Verizon Wireless, the country's largest cellphone company, is introducing a $2 fee for every payment subscribers make over the phone or online with their credit cards.
The company says this "convenience fee" will be introduced Jan. 15.
The fee won't apply to electronic check payments or to automatic credit card payments set up through Verizon's AutoPay system. Paying by credit card in a Verizon store will also be free, as will mailing a check.
Other carriers have tried to get subscribers to move to automatic payments through other means. AT&T Inc. offers a $10 gift card for those who set up AutoPay. Sprint Nextel Corp. charges subscribers who have caps on the fees they can rack up each month. Those people are charged $5 monthly unless they set up autopay.
According to Mashable, customer representatives for Sprint and AT&T said that those companies charge no similar additional fee for paying by phone or online.
The AT&T representative said there is, however, a fee for paying a bill through a customer service representative by phone.