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Blueroses's avatar

The proposed Verizon bill-pay fee: Was it just a negative to positive publicity stunt?

Asked by Blueroses (17720 points ) January 2nd, 2012

On December 29, Verizon announced the institution of a $2 convenience fee for customers who pay their bills online or by phone. Three days later, Verizon announces that in response to customer feedback, the company will not institute these charges after all.

Now Verizon is being widely praised for listening to its client’s concerns and consumers are celebrating a little victory.

To me it seems a very cheap way for Verizon to get its brand name all over the media, generate a little controversy and reverse their stance to look like a caring company.

If I threaten to shoot your dog at midnight, you complain and at 11:59 I tell you I’ve decided your dog shall live after all, am I a great person for showing mercy or am I still a dick for making the threat in the first place?

Maybe this wasn’t the plan, but could reversing an unpopular decision be considered effective marketing strategy?

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1 Answer

elbanditoroso's avatar

I think that Verizon announced the $2 fee the week of Christmas because they thought that no one was paying any attention and that it would be overlooked in the holiday activities. My guess is that some manager somewhere thought that this cockamamie scheme would bring in so-and-so-many millions of dollars every year with zero effort and blowback.

Boy, was that manager wrong. Bad calculation. They must have been brain-dead in that planning office not not have noticed the hugely bad publicity that Bank of America got for their little shenanigan last fall. What idiots at Verizon allowed this kind of thing to go forward.

I don’t think anyone at Verizon is smart enough to have come up with the scheme of looking bad for a day to look good for recanting. (But then, I liked New Coke, too)

My assessment – the act of charging the $2 (and announcing it before Christmas) took them down 20 points in my esteem. The act of recanting gives them back two points. Bottom line – they still went way down in my estimation.

Do corporations think we are all blind, deaf, dumb, and idiots?

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