Have you been hit with unexpected hidden fees?
You spend valuable time and energy trying to find the best price only to find out that the real cost is a lot more than you expected.
The reason? Unexpected hidden fees or charges that weren’t disclosed until you received your bill or they weren’t revealed until the very end of the purchasing process.
According to a recent survey by Consumer Reports, 85 percent of Americans say that they were hit with an unexpected or hidden fee as part of a service they purchased in the last two years. And two-thirds of Americans say that the cost of these surprise charges are going up.
Some of the types of purchases that consumers cited in the survey that contained hidden or unexpected fees included:
- Live entertainment or sporting events
- Utility companies (gas, electric, etc.)
- Credit cards
- Car purchases
- Air travel
- Car rental
- Investment services
- Mortgage services
- Insurance services (health, auto, house)
- Homeowners associations
- Condo associations
- Apartment buildings
- City government
- Retirement services
If you’ve been hit with what you believe was an unexpected or hidden fee when making a recent purchase, you may qualify to join this hidden fee class action lawsuit investigation.
See if you qualify by filling out the form on this page for a free case evaluation by consumer protection lawyers.
How Much are Americans Paying in Hidden Fees?
Consumers in the United States are paying billions of dollars each year in hidden fees. In 2018, surprise charges included $7.6 billion in reservation change and baggage fees by airlines and $2.9 billion in resort fees and other hotel surcharges, according to Consumer Reports.
Unexpected charges are showing up in more and more transactions. Consumers find them in the fine print of contracts, buried at the end of online purchases, or they are buried with the taxes and other fees on a bill where they are easy to miss.
The most commonly reported additional charges were for cable television, cell phones, and internet.
Some of the specific fees that were reported to Consumer Reports included broadcast and sports fees charged by cable companies even if a customer doesn’t watch sports, cancellation fees, a $15 fee charged by a rental car company for going through a highway toll, and fees added to concert tickets making the tickets $20 or more than the original list price.
Some fees may be small, such as the $1.99 administrative fee that AT&T charges its wireless customers, but MarketWatch says that the small charge will give AT&T $800 million in additional revenue.
Whether large or small, Americans told Consumer Reports that they have no recollection of being alerted about them, which makes them feel like the companies are taking advantage of them.
These additional charges do add up to an extra thousand dollars every year for the typical American family.
An economics professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology told Consumer Reports that part of the reason for surprise fees is that online retailers are trying to make their prices appear cheaper by disguising their costs as fees to remain competitive.
In some cases, fees are disclosed at least somewhere in the purchasing process. The problem with “add-on fees” is that they are hard to find. And most people don’t have the time in their busy lives to put in the time and effort necessary to track down all the hidden fees they might face.
Are Hidden Fees Illegal?
Companies who are charging hidden fees may be violating some federal and state consumer protection laws.
Under several state laws around the country, consumers have the ability to recover damages if they believe the fees they were charged were deceptive or fraudulent in nature.
For example, in California, if a business engaged in deceptive practices to obtain business it may be in violation of California’s Unfair Competition Law. Consumers may also find protections under California’s False Advertising Law if they believe the company made fraudulent or misleading statements.
There are also some protections under some federal laws.
Hidden Fee Class Action Lawsuits & Settlements
If you believe that you were charged unexpected hidden fees by a service provider, you may qualify to join this hidden charge class action lawsuit investigation.
Filing a class action lawsuit against a company engaging in deceptive practices is one tool consumers have to hold businesses accountable. A class action lawsuit may also allow consumers the ability to recover some of their costs through a settlement payout.
See if you qualify by filling out the short form on this page for a free case evaluation by experienced consumer protection attorneys.
Get Help – It’s Free
Join a Free Hidden Fee Lawsuit Investigation
If you qualify, an attorney will contact you to discuss the details of your potential case at no charge to you.
PLEASE NOTE: If you want to participate in this investigation, it is imperative that you reply to the law firm if they call or email you. Failing to do so may result in you not getting signed up as a client or getting you dropped as a client.
E-mail any problems with this form to:
After you fill out the form, the attorneys who work with Top Class Actions will contact you if you qualify to let you know if an individual lawsuit or class action lawsuit is best for you.
The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertisements.
Your information will be shared with consumer attorneys working with Top Class Actions.
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