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Customers Using Social Media Sway Verizon's Change of Mind

by Staff Friday, December 30, 2011

Verizon customers won a victory on social media last week, when just 24 hours after announcing a plan to charge a $2 convenience fee for paying bills over the phone or online with credit cards, the company reversed its course due to overwhelmingly negative reactions to the plan online.

David Schweidel, assistant professor of marketing, weighed in on Verizon's quick reversal in a local ABC news feature.

"Social media has changed the game," said David Schweidel. "We have really seen consumers empowered over the last couple years through social media."

Schweidel commented on how quickly social media has forced companies to respond to customer complaints: "Years ago you would not have had that for a long time. They might not have known people were upset about it until they slowly changed to another company."

"As much as it is a potential risk to the way businesses are used to operating, there is that silver lining where it does provide a mechanism for learning about, ‘How can we please our customers? How can we deliver more value to them?'" Schweidel said.

More than 137,000 people signed a petition against the $2 charge online at change.org.

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