8 Stupid Fees Consumers Hate to Pay (But Often Do Anyway)

In this tough economy, businesses of all types are trying to nickel and dime us to death with add-on charges.

Those charging the fees want you to believe that the fees are necessary to cover the additional costs of doing business, like pizza delivery fees.

In reality, all these fees do more often than not is mislead the consumer by adding a hidden mark-up to the advertised price.  Sometimes the fees are small, but other times they can be quite severe.

The mortgage loan industry has been doing this forever, but now the practice of tacking on fees has spread like the plague to many other services.

Certainly I can’t be the only person who is outraged by this continuing practice.  Or am I?

Here are eight classic fees that really gnaw at me.  Some of them I do a pretty good job of avoiding.   Others, not so much…

1.  Unlisted Phone Number Fees

This is arguably the granddaddy fee of them all.  I currently get charged $1.75 per month for my unlisted telephone number.  That’s $21 per year for those of you keeping score at home.  Tell me again why it costs the phone company more money to keep a phone number out of the phone book than in it?  Even though that’s a rhetorical question, I’ll answer it anyway: it doesn’t.

2. Convenience Fees

I recently bought four tickets from Ticketmaster so I could take the Honeybee and the kids to see the Harlem Globetrotters and, boy, was it a great show! Anyway, the tickets came to $300 for the set.  On top of that they included a “convenience charge” of $5 per ticket that added $20 to my bill.  Now you know why I hate Ticketmaster. To tell you the truth I think the convenience charge is completely misplaced.  Ticketmaster should be charging the convenience fee to the acts whose tickets are being sold, not us consumers who spent time on the Internet looking for the tickets in the first place.  Think about it.  If the Harlem Globetrotters had to sell their tickets on their own time, they’d never get to practice.  Eventually their skills would suffer and then the Washington Generals might actually start beating them.  I don’t mean to pick on the Globetrotters; Lady Gaga wouldn’t appreciate it if she had to sell her tickets door-to-door either. Right? I think I’ve made my point here. If I’ve got it wrong though, please tell me.

3. Fees for Printing Tickets

I’m not done with Ticketmaster. After gagging on the $20 “convenience” charge for my Globetrotter tickets, Ticketmaster wanted to charge me $2.50 so that I could print the tickets from my home printer. Keep in mind that I also had the option to get the tickets via the postal service – for no charge.  WTF?  Where is the logic in that? How much do you think it costs Ticketmaster to print the tickets on heavier stock paper, using their ticket machines, and then pay their staff to place the tickets in envelopes with the proper postage and mail it to my house? I don’t know either, but I made sure that’s exactly what Ticketmaster did.

4.  Hotel Safe Fees

There are more than a few hotels out there that like to charge you a dollar per day just for the privilege of using their in-room safes – whether you use it or not.  What a joke.  Whenever I see this fee, I ask to have it waived.

5. Tax E-Filing Fees

Among the most egregious fees out there are the ones that charge money for essentially doing nothing more than making a mouse click or pushing a couple of keys on a computer keyboard.   How much money does it cost to send some bits of information through the Internet anyway?   Well, if you ask TurboTax it’s $36.95.   That’s what they charge to e-file a state tax return.  So rather than printing out the return and sending it through the mail, I clenched my teeth and reluctantly paid it.   Hey, if you paid attention you’ll find a lesson on opportunity cost buried in there.

6. Tax Refund Fees

After spending four hours doing my taxes with the online edition of TurboTax the time finally came where I was asked how I intended to pay for their service – including the stupid e-filing fee.  Fair enough.  Lucky for me I was due a refund.  “Perfect!” I thought, “I’ll have TurboTax simply deduct what I owe them directly from my refund.”  Unfortunately, it turns out TurboTax charges an additional $29.95 if you choose to go that route.  My only other option was to pay by credit card – at no charge.   How does that make any sense?   So I paid with plastic.  I hope TurboTax had to pay the credit card company an interchange fee for me using it too.  Dummies.

