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FCC is “Concerned” About Verizon’s New Convenience Fee, Will “Look Into” it

After we first reported news that Verizon had plans to push forward with a $2 “convenience fee” on January 15 for customers who normally make one-time bill payments, the backlash could be heard from all corners of the country. Thanks to your strong opinions, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) has decided to at least look into the matter. Here is their brief statement from today:

On behalf of American consumers, we’re concerned about Verizon’s actions and are looking into the matter.

By no means does this assure us that they will try to stop Verizon from charging you the $2 convenience fee. It does however give us a little bit of hope.

Again, there are options available for customers to avoid the fee, but as you will see from yesterday’s poll, the majority of folks would like to continue paying their bill as a one time transaction.

And so  you are aware, a Change.org petition has been started.

Via:  NY Times

  • BarrySoetoro

    The FCC does a great job of destroying competition and innovation. 

    • Jenny2

      Yep, and now the higher costs associated with these dopes who pay the old fashioned was will spread out to all Verizon customers will higher fees across the board.  The government is so stupid.  The government has no problems wasting billions of taxpayer dollars, but they have no problem going in and telling a private business how to run.  Looking forward to elections this year, it’s time to clean house.  We need jobs and we now have a government in place that is destorying private sector businesses and jobs.  Well except for the failed green energy companies that were given billions and then filed for bankruptcy.  Political payoffs are great.

  • Guest

    Verizon had a $10 BILLION profit last year and they are saying they needed the extra $2 per customer to “continue to support these bill payment options.” What a greedy joke of a company they are. I’m glad I have a Tracfone!

  • Anonymous

    my neighbor’s aunt makes $87 hourly on the internet. She has
    been without work for 5 months but last month her income was $8855 just working
    on the internet for a few hours. Read more on this site…  LazyCash1
    .com

  • mrchambo

    Power to the people!

  • CARPDM
  • Altkorn2005

    Due to customer backlash and a possible FCC investigation …… VERIZON HAS REVERSED ITS DECISON…….no $2 fee

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1513603639 Billy Helton

    In responce……………
    Verizon Wireless Will Not Institute Single Payment Fee 

    Media Contact Info
    Tom [email protected]-559-7516

    12/30/2011

    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.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you Billy Helton. I feel much better after giving Mr. Tom an email. =)

  • Anonymous

    breaking:  verizon decided to give up on this..  just saw it on fox news

  • http://twitter.com/robuz28 B Z
  • Anonymous

    So, are they going to investigate my insurance company, my electric company, and my gas company as well?  I can’t make one time credit card payments to any of those without a service fee either.

  • http://twitter.com/drudometkin David R.

    Use billpay through your bank.

  • Jeff Tingey

    Well looks like they won’t have these fees now: http://news.verizonwireless.com/news/2011/12/pr2011-12-30.html

  • RINZLER

    Update: Fee has been dropped by VZ

  • Anonymous

    Just set up an electronic check.  You people do have checking accounts…. right?

    It takes 2 minutes and avoids the fee.

    • Anonymous

      1. Not everyone has a checking account.
      2. You are missing the main point. Verizon is essentially charging you more money just to pay their bill. They are not offering more features or changing their service in any way (unless you count the recent data dropouts). They are simply charging you extra for the privilege of continuing to pay the same way you and millions of others have likely been paying. It costs verizon LESS money to process electronic payments, but verizon wants you to believe the contrary.

      • Anonymous

        1) So people have a credit card but no checking account?  Wow…. that’s amazing.
        2) Correction, they’re charging people who pay with credit cards and haven’t set up recurring payments.

        The likely situation is that Verizon is being charged extra to process credit card payments.  In textbook Microeconomics you’re taught to pass on expenses to your customers.  Vendor is charging an extra $1 for CC transactions… pass it to the customer. 

        Easy solution.  Get a checking account.  Problem solved, fee avoided.  Sometimes you need to wear the big boy hat and adapt the world around you.

        • Anonymous

          So lame we don’t have a dislike FINGER for posts like this.

          • Anonymous

            Waaaaahhhh, I’m being told I have to change my routine.  Let me cry and dislike….

          • Anonymous

            You clearly have zero grasp on the bigger issue. It’s not a change to routine, but spending finger energy trying to teach you common sense is a waste. So Suck it. Hit me up when you GROW up.

          • Anonymous

            I’ll just take that as… “I don’t know what to be upset about, but I’m upset because others say I should be.”

          • Anonymous

            Guess what muffin, lashing out at me still doesn’t do a thing for your intellect. Further, you’re in the minority, so if you can figure out what that means…check yourself.

          • Anonymous

            Because the majority is always correct…

            Well, you just showed how stupid you are.  Also, in the amount of “finger energy” you’ve spent attempting to insult me, you could have actually told me what the big deal is.

            I don’t think you know what the issue is.  I think people are upset, so you’re just acting upset.  The majority says cry and you’re following suit.  Your comment about me being in the minority proves this.

