Verizon Wireless Adds $2 Fee for Phone, Web Bill Pay

Mobile phone customers who make single bill payments online or by telephone will be charged a $2 "convenience fee" starting Jan. 15, Verizon Wireless announced Thursday.

"The fee will help allow us to continue to support these single bill payment options in these channels and is designed to address costs incurred by us for only those customers who choose to make single bill payments in alternate payment channels (online, mobile, telephone)," the company said in a statement.

The fee will be waived for those who pay by electronic check or enroll in AutoPay.

Verizon Wireless, headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., is the largest U.S. cell phone carrier. The company is a joint venture of Verizon Communications and Vodafone. It has 90.7 million retail customers and 17 million wholesale and other customers, according to the company.

In a statement Verizon listed the seven ways in which customers can avoid the new $2 fee:

1.      Electronic check online (My Verizon Online, My Verizon Mobile/Handset). Fee waived.

2.      Electronic check via telephone. Fee waived.

3.      Enrollment in AutoPay using credit/debit/ATM card or electronic check; fee does not apply

4.      Online from the customer's home-banking service provider website; fee does not apply.

5.      Credit/debit/ATM card, electronic check or cash at a Bill Payment Kiosk,  Panel or with a representative at a Verizon Wireless Communications Store; fee does not apply.

6.      Use of a Verizon Wireless Gift Card or Verizon Wireless device Rebate Card to pay a bill in-store, online or by telephone; fee does not apply.

7.      Paper check or money order mailed to the VZW remit address on customer's bill; fee does not apply.

Verizon users experienced three outages to its high speed Internet services this month, which the company said it has fixed.