7.  Mortgage Junk Fees

There are dozens of mortgage junk fees out there, some more dubious than others, that make you scratch your head and ask what the heck is that for?  Reconveyance verification fees, commitment fees, and the infamous “warehouse fee” are just three classic examples. (I know, I already mentioned them above – but I wanted to make it official.)

And then there’s this…

It’s bad enough that airlines are almost universally charging fees to people who have the audacity to travel with luggage.  But United and US Airways now take this a step further and charge their “valued” customers who choose to pay for their bags at the airport, rather than online, an additional fee of $3 per bag.

That’s right, folks.  A fee for paying a fee.

 

95 comments to 8 Stupid Fees Consumers Hate to Pay (But Often Do Anyway)

  • Solutions:

    1.Just use a cell-phone (oops – they still have stupid charges also)

    2. Do not use ticket master if you could (though that is unavoidable sometimes).

    3. Do not use hotels who charge for safe (as with internet connections).

    4. might as well use a CPA

    5&6. See what happens when everyone becomes cheap – which pf blogger does not “recommend” turbo tax (BTW – I don’t cos I use a CPA!) – BTW – have not read anything about these “fees” until you brought them up.

    7. Pay cash for your house.

    8. Sell your blog for $20mm (as some folks have done secretly) and fly private jet…at least you get shrimp cocktails and you can cuddle honeyB in the plane!

    BTW – you know I do not mean any of these? maybe some!

  • What I hate are the fees on utility bills that are disguised as taxes. I’m not sure how this is legal.

    Another thing I noticed is that some companies are still charging the fuel surcharge, from when gas was over $4 per gallon. Once companies get used to collecting a fee, they never get rid of it.

  • I have done pretty well avoiding the fees you list, but there are two fees that I can’t avoid and that annoy the living you-know-what out of me. The fuel surcharge on FedEx/DHL/etc. shipments and the fuel surcharge on plane tickets. I always thought that fuel expenses were part of the regular expenses of running a shipping company or an airline. I did not know that these expenses have to be separated out. Fuel must have been free before these charges were introduced. Maybe these companies will tag on a driver or pilot surcharge soon, too. – Oh, and don’t forget. These surcharges kept rising with the price of gas, but they never came down again as the price of gas did. Does that sound like one big scam?

  • Kim

    Funny thing is, you can do your Virginia (and many other states) taxes online through the tax authority’s website FOR FREE. And it is actually an easy process! Ridiculous.

  • ashby corner

    oh, how do I hate ticket master?

    I actually think back to when I was a ‘yout’ waiting outside the box office so I could get iron maiden tickets…sleeping in the cold. It was awesome.

    Now, as a grown up when I want to see maiden (or whoever…and yes, I still love metal), I have to join the fan club, get an access pass (not free), THEN go on line, THEN pay the “convenience fee” per ticket, etc.

    It’s not really that convenient for me to spend ~20/ticket extra per show.

    H8!

  • Cathie

    If I remember correctly, the last time I used Ticketmaster I was also charged a “Parking convenience fee” on top of the fee we were charged in the lot. And that fee is per ticket. We bought two tickets, so paid 2x for the parking convenience and once for actually parking our one car. Yeesh. And the unlisted phone number fee has irked me for ages.

    • @ashby: The worst part is there really is no way around the stupid convenience fee sometimes. It would be less insulting if they just called it a “Screw You!” fee. At least you wouldn’t feel as if you were being taken for a fool. That way future conversations with friends would also make us look like the victims we are instead of morons: “So, Ashby? What did you pay for your Maiden ticket?” “$129 freaking dollars PLUS a $20 ‘Screw You!’ fee from Ticketmaster!”

      @Cathie: Outrageous! Like I said, they should lump their stupid “Parking Convenience” charge (HTF does that work – does Ticketmaster create new parking lots for every concert?) into the “Screw You!” fee as well!

