The asterisk and fine print seems like they were designed just for hidden fees—the reason that the car you saw advertised will cost thousands more than the advertised price along with the nickel-and-diming that occurs to raise most of your monthly bills.
Regardless of the fees, the best thing you can do is voice your concerns. A Consumer Reports study found that just 30% of people complain about hidden fees, but among those that do, two out of every three get some sort of money back.
If you’re looking to go get some of that hard-earned cash back, Corning Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing has a look at four common services that are notorious for hidden fees.
- Cable TV Providers
With increasing competition from streaming services, you’ve probably seen deals for cable TV packages that are anywhere from 30 to 50 dollars per month. But studies show that the average U.S. household spends $217 per month on cable TV. Traditional providers will charge fees for equipment like DVRs and HD set-top boxes. Even cord-cutters are noticing fees with streaming services for broadcast channels (which are available free over the air) and regional sports networks.
- Cell Phone Plans
There are smaller fees including every month, but most people who have a lower-priced phone plan get hit with an unexpected data charge. This could be anything from a grandson watching videos and going over your data plan to your phone trying to find an update if you’re in an unfamiliar location and away from Wi-Fi. To help prevent this, you can sign up to be alerted if you’re approaching your data limit.
- Internet Service
Oftentimes, your internet service provider is your cable provider, who we established above is adept at the hidden fee. Most of the fees in this realm come from a modem rental, which is required even if you just use wireless access in your house. The best way to avoid this recurring charge is to buy your own modem, which can pay for itself in less than a year, depending on your provider.
- Travel Tidbits
Airlines are continuing to offer what appear to be lower rates but with just about everything else stripped away, including—for some—the ability to put a carry-on bag into the overhead compartment. At the rental car counter, you’ll be asked if you want to purchase insurance (even though your personal auto insurance plan covers you if you’re driving), and then at the hotel, you may think you scored a great deal until you realize that there’s a $30 “resort fee” per night. One way to possibly recoup some of that resort fee is by making sure that the amenities you’re paying for (pool, fitness center, complimentary breakfast, etc.) are actually available to you.
To learn more about Corning Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing and all of the services they offer, visit http://corning-center.facilities.centershealthcare.org.