What Were They Thinking? 4 Stupid Fee Names
NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- We're not crazy about fees. Airlines have made billions by charging fees to consumers for checking (and in some cases, carrying on) bags, while banks have tried desperately to recoup money lost to new regulations by charging checking account customers fees to use their own money. But what can be even more galling is the names they come up with to sell these fees to customers. Here are a few that we can't stand.
"The Unintended Consequences Fee"
Hey, tell us how you really feel, Spirit Airlines. The carrier tacked this $2 fee onto its tickets in response to a new rule by the Department of Transportation mandating that airlines allow customers to get a full refund on their tickets within 24 hours of purchase.
|Fees are bad enough on their own, but their names can make them even more frustrating.|
"While this may appear to be a consumer-friendly rule at first, the USDOT has ignored the cost impact to consumers," Spirit said at the time. "As the transparency leader, Spirit believes that consumers have a right to know that this misguided regulation is expensive and is hitting consumers directly in their pocketbooks."
Spirit is correct that regulations do indeed have unintended consequences, and that giving consumers the ability to get a full refund will indeed lead to seats not being filled, which in turn hurts the airline's bottom line. But Spirit's claim that the rule is bad for consumers seems to rely on the notion that anything bad for the airline is in turn bad for the consumer. It feels like Spirit -- which is notorious for charging fees on everything from carry-on bags to not paying your baggage fee early -- is assessing this fee just to make a point."Gift Ticket Fee"
What, exactly, is a "gift ticket"? Does it come in a special envelope tied with a bow? Is it delivered by an owl? Those are a couple of the questions we asked when we heard that Greyhound was charging an $18 "gift ticket" fee. If the company is charging that much and calling it a "gift," there must be some great perks in the offing for the recipient. But it turns out that all you get in exchange for paying this fee is the ability to use your credit card to buy a bus ticket for someone else and have them pick it up at the will-call window.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV