I find Verizon untrustworthy, like other telecom companies. It's their business model. You must accept a 1-2 year service contract for service, meaning you cannot cancel no matter how poor their service becomes. Their wireless business model seems designed to set up an adversarial, unpleasant relationship with paying customers.
This is the twenty-first century, and I'm tired of buying stamps, filling out paper checks, and sealing envelopes with spit to pay Verizon Wireless. So I tried out their online billing service and I've been using it without too much trouble.
Here's an email I received recently:
Date: 7/10/2007To: JOSHUA LEDWELLFrom: Customer ServiceSubject: Verizon E-Bill Trial Ends Soon
You already experience the convenience of receiving, tracking, and paying your Verizon e-bill in a secure location. Your e-bill service is always available at no additional cost to you.
It takes thousands of trees to print bills each year in the United States. Help reduce waste by canceling your paper bill. The environment will thank you.
To continue receiving Verizon e-bills, you must stop your paper bill before the trial period ends on 07/24/2007.
This message only applies to the e-bill feature of your bill payment service. The trial period does not affect your ability to make online payments through this service.
My question is, why must I stop paper billing to receive electronic bills? My utilities, bank, credit card, mortgage ... every other company that bills me is content to send bills both by snail mail and email. I find it easier to file records when I receive them by mail, so paper bills have value to me. But I also like email reminders to pay on time.
Since I know Verizon is presenting me with a false dilemma, and I'm conscious of their business model, I'm very suspicious of all their points. E-billing is saving the planet? Please. Even if it's true that paper bills are wasteful, I'm thinking instead of Verizon's ulterior motives in depriving me of easy recordkeeping.
Verizon, let your customers pay any way they want, or give them an incentive to switch. What about a discount for however much paper bills cost you, if they cancel paper billing? If not, they'll remember your shabby treatment when their contract expires and they can afford to switch to AT&T iPhone service.