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Verizon Joins the Dumb Move Crowd

Discussion in 'The OT' started by SayWhat?, Dec 29, 2011.

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  1. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

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    ALL the stations around here with the dual pricing, advertise the CASH price on their signs. It ticks me off, because you have to pull up and look at the pump to see what the CC price is.

    To make it more confusing, some stations consider a debit card cash, some dont.

    Some give a "discount" for cash on diesel, but gas is the same price either way.

    Ive just started avoiding the companies who use this deceptive signage.
     
  2. spartanstew

    spartanstew Dry as a bone

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    Unless things have changed in the last couple of years, that's illegal. Not sure how they're getting away with it.
     
  3. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

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    And quite a few places have minimum purchase rules, even though it wasn't allowed in their merchant agreements. It just wasn't enforced.
     
  4. Drew2k

    Drew2k New Member

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    What Dave says is how it is by me. For example, BP Amoco has a large street sign with a price, and when you go to the pump you see two sets of prices: cash, and then 10¢ higher, credit. If you select the credit payment method at the pump, the digital display shows the higher price (10¢ more per gallon).

    This is at so many gas stations around here now, so I'd suspect there's some NY state law or regulation that permits this, but I only started to see the dual prices within the past 16 months.
     
  5. SayWhat?

    SayWhat? Know Nothing

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    Funny, around here they post the base price for all methods, then some like BP/Amoco will display a discount price when using their branded rebate credit card.

    Problem is, they post the discount that's only applicable during the first 60 days bonus rebate period, not the standard rebate that takes effect after that.

    As far as I know, state law here bans add-on fees for specific payment types.

    Seems to me that if the FCC was looking at Verizon for the $2 fee, they should be looking at AT&T and others that charge fees for paying in person or by phone.
     
  6. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Gas Stations
    Most of the stations I have had to deal with don't offer a discount for cash ... but those who do usually have a double sign at the curb (cash and card pricing) or the sign at the curb has the word "cash" on it. Often the word "cash" is not lit like the rest of the sign so it can be misleading to see a curbside sign with one price and then find a larger price at the pump. But the pump generally has both prices.

    It has been a while since I've seen a pump that didn't have both cash and card prices at one of the stations ... where only one price was shown and the use of a card or cash changed the price. But I normally avoid stations with cash discount policies so I don't often see their pumps.

    The way I see it, even though there is a charge for the station to process pay at the pump transactions they are making money off of the sales. I'll drive past a station that doesn't have pay at the pump - they lose my business. With no disrespect to the people behind the counter, I'm saving the station money by completing the transaction myself. Some of the stations I use are not even staffed. And while there is risk in accepting credit/debit cards, my purchase is not cash in the register that can be stolen by some thug or skimming employee. Using cards seems like a win-win for both the station and the consumer ... why charge more?

    Verizon Wireless
    The above feeling applies to Verizon Wireless as well. Accepting payments is part of their business. The best savings for VZW would be if their customers signed up for autopay and paperless billing ... and perhaps they should follow the gas station example and offer a discount for autopay/paperless instead of charging extra for one type of credit transaction.

    Perhaps they were losing too much in late fees because of the last minute calls and online payments ... that is the only thing that comes to mind as a unique reason to charge more for a one time payment than a regular payment using the same method.

    In any case ... I'm glad to see it dropped. Even though I have only made one such payment in many years of having a VZW phone, I don't like fees that penalize the customer for doing the right thing - paying their bill.
     
  7. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    You're kidding, no? We've been paying extra for using a credit card here for years. How did NYC miss out on that?

    I just happened to see our Verizon bill this morning. $175 for two phones with data plans. Per month. And they want $2 more?

    We just cleared out all our accounts with BofA, and the manager asked us why. I told him it was because of the checking account charges and the proposed fees for using debit cards. He replied that the debit card thing was over and I told him that if they tried it once, I was pretty sure they'd try it again.

    So, maybe I'll give T-Mobile or Sprint a shot next December. Maybe their stores aren't filled with people trained to lie.

    Rich
     
  8. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    My wife's a bean counter. You shouldn't be surprised.

    Rich
     
  9. SayWhat?

    SayWhat? Know Nothing

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    All companies with recurring billing should do that, Dish included. That's one reason I stay with Annual Billing/Payment. I get 12 months of Dish service for about the cost of 11 months. Yeah, it's a big hit to get a bill for a few hundred dollars instead of 12 smaller bills, but it's worth it.

