Verizon To Charge You $3.50 To Pay Your Bill

Starting October 16, all Verizon Communications landline, FiOS, and DSL customers will have to pay a $3.50 fee if they pay their bills by credit or debit card. (Currently there are no plans to apply to same to wireless customers). The only way to get around it is to sign up for auto-billing. Verizon says the new fee is because they have a new vendor for processing credit and debit transactions, and they’re passing on the lack of savings to you.

A fee to pay your bill? Yep [LAT] (Hat tip to Kody!)

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. KhaiJB says:

    why do we let them get away with this?

    • TouchMyMonkey says:

      Because AT&T also sucks. So does every other telecom. You pick the carrier that sucks the least – that’s how the free market works.

    • Ouze says:

      Because, within 3 months, T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T will all also charge the same fee.

      Behold, THE INVISIBLE HAND! Working it’s magic!

      • the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

        AT&T already charges you $5 if you pay over the phone. So does the local power company, and they don’t take credit/debit at their physical location.

        • smo0 says:

          Funny thing is.. T-Mobile also told me they charged for over the phone payments already… except when (get this) YOU’RE LATE!

          They take my payments free of charge when the bill is late.

    • obits3 says:

      Someone needs to pay thier bill in pennies, unrolled

      • dragonfire81 says:

        Won’t work, they can just turn you away. There’s no law that businesses HAVE to take cash, I believe that’s been established a number of times on this site.

        • Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

          Well actually… you’re paying a debt, aren’t you? And isn’t US currency “legal for all debts, public or private?” Pile the Verizon store with all your copper-plated zinc. If they make a stink about it, remind them you are in debt to them. Of course, you’d actually have to be in debt–a month behind on the bill that is, as I’m guessing you’re actually paying in advance if you’re current with the bill.

    • jessjj347 says:

      I already have to do this with another company :(

    • Bohemian says:

      There ought to be a law.. I would love to see someone given the authority to smack down crappy practices like this without Congress having to enact a law. Maybe the new consumer tzar? I checked and Verizon does allow you to pay online with checking account. I am guessing that option won’t get the new fee. At least I hope it won’t. Verizon has been gradually making the desired options like paying with a credit card harder to use. They enacted a verified by Visa thing you have to go through in order to use a credit card and it worked maybe 25% of the time so I started doing debit card instead.

      My guess this is punishment for not being able to rape customers for those random $1.99 data charges they had been raking in until the FCC put a stop to it.

      • ShadowFalls says:

        In the state of Florida and others, there is such a law. So I am curious how they attempt to get around that one…

        Though there is no law specifically requiring them to accept cash, they cannot charge fees later to collect on a debt that you attempted to pay in good faith.

      • MyTQuinn says:

        There is someone with the authority to smack down crappy practices like this: the consumer. If you don’t like the way a company does business, don’t do business with them.

        • thaJack says:

          Unfortunately, for a certain amount of time, you are contractually obligated to do business with them.

    • sleze69 says:

      Doesn’t this violate their credit card agreement?

  2. jaroth says:

    Sprint charged me $4.99 if I don’t use Auto-Pay. Ridiculous.

    • mbz32190 says:

      They did the same to me, as I had a “restricted” account as I didn’t have a credit history, and implemented a new policy. Luckily, I only had to do it for a month as my account became “unrestricted”, and immediately disabled auto-pay. Especially since I pay with my MasterCard Debit card, I really don’t want anyone to be holding onto those numbers.

    • ecwis says:

      Yeah they did that to me. I complained and they agreed to give me a $3 credit for 12 months to compensate for the fee. Then I signed up for auto-pay. I have no problem doing it if they pay me $36 to do so!

  3. georgi55 says:

    Hmmm, I’m tempted to pay 1140 instead of $114 before change and blame it on verizon math…wonder what they will do, refund me money or keep showing credit till it runs out?

    • sufreak says:

      I’ve been tempted to do the same thing..just to pay up front when I have a little extra cash.

      • aka_mich says:

        If you’re paying online it won’t let you. Anytime you enter a payment amount even a penny over it comes back with an error that won’t let you process the transaction. As far as I know they’ll give you the same grief if you try doing it in person as well.

