Well, it's true. Verizon has confirmed to us that it's adding the $2 convenience fee for paying your bill online or over the phone, and has posted a blurb in its News Center detailing the options available to someone who wants to avoid it. Obviously many customers use AutoPay, which avoids this hassle entirely, but we're sure there will be plenty of customers frustrated by the fee when it goes live on January 15th. What's unclear right now is if this constitutes a change in contract terms, which could potentially allow unsatisfied customers to hop off Verizon without a spendy ETF penalty. We've asked Verizon to clarify, and we also asked for some more details on exactly why online and robo-phone payments are more expensive to process than the "free" options they list — you know, the ones where you pay Verizon money, but don't pay for the privilege.

If you're looking to avoid the $2 charge going forward, here are Verizon's options for you:

  • Electronic check online (My Verizon Online, My Verizon Mobile/Handset). Fee waived.
  • Electronic check via telephone. Fee waived.
  • Enrollment in AutoPay using credit/debit/ATM card or electronic check; fee does not apply
  • Online from the customer's home-banking service provider website; fee does not apply.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Paper check or money order mailed to the VZW remit address on customer's bill; fee does not apply.