leave, almost have a stroke before giving in and paying the fee


Thank you fellow customers for saving me from the shame....

diamornte
Dec 30, 2011, 05:30 PM
Hardly.

This is only a victory for the credit card companies. I wouldn't be shocked at all if their lobbyists were making phone calls like mad in the last week or so. It's easy to look at it as a $2 fee, but if you look deeper, the fee only served as a push for consumers to investigate alternative ways to pay electronically through their bank which were just as simple and convenient but also safer. Sure, Verizon would make more money once they stopped having to pay a credit card company 2-3% processing fees, but again, why should they piss money away when there's a new, better and safer solution for all parties involved? It makes no logical sense when you think critically about it.

If people took the time to understand the implications and stopped wielding this foolishly-conceived notion of "freedom" around like a sword, they'd see that transitioning to electronic payments directly from the banks via eChecks/wire transfers (auto-pay is completely different and still set up through Verizon) is just as simple if not simpler than paying online through Verizon, safer because your bank is the only one that has your account information, and yet still better for Verizon because instead of spending hundreds of millions of dollars per year to credit card companies, they could add to their profits which would make shareholders happy (which I don't care about but...) and then ideally lead to more money directed at maintaining, expanding and improving the network.

Again, the only winners here are the credit card companies, and they are absolutely not the one's that need any victories these days. Verizon and other corporations may have other issues worth discussing in terms of their ever-escalating bills and bandwidth caps and network progress and quality, but they're small fish compared to the credit companies.

WRONG....

This move by Verizon is much more insidious, as this guy goes on to say:

This has nothing to do with credit card fees. They are eliminating SINGLE payments. You still could've been doing monthly credit card payments without the fee.

What they want is to incentivize you to have recurring deductions, credit or debit, so that they are more likely to have their bills paid on time. This way you can't forget to pay. You also stop checking your statement as much, because you don't need to inspect the payment amount every time before you pay. This means that if you get overcharged or get hit with crazy overuse charges, you won't notice it, since you have the automatic credit/debit (And you may not be checking your statements as thoroughly).

japasneezemonk
Dec 30, 2011, 05:30 PM
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The headline should be:
"credit card companies win again, Merchants stuck with paying outrageous transaction fees."

donnaw
Dec 30, 2011, 05:36 PM
Hardly.

This is only a victory for the credit card companies. I wouldn't be shocked at all if their lobbyists were making phone calls like mad in the last week or so. It's easy to look at it as a $2 fee, but if you look deeper, the fee only served as a push for consumers to investigate alternative ways to pay electronically through their bank which were just as simple and convenient but also safer. Sure, Verizon would make more money once they stopped having to pay a credit card company 2-3% processing fees, but again, why should they piss money away when there's a new, better and safer solution for all parties involved? It makes no logical sense when you think critically about it.

If people took the time to understand the implications and stopped wielding this foolishly-conceived notion of "freedom" around like a sword, they'd see that transitioning to electronic payments directly from the banks via eChecks/wire transfers (auto-pay is completely different and still set up through Verizon) is just as simple if not simpler than paying online through Verizon, safer because your bank is the only one that has your account information, and yet still better for Verizon because instead of spending hundreds of millions of dollars per year to credit card companies, they could add to their profits which would make shareholders happy (which I don't care about but...) and then ideally lead to more money directed at maintaining, expanding and improving the network.

Again, the only winners here are the credit card companies, and they are absolutely not the one's that need any victories these days. Verizon and other corporations may have other issues worth discussing in terms of their ever-escalating bills and bandwidth caps and network progress and quality, but they're small fish compared to the credit companies.

I understand what you are saying but I pay a couple of bills via echeck and to do so you must give not only your account number but the routing number too. So, no, the bank is not the only one that has you account information.

