What Were 2011’s Stupidest Consumer Fees?
As consumers, we’re all used to being nickel-and-dimed to death with fees — from charges for checking a bag when we fly to charges to pay a bill online, we see them every day. They may be small, but they add up. And some were even more egregious than others in 2011.
MSN Money made a list of this year’s stupidest fees, ranking debit card fees at the top. After Congress limited how much banks could charge merchants to accept credit cards, financial institutions like Bank of America announced it would begin charging customers monthly fees to use their debit cards — and consumer backlash was swift and furious. By year’s end, most banks waved the white flag of surrender and decided not to institute the fees after all.
Next on the list? Boarding pass fees. Spirit Airlines recently began charging $5 to print your boarding pass at the counter, rather than printing it at home or from a kiosk. The so-called “low-cost” airline also dings you for carry-on bags, and charges a $10 “reservations booking fee” and a $16.99 “passenger usage fee” when you purchase a ticket.
Other fees that made the list included early-termination fees for TV service like Dish and DirecTV, fees some banks charge for depositing large sums of cash, and fees incurred by many people who receive unemployment benefits by prepaid cards instead of checks.
All were deemed “ill-considered, counterproductive, anti-competitive or unfair” — and we can’t disagree.