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Verizon to charge customers $2 for paying their bills. What gives?

A new fee, to take effect Jan. 15, applies to customers making one-time payments using a debit card or credit card online or by phone. Verizon cites extra costs for such transactions, but consumers are fuming.

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A plan by Verizon Wireless to tack on a $2 "convenience fee" for some online bill payers has stirred an upwelling of frustration and disbelief among the phone firm's customers.

Huh, they ask? You want us to pay you for paying you?

The charge, scheduled to take effect Jan. 15, doesn't affect people who autopay their bills each month. It's all about one-time payments transacted with a debit or credit card online or by phone. 

Verizon Wireless says it incurs extra costs when these one-time payments go through. The company appears to be pushing for more customers to enroll in auto-payment plans.

But, if you haven't noticed, consumers often don't like to be pushed. And, because few companies send bills to as many people as Verizon does, that translates into a public relations challenge.

The social network Twitter is now filling up, second by second, with posts by people commenting on the change. A couple of examples:

"Seriously disgusted #verizon plans to charge me $2 for ability to pay bill online. This 10+ yr customer is thinking of switching," says the user who identifies herself as Sarah Ivey Rock.

"Chuck Norris just heard about #Verizon's 'convenience fee' - he's so mad he's gonna _________________(finish & make Mr. Norris proud)," says another who identifies as Tim Moore.

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