I'm comfortable doing so because i have set up a checking account that is not linked to any other account and I use echecks and a debit card from it to do all my online payments. I deposit just enough cash in that account every month to cover my bills and a bit more for online purchases. This way my main accounts are never in anyone's database except my bank. I don't even have any other account with that bank.

nylonsteel
Dec 30, 2011, 05:41 PM
re original article

glad i dumped vz awhile ago - bunch of monkeys, scammers, and maggots - from customer care all the way to upper management

oxocube
Dec 30, 2011, 06:02 PM
The use of the word "convenience fee" by organizations, agencies, and companies is about as disingenuous as it gets.

SuperCachetes
Dec 30, 2011, 06:18 PM
...when we pay online with a credit card and they have to pay 2-3% credit processing fees on every transaction to the credit card company

Do you even have any proof that Verizon pays these fees? This is not your local convenience store with a credit card terminal that dials into a modem; this is a company with millions of paying subscribers with a fairly centralized, integrated electronic billing system.

In other words, the more subscribers pay with credit cards, the more the credit companies stand to benefit from potential interest charges. Their benefits probably greatly outweigh the cost/effort of what it takes to process recurring payments. I should think that there are deals made between Verizon and the credit card companies where encouraging credit card payments is incentivized. One of the ways it could be incentivized is reduction or elimination of these 2-3% processing fees you refer to.

I am strictly guessing with the above comments, but I think that others have gotten closer to the understanding the original purpose of the convenience charge - to encourage recurring, automated payments in general.

alhedges
Dec 30, 2011, 07:31 PM
Hardly.

This is only a victory for the credit card companies.

*********. This is a victory for the customers who don't have to pay $2 for non-recurring payments. It is a loss for Verizon, a break even deal for the CC companies, and a win for consumers.

VZW can fight its own battles with Visa. Thinking that it would be a *good thing* if consumers were stuck with a $2 fee is just irrational.

If VZW weren't so greedy, they could have offered to give customers a $1 discount per month if they used recurring payments plans or linked to their bank. This would be a win for the customers, a loss for the CC companies, and probably a break-even for VZW. It would have been great PR (as opposed to the present debacle), but, no, it's VZW, and they couldn't resist adding another fee onto their customers. They just can't help it. It's in their DNA.

marksman
Dec 30, 2011, 07:49 PM
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Yes it would be cheaper for them.

I always roll my eyes when a company asks to switch me to electronic billing for MY convenience. It's obvious it saves the company more that it helps me. Somehow the offers never seem to offer a discount for this benefit to me. :)

Personally, I'm an old fuddy duddy who likes to keep the paper bills for a while to verify the charges. Just don't seem to look at the electronic bills as closely as paper.

The money they save on printing and mailing paper statements pails in comparison to what they lose when we pay online with a credit card and they have to pay 2-3% credit processing fees on every transaction to the credit card company. My bill with Verizon is about $260 a month (family plan, 4 iPhones, 1 voice-only phone, family texting, 25% corporate discount hanging around from an old part-time retail job). If I pay with a credit card and they're only paying 2% to the credit companies, they're losing about $62.40 a year on me alone, and that's just so I can pay with a credit card. It doesn't cost them anywhere close to $62.40 a year to send me paper bills and process my checks. I think a generous estimate would be $15 a year to send me bills and process and verify my physical checks.

Spread that out over 107 million subscribers. Even if only 10% of subscribers are paying by credit card (it's likely a great deal more), you're still talking hundreds of millions of dollars lost in credit processing fees. For years, this was a cost of doing business as many have suggested, and they swallowed it because there wasn't a better way. But now, there are many better ways for not only them but us, so they tried to make a move. I don't fault them for it. I'd fault them for plenty of things before this. This makes sense and in my mind would've added up to progress.

Companies that process a lot of credit card volume pay less than 2%. People arguing the credit card companies win are being silly. It is a matter of convenience for customers. Accepting credit cards is part of doing business.

