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.
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