HolyCoast: Another Fee Dies At The Hands of Consumers

Friday, December 30, 2011

Another Fee Dies At The Hands of Consumers

How is this story and the Tea Party connected?  I'll give you my theory in a minute:
Well, that was fast. Verizon Wireless caved to pressure from outraged consumers and a possible probe by the Federal Communications Commission and backed off of a plan to charge customers a $2 fee to pay their wireless bills online.

In a statement issued this afternoon, the company said it would drop the plan announced yesterday.

"At Verizon, we take great care to listen to our customers," Dan Mead, president and chief executive officer of Verizon Wireless said in a statement. "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 said that it still wants to encourage customers to take advantage of other payment methods, including automatic payments that charge credit cards or debit bank accounts every month as well as electronic check payments.
I really think that the consumer reaction to this fee, and to the $5 bank ATM fees that were proposed and quickly dumped by BofA and other banks, can be traced to the rise of the Tea Party in America. A group of people said "Enough!" and refused to go along with whatever the government (or big business) wanted. I think a lot of people felt personally empowered by the actions of the Tea Party patriots and now feel less intimidated by both government and big business.

Could you imagine what we could get done if people would be as outraged by a $15 trillion dollar national debt and over $1 trillion in annual deficits as they are about a $2 Verizon charge?


Nightingale said...

Didn't surprise me when Verizon announced the charge, citing the cost of trying to collect on those who don't pay their bills. But to stupid Verizon: do you really think it wise to punish most of your customers for the bad behavior of a few? And in this economic climate? Not a good business decision as we have seen today.

Hope the State of California is taking note. The last 2 times I paid my car registration online, a notice informed me the privilege was free of charge. I wonder when it won't be so.

Sam L. said...

Ok, so at what point do you think a fee is better than a first-class stamp? I'm guessing something less. Now if we had to go to the DMV and wait in line to make payments....