    • trentblase says:

      They will gladly accept your payment of $114.

    • OnePumpChump says:

      You still haven’t signed up for autopay, so they’ll still charge you the fee, out of the balance, on which they are collecting interest.

  4. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    Bullshit.

    • Chaosium says:

      Yup. Absolute bullshit.

      Also, the reason people I know don’t sign up for autobilling is because Verizon would REPEATEDLY double-bill them. Multiple times a year. And never fix the multiple debits until bothered to do so.

  5. Ouze says:

    Smells like “materially adverse change” to me – no?

    • ChicagoScotty says:

      I was just thinking the same thing. Another service provider is looking quite attractive right now. I guess it’s worth a call to VZW to see if I can get out of my contract.

    • dangerp says:

      Good call! If I had verizon, I would totally pull this card.

    • Gulliver says:

      Nope, you can still pay by any number of other means and not pay the fee. If verizon decided to stop accepting credit card payments tomorrow they can do that. Just because there is a change, does not mean you can get out of a contract.

      • DariusC says:

        Internet Lawyer Fail. If it affects your monthly cost, they will let you out of your contract. Otherwise, pay the ETF and small claim court your money back. Case closed.

  6. dilbert69 says:

    Why not just pay them with a check or use your bank’s online bill pay?

    • adrew says:

      This.

      I pay everything with BofA Bill Pay. There’s never a fee, even if they have to cut a check and mail it to the local water department.

    • Quake 'n' Shake says:

      Yeah, that’s what I was thinking. My mortgage company charges a $15 fee to each “one-time” online payment, and I don’t want to use auto-pay. Therefore, it’s one of the few remaining bills I have which I pay by check.

    • Lollerface says:

      The only problem with this is that if the bank has to print a check and mail it, you may end up being late. But otherwise a good idea.

      • obits3 says:

        If Sprint does this, I will personally hand them the check every month. Maybe… I could write Dan Hesse about how much time I will waste in thier store when they could be selling contracts. Or better yet, created a facebook group telling everyone about the materially adverse change… hmm…. excellent

      • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

        Usually the bill pay systems take this into account and send it several days early. Even so, some utilities allow electronic transfer from the bank as well.

    • thaJack says:

      That’s how I pay mine. My bank (Wachovia, now Wells Fargo) requires five business days to process, but if it’s late they will take care of any late fees, etc.

    • davegins says:

      Verizon consistently rejects my online bill payments through PNC. They are the only company that has ever done this to me.

    • dg says:

      The interesting thing is that processing a check COSTS THEM MORE! On average, processing a check costs a large corp about $7.50 per check. This includes bank charges, labor costs, equipment costs (check processing equipment, scanners, hard drives, envelope openers, etc), maintenance costs for the equipment and software involved, encryption certificates to transmit the amount to the bank, and the usual overhead for the building (they have to shred and dispose of those checks too because the bank’s don’t take them). Payments are technically paid per the postmark date no matter how long it takes to get to them. Mail gets lost, damaged, or misdirected. There’s no guarantee that they’re getting the money once they process the check – it has to clear.

      Contrast with a credit card: gateway fee, transaction fee. Money is deposited into an account automatically. Software handles everything. Average cost is under $1.00. PLUS, they typically get the money faster from most people, or at least on-time for the rest of us. Things are authorized up-front, so they know they’re getting the money.

      Verizon is full of shit, and so are the rest of these fucken assholes that charge convenience fees for processing credit card payments. The State of Illinois and their ilk stand out like sore thumbs… Pay by check – when it starts costing them more money, they’ll be begging for credit card payments…

  7. CuriousGeorge113 says:

    Just set up an “autopay” through your bank. Once a month, you log in to your banks website, tell them how much your bill was, and the bank cuts the check and mails it to Verizon.

    • Ouze says:

      Yes, that way when they screw up, the headache is all yours, and can cause cascading overdrafts to boot. You can’t chargeback a check.

      • GearheadGeek says:

        If you can’t balance your checking account, it’s your fault. If your BANK makes an error that causes the problem you described, it’s their error therefore you can make them refund the fees. I don’t really see the problem here… you’re much more likely to have a sticky situation to work out if the 3rd-party biller over-debits or double-debits your account and causes fee problems with your bank… then the bank will tell you to take it up with the 3rd party.

