STATEMENT: Truth in advertising bill passes state legislature

Media Contacts
Sander Kushen

Former Consumer Advocate, CALPIRG

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California state Legislature approved on Tuesday SB 478, a bill that, if signed into law, would protect consumers by outlawing the addition of “hidden fees” to an initially displayed price of a product or service. 

Consumers have long complained about online sellers touting one price on a home page and then tacking on multiple fees at the final payment screen. President Joe Biden has addressed the issue of “junk fees” multiple times, including in his State of the Union address earlier this year.

The bill, sponsored by California Attorney General Rob Bonta and state Sens. Nancy Skinner and Bill Dodd, now heads to the governor’s desk for a final signature.

CALPIRG State Director Jenn Engstrom responded with the following statement:

“Consumers deserve to know what they are paying for, and how much, up front. It’s that simple. But whether we’re buying a ticket to a football game or a room at a hotel, too many companies are blindsiding us with hidden fees.We deserve complete and transparent pricing information to help inform our purchases. Without knowing the true price of a product or service up front, the process of comparison shopping becomes nearly impossible.

“In the 50 years that CALPIRG has been fighting for common sense reforms to protect consumers, this is one of the biggest no-brainers.We applaud the efforts of Attorney General Bonta and the other legislative coauthors to protect Californians’ finances and ensure a fair marketplace.”