Join Us and Let’s End Hidden Fees They are Killing. #NoHiddenFees
Consumer News to begin campaign against hidden charges and will also write a detailed report on this. The hashtag for the campaign is #Nohiddenfees. For over the past 24 months, angry about the growing number of fees showing up on their bills, Nigerian consumers have been showing their grievances on social media while over hundred consumers have written personally to consumernewsng.com. And more stories keep coming every day which shows just how many fees people face, and how frustrating people find them. While some socially responsible organizations react and act immediately, some others are reluctant and sees consumers as weak.
At least 90 percent of Nigerians have encountered an unexpected or hidden fee over the past two years for a service or product they had used. Most coming from banks and consumer goods. And two-thirds of them say they are paying more now in surprise charges than they did five years ago. As you might expect, almost everyone—96 percent—finds them annoying. Consumer News would like to find one of the 4 percent of people who doesn’t mind these fees.
Today these extra charges are being added to more and more transactions—hidden in the fine print of a contract, popping up when you reach the last page of an online purchase, or combined with taxes or other costs. Some are personally imposed by hawkers or sales reps, or store keepers unknown to the management of the manufactures or service providers. Painfully, this might be due to lack of proper price control and monitoring by the government both federal, state and local.
And those tacked-on fees—some small, some large, but none that you recall being alerted about—can make you feel taken advantage of, especially when they add up, as they often do, to a lot of extra money. The good news is that in many cases it’s possible to fight back against fees, and win. Recently, many consumers have resulted in contacting Consumer Protection Agency and action are taken immediately with visible results. Many consumers have give kudos to Consumer Protection Agency for this good work.
You see a price and think it’s the best deal, but you end up paying much more. The culprit? It is called Hidden fees!!
We all pay billions of dollars in hidden fees each year on everything from air travel to car buying, making it impossible to stay on budget or comparison shop. At Consumer News, we believe that consumers deserve fairness and transparency. And we all need honest pricing, so the true cost is clear upfront. Let’s work together to end hidden fees. Start by sharing any hidden fee you’ve been hit with — big or small here…http://consumernewsng.com
How to Fight Back—and Win
The Federal Government should ensure companies disclose their fees up front. Central Bank should enforce disclosure of fee changes and interest rate hikes in advance. Hotels operators should be made to disclose resort fees.
However, as our ( consumernewsng.com) survey showed, consumers themselves are starting to push back. Over 5 percent of them said they had filed a complaint about fees with a company, a government agency, or the Better Business Bureau. And 10 percent said they posted comments or reviews about their experience on social media.
Know Your Rights
The first step in fighting back is recognizing fees in the first place. And with more and more Nigerians paying bills automatically, that doesn’t always happen. So it’s important to review your statements periodically.
To avoid being overwhelmed, you could pick a bill or spending category every month, review them for unexpected charges. Over a year, you ll have a good picture of your finances, and you’ll probably catch a few surprise fees.
COnsumer News is working on a proposal to the Consumer Protection Agency and a copy will be made available to the incoming National Assembly for reform, to make the marketplace fairer. Fees should not be used to hide price increases. All fees consumers must pay to get a product or service should be wrapped up into the base price.
Until that happens, though, consumers need to be vigilant. So we asked you all, electronics, financial, and utility experts which sneaky fees to watch out for, and for tips on how to beat them. Please, retweet, share, like, drop your experience and comments to help others. Together, we shall make consumers the king.
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