NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Money is tight for many people so shopping around for deals is key.
But most still end up getting hit with unexpected hidden fees and charges. CBS2’s Marc Liverman learned the tricks on how to spot them.
Cristyne Nicholas is just one of millions of Americans frustrated with hidden fees and extra charges. She recently bought a flight posted online for a little over $100, but it ended up being a lot more.
“At the end of the day it’s about $190 dollars or $203 because you have to pay for the seat, you have to pay for the baggage,” she explained.
For Mark Baden, the surprise came when he rented a car and was hit with an automatic refueling fee.
“It was really frustrating. There’s nothing you can do about it,” Baden said.
Extra flight and rental car charges were among the most common add-ons people complained about in a new Consumer Reports survey.
Fees from telecommunication providers came in number one. That also included the extras found on cable bills – like “broadcast TV and sports programming surcharges.”
Hotels also made the list. Many now add charges like a “resort fee.”
“People are driven crazy by them. 96 percent of the surveyors responding said they found them annoying,” Anna Laitin of Consumer Reports said.
Laitin said fighting back against the fees is tough.
“For individuals it’s a matter of searching carefully, understanding where fees might pop up and doing everything you can to know what’s coming and budget for it and to fight when you feel there’s a fee you’ve been charged unnecessarily.”
The good news is the survey found that 64 percent of people who complained about an unexpected charge were able to get it taken off their bill.
Consumer advocates are pushing to get rid of the added fees shoppers experience every day, but admit they aren’t going away any time soon.