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Hello. Verizon Wireless privilege?

  1. Dec 29, 2011 #1

    dlgoff

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  3. Dec 29, 2011 #2

    Evo

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    Pay check by phone. I would never allow a cell phone company to do a preauthorized monthly debit knowing the mistakes they can make.

    I thought it was safe when I authorized AAA insurance to debit my checking account for my $127 monthly fee (I had 4 cars). One month they accidently debited $1,270, it took me a month to even find someone to talk to, my agent had quit so my account fell into a black hole. I finally reached a nice guy that did help me, but AAA wouldn't credit the money back to my account, they would only mail me a check. It took them 3 months. I switched companies.
     
  4. Dec 29, 2011 #3

    turbo

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    My phone company, power company (and even my CC issuer) all want me to forego paper billing to make things more "convenient" for me. The problem is that they all want unfettered access to savings, checking accounts, etc to make it work. No way!

    I don't keep any financial records on my home computer, and I'll be damned if they are going to have that information on their servers! I'd rather team up with a Nigerian princess to get her father's money out of the country.
     
  5. Dec 29, 2011 #4
    I bank(ed) with Wachovia, now Wells Fargo. I love their bill-pay service, assuming it's still like Wachovia did it, you type in the amount and the recipient, and the bank writes out a check and mails it to them for you. Totally convenient, and keeps billing people out of my bank account.
     
  6. Dec 30, 2011 #5

    cristo

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    This is something that the UK actually does quite well. We have something called the direct debit guarantee which any company who wants to debit your account on a regular basis must sign up to. If at any time you are over charged, or pay more than you think you should, you can simply call up the bank and they can (and will) immediately recall the money.

    I think paperless billing and direct debit payments are a good thing. It stops me having to remember to pay things and is really convenient. Online banking also means I rarely have to speak to anyone at a bank, and can quickly perform most transactions. I cannot understand people who don't use this: I think with a month 'trial' you would never go back!
     
  7. Dec 30, 2011 #6

    Evo

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    Why doesn't the US have that? I allow direct debit to my new insurance company, insurance is too important for me to forget and they are unforgiving. A few years ago my debit card expired and I was automatically issued a new one. Same account number & pin, but a new expiration date. So my insurance company did the monthly debit, and it was rejected for the exp date and 6 days later my insurance was cancelled and I didn't even know. I was furious! I had to re-apply, and pay a higher amount as if I was a new customer, they removed my "long term loyalty" discount!! My time with them only reflects my "new" start date. Utilities will let you slide if you forget a payment, I have signed up for e-mail bill notification, so now I get e-mailed a link to my bill, click on it to view it, then pay. Love it. I hate mail.
     
  8. Dec 30, 2011 #7

    russ_watters

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    Sometimes I wonder what they teach in business classes and cases like this almost make me think they must be counterproductive. It doesn't take a busines, management or marketing degree to know that the tiny profit one might generate from a fee like this isn't worth the backlash and resulting loss.

    They must have gone to the same school as Netflix's management team.
     
  9. Dec 30, 2011 #8

    Evo

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    I was just thinking the same thing. How much more does it cost them to get paid late every month? How much does it cost them to have an employee take and manually process a payment in person? How much does it cost them to have employees opening envelopes and manually process mailed in payments?
     
  10. Dec 30, 2011 #9
    If you use your online checking account, rather than the card itself, its free.

    The main reason is that card based transactions cost money, the CC processors take a percentage of the transaction. They might take 1-3% for example. Around 2% is pretty common, so for a $130 transaction, that's ~ $2.60 in direct cost for that fee.

    If they have a million transactions, they lose ~ $2.6 million. Pretty soon, all that adds up.

    Its like that for any business that accepts CC payments. In the US for example, the gas station pumps are sometimes labelled with a cash price and a credit price...so you pay less per gallon if you pay in cash.

    Due to the way the laws are worded, they can't charge more for using credit, but they can give a discount for cash. A bit silly, but, that's the US for you. :)


    My bank as an online bill pay set-up, and I use that. The bank then sends checks by mail for me (I buy No stamps or stationary, etc...), or does an online transfer, to the billers I identify to them.

    I can set it up to make recurring payments that are the same every month automatically, or to prompt me to make a timely payment that might be different from month to month, etc.

