Demeter:drajk: Its quite cute to see various VF employees trying to defend the new fees.
(1) If the fee is cost recovery then it should apply to all credit card payments not only one-off
(2) If the concern is that non-automated credit card payers are unreliable this is addressed by the late payment fee - how would these customers be less reliable with respect to on-time payment compared to a person who pays by going to the post office. If they become sick etc surely they are far more likely to not pay on time vs someone who pays via internet. Irrespective of this a $10 late payment fee is 2% of $500 and so at $10 the late payment fee is more than 2% of most current consumer accounts and certainly should be a large enough disincentive that will avoid late payment.
In my opinion this is just another way for the company to charge more but at the same time seem competitive with respect to 'product' pricing.
It is also probably an advantage to have customers pay by direct debit as incorrect charges are then less likley to be noticed or questioned. In fact price increases will also perhaps be less obvious.
Of course it is probably only a matter of time before they also add a surcharge for automated card payments with the justification that "it is important that we treat all customers fairly"
We're not so much defending it as we are explaining why it exists. We are Vodafone customers ourselves, subject to the same rules and fees. As another example, my electricity provider has a built-in late payment fee they choose to 'discount' if I pay before the due date. It's silly pretending a 'discount' is anything other than a late payment fee, avoided.
We have options to avoid the fee as pointed out many times already. I'm sorry that people feel they're being duped, but at this point I can't help feel that people who are paying the convenience fee are in fact simply choosing to do so.
The reality is customers are paying more despite having never been late with a payment and despite not receiving more product/service for a higher amount (unless they choose to give VF direct debit access with the potential problems already outlined).
Perhaps it is you who have been duped if you think that the charge is justifiable with the logic outlined - it simply is not and the explanations given don't stack up. Yes there are choices but obviously loyal customers of many years standing are unhappy ... does that matter?