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Verizon loses card fee war

By Janna Herron · Bankrate.com
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Posted: 2 pm ET

Here's yet another example of "the customer is always right," especially when it comes to fees for financial products.

Last week, Verizon Wireless said it would start charging subscribers $2 for every payment made online or over the phone with a credit card. The company said the new "convenience fee" would cover transaction costs and would go into effect Jan. 15.

Cue angry customers.

It took only a day for the backlash against the fee to convince the cellphone company to reverse its decision. By Friday, the company said on its website it won't charge the fee due to "customer feedback."

Much of that feedback was led by Molly Katchpole, who gathered more than 95,000 electronic signatures in 24 hours on a petition posted on Change.org. Does the name sound familiar? It should.

Katchpole also led another successful online petition campaign against Bank of America's $5 monthly debit card usage fee. The national bank eventually backtracked from its plans to levee the fee on customers starting this year, and other banks dropped their fees or their plans to introduce one.

Good work, outspoken customers.

In general, cellphone companies along with universities and utilities are trying to steer customers in setting up automatic online credit card payments to curb costs with taking one-time payments over the phone or Internet.

Some are just nicer about it. For example, AT&T offers a $10 gift card for those who set up their automatic payments, according to a report from The Associated Press. That probably garners more goodwill for the company than, say, a $2 fee.

So, keep your eyes out for any other credit card fees. And let me know what you see.

Follow me on Twitter: @JannaHerron.

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4 Comments
Ron
January 21, 2012 at 7:39 pm

ABSOLUTELY make a complaint to the "proper authorities" concerning this matter... MANY of my credit cards did the same thing just before our "Big Brother" government saved us from being abused by the Big Banks and credit card companies...because the GOVERNMENT took steps to "protect us" from such abuse from the financial institutions who SOOO LOVE to stick it to us - while of course leaving the effective date nd far enough in the future to allow the banking industry plenty of time to jack their rates by 8-10% or more before being regulated by the new laws... Wonder just how much our "representatives" collected in campaign contributions BEFORE the new laws went into effect..?? And - are ANY of us really STUPID enough to believe that this window was left open before the new laws went into effect just by chance..??!!?? I'd tend to believe that this was done intentionally to allow the banks to do just what they have done...and coincidentally allow them to collect large campaign contributions before the new laws went into effect...
ONCE AGAIN - THANKS ARE SUPPOSEDLY OWED TO OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS - A DEBT THAT WE SHOULD ALL REPAY BY VOTING AGAINST OUR INCUMBENT ELECTED OFFICIALS... SIMPLY PLACE YOUR "X" IN THE BOX BY THE NAME OF WHOEVER MAY BE RUNNING AGAINST YOUR CURRENT ELECTED OFFICIAL...AFTER ALL - AT LEAST THEN ALL THEY CAN TAKE FROM US IS THE SEVERAL GRAND THEY GOT AS PAYOFF FOR THEIR VOTE - WHICH THEY GET TO TAKE WITH THEM AFTER BEING VOTED OUT OF OFFICE IN CASE YOU MIGHT BE UNAWARE OF THAT LITTLE DIRTY DETAIL>>!!!

Afton
January 17, 2012 at 12:34 am

I don't understand why people would even bank with a company like Bank of America or have a Verizon cell phone. Yes, their phones are nice, and yes, its kinda cool that there is a bank on every corner. Banks and cell phone companies need to stop being greedy. There are other options. Credit unions are much better and they have a lot less fees. If you guys want to spend 35 dollars every time you overdraft your account by .01, be my guest. The majority of people with large bank accounts know better than to bank with the giant that only looks out for himself.

s middleton
January 06, 2012 at 2:23 pm

Capital One did it to me. After President Obama's "credit card reform" they increased my interest rate several percentage points. When I complained, I was told that they had informed me it would be going up and that I didn't respond [opt out was their word]so I had to pay it. I keep all my papers and they did not inform me of the changes. Then, of course, they jacked up the minimum payment. Just another way for them to gouge us.

M B D
January 05, 2012 at 11:09 pm

I have a comment about a recent notice I received from BankCard Services. I have a large balance with them and was notified that my minimum payment amount will remain the same and not go lower as I pay my balance down. When I get down to a lower balance I must pay the set payment they have established. I'm sure that somewhere in my 'small print' BankCard Services has the right to do anything they wish. I pay my bills on time and am a victim of many of the things banks and credit card companies did to the American public. The account was originally with First Equity through a local bank. They sold the loan to BankCard who immediately raised my interest rate from 8.9% to a whopping 17.99%. My payment doubled. Has anyone else had this happen?...and is it something I should make a complaint about to the proper authorities? Comments please. Thanks.