Verizon Wireless to charge $2 for online, phone payments

NEW YORK - The Web lit up with howls of protest yesterday as word of a new Verizon Wireless fee spread wildly - and somewhat inaccurately. The $2 monthly fee, effective Jan. 15, will apply to people who make one-time credit or debit card payments on the phone or online. Subscribers who write checks or have the company charge their credit or debit cards or deduct from their bank accounts each month will not have to pay.

Twitter was flooded with denunciations of the company; some vowed to use paper to cost the company more money.

Verizon called it a “convenience’’ fee to cover the costs of last-minute payments. So how to avoid it? In addition to using a check, automated bank transfer, and credit or debit card, customers can pay at a Verizon store, by money order, or by using a bank or other company’s online bill-payment service.