Verizon Wireless, the country's largest cellphone company, is introducing a $2 fee for every payment subscribers make over the phone or online with their credit cards.
The company says this "convenience fee" will be introduced Jan. 15.
The fee won't apply to electronic check payments or to automatic credit card payments set up through Verizon's AutoPay system. Paying by credit card in a Verizon store will also be free, as will mailing a check.
We asked our @nbcwashington Twitter followers their thoughts on the new fee, and the responses were, as expected, mostly negative.
Twitter user @leesburgmag said the fee would make them switch.
"yes, on principle...Verizon & other vendors want us to go paperless, then charge us for the privilege."
Twitter user @mastapeterhm said "I would pay $2.00/month to never have to go in a Verizon store ever again. Their CS is awful."
Twitter user @sagekateri said: "Absolutely unacceptable. Anything to make a buck!"
And Twitter user @oldbikerdude said the announcement made him appreciate what he has. "I'm glad I am with AT&T!" he tweeted.
But not all tweets were doom and gloom. Twitter user @ctdcmannow saw the fee as a positive for jobs.
"I have Verizon and pay via mail...companies have to make money - they employ people too :-) Happy New Year!!!"
Other carriers have tried to get subscribers to move to automatic payments through other means. AT&T Inc. offers a $10 gift card for those who set up AutoPay. Sprint Nextel Corp. charges subscribers who have caps on the fees they can rack up each month. Those people are charged $5 monthly unless they set up autopay.
The following is a statement given to NBC News from Howard Waterman of Verizon Public Relations:
Verizon Wireless offers customers numerous free and simple payment options and we encourage customers to use those options. Starting January 15, a new $2 payment fee will be instituted for customers who make single bill payments online or by telephone.
The fee will help allow us to continue to support these single bill payment options in these channels and is designed to address costs incurred by us for only those customers who choose to make single bill payments in alternate payment channels (online, mobile, telephone).
The fee will be waived for those who pay by electronic check or enroll in AutoPay -- we encourage customers to use those or other payment options that incur no fees. The telephone and online single payment fee, which takes effect January 15, will be disclosed up-front and throughout the transaction.
This is important…There are numerous payment options available to our customers where the fee is waived or where no fee applies. They include:
1. Electronic check online (My Verizon Online, My Verizon Mobile/Handset). Fee waived.
2. Electronic check via telephone. Fee waived.
3. Enrollment in AutoPay using credit/debit/ATM card or electronic check; fee does not apply
4. Online from the customer's home-banking service provider website; fee does not apply.
5. Credit/debit/ATM card, electronic check or cash at a Bill Payment Kiosk, Panel or with a representative at a Verizon Wireless Communications Store; fee does not apply.
6. Use of a Verizon Wireless Gift Card or Verizon Wireless device Rebate Card to pay a bill in-store, online or by telephone; fee does not apply.
7. Paper check or money order mailed to the VZW remit address on customer's bill; fee does not apply.