I was incensed when I first read that Verizon Wireless was going to charge a $2.00 fee for one-time credit and debit payments. Verizon decided upon the added charge as the fees the credit card companies charge them to process these type of payments have been cutting into their bottom line – and they weren’t keen on that. As such, they sought to pass that cost on to the consumer. How gracious of them to share the burden like that.
Alas, Verizon customers were having no part of that and they quickly and quite loudly raised their voices to say as much. And an amazing thing happened, Verizon decided they would not pass that fee on to consumers. I suspect the fact that the FCC committed to look into the new fee when coupled with the widespread consumer backlash was just enough to give Verizon executives pause (the kind of pause one gets when being unexpectedly slapped in the face).
Fee aside, the more important lesson here for Verizon and other mega-corporations that seem to operate far too frequently on a model that puts profit over service and customer needs is “STEP OFF!” Consumers are fed up and not afraid to say so. The days of the little guy feeling disenfranchised are over. The disgust with corporate greed and gluttony has reached an all-time high and regular folks’ – folks like you and me – are just not willing to look the other way any longer.
It makes me happy to see this type of consumer advocacy. I think that in the face of an increasingly corporate-dominated world consumers have come to feel small and voiceless. We aren’t. We are the bread and butter of corporate America. They NEED us. We would do well to remember that. Our collective voice has power.
This is a check in the “WIN” column for the consumer. Verizon definitely heard your discontent and changed their plans accordingly. So, what will you do next empowered consumers? Will this be the year that Ralph Nader the well-known consumer advocate is finally successful in his presidential campaign? Will this be the year that corporations and the folks that run them will be held to the same standard as you and me as far as fiscal responsibility and duty to others go? Will this be the year when we all realize that if we are not part of the solution – a part of the revolt – that we are part of the ambivalence that has allowed corporate America to act without regard for consumers’ voices for decades?
You want to create change – raise your voice…now more than ever, they are listening.
Day nine hundred and ten of the new forty – obla di obla da