TLP: Someone's Got To Be Losing A Year-End Bonus Over This

verizon fee
Wow. I never even had a chance to grumble about this with JDA.

NYT:
Verizon Wireless bowed to a torrent of criticism on Friday and reversed a day-old plan to impose a $2 bill-paying fee that would have applied to only some customers.

The consumer vitriol, which cascaded across Twitter and onto blogs and petitions all around the Web, struck a chord with a company that was clearly not expecting it.

“The company made the decision in response to customer feedback about the plan, which was designed to improve the efficiency of those transactions,” Verizon Wireless said in a statement referring to the reversal.

That a company with revenue of $15 billion in the most recent quarter would have to quickly change course over such a small fee suggests something particular about its business and others like it.
Hmm, and what would that be? That they're greedy and petty? We pay Verizon $200 every month for the pleasure of having matching BlackBerry Bolds, one of which has been replaced twice, I think, and both of which are constantly in need of battery pulls and reboots. We're still trying to forget about the last pitiful BBM upgrade.

And they wanted us to pay $2 so that we could pay them $200? I probably could have talked JDA into iPhones if that had gone through.

6 comments:

Jr Deputy Accountant said...

As irritating as this could have been if I would have had time to get outraged before they backed out, it's no different than how Washington Gas operates. I'm charged a $5 fee to use my debit card to pay my bill but it's free to use an electronic check. WTF do I care, it all comes from the same place.

Therefore, the REAL villains here are the credit card companies and the banks who are charging merchants fees to process debit and credit payments, not the merchants.

Do we have the best cellular service in the country? Totally. My fried BlackBerry was a RIM issue, not Verizon. And my old Motorola Q9M hooked up just fine when I was stranded in the middle of Nebraska with no phone until I could get to a Verizon store, where they stayed open late just so I could get there and get a phone.

As for the second Bold, that was operator error. Phones don't like when you drop them in the toilet.

That said, I don't appreciate sneaky backdoor tricks to separate me from my FRNs. Just for that I'm paying late next month, see how they like that.

The Lazy Paperboy said...

Details, details ... I am lazy, you know.

But you're right, the BlackBerry fuck-ups were BlackBerry problems. Plus the fact that you didn't have a box of rice to bury your soaked Bold in.

Things cost money, including the tubes that get your money to Washington Gas and our $200 to Verizon. And every company is going to try to push that cost to someone else. It's encouraging to see the pissed-off people at the end of that line push back, like they did at Bank of America and Verizon.

Jr Deputy Accountant said...

That's my point. If we don't like our $200 phone bill we can walk away, right? If Washington Gas suddenly jacks me up 150%, I'm screwed because I absolutely must have heat and no one else is pumping it into my house.

Why shouldn't the people be passed on some of the burden?

If you don't like Bank of America's $5 fee, you can find a different bank (or credit union).

If you don't like Verizon's $2 fee, you can go to AT&T (yeah right).

At the end of the day, you vote with your money. So when we fork over $200 to Verizon each month, we're basically telling Verizon management we agree with their policies, the level of service delivered and the price point at which they charge us for it. Basic economics (I know you didn't go to school for that so I won't go over your head cuz neither did I); the consumer speaks with money. If we keep giving it up, we must not have much to complain about.

The company has to find a balance between pleasing shareholders and not pissing off customers or users of its services. It doesn't give a shit if 100 people blog about how shitty it is.

Verizon will even try to rip off the government if they can, what makes you think we're special?

The Lazy Paperboy said...

It's that balance between additional profit and the bad publicity that I see tipping back toward Verizon, the way it did with B of A. Why do I think someone is already scheming how to make it up?

And I did take economics. Got a C. Look where that got me. Good enough to write for a fringe financial blog, as long as I don't try to get too clever.

Anonymous said...

pre-paid wireless from Trac Phone Proudly serving the drug dealing community since 2002 with respect and ez terms.

DD said...

I really am at a loss to understand Verizon's decision. The announcement of a $2 "convenience fee" (http://blog.unibulmerchantservices.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-credit-card-convenience-fees) and its renouncement on the following day must be one of the dumbest business moves of 2011 in a very strong field. What were the Verizon guys thinking? This $2 fee looks to a customer exactly the way BofA's $5 debit card fee did a couple of months ago when it caused a huge backlash, prompting the bank to quickly scrap it (but not before the damage to its reputation, such as it was, was already done). I would've expected no one to try anything remotely resembling such a fee for at least a couple of years. As I said, I'm at a loss.