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Verizon Wireless Disconnects Fee Plan

So much for that plan.

Don Ryan

Verizon Wireless said Friday it will not institute a $2 fee for online or telephone single payments that was announced Thursday.

The "convenience fee" was to have been introduced Jan. 15 on every payment subscribers made over the phone or online with their credit cards.

It would not have applied to electronic check payments or to automatic credit-card payments set up through Verizon's AutoPay system.

Verizon said it made the decision in response to "customer feedback" about the plan, which was "designed to improve the efficiency of those transactions."

"At Verizon, we take great care to listen to our customers. Based on their input, we believe the best path forward is to encourage customers to take advantage of the best and most efficient options, eliminating the need to institute the fee at this time," said Dan Mead, president and chief executive officer of Verizon Wireless.

Like the Bank of America attempt to impose a $5 fee on debit card use, much of the feedback was negative. The Federal Communications Commission said Friday it was looking into the fee, saying it was "concerned about Verizon's actions."

"On behalf of American consumers, we're concerned about Verizon's actions and are looking into the matter," an official for the FCC told Reuters earlier on Friday.

Verizon Wireless, a joint venture of Verizon Communications and Vodafone said it would continue to "encourage customers to take advantage of the numerous simple and convenient payment methods" the company provides.

Verizon Wireless, which this month angered customers with three separate data service problems, had wanted to steer people to electronic check payments, which are cheaper, and automatic credit card payments, which are more reliable.

According to the Associated Press, a petition on Change.org against the fees had gathered more than 57,000 names by Friday afternoon, a day after Verizon, the country's largest cellphone company, announced the fees.

Payment processors for power companies usually charge "convenience fees" of up to $5 for every payment made by phone or online, but cellphone companies hadn't taken that step.

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