Verizon Was Just Kidding About Charging You $3.50 To Pay Your Bill

Verizon was on the verge of charging landline, FiOS, and DSL customers $3.50 for the privilege of paying their bill by credit card, but has apparently reconsidered.

“We recently let you know that one-time payments using a credit/debit/ATM card would soon be processed by a vendor who would charge a $3.50 fee. This change will not take place as scheduled and we will notify you in advance of any future changes.”

That’s good news for customers, who will have $3.50 extra in their credit/debit/ATM accounts than expected. And better news for Verizon, which won’t lose any more customers than it already has due to the muck-up.

Previously: Verizon To Charge You $3.50 To Pay Your Bill

(Thanks, Eric!)

Comments

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  1. OnePumpChump says:

    Do you get to call it a “*uck up” if it was deliberate?

  2. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    Any chance this was a ploy to make their vendor NOT charge them to process? I mean, if Verzion could show they would lose business by enforcing the vendors charge, I bet there is a clause in the contract that would make Verizon be able to cancel the contract and switch to another vendor w/o penalty.

  3. BillKula says:

    This is Bill Kula with Verizon media relations. I provided an update on this topic over our @verizon Twitter handle last week, and posted the following note earlier today on the Consumerist’s original blog on this story:

    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.

    • Bativac says:

      I am curious as to how Verizon thought this would be received. Did Verizon need a pilot test to convince you that your customers do not want to pay a fee simply to pay their bill?

      Also – the rumors regarding this $3.50 charge were enough to convince my wife and I not to switch to Verizon for our cell phones. We’re sticking with AT&T.

      • dangerp says:

        +1. Me and my wife were going to switch back to Verizon (we left after the disabled Blackberry 8830 GPS *uck up), and get a shiney new Android phone in the process. But after this and that other story aired, we called it off. Sounds like T-mobile for another two years!

        Treating customers fairly > awesome network.

        • sleze69 says:

          Don’t forget that the awesome network is highly related to the geographic location. AT&T is MUCH better in San Diego and Washington than Verizon (from a 3G perspective) whereas Verizon is better in NYC and Panama City.

          Me thinks that “Bill” is a troll because any qualified PR guy would be MUCH better at spinning this. I think a real Verizon PR would just lie and say it was an idea floated that was mistakenly released or something.

    • Parsnip says:

      What was the point of your comment? To say “We were thinking about screwing over only people in these few states, and only ones who use a service for which there really isn’t much competition. We haven’t decided if we’re not actually going to screw them over. We just know we’re not doing it yet. But don’t worry! We’ll let you know when we’re ready to go ahead with the screwing over process.!”

      I think I just translated that for you.

    • The cake is a lie! says:

      So you assume that everybody follows you on Twitter and reads consumerist, eh? Flattering, but illogical. I’ve got no use for Twitter and didn’t see your comment anywhere else. Next time consider a press release or a public announcement on your website. Or perhaps get a pane of glass installed in your belly so you can see where you are going while your head is up your ass.

    • kunfushuss says:

      Bill, this is simply not true. I live in Maryland and have phone service, and when I signed in and tried to pay my bill a few days ago, I was told I would incur the $3.50 fee for a credit card transaction. When I contacted customer service, they did not mention that it only applied to those people either – they told me to sign up for auto-pay. IF you work for Verizon, you’re clearly as wrong as they were to attempt the maneuver in the first place.

      Glad I paid my bill via check this past month.

    • TPA says:

      Bullmanure — I *ONLY* have a Verizon landline at my home (for the alarm system) and Verizon had the nasty messages all over my on-line account warning me of impending doom and $3.50 charges if I refused to sign up for automatic debit.

    • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

      I was told that because I have FIOS internet and TV but don’t have landline service, I can’t switch my payment method from my credit card or I’ll lose my bundle discount. So if this goes into effect, I am just being charged $3.50 a month to keep my “discount”.

      If that happens, I think it’s time to build that MythTV PC and drop TV service, then start comparing bare internet. (Factoring in the grief and spite factors, of course….)

  4. Riroon13 says:

    I wonder how many customers were ready to pull the ‘materially adverse change’ card and bail out early?

    (FWIW, I have Centennial Wireless, a southern regional carrier that just got bought out by? Yeah, you guessed it)

    • TuxthePenguin says:

      I don’t know if this would be considered a materially adverse change. Nothing in the contracted service changed – I bet if you looked through your contract it doesn’t mention anything about HOW you pay, only that you do pay on time.

      • obits3 says:

        If it doesn’t say how you pay, then I’m all for the “Bucket full of pennies” approach at the store.

        “all debts public and private” FTW!

    • jason in boston says:

      Verizon is not Verizon Wireless.

  5. moonunitrappa says:

    In Texas, have to pay an extra fee (as of 9/2010) by phone to pay the bill, and I rarely had the ability to pay my bill online because the payment area of the site is hijacked beyond belief with errors and bugs. I always ended up going to a store in person to handle a bill. They also don’t take Amex online but do in person.

    I know someone who works tech/customer support and they were able to explain why the company is bass akwards in the billing department. Basically they buy up different systems from different companies but never switch the customers to one master database/system. My friend has to login to the most archaic databases on occasion just to make a change to someone’s account. And when people bundle services (that combine different systems/databases) and something goes wrong, you’re basically asking for a one way ticket to nowheresville and you get lost in the shuffle (ie transfer hell for support).

    • invisibelle says:

      I dunno about your issues with paying online, but I’ve heard similar things about Verizon’s backend systems from a couple of friends who used to work in development there.

  6. dolemite says:

    I’m waiting for the day when companies charge you $5 processing fee if you mail in your check, $10 monthly fee if you stop in the store/bank to pay your bill (some banks do this now), $10 convenience fee for paying your bill by phone, and $3.50 fee for paying by credit card/check card, and then put “do not send cash” on your payment slip.

    • travel_nut says:

      My mortgage company charges $14 to pay over the phone and $10 to pay online. They do not accept billpay from your bank, period. The only “free” way to pay is to (a) mail in a check and pray that it doesn’t get lost or stolen, or (b) sign up for automatic draft.

      Yeah, they suck.

      • vastrightwing says:

        The problem with automatic draft is if they try to withdraw the money at a time your balance is too low, you’ll incur overdraft fees. So your only hope is to mail them a check. Sounds like the old way is still the best way to me.

      • georgi55 says:

        Get online banking account like ING, you can specify to mail check for free.

  7. Liam Kinkaid says:

    About tree-fiddy.

    • Thyme for an edit button says:

      I ain’t givin’ you no tree fiddy, you goddamn Verizon! Get your own goddamn money!

  8. Forrest says:

    So this got me to sign up for auto-bill/pay in order to avoid the charge, worked just like they hoped I guess.

  9. anarkie says:

    Wait…a cell company that actually listens and backs down from a bad idea? Too bad for my AT&T friends their data didn’t get the same treatment.

    • mrscoach says:

      This isn’t the wireless side of Verizon, but the Fios internet and Fios tv side. Had nothing to do with VW, except as a probable test run to see if customers would pay or complain.

  10. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    I called it – just like T-mobile they eventually cave to criticism for charging customers for paying their bill.

  11. DanKelley98 says:

    Why should ANYONE be charged a fee is PAY THEIR BILL?

    Is this so hard to understand Verizon?

  12. sopmodm14 says:

    in that case, if i’m saving the carrier money by going paperless or referring a friend, i want a cut

  13. BurtReynolds says:

    Shoot, I was looking forward to paying an extra $3.50 to the fine folks at Verizon so I could pay my bill.

    Or according to the comments here, I still might be able to.

    I love how companies “pilot” new fees. I think they already know how customers feel about it.

  14. backbroken says:

    Why can’t they just do it the old fashioned way…sneak a new $3.50 ‘fee’ on to your bill. Call it, “FCC configuration surcharge” or something innocuous like that. It would be months before anybody noticed, if at all.

    Or else just increase all of the already existing fees by $.50.

    Maybe that’s the new plan.

  15. Ray says:

    I have currently been on hold for about 1/2 hour awaiting a Supervisor to see if Verizon can fix our dual Fios problem – one getting our permanent telephone lines switched from temporary and the second – getting the correct bill – they seemed to have charged full price for bundled service.

    It’s only been two weeks and I’ll give them another four or five days. If they can’t get them fixed by the day after Election Day they are gone from our fiber optic connection!

  16. PLATTWORX says:

    You can’t believe the “spin” for a moment. They never expected the web to grab ahold of this story and turn it into a PR nightmare… now they are pretending it was all a mistake.