  • Jules McVernon

    Hmmmmm. Seems to me if it wasn’t worth paying these fees for the goods and services you received, you wouldn’t be paying them. I hate to be simplistic here but if these fees were “outrageous” you would refuse to do business witht hese companies. I don’t like paying conveinance fees either, but what is more convinient for you, traveling to and waiting in line at a ticket office, or buying them from home? I agree the charge for printing tickets is stupid and would never pay it, but if it meant missing an event because I couldn’t wait for the mail, or were worried about someone stealing the tickets, I would pay it.

    • Good point, Jules. But it’s more fun to complain! ;-)

      Still, there are fees that you simply can’t get away from. For example, Ticketmaster is often the exclusive vendor for tickets and that dastardly “convenience fee” is charged to you whether you pay by phone, online or travel to the ticket office in person.

  • kelliinkc

    How is it that Ticketmaster still exists? Can anyone say “MONOPOLY”?! You know you eventually reach a point in life where you weigh the real cost of a concert/game with the hassles involved in buying, parking, getting out of the venue with traffic, etc and just decide to stay home!! And as for efiling taxes– we still go the paper route. Took my husband 4 hours to do it and me 10 minutes to make copies, put them in the envelopes and mail them. IF I were to efile I would do the federal which I understand is free and then print out the state and send in. No way I would pay those charges!! I guess that I am just too cheap. Convenience or my pocketbook? Hmmmm. My pocketbook wins every time!!

  • Fees vary. If you pay with a debit card (think same name in the US? the ones that take money straight out of your current (/your ‘checking’) accounts that same day) then you pay nothing up to £1/2.

    Visa and Mastercard you can pay £1/2, too.

    American Express I’ve been charged £3.50 for.

    It’s annoying because I like the protection that comes with my Amex card, but if you’re buying a train ticket for £12 (/$18) it’s just not worth it. (Unless something goes wrong of course, but you can never know that in advance!)

  • Wow, all these fees are sad but true.

  • Jill

    Ticketmaster is the worst! I always feel so abused after I’ve bought tickets through those guys, but what are you going to do?

    • I know exactly how you feel, Girlfriend! Of all the fees I have to say Ticketmaster’s are the most, shall I say, distasteful to me too. They just seem like ripoffs – it’s all in the name of the fee. Like I said before, if they called it a “Screw You!” fee, I’d probably be able to take it a bit better. But the fact that they use the term “Convenience Fee” really eats at my inner core.

  • I really hate hidden costs… If someone is straight up with me I am much more likely to use them again and again and recommend them to everyone… It’s like these companies think we are the enemy sometimes!!

  • Financial Bondage

    how about fines for library books. this is a fee you can avoid people… return the library materials on time.

  • Jenny

    One way to partially get around the unlisted number fee is to have your number listed, but under a fake name. Then when you get a call for ‘Bob Smith’ you know that it is a telemarketer or something that just got your number out of the phone book, and can deal with it accordingly. It is not as good as having it unlisted, but it is free.

    I’m not positive you can do this in the US, but it works in Canada. My friend has his phone listed under his old dog’s name, and often gets calls for him.

  • Good list…..

    Funny though, as it looks like ticketmaster is satan’s spawn when it comes to unnecessary fees! :)

  • Kay Neff

    Yesterday I booked a “free” reward mileage ticket on U.S. Airways that cost $105–$75 for booking inside 14 days and $25 just for booking. I completed the transaction online; the $25 would have been $35 had I called the airline and talked to a human. I forget what the extra $5 was for, but feel sure it was another “get the consumer” fee.

  • Amy k

    A friend of mine just uses a fake name for the phone listing, has the same effect as being unlisted, but without the fee… ;-)

  • ALSnape

    FYI,
    I read a number of books on tax preparation when I started my own business. At least one of the authors said to always send in a paper tax return, as it decreases your chance of audit. You see, if you send an electronic copy, the IRS has a full file on you, and can run all sorts of analysis to find numbers which may be “too high” or low. But if you send in a paper copy, then only a few numbers are keyed in to a database, (such as your income before adjustments, age, income after adjustments, etc.). Who knows how true, but for 39 cents I will certainly follow this advice!