Listen I understand the issues businesses have but this was not the answer. I saw a couple years ago the entire profit of the convenience store industry was equal to how much they spent on credit cards. So you could argue it cut their profits in half. The reality is people spent more and more often with credit cards so it is not cut and dry.

People want no fee credit cards with rewards, that is what these fees allow.

So the banks and consumers divy up the money instead of the business it is what it is.

cerote
Dec 30, 2011, 09:32 PM
I understand what you are saying but I pay a couple of bills via echeck and to do so you must give not only your account number but the routing number too. So, no, the bank is not the only one that has you account information.

I'm comfortable doing so because i have set up a checking account that is not linked to any other account and I use echecks and a debit card from it to do all my online payments. I deposit just enough cash in that account every month to cover my bills and a bit more for online purchases. This way my main accounts are never in anyone's database except my bank. I don't even have any other account with that bank.

Sort of wise idea. But still the amount of people that see people's banking information is bigger than most people think. Even more so if the bank does not do their own in-house work.

So the same goes for the amount of people that see your information with verizon either via credit card or echeck. You trust the people along the way and the companies handling it.

shy1akaanh
Dec 30, 2011, 10:31 PM
I honestly thought this was Verizon's plan to save the USPS. People would start mailing checks, giving USPS some much needed business.

PlaceofDis
Dec 30, 2011, 11:22 PM
once the FCC started nosing around with this VZW backed off pretty quick. i'm sure it would have gone on longer if not for that. sure, they expected some customers to be unhappy but time would make people forget...

at least its done with for now.

ichrisg30
Dec 31, 2011, 01:04 AM
.

bushido
Dec 31, 2011, 05:46 AM
kinda cool that you can even still pay with "paper" in the US. here in germany they require you to be over 18 and to have a bank account where they can automatically take the money from each month (its like that for most transactions in general) been like that since i can remember. then again we dont do checks here at all and barely any people have credit cards either

itr81
Dec 31, 2011, 07:51 AM
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Waiting for a 2 bux plan increase somewhere.

Chupa Chupa
Dec 31, 2011, 08:39 AM
This had nothing to do with customer complaints.

They dropped the fee when the FCC came into the game. If not for that, they would have let it ride.

The irony here is that the gov't pressured Verizon for a $2 credit card convenience fee yet the IRS has been using CC processors for years that charge the tax filer anywhere from 1.9% to 3.93% if they elect to pay with CC. So seems a bit hypocritical to me for the gov't to say VZW can't charge a fee but the gov't can (albeit 3rd party). (Seems like it chapter out of Animal Farm).

I'm NOT in favor of the fee, but gov't intervention here was a bit much. I bet if the FCC had not stepped in VZW would have had to drop it anyway due to customer and media pressure. But no worries. While the FCC scored political points VZW will now charge every customer $2 extra somewhere else. They'll be smart this time and hide it.

scott911
Dec 31, 2011, 10:08 AM
i'm sure, like many, as soon as I heard this on the radio - I knew this was in the same class of brilliance as the split of netflex and new coke.

ECUpirate44
Dec 31, 2011, 10:11 AM
power to the people!

Hardly, more like Verizon saying "lets not piss off the FCC more than we already do."

tigres
Dec 31, 2011, 10:39 AM
The money they save on printing and mailing paper statements pails in comparison to what they lose when we pay online with a credit card and they have to pay 2-3% credit processing fees on every transaction to the credit card company. My bill with Verizon is about $260 a month (family plan, 4 iPhones, 1 voice-only phone, family texting, 25% corporate discount hanging around from an old part-time retail job). If I pay with a credit card and they're only paying 2% to the credit companies, they're losing about $62.40 a year on me alone, and that's just so I can pay with a credit card. It doesn't cost them anywhere close to $62.40 a year to send me paper bills and process my checks. I think a generous estimate would be $15 a year to send me bills and process and verify my physical checks.

Spread that out over 107 million subscribers. Even if only 10% of subscribers are paying by credit card (it's likely a great deal more), you're still talking hundreds of millions of dollars lost in credit processing fees. For years, this was a cost of doing business as many have suggested, and they swallowed it because there wasn't a better way. But now, there are many better ways for not only them but us, so they tried to make a move. I don't fault them for it. I'd fault them for plenty of things before this. This makes sense and in my mind would've added up to progress.


You speak as though CC's have just arrived and are a new phenomena. May I remind you they have been charging the same fees for decades, nothing has changed on that front, and the service/retail sector have had these baked in for years. Seems as though the marketing department is doing a fine job teaching us old dogs new tricks.

Another thing that burns my a$$ are these gas stations charging .10 less for cash vs. credit, another scam I look out for every time I pull in to pump.

cmwade77
Dec 31, 2011, 11:00 AM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

If they really wanted to encourage everyone to use Autopay, they could have offered a $2 discount if you enroll in Autopay and everyone would have been happy and considered switching. This was all about stealing more money from the consumers.

charlituna
Dec 31, 2011, 12:15 PM
While the FCC scored political points VZW will now charge every customer $2 extra somewhere else. They'll be smart this time and hide it.

And people will figure out that they did this and scream that it is a change in terms and will say that that should let them get out of their contracts without an ETF and Verizon will have the same PR mess to deal with.

Frankly I suspect if Verizon does anything they will simply drop the service. So since the customers didn't want to pay a $2 fee to call in and give their CC to someone to pay their bill right away, fine, that option is gone. Verizon would love that cause then all those folks that forget until the last minute are at risk of having paid late and they can charge their pre announced late fee which is likely way more than $2. When they complain about it the answer will be 'we are not responsible for the fact that you can't pay your bills on time, the fee stays'

glutenenvy
Dec 31, 2011, 02:28 PM
Lots of people don't pay until the last minute. For many of those people it is a necessity. $2 just to pay a bill is crazy and is aimed at the poorer people. The same people who often just don't have the time or energy left to complain.

I told Verizon this and told them that this move fosters as much customer sympathy as fuel surcharges. Don't ever put convenience and fee in the same sentence when the economy has been down. Has Verizon hired Netflix for PR?

I was expecting a class action but it was much quicker when the FCC started in with the questions.

akacaj
Dec 31, 2011, 05:04 PM
I would think that paying by CC is convenient for Verizon too. Much easier to process a credit card number over a physical paper check.

slu
Dec 31, 2011, 06:09 PM
The money they save on printing and mailing paper statements pails in comparison to what they lose when we pay online with a credit card and they have to pay 2-3% credit processing fees on every transaction to the credit card company. My bill with Verizon is about $260 a month (family plan, 4 iPhones, 1 voice-only phone, family texting, 25% corporate discount hanging around from an old part-time retail job). If I pay with a credit card and they're only paying 2% to the credit companies, they're losing about $62.40 a year on me alone, and that's just so I can pay with a credit card. It doesn't cost them anywhere close to $62.40 a year to send me paper bills and process my checks. I think a generous estimate would be $15 a year to send me bills and process and verify my physical checks.

Spread that out over 107 million subscribers. Even if only 10% of subscribers are paying by credit card (it's likely a great deal more), you're still talking hundreds of millions of dollars lost in credit processing fees. For years, this was a cost of doing business as many have suggested, and they swallowed it because there wasn't a better way. But now, there are many better ways for not only them but us, so they tried to make a move. I don't fault them for it. I'd fault them for plenty of things before this. This makes sense and in my mind would've added up to progress.

Wrong. It costs them way more than $15 a year to print and mail bills and receive and process payment. It costs way more than $62 a year to do that. I work for a bank. It costs us about $5 to process a check deposit in a branch. You are not thinking about many of the overhead components required.

ThunderSkunk
Dec 31, 2011, 11:57 PM
After two years of dropping my phone & using only an iPad for communications, I look forward to going wifi-only, and not spending a single penny on any of these crappy US cell providers in 2012. Starting tomorrow.