        • Ouze says:

          If you can’t balance your checkbook because a third party mistakenly triple-bills you, and then you overdraft in the 7-10 days before they credit you back, it’s no longer your fault, no matter how far you stretch your blame-the-consumer mentality.

          • GearheadGeek says:

            You have a reading-comprehension problem, apparently. CuriousGeorge suggested setting up the payment THROUGH YOUR BANK. Then YOU log in to YOUR bank and set the payment amount and date monthly. No 3rd party has privileges to debit from your account, therefore the fault will either be with you or with your bank, eliminating the blame-shirking that takes place between banks and 3rd parties when the 3rd party over-debits from your account and screws up other things you may have planned correctly.

            • Whiskey Tango Foxtrot says:

              This is what I do with all my accounts (credit cards, cable, cell) – I log into my bank’s website, and there is a “Pay Bills” section where I have each creditor listed – I can then input how much to pay each one, and on what day of the month to send the payment. This can be set to be recurring (same creditor/same amount/same day each month) or just input manually each month. There’s no way in hell I will ever go auto-pay after all the stories of double and triple billing that I have read on this website.

        • e065702 says:

          You are dreaming if you think that just because you have your ducks in a row and the bank makes a mistake they will take full responsibility for it.

          No sir, not in this day and age.

        • mythago says:

          Are you new here?

      • Chaosium says:

        “Yes, that way when they screw up, the headache is all yours, and can cause cascading overdrafts to boot. You can’t chargeback a check. “

        Uh, you do know that Verizon has a long history of doublebilling? The likelihood of your bank screwing up bill payment through their system is nil.

  8. jeepguy57 says:

    I hope this means more people will mail paper checks. 30% increase in paper checks to process might make them rethink that fee. Maybe.

    • georgi55 says:

      Good idea, I might turn over to paper checks just to annoy them, ING lets you send them for free so no cost to me

      • GearheadGeek says:

        You’ll have to be careful with ING about how you put in the address book entry, or they’ll convert it to the cheaper-for-them electronic transfer with “Address on file” if they realize the payment is going to VZW.

    • Bye says:

      I support this completely.

      I have done this with a few accounts that are trying to push me into auto-pay by charging a fee for my initiating an electronic payment. I love paying online and with my iPhone, but when companies try to make me pay for the privilege, I’ll revert right back to my rusty old checkbook.

      I will never setup Autopay and I will not be strongarmed into paying a fee for electing a process that should logically result in savings for them anyway.

    • packy says:

      A 30% increase in paper checks might give the USPS enough volume they don’t need to increase postage or cut back service.

    • Jozef says:

      I’m already paying them with paper checks. Having had bad experience with faulty charges in the past, I don’t use automatic credit card payments for monthly bills with any company.

    • diggthisstory says:

      This is what I sent to them:

      http://consumerist.com/2010/10/verizon-charges-350-if-you-dont-do-auto-pay.html

      After reading this article I would like voice my disgust for this fee. I will now be paying by a paper check to Verizon for the remainder of my contract. I left AT&T because of the enormous recommendations by both my friends and colleagues about how great Verizon was. But from now on instead of recommending the service to everyone like I have been doing, I’ll be reminding everyone that I speak to about this lovely new fee that Verizon feels like they need to introduce.

      Everyone should voice their complaints
      https://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/contact/index.jsp
      ugh

      • JustSomeGuy says:

        Unfortunately your complaint will fall on ears that can do nothing as this change does not affect Verizon Wireless customers.

        This is only affecting Verizon Communications customers (land-line and internet).

        • diggthisstory says:

          Consumerist’s page was updated after I posted this apparently. I did fully read the blurb when I wrote this.

    • kunfushuss says:

      I just e-mailed them saying I was going to send paper checks, and write the account number on it real sloppy so a person will have to figure out who to credit it to, and put in extra pieces of paper in case they have the system automated. I figure it’s a small trash receptacle I can put a few pieces of trash in a month. Maybe the ads they put in my mailbox?

      Meanwhile, I’m also going to call and try to get out of my Fios contract – not my wireless one though, because I can’t make any argument.

