It seems like an increasing number of things you buy now come with fees that you don’t find out about until it’s time to make the purchase: Book a hotel room — there’s a “Resort Fee” that wasn’t in the advertised price. Going to a concert — there’s a “Convenience Fee” that can sometimes double the ticket price. Subscribe to cable TV — there are “Broadcast TV” fees for stations that are freely available over the air, and “Regional Sports” fees for stations that are often owned by the cable company. A new report from the White House says these hidden fees are cause for a broader concern about a lack of competition. [More]
The excitement of buying something big and expensive can drain quickly when you find out you’ll have to buy a lot of other stuff to go with it. Before you buy a big-ticket item, you should make sure you’ve accounted for its full expense by researching the accessories you’ll need to get the most out of your product.
Starting August 23rd, airlines were supposed to start being more upfront on their websites about the fees they charge you. Guess what? They didn’t.
After a recent move, Vincent signed up with DirecTV for his television-beaming needs. A sales representative quoted him a price, then assured him that no, there would be no extra fees on top of that. No one will be surprised at what happened next: a $10 per month HD fee appeared on his monthly bill. The person who originally signed him up refunded the fee and called it an “error.” But it didn’t go away with his next bill. Or ever.
Investing newbies may be shocked by the amount of unexpected fees that siphon away their funds. When you’re searching for a brokerage, it’s wise to investigate hidden costs involved.
Sure, maybe you’re smart enough not to fall for the optional insurance car rental companies like to shill when you borrow one of their fine vehicles. And of course, you’re wise to the astronomical final bill you might get if you opt for their pricey fuel options. But do you know what other gotchas lay in store?
Kevin is annoyed that Priceline’s “Name Your Price” feature fails to take resort fees into account. In his case, such extra charges tacked on $19 a night to the $45 he agreed to pay for his room.
Last April, Techdirt pointed out that a financial firm in Texas was trying to attach “private transfer fees” to homes, so that developers would get a little bit of each sale as it passed among owners in the years to come. It sounded crazy then–imagine having to pay royalties on clothes or furniture whenever you resold them–but the firm is aggressively expanding its plan and has signed up more than 5,000 developers across the country, reports the New York Times. If you buy a new house in the next decade, look for a “resale fee” covenant hidden in a separate document that might not be included in your closing papers or even require a signature.
Andrew rented a car from Enterprise, which told him online it would charge $37.71 for a one-day rental. When he showed up at the branch, Enterprise said he’d have to pay more than three times that amount because he wouldn’t be allowed to drop his car off until two days later.
A new study released by Rep. Weiner shows that Yankees and Mets fans are bleeding more than just their team colors, they’re also getting gouged with some of the highest online ticketing fees in baseball.
Credit card companies stuffed all the crazy they could into their contracts in advance of the CARD act taking effect. This time they might have taken it too far, even for banks. Shoulda read that boilerplate!
#599; The Boilerplate Clause [WonderMark] (Thanks to MercuryPDX!)
If you don’t like the idea of paying a resort fee the next time you visit Las Vegas, make sure you check out the various Harrah’s Entertainment resorts. Today they sent a press release to travel blogger and temporary TSA aggravator Chris Elliott in which they state that all of their Vegas resorts “exclude mandatory resort fees.”
Travel consumer advocate Christopher Elliott has a new post about an undisclosed $15/day “resort fee” that Trump International Hotel Las Vegas plans to tack onto a customer’s bill. The surprise is that the customer reserved the room through Priceline, and thought when he made the reservation that Priceline was telling him the final room rate.
Victor, who picked up Verizon’s new iPhone competitor, the Droid, says Verizon billed him for $40 a month in redundant charges.
If you want to spread some fiscally sound good cheer this year, consider asking your friends, relatives, and coworkers not to give gift cards backed by the major credit card companies. Why am I making such a sour suggestion? Because a new study from two consumer advocacy groups indicates that most of the population still doesn’t recognize what a money trap those little plastic cards can be.