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Verizon Wireless to charge $2 for certain bill payment methods

Consumer Reports News: December 29, 2011 04:08 PM

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UPDATE: Detailed tips for best ways to avoid the new fee.

Effective January 15, Verizon Wireless will charge its customers a $2 "convenience fee" if they make a single payment toward their monthly bill either online or over the phone.

The fee is waived if a customer pays online by enrolling in automatic monthly payments, or by using an electronic check.

In a statement Verizon Wireless said the following: "The fee will help allow us to continue to support these single bill payment options in these channels and is designed to address costs incurred by us for only those customers who choose to make single bill payments in alternate payment channels (online, mobile, telephone)."

In addition to an electronic check or auto pay, the $2 "convenience fee" is waived if a Verizon Wireless customer uses one of the following methods: electronic check via phone, online from a home-banking service website, at a bill payment kiosk or in a Verizon Wireless store (with a credit, debit or ATM card, electronic check or cash), or mailing a check or money order.

Verizon Wireless gift cards or rebate cards are also exempt if used as payment.

If you want to avoid the $2 fee, here are your options, in detail:

  1. Electronic check online (My Verizon Online, My Verizon Mobile/Handset).
  2. Electronic check via telephone.
  3. Enrollment in AutoPay using credit/debit/ATM card or electronic check.
  4. Online from the customer's home-banking service provider website.
  5. Credit/debit/ATM card, electronic check or cash at a Bill Payment Kiosk, Panel or with a representative at a Verizon Wireless Communications Store.
  6. Use of a Verizon Wireless Gift Card or Verizon Wireless device Rebate Card to pay a bill in-store, online or by telephone.
  7. Paper check or money order mailed to the VZW remit address on customer's bill.

Tips compiled from reporting by our sister site, The Consumerist, which also suggested one last way to avoid the new $2 fee: Switch to a different wireless carrier.

According to The New York Times Bits Blog, Verizon Wireless is simply following in the footsteps of other Internet service providers (including Comcast) that are instituting fees for customers who pay by electronic transaction. AT&T has not announced plans for a similar fee, according to Bits Blog.

Verizon Wireless Adds $2 'Convenience' Fee To Make Your Life More Inconvenient [Consumerist]
Customers Encouraged to Use Options to Avoid Single Payment Fee That Starts Jan. 15 [Verizon Wireless]
Verizon Wireless Adds $2 Fee for Some Bill Payments [Bits Blog]

Maggie Shader

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