  9. MacRtst says:

    I thought Obama’s new credit act said companies can’t charge for paying bills with credit cards.

    • Naame says:

      The source article (LA Times) explains that:

      Mortgage lenders and utility providers are charging customers as much as $20 to pay by phone.

      The credit card reform law now prohibits lenders from charging a fee for paying your bill by phone, particularly if you use an automated system. But apparently the same doesn’t apply to mortgage payments.

      Basically, there are exceptions which really sucks but some is better than none I suppose.

      • Hoot says:

        Really? I have one bill that charges me $2.50 to pay by phone (car insurance). My rental company also charges me $40 to pay over the phone. Does that count, I wonder?

  10. danmac says:

    God, this kind of thing is bullshit. People want to avoid auto billing in the first place because companies like Verizon frequently make billing mistakes or overbill when there is a vendor/customer dispute or account cancellation. Verizon should call this the “keep our greasy little hands out of your pocket” fee.

    It’s like the cell phone companies are falling over themselves trying to win next year’s Worst Company award.

    • shinseiromeo says:

      This applies to ALL Verizon accounts. I use them for internet only and saw a warning when I paid my bill earlier today.

  11. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    I guess the alternative is to pay with cash or a check at the Verizon store.

  12. rushevents says:

    That is such crap! My company sells credit processing. There is NO WAY their fees went up $3.50. An agent the size of Verizon pays less than 2% per transaction.

    No – that is only an excuse for them to add a new fee for nothing and still be able to keep their official “per minute” rate appear competitive.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      Yeah, this smelled like BS to me too.

    • Ouze says:

      If you’re paying a supersized family plan bill of $200 a month, then $3.50 is less then 2% per transaction. Technically.

    • AJ_Syrinx says:

      If AT&T does this I’ll pay them with checks so The Priests of the Temples of Syrinx can do extra work.

    • tdogg241 says:

      Also, if you set up autobilling, you’re likely using a credit or debit card. How does that not also incur the $3.50 transaction fee? It’s totally a junk fee to try and squeeze a little more blood out of that stone.

  13. Cicadymn says:

    Boy I can’t wait to switch out of Verizon when my contracts up. “Unlimited” 5 gigs of data, now fees for paying your bill.

    Switching like the fist of the motherfucking north star

  14. Jason says:

    I am so glad for this article. I am with Verizon and my 2 year contract is up on Oct 18. I have just been waiting for some new Android phone to come along. I will now be going to a new provider. 11 years with Verizon, and never a single complaint until this. My final bill will be paid via paper check.

    • RoadDogg says:

      This is for Verizon, not Verizon Wireless. They are different companies.

    • EarlNowak says:

      If coverage is acceptable where you are, Sprint has been great for me. The cost is just over half of Verizon or AT&T, they have amazing new phones, are deploying 4G pretty fast, and they must have retrained all their Customer Service guys because I’ve always had good experiences. Any time there’s a problem, the first thing they do is note it for their network techs, the second thing they do is offer a bill credit. I have good service at home and around town, and the few times I’ve travelled to places without sprint service it roams on verizon for free.

      • Gramin says:

        Nobody who uses one of the big providers pays roaming fees. That’s not really a selling point anymore.

    • twiggr says:

      Check out: http://www.KittyWireless.com Runs on the VZW network and saves you a bundle.

  15. anarkie says:

    Time to dust off the checkbook. Not like I’ve used it in the past 4 years.

  16. RoadDogg says:

    I’m pretty sure this is inaccurate. According to their website, you only get charged $3.50 if you make a payment without being registered for MyAccount. You do not have to sign up for auto-pay.

    A quick google search for “Verizon Bill Payment Fee” returned this:
    https://www22.verizon.com/myverizon/
    Check the right hand side

    • cosby says:

      I just went to pay my bill through my account and saw where they will charge the fee for credit or debit transactions through the my account.

    • pot_roast says:

      This is definitely accurate. I’m seeing a notice about it on my My Verizon billing page right now. And I’m not happy about it, because I have two other utilities that are also charging fees. It’s an extra $11 in monthly fees just for using a credit card.

      Looks like we’ll be going back to checks or giving BofA BillPay a whirl.

