Yesterday news broke about how Verizon will start charging customers an addition two dollars unless they pay their monthly bill through Verizon’s AutoPay system. What that means to a normal customer is that when your bill is due, Verizon will reach into your bank account and take out the full amount you owe according the Verizon accounts payable books. Verizon Wireless serves 91 million phones and other devices on accounts that pay the company directly.
This has a similar feel to the Bank of America fiasco over the summer where they started to charge people for using their debit cards. Once enough people started squawking about it, the bank backed away from the new fee. Verizon customers don’t seemed thrilled.
If I ran AT&T (or any of the other carriers) I would see this as a big fat opportunity to stick it to my biggest competitor!
I would start running ads everywhere I could that say, “AT&T will pay your cancellation fee at Verizon if you’d like to pay your bill however you want.”
The cancellation fee at Verizon is at most $175. The cost of acquiring a new customer is probably ten times that.
The reason I don’t see that happening is that I have a feeling the other carriers are letting Verizon take the slings and arrows so they can do the same 6 months from now when the heat has died down.
What do you think? Is this just the first carrier to do this, or can the voices of all their subscribers actually have some weight on this issue?