    • I’ve heard that too. But the electronic tax prep software is just so convenient now, I can’t go back to paper. I suspect in a few more years the IRS will stop accepting paper entries altogether.

  • Yikes! When you spell it all out in one place like this, I think more than a few folks will be fuming. I’m sure those alliterative F’s I just (over)used won’t be the only ones uttered when people really stop to think about this stuff.

    The trouble is, we’re all so busy trying to earn enough income to cover these ridiculous surcharges that we’re too tired to stop and think about it! Unfortunately, like taxes on taxes, fees on fees may become a way of life.

  • The scary part is that many of these services were free when they were being rolled out, but now that we’re addicted to the services, or the alternatives have been destroyed, the fees are creeping in. Tax refund fees? Fees for printing tickets?

    Technology was supposed to automate and lower fees–exactly what went wrong???

    It’s getting to the point where the only strategy to fight back is total avoidance.

  • I don’t get the hatred for the Turbo Tax stuff. I use a CPA for my own stuff, but I did my brother’s taxes using Turbo Tax. You are not paying for the transmitting to the IRS you are paying for the use of their software. It is just an upsell.

    As for that extra fee for them to take the fee out of the refund – I think it is 100% stupid, but they are taking a risk with whether you’ll get audited and then they have to chase you down for their 36.99 lol

    • @2Cents: You know, at the micro-level the merchants also depend on us being tired and indifferent to these fees at the “checkout stand.” We need to protest the fees and refuse to pay them when we can get away with it. Our complacency only emboldens the merchants to keep adding them.
      @Kevin: I agree, although its getting harder and harder to avoid them. For example, airline baggage fees: you can still use Southwest Airlines in the States if you want to avoid fees, but they don’t fly everywhere.
      @Mr. CC: I’ll answer anyway… 1. Yes, but I still prefer to have a hard line; 2. As you said, sometimes unavoidable; 3. It’s easy to get them to waive fee; 4. My taxes are not complicated enough to justify a CPA so I’ll keep clenching my teeth; 5 & 6. You’re welcome. 7. Not realistic for me anyway; 8. I wish! I’m not sure this blog is worth $20. ;-)
      @Bret: You’re right! It ain’t too dissimilar to entitlements. Once they are established they are tough to get rid of.
      @Evan: I can run faster than the IRS! LOL Seriously though, I agree with you to a point, Evan. The e-file and refund fees aren’t mandatory. Although, couldn’t we also argue that the airline baggage fee is also just an upsell? Luggage isn’t necessary for travel. Same thing for unlisted phone numbers.

  • Good list of fees. Several of them are very outrageous. I hate credit card fees too. Paying to own a credit card. Absurd.

  • I’m glad it’s not just me who hates those fees for printing tickets out at home.

    I also hate the fact that buying travel tickets with certain credit cards — that give me greater protection as a consumer — I can be charged more as a booking fee.

    Coincidence? I think not!

  • I’ve never seen the hotel safe fee but as a Marriott loyalist, I get ticked at the internet fees at their full service properties when I am given free access at their discount locations? Like you said… WTF

    Another fee that twists me is the hazardous waste fees when you get new tires or an oil change!

    As for the airlines, carry your bags to the gate and then just before boarding offer to check it for your fellow travelers convenience.

    • @Monevator: Sorry for slow reply, Investor! Been away on holiday, as they say in London town. Just curious, how much are the fees you get charged on your side of the pond? I wonder if they are similar to what we pay here in the States…

      @Coach: Good catch! The hazardous waste fee is a pain. That’s why I always dump my dirty oil down the storm drain. (Kidding, just kidding, folks.)