  17. Giles says:

    Brighthouse Networks does this too… All I have to do to pay online without a fee is enroll is Bill Pay (their auto draft system), make a manual payment(without fee), and then unenroll from Bill Pay. Maybe Verizon will have a similar work around.

  18. MoreThanWYSIWYG says:

    I will start paying with a check again, that has to cost them, more $$. Nothing like reverting back to the age of Fax machines and M.C. Hammer.

  19. allcapsdoom says:

    Stay classy, Verizon. Reminds me every day why I will never ever ever go back to them. Virgin Mobile FTW.

  20. DeepHurting says:

    So, they’re charging you extra for wanting to pay your bill. On time.
    I can see it now in 2011…
    “Verizon introduces new fee for not paying your bill in the giant stone coins of the island of Yap.”

  21. TPA says:

    Does anyone know if this applies to Verizon Wireless as well? I got the notice on my Verizon landline that they’ll be charging this bullshit, but haven’t heard from the cellular side yet.

    • gc3160thtuk says you got your humor in my sarcasm and you say you got your sarcasm in my humor says:

      The blurb above says not wireless. Did the ppl saying they are going to get out of their contracts for wireless even read the above blurb before posting? Naaah, too easy.

  22. frank64 says:

    I have auto bill with my credit card on my Sprint account. They send a bill and tell you how much they are taking out way before they do it, and even if there is a mistake on your credit card there won’t be the fees.

    • Dover says:

      I can’t believe it took so long for someone to say this. Verizon is wrong for charging this fee, no doubt, but I already have my bill automatically charged to my credit card and I don’t know why everyone doesn’t do this. No risk, easy, and free (apparently that’s a selling point now).

  23. Thyme for an edit button says:

    I have mine autobill to a credit card.

  24. captadam says:

    I had paper billing for years and was grandfathered in when paper billing began to involve a charge. Then, I accidentally submitted something online and didn’t notice the checkbox opting me out of paper billing until it was too late.

    So, I set up autopay. This worked great until my debit card expired and was replaced. I forgot to change the expiration date in autopay, and I had a denied payment. This might have happened twice until I finally found what was wrong–I can’t remember. Anyway, this resulted in late billing fees (which were waived) and an inability for me to use the autopay system for at least six months.

    So, I argued and had paper billing reinstated, free of charge. Now, I set up my Verizon payment with my credit union’s billpayer service. It’s paid with an electronic payment similar to a check. I guess this means I’ll miss out on this fee.

    Still, it’s a pain in the ass. It shouldn’t be this hard to PAY my bill.

    • Hooray4Zoidberg says:

      Yeah I hate those sneaky checkboxes. Comcast has them twice on it’s billing flow. They’re the only company I make send me a paper copy everymonth because I despise they’re over emphashis of how “green” they’re trying to be while ultimatley I know it’s just because it saves them an ass load of money.

      Anyways on their billing flow it has a pre checked box for Opting into their paperless billing and a “remember my choice” box. The remember box never works and every time I pay I have to make sure it’s unchecked. Then again after you submit payment there is another prechecked opt out box on the confirmation page that you could easily gloss over.

  25. J-Sap says:

    I wonder if people can use this as a way to get out of their contracts?

  26. beeman says:

    I feel screwed. Is this the wave of the future? Coerce us into paperless billing, which implies credit card payment, and then slap on a ridiculous fee?

  27. jason in boston says:

    This might not be legal in massachusetts (we have some pretty good consumer protection laws like no credit card needed for certain products). With that said, I guess i’ll have to go back to checks if I ever go back to VZW.

  28. JohnDeere says:

    what about an electronic funds transfer straight from my bank account with my banks bill pay?

  29. Running_Fool says:

    Whoah, having to pay for paying your bill?! I get 3% off for being on autopay and credit card payment with US Cellular. I don’t see why it should be any different than paying with cash. The company wants your money, you want to give it to them.. But then they want more.

  30. Strider817 says:

    Hmm, my contract is up for renewal with T-mobile and I was seriously considering the switch to Verizon. This just sealed the deal, so thanks Verizon for making the choice easy. G2 seems pretty sweet too.

