n Dinowitz Opposes Single Payment Fees by Verizon
Assemblyman Dinowitz Calls on Verizon to Reverse Increase
Consumer Affairs Committee Chair Calls $2 Fee “Outrageous”
Assembly Consumer Affairs and Protection Committee Chair Jeffrey Dinowitz announced his opposition to Verizon Wireless charging single payment fees to consumers who pay their bills online or over the phone each billing cycle as opposed to enrolling in automatic bill pay. Single payment fees generate numerous complaints and inquiries from customers because they unfairly target low-income consumers. He called on Verizon to reverse the $2 fee Verizon intends to impose on some of its customers.
“During these tough economic times, many consumers are struggling to pay their bills and must budget very carefully,” said Dinowitz. “Consumers who pay their bills at the last minute are often living paycheck to paycheck. These people should not be forced to bear the burden of an additional monthly charge. Businesses looking to increase regular and timely payments through automatic bill pay need to look at other ways to achieve this goal, such as incentive-based programs, that do not penalize low- and middle-income consumers.”
“In 2011 we prohibited companies from charging additional fees to customers who pay their bills by mail. No company should charge some customers additional fees based on how they pay their bills. It just amazes me that, at a time when Verizon has already been harshly criticized for its efforts to cut back on the benefits of its workers, it would take additional steps that negatively impact on middle class and poor people. I hope Verizon takes back this bag-of-coal holiday present to its subscribers. Their bad timing is truly amazing,” stated Assemblyman Dinowitz.
Verizon has decided to drop this plan to add the $2.00 additional fee.
We wonder if it was Assemblyman Dinowits'a strong letter, or the flack that Verizon was getting from its customers who said they would leave Verizon if the fee was instituted.