Lauren Goode and Ina Fried

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Verizon Kills Planned $2 Convenience Charge Following Uproar

After enduring 24 hours of criticism and threats of an inquiry from the Federal Communications Commission, Verizon Wireless said on Friday that it would drop plans to charge some customers $2 a month for paying their bills online or by phone.

The company said the move was made in response to the uproar.

“At Verizon, we take great care to listen to our customers,” CEO Dan Mead said in a statement. “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.”

The announcement comes one day after Verizon said it would be adding the fee for customers who make a single bill payment by telephone, and for some who pay online via the Verizon Web site.

Earlier today, the Federal Communications Commission had said it was concerned about the carrier’s planned fee.

“On behalf of American consumers, we’re concerned about Verizon’s actions and are looking into the matter,” an FCC representative told AllThingsD.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work