  31. Losiris says:

    This explains why verizon randomly offered me a $10 credit to sign up for paperless billing and autopay. I guess procrastnation pays off sometimes…

  32. NoRegrets78 says:

    If you’re using a debit card, why not use your checking account to pay? You don’t have to schedule auto-pay for it, and it still works. I understand the fee is complete crap, but the alternative for me is Cablevision. VZ is the lesser of the 2 necessary evils here.

    • edicius is an acquired taste says:

      I know I pay my VZW bill via my checking account instead of using my debit card info. I gather Verizon Communications won’t let people do that…?

  33. IR1 says:

    The article says Verizon communications… which is not the same as Verizon Wireless. So it isnt clear if this goes for VZW customers as VZW is not really integrated with VZ Comm since Vodafone owns 45%.

  34. floor9 says:

    What happened to merchants not being able to assess a surcharge for credit card transactions unless that surcharge was equally applied across all payment methods? I thought that was a noteworthy part of the Visa/MC Master Agreements.

  35. BigHeadEd says:

    So, a system originally put in place to eliminate Verizion’s costs to manually process paper checks is converted after-the-fact into a profit center. Nice. Looks like an “A” rated year for someone in receivables.

    Next they will institute a fee for paper check processing and eventually pigeon-hole everyone via fees into a yet-to-be-named, Verizion-owned online banking process akin to PayPal.

  36. jasw says:

    T-Mobile hasn’t started doing this yet, but I’m sure it’ll happen soon. My AEP electric and Columbus Gas have been doing this for years. 3.50 to pay a bill online unless you enroll in auto-pay. I’ve discovered that I can walk a half a mile to the local grocery store and pay my T-Mobile, gas, and electric bill through their bill pay system for $2 total.

  37. gamabunta says:

    Too bad brick and mortars charge a fee for in person payments too otherwise I’d pay the whole damn bill in pennies every month.

  38. Hoot says:

    I have some bills that charge for using credit/debit cards, some that charge for internet payment, some that charge for phone payment. It’s ridiculous to keep them all straight.

  39. Anri says:

    So does this count as a change in the contract?

  40. grumpskeez says:

    So if we pay every 2 months does that mean we’re actually only getting charged 1.75 per month for using our credit card? Seems like people would figure that out quickly and start lumping months together.

  41. BuyerOfGoods3 says:

    My AT&T contract just ended — I will not be switching to Verizon.

  42. mikedt says:

    Wonder how much it costs them to process a check. Because that’s what they’ll be getting from now on. No way in hell would I let Verizon automate any type of pay service. My wife worked for them at one time, she and a current customer service rep admitted that their billing system is an antiquated quiltwork of different systems prone to errors.

  43. rickhamilton620 says:

    I just went to pay my Verizon bill now after reading this, I noticed that on the homepage, there’s a very important distinction: If you use the My Verizon portal to pay your bill (w/out autobilling) you won’t be charged. If you dont sign in first you WILL be charged though.

    Big difference. :)

    • RoadDogg says:

      I tried calling this out too but the “powers that be” on this site decided they rather keep the article inaccurate then acknowledge they are reporting half truths.

      The $3.50 fee is only if you don’t sign up for MyAccount. Google “Verizon Bill Payment Fee” and the first link make it pretty clear that this article is wrong.
      https://www22.verizon.com/myverizon/

  44. lihtox says:

    They must have the same PR morons that work for the airlines. This is simple: raise your prices by $3.50, and then offer people who use autobill a discount. Same result, better press.

    • rickhamilton620 says:

      You don’t have to autobill. the fee’s only for people who don’t sign into the MyVerizon web portal:

      “Make a payment now without registering or signing in.

      Please note that payments made
      without signing in to My Verizon will be processed by a vendor who will charge a $3.50 service fee per payment. Avoid this fee by signing in or registering.”

  45. Joseph49 says:

    Whether its Verizon or any other company, I think it is the height of arrogance to charge a customer money for the privilege of paying them money.

    If you didn’t pay your bill on time, they would hound you with credit calls, ding your credit rating (which I believe is over-hyped anyway), and then make you pay to pay them.

    For those who suggest that we use paper checks (which is what I do), the time will come where they will demand a fee for accepting those because there require more labor to process.

    As a country, corporate greed and political acceptance (via PAC money) is a major contributor reason for the decline in even rudimentary customer service.

