Friday, December 30, 2011

Dinowitz Opposes Single Payment Fees by Verizon

Here is news on Assemblyman Dinowitz fighting against single payment fees levied by Verizon. I agree with his logic that it targets the poor and middle class unfairly, who are struggle to pay their bills on time. Why would you pay an extra $2 to pay by phone, unless you were at risk of losing your service which costs $15 to restore?

The next logical question would be; if government does not allow payment to influence the cost of a service in the private sector, why should cash customers pay more when going over public bridges or tunnels such as the George Washington Bridge and both the Lincoln and Holland Tunnel. I understand the “commuter discount” but why should EZ Pass customers pay $7.50 or $9.50, depending on the time of day, for a single pass over the bridge, when CASH customers pay a whopping $12 per trip no matter what time of day it is? That’s almost a 40% penalty against cash users. Why are cash customers being penalized in our society? What if I don’t want the government monitoring every time I go over a bridge or through a tunnel? What if I don’t have the credit or extra cash to deposit into an EZ Pass account? For me, this is a clear cut civil liberties issue. We transformed a society that openly discriminated according to race to a society that discriminates according to wealth or access to credit. Unfortunately, race still often has an effect on wealth or access to credit so; have we really progressed as a society or just come up with a new means to discriminate?

Is anyone with me on this? Amercian consumers need to take back some control. It’s not enough to pay anymore, now big government and big business want to dictate how we pay. I hope the Assemblyman is successful and I hope similar campaigns are started against these assaults by big business AND big government to eliminate all cash in our society.

More information on toll charges for the George Washington Bridge


Assemblyman Dinowitz Calls on Verizon to Reverse Increase

Consumer Affairs Committee Chair Calls $2 Fee “Outrageous”

Assembly Consumer Affairs and Protection Committee Chair Jeffrey Dinowitz announced his opposition to Verizon Wireless charging single payment fees to consumers who pay their bills online or over the phone each billing cycle as opposed to enrolling in automatic bill pay. Single payment fees generate numerous complaints and inquiries from customers because they unfairly target low-income consumers. He called on Verizon to reverse the $2 fee Verizon intends to impose on some of its customers.

“During these tough economic times, many consumers are struggling to pay their bills and must budget very carefully,” said Dinowitz. “Consumers who pay their bills at the last minute are often living paycheck to paycheck. These people should not be forced to bear the burden of an additional monthly charge. Businesses looking to increase regular and timely payments through automatic bill pay need to look at other ways to achieve this goal, such as incentive-based programs, that do not penalize low- and middle-income consumers.”

“In 2011 we prohibited companies from charging additional fees to customers who pay their bills by mail. No company should charge some customers additional fees based on how they pay their bills. It just amazes me that, at a time when Verizon has already been harshly criticized for its efforts to cut back on the benefits of its workers, it would take additional steps that negatively impact on middle class and poor people. I hope Verizon takes back this bag-of-coal holiday present to its subscribers. Their bad timing is truly amazing,” stated Assemblyman Dinowitz.


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