Nightly News | December 29, 2011
>>> first it was banks and credit card companies that triggered outrage over customer fees. now the nation's largest wireless phone and internet provider says it will start charging a fee to millions of customers who pay their bills online. you heard that right. they want you to pay for the privilege of paying your bill. it's got more than a few people more than a little steamed. pete williams is in washington with the details. pete, good evening.
>> reporter: verizon is calling this a convenience fee . it means customers who pay their wireless phone or internet bills directly to verizon online on the company's website will be charged $2 each time for the privilege of paying their own bills. the new fee goes into effect in mid january and applies to subscribers of verizon wireless . as word of it spreads it's coming as an unwelcome surprise.
>> $2 is a lot when it comes up through years.
>> if there is extra money charged on your bill you're going to get people on your bad side.
>> it feels like a penalty to me.
>> very shocking.
>> reporter: starting january 15 , customers will be charged a $2 fee each month if they pay their verizon wireless bill by going directly to the company website. the same fee applies to paying every month by phone. that's $2 each time the bill is paid. but the company said it will not charge for customers who pay the old fashioned way by mailing in a check or by enrolling in automatic billing from a credit, debit, atm or checking account giving verizon direct access to your account. no extra fee either for customers who go to the verizon wireless store or kiosk to play in person, log on to their bank to pay the bill, use company gift or rebate card or so electronic checking. the response has been instantaneous. says one customer on the twitter page. wow, that is dumb. there is no fee if you walk into a store and take an employee's time to pay, yet it costs $2 to do it online? another tweets, verizon wants to charge you for the privilege of paying them. tonight verizon says they are offsetting what the company pays when subscribers pay directly online once a month. the company said most of the customers already use one of the alternatives that will not incur the new fee, harry.
>> amazing. pete williams , thank you