Companies want junk fees to protect “profits!” Vote “Yes” or “No.”

Here’s a Washington Post explainer on how companies are fighting for their junk fees. Testifying at a federal hearing in March, Doug Mullen, a lobbyist for Airlines for America, said:

“the new policy would only cause customers “confusion and frustration” — and, besides, the extra costs for bags and other services historically have resulted in “very few complaints.”

Seriously? I beg to differ! The story went on to say that President Biden’s administration has

“broadened its efforts to expose or eliminate “junk fees” throughout the economy, touching off a groundswell of opposition from airlines, auto dealers, banks, credit card companies, cable giants, property owners and ticket sellers that hope to preserve their profits.”

PIRG has  been a large part of that fierce fight for years. Here’s an excerpt from our recent Marketwatch op-ed:

“My organization, PIRG, has been fighting to protect consumers from junk fees for decades. Now, the Biden administration, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission say they’re going to adopt new rules to squash junk fees and demand that companies provide accurate prices up front. The CFPB is targeting bank fees, while the FTC plans to crack down on other unfair fee practices.”

“The disease has spread to all parts of the economy and is driving consumers crazy. They are paying for some things twice and too often for nothing at all. Worst of all, fees add up in so-called drip pricing — which isn’t shown as a total until you see a surprisingly high final price on your shopping cart screen or printed invoice.”

The op-ed concludes:

“Federal officials say junk fees cost Americans tens of billions of dollars annually and hurt honest businesses whose products or services might appear more expensive because they’re honestly disclosing the full price. Too many businesses misleadingly tout low prices that aren’t actually available once you’re ready to pay.”

Which side are you on? Clap if you are fighting back against junk fees! And vote “Yes” or “No.”




Ed Mierzwinski

Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program, PIRG

Ed oversees U.S. PIRG’s federal consumer program, helping to lead national efforts to improve consumer credit reporting laws, identity theft protections, product safety regulations and more. Ed is co-founder and continuing leader of the coalition, Americans For Financial Reform, which fought for the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, including as its centerpiece the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. He was awarded the Consumer Federation of America's Esther Peterson Consumer Service Award in 2006, Privacy International's Brandeis Award in 2003, and numerous annual "Top Lobbyist" awards from The Hill and other outlets. Ed lives in Virginia, and on weekends he enjoys biking with friends on the many local bicycle trails.