  46. dangerp says:

    Between that and this:

    http://www.tested.com/news/verizon-vs-att-vs-sprint-vs-t-mobile-how-each-carrier-controls-android/1125/

    I’ve officially decided not to return to Verizon for quite some time (at least until they stop these shenanigans). I was a longtime customer, but left due to a) their price and b) their nonsensical policies such as this one.

  47. Hooray4Zoidberg says:

    This is such transparent bullshit. First no way it cost them $3.50 a transaction in vendor fees. Second if I sign up for auto pay on my credit card they fee is waived? Didn’t you just say the purpose of the fee was to cover rising processing fees? How is the auto pay fee on the same credit $3.50 cheaper then a single charge? Isn’t auto pay just your internal system applying a single charge behind the scenes the same exact way it would if I manually pay?

  48. Nic715 says:

    Wondering the same as a few others…does this count as a change of contract and thus void the ETF?

  49. Miriv365 says:

    Mail them a check… let them deal with the extra $ they have to spend processing those.

  50. HunterJoules says:

    I pay my bill each month with Bank of America’s online billpay system. Will this incur a $3.50 charge as well? Do I have to manually add that to my bill each time? Usually I just type in how much I owe them in the box and click “pay”; will the $3.50 already be factored into the bill?

  51. oldwiz65 says:

    Just look at it as an increase in your monthly fee. They do it all they time anyway. No matter what they choose to call it is still an increase in your monthly fee.

  52. AntiNorm says:

    I thought these surcharges were against their merchant agreement with Visa/MC.

  53. JakeChance says:

    I thought merchants couldn’t charge you a fee to use your credit card. Does this not count because it’s a bill rather than a purchase at a store?

  54. ReverseCarpetbagging says:

    Is this grounds for early termination?

  55. astraelraen says:

    Maybe this is for Verizon landline customers only?

    There is no notification of this anywhere online when I sign into my Verizon Wireless account. Also, there is no notification of this on any of the last 3 bills I looked up.

  56. GMFish says:

    And people wonder why I still pay my bills via the mail by checks.

  57. Anonymously says:

    Prepaid wireless FTW.

  58. sopmodm14 says:

    why did they choose a more expensive vendor ?

    • Galium says:

      That is easy. Verizon privatized/sub contracted their electronic billing, so they will always be the good guy if you have billing problems. Most likely verizon is the parent company of the billing company, or verizon’s upper managment past or present is.

  59. Buckus says:

    What the… If they start doing this to me, it’s back to postage and paper checks. I have a small-ish monthly bill, and one month it came with a “Pay Online!” insert. So I went to the website and started the process, only to notice there was a $5 convenience fee or something. So out came the checkbook. It costs less to process a payment online, I’m not sure why some companies have decided that it costs more.

  60. Galium says:

    I get a paper bill in the mail from verizon, pay it with a personal check, no fee except postage. All my bills are payed by check . I would also bet that the paper billing cost verizon much more than electronic billing. People set themselves up for these fees by going electronic.

    • Galium says:

      PS. I have my checking and do all business through a credit union for the past 26 years. I only pay for the cost of the checks, never had any problems with things being screwed up, and they are more than glad to give me a loan anytime I needed it. Anyone who still does business with a bank needs therapy.

  61. steveliv says:

    This appears not to apply to Verizon Wireless.

  62. dangermike says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I sure am happy that I’ve gone prepaid. I get my $100 cards every 4-7 months when I just happen to be passing by the brand’s store on other errands and I never have to bother with any fees, taxes, or other crap. Just my 10 cents a minute and 5 or 10 cents per text, usually around 100-150 minutes and 30-50 SMS volleys.

  63. Christopher says:

    This pertains Verizon Communications, not Verizon Wireless. Why is there a picture of a cellphone and why is this article tagged with the tag “CELLPHONES”? Quite a bit misleading, if you ask me.

  64. d0x360 says:

    How about we organize a month or two where nobody pays their damn bill and see how they like that.

  65. startertan says:

    I pay my FIOS through my bank but it’s not autobilled. I assume since it’s not a credit card or my debit card, just my bank account number that I will not be subject to this BS profit grabbing fee correct?

