December 30, 2011- Verizon Wireless, the largest cell phone company in the United States, has announced it will charge subscribers $2 for each payment made online or via the phone with a credit card. Starting January 15, the company will start charging what it called the “convenience fee.”
The fee will not be charged for payments made by electronic check or payments set up on an automatic payment plan using credit cards through the company’s AutoPay system. Those who choose to pay with a credit card at a Verizon store will not be charged as well as those who mail a check for payment.
Other cell phone providers have tried to entice their subscribers to set up automatic payments as well. AT&T offers a gift card for those enrolling in the AutoPay plan. Sprint charges its subscribers who carry cap limits on fees they can be charged for the month. Those subscribers receive a $5 monthly charge unless they opt to enroll in automatic payments.
It is common amongst universities, utilities and state tax offices to charge a fee for the convenience of paying online. Each time a subscriber pays online a fee is charged to the company receiving the payment, something not charged if an electronic check is processed instead. Even though companies are charged for each payment when an automatic payment plan is established, they do not have to worry about late payments or late fees.