1. First Netflix, then Bank of America, and now Verizon Wireless. There a message there but the question is, will the corporations hear it?

    I think the biggest mistake these companies made was implement these rate hikes or additional fees during a period where the economy is in bad shape. Sure no one likes having to pay more for a service or product but people are more tolerant of it when they are doing well, but during an economic slump where many who were doing well are now struggling, and people will be far less tolerant of anything that raises their expenses.

    For me, I wasn’t concerned about the convenience fee because I always use my bank’s bill pay system for all my bills even though I may have to go directly to the creditors website to get my bill.

    • I think people are just fed up with corporate bullshit. Verizon’s claim that this was a “convenience fee” — implying that the company is somehow providing a convenience that costs them more money, and they have to recoup the costs somehow — is obvious BS here, making it all the more evident that it’s just a money grab. People might tolerate that better in a better economy, but since it’s so easy to make their voices heard now, I’d bet they’d still raise a huge stink.

      I’ve said it many times before: public corporations are evil. They have to be evil, they’re not allowed to have a conscience or any kind of morals; if they don’t make profits — and ever-increasing profits — their stockholders punish them. So the only message that they’re likely to hear is “lie more convincingly.”

  2. Well, according to the report I saw it does cost them. Just like any other retailer, they are charged transaction fees by the credit card companies for accepting payments using credit cards. Fees they are not charged if they accept a check or the consumer pays using a bank’s bill paying system.

    The problem here is that it is supposed to be illegal to have separate prices for cash vs. credit card transactions. Remember the often advertised “cash price”? So merchants that do it, do so by charging a “convenience” fee if you use a credit card.

    Most retailers though, don’t charge this “convenience” fee because they’ve figured in the cost of accepting credit cards into their price setting “calculations” so they actually get a small little windfall when credit cards aren’t used to pay them.

    • Accepting credit cards costs them a bit, but other forms of online bill payment (which is what this was about, as I understand it) are nearly free to them. Certainly they’re much less costly than having a person to open letters and deal with checks, for instance. That’s why the whole idea of adding a new fee “because it’s needed to offset additional costs” is so ludicrous — it was a money grab, plain and simple, and that pisses people off almost as much as being transparently lied to.

  3. The “convenience” fee was only being charged to those people that paid their bill online with a credit card. You could avoid the fee by paying in person at a Verizon store, by check through the mail, or by using your bank’s on line bill payment system.

    You could still use a credit card and avoid the fee by either paying in person at a Verizon store or by signing up for auto-pay where Verizon automatically bills your credit card each month. The reason they wouldn’t charge the fee in these cases is at the store the credit card is physically there so the merchant fees are lower and with auto-pay, Verizon is in control.

    No matter how you look at it though, the way they went about implementing and announcing it was not sell thought out.

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