Wednesday, June 02, 2010

10 Annoying Charges Consumers Face

No one likes hidden fees, but in today’s economy hundreds of companies have turned to fees in order to make up for lost revenue. Americans all over the country are becoming more aware of these hidden charges. So, to help everyone prepare ahead of time for these expenses has put together a list of the top 10 annoying fees on consumers. You can find a section of the article below, but be sure to click here for the full list.

Airline Preferred Seat Selection Fee

Airplanes are designed to cram passengers into undersized seats like sardines in order to maximize profits. Savvy (and tall) travelers have long opted for emergency row seats for some precious extra legroom, while others like to be near (or far) from the bathroom. And while the ability to choose a window or aisle seat has traditionally been a standard courtesy while purchasing a ticket, some carriers are now charging for this non-service. According to Expedia, the worst offenders are United Airlines ($14 to $109 for domestic flights, and $89 to $109 for international flights) and Virgin America ($15 to $50), while others, like American and Delta, still let you choose your seat for free, both domestically and internationally. At this rate, pay toilets are probably inevitable. Don't laugh, it's already been proposed by Ireland's Ryanair.

Dealer Preparation Fee

Anyone who's ever purchased a new car has probably noticed a "Dealer Prep Fee" in the sticker, which usually runs anywhere from $500 to $2,000. So what exactly does "dealer prep" cover? Typically, it involves peeling the plastic off the seats and hood, vacuuming the interior, a wash and wax, and maybe topping off the fluids. Most people just pay it, but you can try negotiating or just flatly refusing to pay it, consumer advocates say.

Ticketmaster Service Fees

If you've ever bought a ticket to see a concert, play or sporting event, you've almost certainly dealt with Ticketmaster, which enjoys a near-monopoly on live events in the U.S. Ticketmaster is also notorious for assessing various fees to the price of tickets. For instance, two $90 tickets to a recent Broadway show wound up costing $203.70. That included a facility charge of $1.50 per ticket, a convenience charge of $7.50 per ticket, an order processing fee of $3.20 and perhaps the most egregious one, a "TicketFast" fee of $2.50. "TicketFast" allows you to print your own ticket and save Ticketmaster the cost of printing and mailing them to you.

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