            Either way, it’s pointless. Not sure if you read yet but the fee is gone.

          • No

            haha you two are cute.  now STFU

          • Anonymous

            At least one of us is cute Gina, and it isn’t you.

            By the way, your etsy store is full of garbage.

          • Anonymous

            Most of your comments came off as being an angry adult.

            But after that comment, I have come to the conclusion that you are twelve.

      • Anonymous

        How the hell do you have Verizon cell phone service but no checking account? Seriously wtf. 

        • Anonymous

          Ever heard of a prepaid debit/credit card? They are popular with people with bad or no credit. They are also a good way to keep tabs on teenagers (or anyone else) that can’t control their spending.

          • Anonymous

            Ever heard of a personal checking account? Your credit history doesnt have ANYTHING to do with opening a checking account. 

            Also if you cant control ur spending you should be using something else than Verizon….and posting on a Android smartphone(which shows that even with “bad credit” they choose the more expensive options)blog. 

          • Anonymous

            Did verizon ask you for a checking account number when you signed up for service? Nope. Did they ask you for a debit/credit card? Yep.

            And just because I point out the fact that some folks have no checking account or self control doesn’t necessarily mean I’m speaking for myself. Next time you post, you should really think about what you’re about to say before making an ass of yourself.

          • Anonymous

            LOL I see that ur not old enough to know what a debit card is or how its related to a checking account. 

          • Anonymous

            You’re obviously not bright enough to see that the person funding the debit/credit card is not always the same person using the phone service.

            You should really stop before you embarrass yourself even more.

  • Anonymous

    I pay the same kind of fee for SDGE

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10602828 Mike Hilal

    I dont see what the issue is….pay your bill on time from your bank account (ACH) or mail a check. 

  • Stating El Obvious

    This is dumb, the government should have no say in what a private company charges.  Also, the people complaining about this are the ones who are not even affected by it.  Idiots.

    • Kris Brandt

      Uh, no.  Just because YOU aren’t in a situation where it affects you doesn’t mean there are people who are.  I have to use two cards to split the bill, one is a credit card, the other is a debit card because two people will split the costs.  So I can’t do check only and I certainly am not going to use auto-bill pay when your debt with a company is the only thing that gives you an extra bargaining chip when something goes wrong.  Not to mention that for many people, the bill isn’t the same each time.

      All this “convenience” fee did was inconvenience me since it revolved around going through several hoops to make things work just to avoid $4 in fees.  So go take your ignorant high horse and troll iPhone users.

      • zmancbr

        This is EXACTLY RIGHT!  I have multiple people on my family plan and one is my sister who lives out of state.  It is MUCH easier to have her pay her portion of the bill via telephone and online than to mail me a damn check every month.  I actually would’ve left Verizon over this fee since it is a ridiculous fee! 
        @AlexKCMO:disqus 
        Not to mention that I like to review my bill before I pay it due to errors Verizon has been known to make.  I have had several bills with extra $17 charges when they didn’t renew my sister’s contract right and charged her for data when she was unlimited. 

      • Jo

        Calm down, son.

  • http://twitter.com/jakechance Jake Chance

    I wish the FCC had more and sharper teeth.

  • Anonymous

    Translation:

    You’re gonna pay, but we feel your pain.

  • Matthew Rosidivito

    I have to say, the FCC loves backing up the cell phone carriers’ trees (did I use that apostrophe correctly? anyone?).

    Anyway, I have tattled on VZW to the FCC twice and both times resulted in being credited whatever I was owed, and a call from from high-level VZW manager telling me I’m awesome and they don’t want to lose (my money) me as a customer.

  • http://twitter.com/Danbaer Polar Baer

    Yeah Go get Em Boys 

  • http://twitter.com/jdrch Judah Richardson

    A couple things: 1) VZW isn’t the first payee to charge convenience fees for some payment methods: many state DMVs and offices charge for using a credit card 2) Not all methods of accepting payments are free for payees. It could be that Verizon’s being charged by their provider and they’re just passing that to users 3) There are other payment methods that don’t involve fees

    • Anonymous

      The difference is Verizon is only charging for using a credit card if you’re not using autopay. So they are “encouraging” you to sign up to use auto pay if you use a credit card.

  • http://twitter.com/slole1 Slole One

    107 million + subscribers. Even if 30% of those subscribers pay $24 extra per year that is close to $720+ million dollars a year revenue for allow us to pay bills on a whim. Corporate greed at its worse. 

    • http://twitter.com/garagelogician Jeff C

      There are costs associated with providing that service, this isn’t profit that we are talking about here. There ARE other options to paying your bill. You can also feel free to take your business elsewhere.

      Quit expecting the goobermint to be your Daddy and Mommy to protect you from the “evil company” that provides you with a freaking phone/computer/game console/broadband access point that you can fit in your pocket that can do all that it does for a VERY reasonable price.

