Today, Verizon joined the ranks of Bank of America and did something monumentally dumb by informing customers of their plans to charge an ironically named “convince fee” of $2 to any anyone who makes one-time bill payments online or by telephone!

The company says people can avoid the fee, which goes into effect January 15th, by enrolling in their AutoPay option, as they’d rather just siphon money directly from a user’s bank account than correspond with them in any form.

Although, the mobile carrier only issued the announcement a few hours ago, the online backlash has already begun, so I emailed the guy their media contact, Tom Pica, who was on the press release and asking him if the company woud reconsider if enough people complained. Instead I got the following autoresponder message:

“Thanks for your email. I am out of the office for the holidays and return to the office on Tuesday, January 3. If you are a customer in need of assistance, please contact Customer Service at 1 800-VERIZON. For more information, please visit verizonwireless.com and click on Contact Us. If you are a reporter on deadline, I will be checking emails periodically and will respond as soon as possible.”

Smart move.