Verizon Increases Fee For NOT Making Long Distance Calls To $4

In case you weren’t aware, Verizon charges you a $2 fee for the “ability” to make long-distance calls. The only way to get this fee removed is to have your long-distance service blocked or to make more than $2 worth of calls every month. Sound stupid? Well, according to the bill that reader Troy just got, that stupid fee is about to double.

Yes, Verizon is going to charge Troy $4 a month to NOT make long-distance calls. Way to go, Verizon. That’s a great idea. Why not make it $20? $30? —MEGHANN MARCO

PREVIOUSLY: Verizon: That’ll Be $2 For Not Making Long Distance Calls, Please

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  1. Buran says:

    Change providers.

    Now.

    Tell Verizon why.

  2. ExecutorElassus says:

    Yeah, ditto, man. This is the quintessential breach-of-contract bailout, and – unlike the text-message issues with Cingular a while ago – they can’t really argue that this is immaterial. They’re charging you for a service you never use, and they just doubled the cost.

    Not that they have the 1-year contract like cell phones do, but it’s still a good reason to change providers.

    Try Earth-Tones: they have a free plan (only charges per call), they give all their profits to environmental causes, and their CS is really friendly.

  3. DojiStar says:

    @Buran:

    Exactly! That’s what I did. Verizon wanted $2/mo plus 8 cents a minute for in-state and and another 8 cents a minute for state to state calling. Expensive all the way around.

    I changed to Pioneer and I don’t have the $2/mo fee and I pay only 2.9 cents for instate and 2.5 cents for state to state calling. cheap.

    I really don’t get how these big companies get away with chargeing you to use their service and then charge you more per minute to use it.

  4. JustAGuy2 says:

    The headline is kind of misleading. They’re not charging $4 to _NOT_ make LD calls, they’re charging $4/month if you want the option _TO_ make LD calls.

    Basically, if you want to have the option to make LD calls, you have to prepay for $2 (soon $4) worth of calls, and it’s use it or lose it.

  5. Nytmare says:

    It depends on your plan doesn’t it? My Verizon long distance is $0 minimum with a very high per-minute rate (I think it’s up to 40 cents now), because I rarely call long distance.

  6. vrykoul says:

    That’s common practice by pretty much everyone. If you don’t make that many long distance phone calls, you can tell them to block it and use one of those 1010 numbers to make a long distance phone call if you need to. I did that for many years with my landline.

  7. grandaardvark says:

    Isn’t this a change in the contract that will allow you to fire them with no early termination fee?

  8. martatuga says:

    Last month, when I first got charged the $2 for the priviledge of having long distance available, I immediately called do have it disable and they said they would credit my account the $2.
    This month, not only have I not been credited the $2, they charged me another $2 (for the new month) AND a $5.50 fee for cancelling long distance!
    I called to complain, got a drone who totally unhelpful, asked for a supervisor and was obviously disconnected.
    Called a second time and got a nice CSR who was nice, helpful and apologized and said she would credit all the fees.
    We’ll see what next month’s bill looks like…

  9. QuirkyRachel says:

    yup. sigh. ATT does this too. I forget what the fee is now, but I think it’s around $3.50 for not usign long distance.

  10. CaptainRoin says:

    land… line… huh??

  11. Nighthawk Foo says:

    @martatuga: They did the exact same thing to me! I was told that they would pro-rate the $2, but the next bill had not such adjustment. When I called to complain, the rep said that the fee would not be pro-rated.

    I was charged $7.50 for switching TO Pioneer LD, not for canceling long distance. Canceling is free.

  12. AcidReign says:

    …..ATT was worse than that. There was a whole page of byzantine taxes and access fees for long distance that worked out to over $8 a month, plus 35 cents a minute for calls you actually made.

    …..I switched to Bellsouth long distance, which only charges me a dollar a month not to make long-distance calls.

  13. cde says:

    Correction, Verizon does have 1 year contracts, if not on the phone side, but on the DSL/Dial Up/Fios and soon to be FiosTV service. If anything, since this allows you to cancel your phone service, you can then cancel your DSL/Fios without the ETF due to a material charge that would raise your rates for not haveing a phone line.

  14. Spamboy says:

    SBC does that same thing, at least here in Texas. I’m paying close to $6/month with the long-distance fee plus taxes, which I never use because I have a cell phone that accomodates all such needs. But to get the fee removed, I would have to pay a $15 change fee, which amounts I have to pay money to not pay money, which frustrates me.

  15. vrykoul says:

    @CaptainRoin:

    landline = normal telephone line. Not a mobile phone.

  16. cde says:

    @vrykoul: Corollary to that: Landline is a normal telephone line routed through copper twisted pair to the Telco.

  17. swalve says:

    Same problem with ATT/SBC/Ameritech in Illinois. And I can’t find a LD provider with a $0 a month plan. Or at least that seemed reputable. Shamefully, I still have a fax machine that needs the landline AND long distance. I fax like 5 things a year, but I need to be able to receive. So, it’s $20 a month.

    I especially liked Verizon’s $5.50 cancellation fee.

  18. puka_pai says:

    Spamboy, we cancelled ours with SBC a few months ago and they didn’t charge us a fee. We asked them to disable long-distance and the CSR was helpful, polite, and it worked right the first time.

  19. MeOhMy says:

    @cde: LOL…guys, I think CaptainRoin was not wondering what a landline was, but wondering why people are still using them.

    I e-mailed Verizon and they said they would block long distance which will cause the charges to stop. No mention of a fee for this, so I am interested to see if they charge me.

  20. martatuga says:

    The $5.50 cancellation fee seems to be in place since April 1st, or so I was told by the first CSR.
    I just called Verizon again to make sure the credits were noted on the account and it seems they were! Great!

  21. AcidReign says:

    …..There is a reason for land lines, down here in Hurricane Alley. When a storm comes, the cable is the first thing to shut down, followed closely by the cell towers. Then the power goes off. If it gets REALLY BAD, then the gas and water pumps shut off. You can have every utility pole in the area blown over or smashed by trees, though; and lines on the ground, and Bellsouth landlines STILL work.

    …..And in my area, if I didn’t have a landline, I’d have to be on Charter for my internet. Two of my neighbors regularly glom onto my wireless net because Charter’s out once again. (Yeah, I gave them the WPA key.) Using Bellsouth DSL and OpenDNS, the internet’s never out for me!