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How hidden fees kill your budget
Published Friday, June 14, 2019 6:00AM PDT Last Updated Friday, June 14, 2019 7:33PM PDT
You might be thrilled when tickets for that sporting event or concert you’ve been dying to attend go on sale - and for a good price too.
But it turns out the great deal you thought you had isn’t actually so, due to fees that are hidden in the final price.
A survey done by Consumer Reports shows at least 85 per cent of those polled had encountered a hidden or unexpected fee when making a purchase over the past two years.
Carol Begnoche and her husband first met at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Virginia, and are graduates of the institution. So when the men’s basketball team played against Duke University in the NCAA tournament this past March, the couple just knew they had to attend.
The tickets were purchased from Stubhub for $355 each, but added on top of that was an additional fee of $173.80, for what was listed as “service, delivery and transactional fees.”
“I expected to see fees, but I was flabbergasted by how much they were,” said Begnoche.
Nearly 3,500 fed up people have complained to Consumer Reports about the number of hidden fees on their bills.
“Companies are doing everything they can to make their prices appear lower, to bring those consumers in the door,” said Anna Laitin, the Financial Policy Director for Consumer Reports.
“The problem is they have to increase the price somewhere along the way, and they do it by hiding fees in the final price.”
The mostly likely culprits of hidden fees include telecommunication providers, live entertainment or sporting events, and gas and electric utility companies, according to the survey.
Stubhub offers a feature where you can set your search to include fees in the price, which will help with budgeting, and any potential surprises.
Consumer Reports recommends checking your bills frequently for hidden fees and asking the company a lot of questions before paying them.