      I’ll have to try your luggage trick next time I go flying! Hope it works… :-)

  • TT

    Unreal. I thnk you could change a few of these. The unlisted phone number for example – just get a voip line.

  • TT

    Just get another phone number. As for the house safe fee – pay them the $1 and then tell them the next day that you had like 1k in there and it went missing.

    • Now THAT’S an ingenious way to turn the table on the hotels! But I am just a bit surprised a suggestion like this would come from a law firm. On second thought… no I’m not. ;-)

  • Len, I think the Harlem Globetrotters have to be the exception to the rule. They rock! Remember when they were on Gilligans Island playing the robots?

  • vancouver

    So…….
    all these fees are sad but true. If you can’t keep your ego under control, it’s going to cost you a lot of money.

  • Wii Guy

    how about fines for library books. this is a fee you can avoid people… return the library materials on time…

  • big bang theory

    Great list! I’m going to try and implement these into a few sales pages (: (:

  • Breader

    Mortgage Junk Fees is the most stupid fees we paid and the fees are usually very high.

  • Pete

    The reason all of these companies can get away with charging these ridculous fees, is the same reason the USA’s finances are in the shape they are in.
    The American citizens aka American consumers have become sheep. We let it happen. Companies know that as an individul, they have you over a barrel. Politicians know the same thing. Politicians and big companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on
    polls researching us.

    Bottom line is we have to band together to change the way the system works for us. One of the greatest lines I ever heard is, “if you don’t vote, you don’t matter”, and it is true. By not excercising your constitutional right to vote, you agree to let those in positions of power crap all over you and there isn’t anything you can do about it. We can sit on this site all day long and banter back and forth, but until we come together as a voting nation and fight back collectively we are going to continue to get bent over that barrel……….

    • Len Penzo

      I agree wholeheartedly with you, Pete. In the consumer world, we can also vote against ridiculous fees by saying NO and refusing to patronize the businesses that try to pass them on to us.

  • Guess what Len ….. you owe me a $5.00 ‘reader fee’. Yes the info was good, enjoyable and at times humorous, but, alas, I read it, and that’s my fee. Contact me by e-mail for payment options. ( I charge extra for dealing with dirty cash).

  • Frugal Miser

    Here is how I beat the unlisted phone number charge. At least in my area as long as U are not frauding anyone, then U can call yourself anything U want to, so I listed my name as DR.ZZZZZZZ [for eaxample]. That way I knew it was a phone solicitor if they asked for DR.ZZZZZZ. I also made sure it showed up as the LAST name in the phone book. That way my friends could find my phone number. But watch out for prank calls.-LOL

    • Len Penzo

      Yes, I’ve since been told that by a lot of folks.

      Great idea on the name, by the way. Can I steal it? If not, maybe I’ll try Pen Lenzo.

  • How about the destination fees that the car dealerships tack on to the price of your vehicle. They want you to pay the cost of having the vehicle delivered to their showroom from the manufacturer. I’m thinking if you didn’t have the product to sell you’d be out of business in the first place. I also love the restocking fee’s some companies charge you for returning a product you purchased from them.

  • lawrence grossman

    You don’t have to pay to have an unlisted number if you are just doing so your name doesn’t show. You can put any name down.

  • Barc777

    My local county government has a convenience fee for paying your annual motor vehicle tax online. My seven-y-o car’s taxes, plus the 2% ‘convenience fee’ were just shy of $125 this year. So the, what, $1.22 that they charged me as a convenience fee was actually MUCH more convenient and less expensive than driving all the way to the county seat and back. If I’d had a late-model vehicle, that could have been different, though.

    • Len Penzo

      Absolutely. If you have to drive 50 miles in the middle of a blizzard to the county seat in order to pay a bill, then that is a great example of when a convenience fee really is worth it.

      I still say Ticketmaster, however, doesn’t really have a leg to stand on.

