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Verizon To Charge $2 Fee For Phone & Internet Payments

Verizon Adds $2.00 Service Charge

-via Droid Life- A couple of years back, AT&T offered select customers a $25 prepaid MasterCard to switch their billing over to autodraft. Soon, Verizon Wireless will be following Sprint’s footsteps and charging you for every month that you aren’t using that very system. Tactical differences aside, the leaked memo shown above details what has to be one of the most consumer-unfriendly policy changes since the carrier boosted its early termination fee for “advanced devices.” Effective January 15th, any customer that opts to pay their wireless bill online or over the phone will be charged an extra $2 each month, and the only way to sidestep it is to sign up for AutoPay or to pay by electronic check, where there’s no credit card fee passed on to the carrier.

For those unaware, AutoPay automatically drafts the most recent amount from either a linked checking / savings account or a credit card on file, and while we can understand VZW’s desire to better control when it’s getting paid, charging customers to make it happen is just downright ludicrous. Here’s a thought, Verizon: enforce stricter penalties on late payments, or just offer those that shift to AutoPay a small discount for going out of their way to make your life a little easier. Or, you know, for all those hours that your network has been down during the holidays.

Update: Verizon has officially confirmed the change to its policies and the $2 surcharge you’ll be hit with each month if you’re not using autodraft or some other small subset of payment options. Head after the break for all the details straight from the horse’s mouth.

UPDATE (12/30/11) FCC to Investigate Verizon Wireless’ Plans For The $2 Charge
“On behalf of American consumers, we’re concerned about Verizon’s actions and are looking into the matter,” the FCC said in its statement.

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