Charging Fees to Pay Your Bill is Stupid

Charging Fees to Pay Your Bill is Stupid

And Verizon isn't alone in its stupidity

Verizon just announced that the company will be charging customers a $2 transaction fee per credit or debit transaction via the Internet or phone, causing their customers to become outraged, as they should be. The company never was a stellar one to begin with, with plenty of labor concerns and other issues that already turned away plenty of would-be customers, like me. I know lots of people who left the company when they decided it simply wasn’t ethical. But now, in a time when people are pinching pennies more than ever—or at least within the past few decades—a fee like this could really affect their business.

Remember the big bank switch in October when banks were announcing such stupid fees? That went over well, for sure. But it’s not just there; it’s everywhere. My car company charges outrageous fees to pay online, to pay by phone, or to even set up a payment directly debited from my account. The best way to pay is by sending them a check, even though they want me to pay the other ways because it’s quicker (to which I say, “Take out the fees and I will be happy to pay you that way!”).

Hell, even pizza companies are charging delivery fees—and these fees, no matter what you think, do not go to the drivers; they go back to the companies themselves. Many times these fees take the last bit of change we have when we scrape to order a pizza, leaving us no money for a tip—which is just unconscionable.

We need to start getting what we pay for and NOT paying for things that we didn’t even order in the first place—such as these hidden fees. Charging to someone so they can pay a bill is just stupid. Many people are already struggling to pay what they owe, let alone a few dollars more for, what, exactly? Processing fees? Shipping and handling? Service with a smile?

I say we stop handing our money over to places that charge these invisible fees, period. Once you know they have a fee, let them know they no longer have your business, thank you very much. Feel free to write a letter or call them, but make sure that they know why they’ve lost your business. There are plenty of places left that do not charge such fees; our new credit union is one of them. Make the switch and save a few bucks, but more importantly, send the message that we don’t pay for things that we didn’t agree to buy in the first place in America.