The U.S. Senate is considering a bill called The Junk Fee Prevention Act. “Consumers are charged hidden fees when purchasing everything from flights to concert tickets,” said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse in a statement. “Our Junk Fee Prevention Act would provide consumers with the transparency they deserve when making a purchase.” Whitehouse and co-sponsor Senator Richard Blumenthal had quite a few examples in mind: airline family seating fees, various kinds of late fees, and surprise service fees on event tickets were some of the examples mentioned.
They didn’t mention fees on sales tax solutions, but we’d nominate them for coverage under any Junk Fee Protection Act. Some providers of software solutions charge set-up fees, activation fees, fees for the use of the sandbox mode, and extra fees for support when they have to help you with problems caused by their solutions. Sometimes it’s hard to tell what the fees they’re charging are for, or what you’ll be charged in the next billing cycle.
In fact, that’s one of the complaints we hear most often: clients are given a “starts at” price that sounds reasonable, but then see startling charges on their corporate credit cards. Check in with your provider and you will hear — maybe for the first time — about fees.
What’s Wrong With Junk Fees?
The biggest problem with junk fees is probably the fact that your costs for services are higher than expected. Fees such as “resort” fees at hotels or termination fees for internet service are not costs that you anticipate. Equally, you may not realize that your sales tax solution provider will charge you fees for every calculation Your cost ends up being more than you budgeted for when you agreed to the service.
But the federal government is also concerned that junk fees, including hidden fees and mysterious fees that aren’t fully explained, can be deceptive.
By offering a “starts at” price and then adding on fees, these companies imply that their services cost less than their competitors — when actually they may cost much more.
At Sales Tax DataLINK we believe in honest, transparent, predictable pricing. You know exactly what you will pay and what you will get before you commit to us. Contact us today to learn more.