California lawmakers introduce suite of bills to disclose, cut back on 'junk fees'

Tuesday, March 7, 2023
CA lawmakers introduce bills to disclose, cut back on 'junk fees'
A package of six bills being introduced in the California legislature would expose many hidden fees and restrict some add-on charges.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KGO) -- How would you like to save money when buying an event ticket or electric vehicle, or when renting a car or home? How? By knowing all the hidden fees and charges from the get-go, you will be able to comparison shop.

A package of six bills being introduced in the California legislature would expose many hidden fees and restrict some add-on charges.

State Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) says, "These fees are making it too costly for many families to attend a concert, go to a sporting event take a vacation or stay at a hotel. That's not fair."

RELATED: California lawmakers want to ban hidden fees on hotels, event tickets

Often fees are not disclosed until you are at the end of the online purchasing process and sometimes even at the end of the actual use. Some hotels have been accused of hiding fees until checkout.

"The bottom line is, consumers deserve to know what they are paying for, how much and upfront," says CALPIRG's Sander Kushen. "It is that simple."

Assemblymember Marc Berman (D-Menlo Park) says his bill focuses on lodging fees: "We are not saying you have to eliminate the fees, you just have to be transparent about them, so hotels are free to charge cleaning fees, resort fees, destination fees, but have that in the upfront price so consumers would know when they are price shopping."

The bills take on a lot of consumer gripes: tackling home rental fees, small businesses loan fee add-ons and stopping car dealers from charging more for an electric vehicle than the manufacturer's suggested retail price.

"On some of these issues, there is a good change of bipartisan support," Robert Herrell from Consumer Federal of California told 7 On Your Side's Michael Finney. "The reality, Michael, is 85% of consumers have had this happen to them. If it hasn't happened you to you, it has happened to someone you know."

Take a look at more stories and videos by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

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