By AnnaMaria Andriotis
It was over before it even began. Verizon’s plan to start charging a $2 fee for single bill payments next month is a no go. The company canceled the new charges Friday afternoon, citing customer complaints.
The reversal marks the second major victory by consumers in the past couple of months over newly imposed fees. The last one was Bank of America’s reversal of a $5 debit card usage fee.
As SmartMoney.com reported, banks and consumers were both baffled by the rationale for the charges. The timing of the new charges surprised banks because, if anything, the transaction charges the company had to pay are now less, experts say.
Interchange fees on debit cards actually fell this year from 44 cents on average per transaction to roughly 21 to 24 cents. That means most companies pay less in fees to card issuers each time consumers use their debit card, the American Bankers Association said.
Verizon had planned to only charge the fee to those who made payments by phone or online, and may have been trying to discourage last-minute payments, which can be costlier to process, the association said.