    The banks themselves, just like Verizon, the airlines, etc...are all scrambling for ways to nickle and dime us to death with surcharges, service fees, etc. If they try one and there's a backlash, they back off it, and try new ones.

    BTW - There was a Flight of the Concords episode where a co-worker said he was working with a Nigerian prince to get the family money out, and had provided his bank account info, etc, so the money could be deposited.

    The story ends with the Prince actually depositing the money, and later coming in person to thank the co-worker for having faith in him.

    :D
     
  11. Dec 30, 2011 #10

    Evo

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    I do "check by phone", it's just a debit to my checking account, no check is actually mailed, no check number is used, it's not using my debit card, although it's a checking account debit. The company has my checking account number on file from the first time I paid. I call to make an automated payment, the computer asks me if I want to use the checking account ending in XXXX, I say yes, it says "input the amount", and it gives me a confirmation number, done. I pay all of my utilites this way. There is no fee to me for this from my bank or the company, it also seems to be a free option for Verizon users.
     
  12. Dec 30, 2011 #11

    Evo

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    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011
  13. Dec 30, 2011 #12

    dlgoff

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  14. Dec 30, 2011 #13

    Ivan Seeking

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    Electronic media now allows public backlash to carry more weight than ever before. I like that. Almost immediately they had a pr nightmare on their hands.

    The lowly customer has a powerful new weapon - the ability to easily organize.
     
  15. Dec 30, 2011 #14

    dlgoff

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    Right On bro. :smile:
     
  16. Dec 30, 2011 #15

    Evo

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    A targeted internet campaign is much more effective than a bunch of odd people pitching tents in public parks. It took less than a day.

    How much effect do you think a group of people pitching tents on the lawn of Verizon headquarters would have had? I guess zero to none.

    Or is the Occupy Verizon group getting their caravan together to go protest? :biggrin:
     
  17. Dec 30, 2011 #16

    Ivan Seeking

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    There is a difference between backlash, and the birth of a social movement. Social movements can be quite nutty until they crystalize. in the beginning, we saw activities similar to the occupy movement, with the environmental movement, and the anti-nuclear movement, both of which have been tremendously successful.

    At least they didn't start lopping off the heads of anyone who doesn't have calluses on their hands.
     
  18. Dec 30, 2011 #17

    Evo

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    I think what we're seeing is a change in the way large corporations and even government are being curtailed. An effective internet media blitz can cause more instant pain and require instant remedies or attention.

    The old days of sit ins by a handful of people are no longer effective.

    You've got to get with the times and use the most powerful tools at hand to get a massive response that scares the powers that be that they are facing real and massive potential losses.
     
  19. Dec 30, 2011 #18

    turbo

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    A lot of people thought we anti-war protesters were un-American and unpatriotic during the VietNam war. Was gathering for marches and rallies effective? I don't know how effective, aside from getting some news coverage, but it sure would have been a whole lot easier to organize demonstrations on short notice if we had had the Internet. Might have saved a lot of lives, too.
     
  20. Dec 30, 2011 #19

    Moonbear

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    Anyone want to protest all of the other companies that charge a fee to pay last minute like that? I'm actually not sure why it's such a big deal. It was only for one type of payment. Most of the stories I read about it were mainly people complaining hey were living paycheck to paycheck and had to pay last minute, which mostly just left me wondering why they had a cell phone at all. That's a large monthly expense that could spare them living paycheck to paycheck if they saved that money instead.

    More likely, the bigger threat is that people aren't as happy with Verizon recently due to network outages...yeah, gasp, people had to survive on ancient 3G technology instead of 4G for a few hours. I don't even get 3G where I live yet, and we're not slated for upgrades until 2013...sigh. Anyway, adding a new fee when customers are already a bit grumpy about service problems is just bad timing. Never fear, if their costs for processing payments are going up, and the people increasing those costs aren't paying the fee for it, their rates will just go up for everyone by just enough to cover the costs.
     
  21. Dec 30, 2011 #20

    Evo

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    The issue is that they were imposing the fee on people unless they agreed to "automatic" withdrawal. Same payment process, but with automated pay, the customer's money is taken first, then if there is an error, the customer has to fight to get reimbursed, more money in Verizon's pockets for longer. Many customer's won't even even bother fighting after the fact, their time is too valuable and Verizon knows that.
     
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