Verizon Adds $2 Fee for Electronic Payments

By  |  Thursday, December 29, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Starting next month, Verizon Wireless is going to nickel-and-dime people who make one-time electronic payments–forty nickels or twenty dimes, to be exact:

Verizon Wireless today confirmed to Phone Scoop via email that it plans to institute a new $2 charge for customers who make single bill payments online or by telephone. The change goes into effect starting January 15. Verizon said that the fee will be waived in a number of circumstances, including: electronic checks sent through My Verizon Online, My Verizon Mobile, or via telephone; autopay enrollees who pay using credit/debit/ATM cards or electronic checks; payments made through customer home-banking services; credit/debit/ATM card or electronic check payments made at in-store kiosks; Verizon Wireless gift cards or Verizon Wireless device rebate cards to pay a bill in-store, online or by telephone; or a standard paper check or money order mailed directly to Verizon Wireless with a monthly invoice/bill. The telephone and online single payment fee will be disclosed up-front and throughout the transaction so that customers know it will be levied at the time of payment.

Many of the sites reporting on this are assuming that Verizon is charging extra for an option that actually costs it less money to provide. I’d love to know the exact math: How much does it cost the company in total when it sends you a paper bill which you then mail back to it? How much when you pay by credit card and it needs to pay a processing fee to Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or Amex? Does the $2 merely cover Verizon’s costs, as it seems to say, or is it padding its bottom line?

Here’s a Verizon page that gives the bad news and details the various options for avoiding the fee.

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5 Comments For This Post

  1. Jason Says:

    It seems safe to assume they pay between 1.5% and 3.0% transaction fee like any other outlet. On my $180 bill that's $2.70 to $5.4. Those transaction fees really should be a flat fee, but, that's another story.

  2. Kapri Genaye Says:

    Tell Verizon to drop their $2 "convenience fee." Please join me in telling Verizon Wireless you're fed up! Sign my petition calling on VZW President/CEO Daniel S. Mead to swiftly reverse the wireless provider's decision to charge us a $2 fee for paying wireless bills online or over the phone. "

  3. craig kensek Says:

    @Jason, probably right. It would be a negotiated percentage based on volume, among other things.

  4. The_Heraclitus Says:

    Hmm. Most people don't pay ad hoc like this. Auto pay set up is usually the way to go unless one is constantly broke.

  5. heulenwolf Says:

    This is clearly not cost-based. Its just incentive to sign customers up for methods of payment VZW sees as lower risk: recurring payment approvals. The cost for a recurring credit card charge is no less than that of a series of one-time charges, for example, yet one-time CC payments have a fee while Autopay CC payments do not. The only difference is the regularity of the payments. They are retargeting the cost recovery mechanism on customers using the methods they don’t like rather than those who acctually cause additional transaction cost.