Fees, Fees And More Fees

from the there's-a-fee-for-this-post dept

A few months back I signed up for MCI’s “The Neighborhood” plan for my landline, which is supposed to be a flat-rate service for all my phone calls. I asked the person who signed me up to detail specifically what all the fees would be, and had her promise that the bill would be exactly the same every month. The fees came out to a little over $7. Over the past few months, that $7 has crept up each month to the $12 it is today. I’ve called and complained, but MCI insists there’s nothing they can do. I’m sure a lot of people have similar experiences, and the Washington Post is examing now how many companies are imposing all these extra fees to try to nickel-and-dime their customers into paying more. It seems the companies get away with this for a few reasons. Customers like the lower “base” price when they’re comparison shopping. Also, since they’re labeled as “fees” and broken out separately, people often assume that it’s not the company’s fault – as if there’s some higher power designating what these fees should be. Finally, a lot of the fees are pretty small, by themselves, so people don’t think it’s worth it to complain (even when they add up to quite a bit). Hopefully, more companies will follow the lead of a place like Wyndham Hotels which has decided they’re not going to nickel-and-dime their customers, and they’re proud to advertise that fact.

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