  • John Davis

    I haven’t ordered delivered pizza from anyone who charges a fee in over a year. If the rest of you would do the same maybe we could get some where. When did it become to hard to say NO!

    • Len Penzo

      Actually, I did stop buying from my local Papa John’s a few years ago after they started imposing their delivery fees. Sadly, now every one is doing it, so I am pretty much out of luck.

      • Stephen - nyc

        The nice thing about living in New York City is that we have more than just the chains here, so it should not be too difficult to find a local joint.
        That being said, PJ’s opened not too far (like maybe 2 or 3 blocks away) a year or two ago. But I will never pay for their pizza. Why you ask? Because they are one of the naming rights corporate johns; in their case, it’s a college football bowl game. I do my best to not patronize companies that pay for naming rights. Buying an ad for a tv or radio commercial or a print ad is not the same thing, and is ok.
        But if I buy their pizza then that means they think their bowl game advertising is working on me. And I hate being manipulated like that (or even being thought of as being manipulated). Besides, what’s the ROI on a naming rights deal? How do PJ and all the naming rights johns calculate whether it’s a good deal?
        I am not always successful in avoiding all the johns, but I try. I will not buy any Frito Lays stuff (as in the tostitos) due to their bowl game. See how that works? I will buy someone else’s chips.
        I also do not like the concept of ‘official widget of the xyz club.’ It’s not like the club did an analysis of who made the best widget and picked them. No, they just went with whoever gave them the most money. Telling me you’re the official beer sponsor of the NFL or MLB doesn’t get me to buy your stuff. It just makes me buy someone else’s beer.
        Now, naming rights don’t just apply to college bowl games. Look at the stadiums/arenas/fields. Look at golf events. Car Racing (and not just the name of the event, but all the teams and drivers). Basically, all of sports has the naming rights business down. Good thing I don’t care about them anymore, but the names still end up in online newspaper headlines.
        So, the next time you have buy something, look to see if the product is made by a company that is not a naming rights john. And if it is, buy their competitor’s product, if at all possible.
        /end of rant
        Thanks for reading.

  • LeesLady

    All you need is a name in the phone book, you do not need to give any address. 40 years I have had “unlisted” number by putting in one of my pets name, as long as they live in house it is legal. then you know if it is ~~~ when they ask for them, I just say Sorry asleep

  • Mark

    How about satellite box / DVR rental fees? $7 a month = $84 / year. Go with the company for 5 years, and that’s $420 to rent something that would probably sell for about $75, if you could buy it.

  • lady j

    ….the “fee” you have to pay to add money to a prepaid card.

  • JESSICA IVY

    Some other fees I hate are: Sales tax, businesses pay tax on all items they buy to sell and they tax customers at a higher rate and so on, from manufacturing to consumption some items can be taxed several times.
    then theres toll roads, you pay taxes to build the roads why pay a toll too?
    public information fees, to search databases online of what is supposed to be public information,if it is supposed to be public information let the public search for free.
    the price of software dvds or cds of anykind they cost less than 50cents to manufacture each disk and companys charge from 20 to 50 bucks each for them and wonder why piracy is so popular whos screwing who?

  • Pete Rutherford

    Both Wes Fargo and Bank of America backed down and dropped their stupid idea of charging their customers for having and using a debit card. Maybe we should start a week-long boycott of Ticketmaster and use the web to let it be known it’s to protest the “stupid fees” they charge. Make NOISE! The squeaky wheel gets the grease …

  • Dontcaretoshare

    Really? C’mon on now. STOP complaining because you DO NOT have to pay these fees. You need to educate yourself about the fees you are being charged instead of making up your own theory as to why you are being charged in the first place. As far as I can see, these are ALL convenience fees therefore you’re being charged because you are to lazy to, for instance, learn how to file your own taxes and pick up your own show tickets. Your complaints are so invalid ESPECIALLY because you could avoid ALL of them by simply getting off your own you know what! It sounds to me like to just enjoy complaining about spending your own money. Yet you spend it anyway even though you disagree about whatever fee it is that you’re CHOOSING to pay. You cause yourself to lose your own money. Stop using business fees as a scapecoat and learn how to do things for yourself instead of GIVING your money away. Another thing, find a more concrete and factual way of presenting your complaints. Maybe a pie chart on what the average american spends on fees? Anyone can rant as you clearly see you clueless consumer.

