Are consumers paying fees to pay by credit card?

These days, consumers have many options for paying their bills. They can pay online, by mail, over the phone, by check or money order, or  with a credit card. But now, some companies are charging customers to pay with credit.

Verizon is the latest company to announce a fee for customers who make a one-time credit card payment by phone — though it quickly scuttled the plan after customers expressed outrage — but they are certainly not the only one, according to a report from the Boston Globe. Other companies, such as banks, utilities, cable, or phone service providers, also charge fees for making monthly payments by credit cards, sometimes without the consumer being fully aware.

Consumer advocates believe this lack of awareness may be the result of companies not disclosing the fees clearly enough on their monthly statements, the report said.

When consumers are hit with charges, they might end up paying more than they bargained for, and the same is true for those whose credit reports have errant markings. That's because problematic information on credit reports can unfairly lower credit scores and force consumers to accept higher interest rates than they deserve.