...in three minutes.

yesshop
Jan 1, 2012, 12:30 AM
Well, isn't that convenient! This Internet thing works, apparently.

bluesboy77
Jan 1, 2012, 12:40 AM
This had nothing to do with customer complaints.

They dropped the fee when the FCC came into the game. If not for that, they would have let it ride.

this

e-coli
Jan 1, 2012, 02:35 AM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

Make them send you paper statements. That seems reciprocal.

rdlink
Jan 1, 2012, 07:22 AM
...And sure, Verizon is able to make more money by keeping that 2-3%, but does anyone actually think it's better that it's going to Visa or Mastercard? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?

Yes, I would rather it went to Visa or Mastercard. VZ and Visa/Mastercard engaged in a business relationship a long time ago, and VZ agreed at that time to pay the 2-3% in order to have Visa/Mastercard keep and maintain the system to make it all work.

Now, VZ, and many other retailers are looking at those profits, and at a time when people such as yourself are demonizing the credit card companies (for making a profit) they are licking their chops and wringing their hands, looking for ways to keep that 2-3% for themselves, while not giving a damn dime of it back to the consumers.

Fact is, VZ makes money as if they had a printing press, and they have these 2-3% credit card fees built into their fee structure. If they were to offer 2-3% discounts for using my bank account, or for automatic monthly payments, I would be more than willing to sign up for it.

But uninformed/misguided souls such as yourself are exactly the people who VZ and other retailers are trying to dupe when they whine about their "excessive credit card fees." It's exactly what the retailers association did last year when they used their lobbying power to have congress and our socialist administration intervene in established contractual agreements between them and the banks over swipe fees. Don't know about you, but I haven't seen retail prices come down one penny because of the lowering of swipe fees. And you won't, because the retailers kept the gravy, and left the banks to come back to you for the money that the government redistributed. Now the banks, who had a BUSINESS AGREEMENT with the retailers are the bad guys?

Quit being a knee jerk, reactionist liberal.

Ronlap
Jan 1, 2012, 11:00 AM
Hardly.

This is only a victory for the credit card companies.

This is 100% true! If you read the text of the announcement, Verizon only planned to charge a fee if you used a debit or credit card to pay your bill. As AgentElliot007 states, Verizon was trying to encourage people to switch to alternate payment methods which didn't feed the credit card companies.

You know that 3% cash back, mileage rewards credit card that you have? It isn't the banks that are funding the rewards baby, it's the merchants that have to pay outrageous fees every time you use it.

I don't like vendors having my bank account number, so I use free online bill payment from my credit union to push payments to my credit card, gas, cable, mobile phone, etc suppliers.

rdlink
Jan 1, 2012, 12:01 PM
This is 100% true! If you read the text of the announcement, Verizon only planned to charge a fee if you used a debit or credit card to pay your bill. As AgentElliot007 states, Verizon was trying to encourage people to switch to alternate payment methods which didn't feed the credit card companies.

You know that 3% cash back, mileage rewards credit card that you have? It isn't the banks that are funding the rewards baby, it's the merchants that have to pay outrageous fees every time you use it.

I don't like vendors having my bank account number, so I use free online bill payment from my credit union to push payments to my credit card, gas, cable, mobile phone, etc suppliers.

No, it's not the merchants who are paying "outrageous fees." It's the consumers who ultimately buy the merchants' products. Problem is that the merchants built the fees into their pricing years ago, and now they're trying to double dip. Amazing that people don't see that.

PinkyMacGodess
Jan 1, 2012, 03:06 PM
Last I knew, AT&T charged people to pay their bills at their stores. Why should Verizon be charred and AT&T left uncooked and rotting?

And I think their 'charge' was $5.00!:eek:

----------

No, it's not the merchants who are paying "outrageous fees." It's the consumers who ultimately buy the merchants' products. Problem is that the merchants built the fees into their pricing years ago, and now they're trying to double dip. Amazing that people don't see that.

