Facing public criticism, Verizon Wireless on Friday reversed its plan to impose a $2 fee next year on customers for making single payments online or by phone.
The controversial fee was scheduled to take effect Jan. 15, but the mobile-phone giant said it changed its mind after receiving feedback from customers.
"At Verizon, we take great care to listen to our customers," Verizon Wireless CEO and President Dan Mead said in a statement. "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."
Opposition to the planned fee was significant despite the fact that Verizon Wireless listed a number of ways its customers could avoid the charge. After news surfaced Thursday that Verizon Wireless planned to institute the $2 charge, protestor Molly Katchpole — A Verizon customer who pressured Bank of America to drop its proposed debit card fee earlier this year — created a petition to oppose the fee. Within hours, more than 95,000 U.S. consumers signed the petition, according to Change.org, a social media site.
"The era of corporations walking roughshod over consumers without consequence is officially over," Change.org CEO Ben Rattray said in a statement following the news that Verizon would drop its planned fee. "Social media sites like Change.org are fundamentally shifting the balance of power from companies to consumers. Companies must now deal with an unprecedented new force: millions of customers hyper-connected and easily able to mobilize together in response to their actions.”