      (First world problems)

      • Jovan Givens

        The purpose of the government as you so quaintly put it, is be our Daddy and Mommy. You know, look out for consumers (read: citizens) when corporations (entities that are not people by the way) decide to tack on additional useless charges that serve to bolster profits. Reasonable price? Das funny.

        • Corey Foltman

          are we 100% sure that corporations are not people? hahaha…

        • http://twitter.com/garagelogician Jeff C

          Consumers are quite capable of looking out for themselves if they put some effort into it and take responsibility for their own life. No one is forcing you to purchase service from Verizon. A smartphone is not a necessity of life.

          Corporations ARE people, they are made up of people like you and me. They have certain rights to do business and compete in a free market. They can tack on additional and useless charges all they want. Consumers have choice; you can choose to pay your bill differently, or you can choose to go to another company that doesn’t charge that fee. If their customers are upset enough by it to where they think they are going to lose business, then they will no longer charge that fee. That is precisely what happened here. And so what if that corporation did it solely to bolster profits? What is wrong with that? Do you know where profits go? Most of them get plugged back into the company. Profits help them invest, build the network and employ more people. They can also use profits to reward employees who have performed well and brought value to the company.

          And whether you think so or not, it is a reasonable price. And how “reasonable” it is to you doesn’t matter. People are willing to pay it and business is good despite a sluggish economy. The price is whatever the market determines it to be.

          • Anonymous

            The profits not going back into the employees unless your the ceo.

          • http://twitter.com/garagelogician Jeff C

            And you have proof of this? In most companies, people’s bonuses are commensurate with their position, their performance and the value they bring to the company.

            I work for a corporation of about 550 people, been there less than 2 years after starting out in a new field. We just had an outstanding year, a 50% increase in net revenue. Lots of money is going back into investment for equipment and R&D, which will bring us more work. Very generous bonuses were also given, I got $1000 and am very grateful for it.

            Did the CEO get more? You bet your ass he did, and I have no problems with it. He works hard and we wouldn’t have had nearly as good a year without him and others at the top. 20 years ago he held an entry-level position similar to mine. This is a guy who worked his way up through the ranks and deserves it.

          • Jovan Givens

            Take responsibility for your own life? This is a phone company thread, not a debate about social darwinism. 

            Corporations are made up of people, that does not constitute them as people.If customers are upset by a useless fee and said useless fee is removed, it seems the customer satisfaction (or FCC, both) worked and you arguing on behalf of the corporation with the mantra “take your business elsewhere”; because the pissed off customers tend to do that, so the fee is gone. I’m content.

      • http://twitter.com/slole1 Slole One

        I actually setup online payment processing for web companies all the time through places like Verisign/PayPal, Authorize.net, etc… 

        The cost per transaction steadily declines based on the amount used. So for the rate Verizon probably gets from their processor it would likely be less then a penny per transaction. If you look at your bill there are administrative fees that they use to cover these transactions.

        I cannot name another major business that so many people are involved with (besides student loan companies and traffic ticket systems) that have these fees. The reason the FCC is involved is because it is a company under their jurisdiction regardless of if they are private or not.

        Verizon is masking some Biz Analyst teams solution for quick revenue. I’ve been in meetings similar and you are naive to think they don’t happen. Companies are motivated by the bottom-line. Verizon has basically not given notice to the consumer’s either. It took a awesome site like Droid-Life to make us aware, which is also sad.

        Either way, I will continue to keep paying my bill through auto-pay. I just believe whenever companies do this is paves the way for other companies to begin to start the same practices (see data tiers, text prices, etc…)

        In the end the consumer is the loser.

      • Anonymous

        Does that mean if I don’t like what their doing I can just walk in and kick their ass rather then have some recourse to outrages fees someone needs to help stand up for the people.Just like these companies who charge a late fee when you pay in advance for services. 

        • http://twitter.com/garagelogician Jeff C

          they’re not their
          than not then
          outrageous not outrages

          If you walked in and kicked their ass, that would be assault.
          What companies are you talking about?

          Go occupy a real job and get a clue.

          • Anonymous

            I do have a real job and sorry about that Mr English.

  • oddball

    I’ll just start sending in checks like this if they start making me pay a “convenience fee” to pay my bill

    http://xkcd.com/verizon/ 

  • Anonymous

    Ha. verizon gets a gas face!

  • Ron Perlman’s Jaw

    FCC? Maybe the FTC.

    • http://iamandroid.co/profile/rocktoonz Rocktoonz

      I was wondering WTF the FCC has to do with this myself

    • Matthew Rosidivito

      “The Federal Communications Commission regulates interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories. It was established by the Communications Act of 1934 and operates as an independent U.S. government agency overseen by Congress.”

      Taken from http://www.fcc.gov

  • http://twitter.com/myndmelt Ryan C.

    How about Verizon pay customers an $2.00 convenience fee every time their billing is incorrect? They would loose a few billion the first quarter.

  • Adam Wiggins
  • Anonymous

    I used to charge a $2 connivence fee, then I took a FCC to the knee

    • fartbubbler

      Tonya Harding?