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Monday, January 02, 2012, 11:41 am PT (02:41 pm ET)

Verizon abandons plan to charge $2 for online bill payments

After being met with public backlash and potential government scrutiny, Verizon Wireless has abandoned its plans to charge customers a $2 service fee for paying their bill online.

Calling Verizon's reversal "remarkably swift," The New York Times noted that Verizon faced heavy criticism from customers who objected to the $2 fee. Verizon said in a statement that the "convenience fee" was dropped due to customer feedback.

"Verizon Wireless has decided it will not institute the fee for online or telephone single payments that was announced earlier this week," Verizon's statement reads. "The company made the decision in response to customer feedback about the plan, which was designed to improve the efficiency of those transactions. The company continues to encourage customers to take advantage of the numerous simple and convenient payment methods it provides."

The largest carrier in the U.S. initially announced last week that it would charge customers $2 if they used a credit or debit card to make a one-time payment via telephone or Verizon's website. Some people mistakenly believed that the fee would apply to all credit-card-based transactions.

In addition to catching the ire of consumers, Verizon's original plan also prompted scrutiny from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. In a statement, the FCC said it was "concerned about Verizon's actions."

Verizon and Apple teamed up in early 2011, when Apple ended years of iPhone carrier exclusivity in the U.S. with AT&T. Rankings from Consumer Reports released in December revealed that customers felt Verizon offers the best wireless service in the U.S., while AT&T ranked worst.