    My car insurance charges a $5 fee/mo if you pay in monthly installments, but no fee if you pay twice a year.

    I get a 5% discount on my property taxes if I pay by an early date, no discount if I pay on the regular due date and a 5% additional penalty if I pay after the due date.

    State charges a $2 fee to process mailed in renewals for license plates, but no fee if you pay in person with the same personal check. They don't take plastic in any form.
     
  10. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    My brother works for one of the two big card companies and you can lodge a complaint about that. If you do it properly, you will win. Every business signs an agreement that the cards can be used for any amount. We have QuickChek convenience stores in our area and you can buy anything for any amount by card in all their stores.

    Rich
     
  11. SayWhat?

    SayWhat? Know Nothing

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    Yeah, but I hate it when the toad in front of me whips out a CC for a $2 purchase.



    More annoying though is the little old lady who writes a check for $2 or digs around in her giant oversized handbag for $2 in nickles and pennies.
     
  12. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Always seems like women are shocked when they find out they have to pay, doesn't it?

    You'd go nuts around here. Everyone pays by debit card for practically anything.

    Rich
     
  13. longrider

    longrider Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    I find the whole cash discount/credit surcharge amusing, you can call it a cash discount all you want but there is no question the cash price is the desired selling price. I have not seem cash discounts for gas here in Colorado for many years but when there was the street sign would show the cash price and the pump would display the credit price until you pushed the cash button.

    Regarding Verizon, if I was a customer and the policy was instituted I would just start mailing a check every month. I can handle the price of a stamp as a protest and then they would have to pay someone to open the envelope, post the payment, and deposit the check. I detest autopay and will only use it when I have to or there is a big advantage such as free HD.
     
  14. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

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    There's an appliance/hvac company here, when you pay by cash or check for a system, they give a 3% discount. Obviously, the credit card fees are built into the price, and they take some off I paying cash. 3% isn't a lot, but when you're buying a furnace, or combo, it's not hard to get a few hundred bucks off. One of the few times I make a point to pay cash.
     
  15. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Indiana takes plastic for an additional processing fee. Since their prices are not set with a padding to cover the processing costs it makes sense to charge ONLY those who are costing the state money in processing fees the extra charge. I believe the way they present it is "we don't accept credit cards, but this payment processor will accept your credit card and pay your bill on your behalf".

    And any retailer who understands the fees involved in such transactions would hate it too. When the processors charge a flat fee or a flat fee plus a percentage those low dollar transactions hurt. A sale could cost them more than the overhead built in to the price - which means higher prices for all.

    The Dodd-Frank bill allows retailers to set a minimum purchase requirement. Now it is up to the marketplace ... would it be better for the local coffee shop to lose business by not accepting card payments under $5 (or whatever their threshhold is) or better to eat the fees on the low dollar sales? For a company where nearly every transaction is a low dollar sale the choice becomes raise the prices to cover the fees or don't accept cards.
     
  16. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    BTW: My last ATM withdrawal was $40 on November 2nd, and I still have half of it in my wallet. So I have spent less than $20 total in cash in the past two months. (I have had no other cash withdrawals going back to September.)

    My lowest card purchase during that time was 10 cents for an app for my Android phone. There are a lot of $3-$5 fast food purchases with one for $1.27 (Arby's chocolate turnover). If businesses enforced the $10 minimum now allowed by law most of my transactions would have been declined by the merchant. They decided that my business was worth more to them than the fees. :)
     
  17. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

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    That is how Arkansas gets around the law too.

    We have two Chinese restaurants down the street. One takes cards and has mediocre food, and one takes cash only (no checks or credit cards) and has excellent food. If I decide to stop for Chinese on the way home, I go to the mediocre one. Otherwise, I would have to drive a mile to the ATM, take out $20, and drive back. Not gonna happen.
     
  18. The Merg

    The Merg 1*

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    Yeah. I have State Farm for my insurance and have a $1 charge added some can pay my bill monthly. DMV in VA though gives you a $1 discount on the registration renewal if you do it on-line.

    - Merg
     
  19. armophob

    armophob Difficulty Concen........

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    Been using MyCheckfree.com for many years for my State Farm bill. No charge.
    It was the 14 page questionnaire and credit check that State Farm started with to do an online payment back then that made me find the alternative.
     
  20. armophob

    armophob Difficulty Concen........

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    Been said already, but down here there are little signs that hang next to the prices on the big sign that say "Cash Price". As soon as you use the card, it flips to the higher price, usually about 5-6 cents more.
     

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