We had a 'merchant account' and the fees were ridiculous.

PLUS! Get this: If their credit processing didn't catch that a card was 'bad' and processed the charge and it was found later to be fraudulent, who pays for the Ooops? The merchant who is already our the products and now has to pay the card company the costs charged!! We dropped our account rather than be screwed with all of the fees (Sometimes over $20.00 a month as a base) and stupid conditions. A store would have to almost have 'credit card screw back' insurance just in case...

kiljoy616
Jan 1, 2012, 07:38 PM
Well...that was quick.

Oh don't worry it will be back soon enough as something else hidden this time. :rolleyes:

unlimitedx
Jan 2, 2012, 12:54 AM
This is 100% true! If you read the text of the announcement, Verizon only planned to charge a fee if you used a debit or credit card to pay your bill. As AgentElliot007 states, Verizon was trying to encourage people to switch to alternate payment methods which didn't feed the credit card companies.

You know that 3% cash back, mileage rewards credit card that you have? It isn't the banks that are funding the rewards baby, it's the merchants that have to pay outrageous fees every time you use it.

I don't like vendors having my bank account number, so I use free online bill payment from my credit union to push payments to my credit card, gas, cable, mobile phone, etc suppliers.


No. They are pushing for customers to automatic bill pay, so customers wouldn't notice any overage fees or look at their bill so verizon can just keep taking money from customers.

celo48
Jan 2, 2012, 02:17 AM
It is ridiculous how they come up with names for fees, they cannot say we just want to charge you something extra but don't know what to call it. Ohh wait, let's call it "convenience fee".

tdiaz
Jan 2, 2012, 02:31 AM
Power to the people. GoDaddy, BofA and now Verizon.What fee did GoDaddy get hammered back on?

Why can't "we" hit back Cox, et al- on these data caps..

oh, because they all colluded to do it.

celo48
Jan 2, 2012, 02:35 AM
What fee did GoDaddy get hammered back on?

Why can't "we" hit back Cox, et al- on these data caps..

oh, because they all colluded to do it.

GoDaddy probably wanted to charge "I am your daddy fee". Who knows!

rdlink
Jan 2, 2012, 08:23 AM
What fee did GoDaddy get hammered back on?

Why can't "we" hit back Cox, et al- on these data caps..

oh, because they all colluded to do it.

It was a reference to Go Daddy's endorsement of the SOPA legislation.

Big D 51
Jan 2, 2012, 08:30 AM
Good decision. Keeps me a happy customer.

Tomacorno
Jan 3, 2012, 12:23 PM
Remember when ATMs became popular? They were open all the time, good for the customer, and allowed the banks to hire fewer tellers and keep their costs down. No fees were involved - you were saving the bank money. I have seen fees for using ATMs now as high as $5.00 (I know there are higher ones out there) and that is on top of the extra fee from the bank if you use ATMs that don't belong to them or use your own bank's ATMs too many times. This while they are paying out about 1% on deposit accounts and pretty comfortable bonuses to themselves. Banks are no longer really a customer oriented business. Cell phone and cable companies were never really customer oriented as far as I can tell from my dealings with them. It is just a constant repackaging/renaming of the same services and seeing what you pay go higher and higher while what you get either does not change or you get charged extra for what you had.

Someone made the comment earlier about the scam of caller id. Add to that text messaging in general. Costs phone company way less to carry text messages than voice calls but they really stick people with those charges. People then feel they are getting a bonus for a smaller "unlimited text" charge. I hope Apple puts a big dent in that through wifi texting. This has been going on for as long as I remember. How about AT&T making people rent their landline phones years ago? Long after you could pick up a POT for under $20 they continued to hit the old folk with that fee until they noticed or a family member noticed that they were paying the cost of that phone in rent over and over and over.