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How much drip pricing costs consumers and how to combat it

Cash money
Posted at 2:34 PM, Aug 11, 2022

You may not have heard of drip pricing, but you've likely experienced it.

It's a common practice in which companies tack on extra fees making the actual price of a good or service a lot more at checkout.

It happens with everything from hotels to cable bills. It's called "drip pricing" because these fees drip onto your bill throughout the purchasing process.

“By the time they're at checkout, the price is completely different,” said Syed Hijaz from Consumer Reports.

Hijaz said he hears complaints about drip pricing in pretty much every industry. While it has been an issue for years, it's becoming more prevalent as companies look for ways to deal with inflation.

“As businesses are stressed, because of the cost of goods going up, and the cost of providing goods and services going up, they often use hidden fees to pass the cost down to the consumer,” he said.

So what can you do? Hijaz said to never trust the advertised price of anything. Instead, keep in mind when you're shopping around that hidden fees will likely be part of the process.

Complaining also helps. Hijaz said, oftentimes, companies will drop these fees if you just speak up.

“I always recommend people call their congressperson, either the House member or senator, and let them know how they feel about this issue,” he said.

Hijaz said drip pricing is perfectly legal. However, some states, like New York, recently passed legislation that requires event ticket sellers to disclose all fees up front.