    • Brandt

      However, the airline baggage fees are nothing but highway robbery. Just charge a higher ticket price in the first place instead of making you think you’re getting this cheap ticket and then charging a baggage fee, a pillow fee, a soft drink fee, a charge for the lousy little bag of peanuts fee, etc… How about some actual customer service, too, for all of this payout??? However you do have a point with regard to some of this, for example; get off your butts and actually GO and get the pizza yourself…My little brother worked pizza delivery a number of years ago and he sure didn’t see any of these extra fees go into HIS pocket. Shoot! They didn’t even help him with gas; he was totally on his own regarding upkeep of the car that he was using to enable their business to succeed. BTW, it was Little Ceasars he worked for. They can sponsor a college bowl game, but they can’t pay their employees anything resembling a living wage. It’s not just the consumers getting it in the you-know-what.

  • reynald

    hi there…

    I have read with interest the posts on fees, and am thinking that Americans are easy to trick.

    In a lot of countries, fees and taxes must be included in the price advertised. If what is advertised/published is different than what is to be paid, then the seller is breaking the law.

    This idea is supposed to protect the customer, as you dont get funny surprised at the time of purchasing. and for the un-educated customer, it is actually a great way to help them manage their money better…

    Some airlines have tried the “fuel surcharge fee” in Europe. Well, if an American airlines is doing it, it would only be fair that a Europen Airline is able to do it to. Well, the various european courts of law have rejected that argument.

    There are exceptions of course, but mostly, European customers don’t get any fee/taxes surprises.

    Tell your politicians. That is free of taxes and fees… (but wont get you anywhere… just like in Europe…:-(

  • RILEY

    I was booking a rental car the other day and the quote for the week was $400, but when I went to pay, it was $505. They had fees for everything. $20 here, $10 here, etc.

  • JFChrist

    I don’t care about the pizza delivery fee.

    All those pizza places are disguising, but I can especially confirm that Papa Johns pizza is so full of MSG that it causes projectile diarrhea within 7 hours of eating it.

  • chris bohan

    I recently bought a new car, refused to pay the “Doc Fee”. The dealer then took it out, but then attempted to add it on to the bottom line. I walked out, and they came and begged me to come back in. I did only after refusing to pay them a dime in Doc fees or any other fee. They are sneaky, they think we are all stupid, and all one has to do is remember that they are all fundamentally dishonest, lying, deceitful crooks. Once you understand that, you can decipher the code on not paying the fees.

  • Reese

    One area I have not seen fees mentioned is with regards to gas and electric bills. They are outrageous!!! My delivery charge for these services is almost equal to the cost of the gas and electric I am using for example a recent gas and electric bill was $333.97 of those charges $124.64 was in delivery fees. An additional $32.21 was for government taxes and misc. fees. Those extra fees added on that no one could adequately explain could not be removed. After speaking to three people I was told that the fees are mandatory and my only option was to shut my service off. Oh and there would be a fee for that too! As if you can really just shut off your gas and electric.

  • Susan

    I don’t understand why we have to pay to take our money out of the bank from our atm machines. Remember when banks wanted our business? They bribed us with toasters and silverware and place settings of china? Now they ding us with all kinds of fees for everything we do, with our money!

  • Gray

    If you do a breakdown on your phone bill, (like they have to do with the state utilities regulators), part of your monthly fee is for listing your phone number, so on top of paying to have your number listed you have to pay more to have it unlisted.

