This is a disturbing development. Over the years, I have been a bigger fan of Verizon Wireless than any of the “big” wireless providers in this country.
I detest any company requiring automatic payments billed to credit card or from a checking account. Clearly, Verizon is not FORCING you to pay using one of these methods. However, you will have to pay MORE if you chose to initiate payments on your own.
I won’t go as far as telling clients to drop Verizon Wireless. Even with the $2 charge, Verizon is no more expensive than ATT. I recently priced out a monthly package that I would be interested in with both ATT and Verizon. The Verizon plan would have cost me $90 and the ATT package would have cost me $95. Both packages included the $60 voice option (900 daytime minutes plus free nights and weekends), the minimum data package allowed, and the minimum text message package allowed. I did not sign up for one of these offers, I was just comparing services.
I would encourage price conscious consumers to consider a pre-paid plan that uses one of the major networks. Page Plus Cellular (Verizon) and Air Voice (ATT) are my top picks. As you can see their monthly prices are significantly lower, but you are responsible for buying your own cell phone (typically used) prior to activation. eBay or Amazon would be a great place to look.