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]
Chase customers in more than a dozen states will be seeing a slight change to some of their account statements next month, as the bank announced it would increase service charges for both checking and savings accounts. [More]
In late February, the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association, the oldest African-American athletic conference in the U.S., held its annual basketball tournament in Charlotte, where visitors to the Ritz-Carlton found that they were being subject to an automatic 15% “CIAA Service” surcharge on their bills at the lobby bar. [More]
DirecTV agreed to let Anthony cancel his service without an early termination fee because his signal would randomly fade away without explanation. What DirecTV really meant though was that they would let Anthony cancel if he paid a final bill of $446.69. After speaking with two agents who agreed that the fee should have been waived, DirecTV reduced Anthony’s bill to $445.42. A third agent told Anthony that he would need to negotiate any further deductions in writing with the dispute department…
Cox told reader Don that they would waive a $55 service fee they hadn’t previously disclosed, but then changed their mind without telling him. Now Cox is telling Don that if he pays the $55, they’ll return it to him as a credit next month. Yeah, sure they will. Should Don trust them?
Reader Chandra wrote to us today about her short-but-tumultuous relationship with HSBC’s credit card division. In the span of two months Chandra applied for a card, made a $300 payment (mailed 8 days early) on a $700 balance, got hit with a $35 late fee and a $15 pay-by-phone charge, and cancelled her account. She claims to have good credit and is just baffled by HSBC’s inability to process a payment without assigning a penalty.
Apparently, we’re not the only ones who’ve had Sears repair people not show up for their appointments. Meet Jim, a man with a broken fridge. Not knowing how to fix a fridge himself, Jim called Sears Home Repair and scheduled an appointment. He was given a $65 estimate and a four hour repair window. Jim waited patiently, earnestly, for his hero to arrive. Guess who didn’t show? Jim says:
Tipping, a venerated system of checks and balances that rewards good service and punishes bad, is under attack, or is it evolution?