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How to Avoid Junk Fees

Audio version available here:

Length: approx. 1 min.

You have more than likely found yourself in this scenario: an artist or team you love is playing in town, so you head to a reputable ticket merchant online. After placing your tickets in the shopping cart, you go to checkout, just to find that the processing and service fees add hundreds of dollars to your total. This practice of last-minute “junk” fees has become all too common in various industries such as housing, auto, utilities, lodging, and live sports and music.

Due to these fees costing American consumers an average of 20% more than they should have paid and 50 million hours of time wasted searching for the real price of their desired products, the White House and FTC are proposing regulations to hold merchants accountable. If the legislation is passed, upfront disclosures with full pricing will be required on merchant sites. This way, consumers will be able to “comparison shop” for the best price without the time-consuming inconvenience of making it all the way to the checkout screen for every possible merchant.

If you do continue to encounter mysterious hidden fees just before you pay, make sure to keep the receipt. This way you can report the bad practice to the FTC or your state attorney general. When you pay, try to use a credit card so that you have an easier chance to dispute the charge if a surprise fee is added without your consent. When possible, comparison shop so you can find the best price for the product you wish to buy.

For further reading on this topic, please refer to our source articles below.

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