Verizon comms chief: "We listened and acted"

It is business as usual at Verizon Wireless following last week's misstep that saw the company quickly abandon a new $2 fee after a public outcry, thus averting a Netflix-style debacle.

It is business as usual at Verizon Wireless following last week's misstep that saw the company quickly abandon a new $2 fee after a public outcry, thus averting a Netflix-style debacle.

"We listened to our customers and we acted quickly," wrote Verizon CCO Peter Thonis in an email to PRWeek Tuesday, adding that no additional communications efforts have been implemented beyond what rolled out last week.

Last Thursday, Verizon Wireless, a joint venture of Verizon Communications and Vodafone, said it would add a $2 fee for one-time telephone and online bill payments to take effect January 15. The announcement produced a significant consumer backlash, as well as scrutiny by technology sites and consumer blogs.

The next day, Verizon backed down and said it would nix the new fee. Besides siding with consumers, the telecommunications company reportedly feared a potential investigation by the Federal Communications Commission.

“We take great care to listen to our customers," said Dan Mead, president and CEO of Verizon Wireless, in a statement Friday. "Based on their input, we believe the best path forward is to encourage customers to take advantage of the best and most efficient options, eliminating the need to institute the fee at this time."

In November 2011, Thonis spoke candidly with PRWeek about handling the 45,000 employee strike last summer, as well as the company's foray into multiple social media channels, including geo-targeted communications.

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