If you were a Verizon customer, you probably heard about the $2 fee Verizon was trying to push on people who made one-time bill payments on their accounts. I’m a Verizon FiOS customer so I wasn’t happy to hear the news that they’d be trying to juice up their profits just a little more with this ridiculous fee. It turns out a lot of people weren’t happy (surprise!) and Verizon is backtracking by scrapping plans for this $2 fee.  The funny part is that the CEO stated:
“At Verizon, we take great care to listen to our customers. Based on their input, we believe the best path forward is to encourage customers to take advantage of the best and most efficient options, eliminating the need to institute the fee at this time,” Verizon CEO Dan Mead said in a statement.
It doesn’t take a genius to know that customers aren’t going to like paying fees. They especially hate paying fees when they are trying to pay you for a service you provide!
The big lesson we can all learn from this and other failed new fees, like at Bank of America, is that the Internet has given consumers a big tool against companies trying to pull these types of stunts. Twenty years ago a company could have instituted a new “convenience” fee and likely gotten away with it. You might have had a local news station do one of those “On Your Side” stories where they pointed it out but nothing was possible on such a national scale. Now, companies like Verizon and Bank of America will really hear their customers when they try something like this.
Verizon – If you want people to use automatic bill pay, try a carrot next time. People don’t like being hit with sticks.