  66. chiieddy says:

    I simply have auto-payment from my online checking so they get an electronic check. No cards involved.

  67. Megladon says:

    And the post office doesnt care if they’re urine soaked so long as the package doesnt leak!

    http://consumerist.com/2009/03/no-you-should-not-pay-your-206-speeding-ticket-with-urine-soaked-coins.html

  68. diagoro says:

    This is just like “paperless billing”, a complete scam.

    I love how they present paperless billing as being environmentally friendly and saving paper. While it may save paper, I’ll bet it also saves that company tons of cash in postage (yet not one customer will ever see any of it)!

  69. Marsupial says:

    October 16? Nonsense! I got charged this fee when I paid my bill yesterday over the phone. When I tried to pay through their website, there was no fee but they were going to hold the payment for three days! (This is my first billing cycle with Verizon, so this is all new to me.) I have FiOS for TV & Internet. My cell phones are with Sprint, and they have never charged me a dime for any payment method.

  70. jim says:

    seeing something similar in our company. our cc provider has jacked a lot of rates so a lot of things had to be modified to minimize impact.

  71. 451.6 says:

    Maybe I’m old-fashioned but I like getting bills in the mail and paying by check. Look Ma, no autopay fees!

    Also, I never use checks for anything but paying rent, bills, etc, so I still have my same checks from when I opened the account in 2007. At this rate, I’ll have used them up by 2013!

  72. dvddesign says:

    Verizon’s FiOS portal has been unquestionably awful for me since we signed up. The service is spectacular, but the customer service is without a doubt ridiculous. There’s no way to scale back services without calling. Calling results in a 1hr + hold time for anything. So, our house has 3 TV’s but we’ve opted to scale back to 2, can’t do it. We’ve tried online, but no. Every time I go to return a box, the form has an expectation that you’re not returning something without buying something to replace it, which is moronic.

    And calling is the biggest hassle of all. I can’t use their cryptically slow site (ironic considering how fast and reliable my connection is) so I must call. 1hr + wait and I HAVE to call during work hours, because their customer support and billing departments are ONLY available from 9am to 5pm. What the hell guys?

  73. cheezfri says:

    Per Visa’s merchant rules: “Always treat Visa transactions like any other transaction; that is, you may not impose any surcharge on a Visa transaction. You may, however, offer a discount for cash transactions, provided that the offer is clearly disclosed to customers and the cash price is presented as a discount from the standard price charged for all other forms of payment.”

    Per Mastercard’s merchant rules: “A Merchant must not directly or indirectly require any Cardholder to pay a surcharge or any part of any Merchant discount or any contemporaneous finance charge in connection with a Transaction. A Merchant may provide a discount to its customers for cash payments. A Merchant is permitted to charge a fee (such as a bona fide commission, postage, expedited service or convenience fees, and the like) if the fee is imposed on all like transactions regardless of the form of payment used, or as the Corporation has expressly permitted in writing.”

  74. damageddude says:

    Why do I have to set up for auto-billing? Old fashioned checks or having the money automatically transferred from my checking account no longer work?

    • OnePumpChump says:

      You have to because Verizon came up with a lie whose veracity you cannot verify. Also because fuck you, give me your money.

  75. Admiral_John says:

    This is crap… I pay my mortgage, car insurance, home owner insurance, electric, cable and car payments all online and the only one that doesn’t charge me a fee is my electric company. These fees range from $3 to $10.

  76. OnePumpChump says:

    They’re passing the lack of savings back on to you, and their new vendor is passing part of the lack of savings back to Verizon.

  77. BillKula says:

    This is Bill Kula with Verizon media relations and an update on this topic I provided over our @verizon Twitter handle last week:

    The proposed pilot test of a $3.50 per month fee for FiOS Internet and FiOS TV customers only without phone service from Verizon, and who live in California, Texas and Florida only, and who pay their bill via a credit card was scheduled to have begun on Saturday, Oct.16, but was not implemented as planned.

    Verizon has communicated this update to customers who fit the criteria of the proposed test. For now, we’re evaluating the program before taking any further action.

    I’m at william.kula@verizon.com. — Bill Kula, APR, Director of Media Relations, Verizon Communications Inc.