  • R Peterson

    I don’t know if the situation has changed in the last 20 years but, if it hasn’t, you might be able to beat Ticketmaster by doing this. Check the events schedule at a nearby university for any concerts or other events you’d like to attend. When you find one, go to the university the day the tickets for the students go on sale. Talk to the students who are buying tickets and find one that’s willing to buy guest tickets for you. Chances are that they can get these at ridiculously low prices so they can take their parents or out-of-town friends. If a student ID has to be presented when you use the tickets just find another willing student when you go the event. Don’t forget to show your appreciation by giving the student an appropriate amount of cash for their help.

    Another possibility, if you’re an alumnus of a university, is to call the alumni association and see if they can help you get tickets. Sometimes they have left over tickets from their fundraising efforts if you call the day of the event or on Friday if it’s a weekend event. Even if you’re not an alumnus, you might be able to get them if you offer a donation to the school.

  • Ben Dover

    Hey Len, As a former/retired, Parole Officer I was always leery of listing my home (land-line)
    number. Additionaly, I also resented having to pay to keep my number unpublished. Until the day I had an epiphany. I published my number under an alias e.g. Donnie Brasco.The number WAS published, but you had to know under what name.
    Proud to say-Beat the phone company at their own game!

  • Jerry

    I disagree with pretty much everyone who suggests avoiding the “unlisted number” fee by letting them list you under the wrong name. Doing that gets you all the same disadvantages of having your name listed, with none of the advantages.

    People will still call you, and you will still have to get up from dinner to answer the phone, figure out they’re a telemarketer–perhaps, if you are lucky, because they actually say the wrong name from the listing–and hang up on them, but when someone who actually does know you wants to talk to you, they can’t find a listing. Maybe it would be different if you are a celebrity, and a lot of people you don’t want to talk to are looking for *you specifically*, but telemarketers are looking for *anybody* to call, and your benefit of being unlisted is that they don’t get your number (quite as easily,) NOT that you stop them from knowing your name when they dial it.

  • Ean

    These what ever services used to be free. But now because ppl do not say NO and like it this way, The taxes are raising for no reasons at all.
    As many of you, I manged to run away from few taxes..But hill.. Ticketmaster is unbeatable.

  • payday loans online

    Guilty for Unlisted Phone Number Fees… Definitely wasting about $20 a year on those…

  • Jimi

    For #1 on this article, why does it cost less to have your phone number out of the phone book than being in-the-phonebook?

  • Jonathan Logan

    In California we have to get a smog check certificate every two years for each car. The issue is not that you are required to go to a limited number of facilities to do this (and they charge outrageous fees) but once the testing is done, all that data is transferred electronically. Aside from the smog test fee, they charge for the electronic data transfer!! As if I had a choice to send it in any other way. I don’t even have the option to send it in manually (which I would prefer causing massive manual labor).

    • Stephen - nyc

      Here in New York State, we have to get our vehicles inspected every year. The nice thing is that the fee is set by the state, so it’s the same everywhere (I don’t know if there are any variations by locations due to a specific issue, but I know that right now [August 2013] the fee for a car is $37.00). So long as the facility has the ‘NYS Inspection Site’ plaque on the wall, you’re good to go. And the data is transferred to the NYS DMV as part of the process.
      8 August 2013.

  • Dave

    Yes, taxes are free on many state websites now. I use Turbo Tax to start mine to see the maximum refund I can get, then go to the state website to make sure I get that number, then file it for free! I just ignore the reminder mails that come from Turbo tax to come back and finish my taxes. Sorry dummies, but no thanks!

  • Money_Illusion

    One fee that I avoid is going to car dealers that charge those ridiculous $600 doc fees (Mazda dealers especially). Oh Pls how much does it cost to print out a few pages to sign!? Just be aware of them and have them waive it. Of course they’ll say they can’t, its in the computer and can’t be changed, etc…just walk away and go somewhere else or just buy your car from a private party.

  • Christina

    Great write-up, Len!

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