Sunday, March 16, 2008

Watch out for Hidden Fees

Companies are finding ways to build in hidden fees, driving up the costs for consumers. A recent article in the Seattle Times "Consumers fight the use of hidden fees", illustrates how the marketplace has turned into "a minefield of nickel-and-dime-charges". A 2006 study found that the average adult spends $942 each year on hidden fees. With rising gas prices those fees are starting to sting our pocket books even more. Class Action lawsuits have become popular to fight these charges since most of the cases involve small amounts of money, however a large number of plaintiffs makes the cases interesting to lawyers. With this increase in lawsuits consumers are making the push to make advertised prices meaningful, and not have to comb through the fine print.