Attorney General Campbell Pushing Back Against “Junk Fees”

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BARNSTABLE – Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell has proposed regulations to prohibit hidden “junk fees,” which officials say companies use to deceptively hike prices on consumers above advertised prices.

The proposed regulations would require businesses to clearly disclose the total price of a product at the time it is presented to consumers, provide clear and accessible information on whether fees are optional or required, and simplify the process for canceling trial offers and recurring charges, amongst other rules.

“Millions of Massachusetts consumers are being harmed daily by businesses that charge hidden or surprise fees for profit,” said Campbell.

“By prohibiting junk fees and requiring transparency, these proposed regulations will not only ensure that consumers know what they are actually paying for when buying a good or service, but also level the playing field and market for those honest businesses that clearly disclose their pricing upfront,” Campbell said.

Officials define “junk fees” as hidden or surprise fees above the advertised price of a good or service.

These fees, referred to as “convenience” or “service fees,” are often not disclosed or explained, officials say, or they are disclosed only near the end of a purchase, rather than at the outset.

 The proposed regulations would require businesses to clearly, conspicuously, and prominently disclose the total price of a product, including all fees, interest, charges, or other necessary expenses, when a product is advertised and presented to consumers.

To facilitate transparency in the presentation of a total price, the regulations require that the nature and purpose of fees be clearly explained, and that sellers disclose whether such fees are mandatory or instead optional or waivable.

Additionally, the proposed regulations would prohibit businesses from requiring consumers to provide personal information, including billing and credit card information, prior to disclosing the total price of a product.

For more information and to view the entirety of the attorney general’s proposed regulations visit their website.

About Zachary Clapp

Zack is a graduate from Cape Cod Community College who is an avid sports fan and loves everything radio.  Zack joined the NewsCenter in 2023.
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