On a recent visit to London I was disappointed and confused by the hotel checkout invoice. For a bar bill for 2-drinks was listed as 5-separate things, including a £2 convenience charge for service after midnight, a service charge, the drinks, and, err, the tip I’d left. At least to my memory none of this was shown on the original bar tab, just the drinks and the tip.
This so reminds me of flying. I’ve remarked before that flying with United Airlines, where I don’t have any frequent flyer status, is like being nickel and dimed to death. You are confirmed on a flight, but nothing else, seats, drinks, boarding, checked luggage, etc. etc. can all be bought. When you are done, you are left feeling “dirty”.
We’ve all bought event tickets online, if the price is between $10-$20, you can actually end up paying more in fees and taxes that the ticket price. Which is ridiculous if you think about it. It’s happening more and more.
Yet, shouldn’t the original price include pretty much everything? After all, for years bills and receipts have covered the cost of doing business in every other way. They don’t list Social Security and Medicare; their property and income taxes; establishment running costs, or, their profit.
I work in the computer industry, the fact we’ve enabled this level of minute tracking, made it easy to add on charges left right and center, doesn’t mean that businesses should break everything out. Yes, I understand in the case of the airline industry, a lot of the charges are optional, and it’s allowed a lot more frugal traveler’s to take trips. But this race to the bottom on prices, show the cheapest price you can legally claim, then add fees, surcharges, taxes etc. can’t end happily.
This blog post has another perspective, oh great, Obamacare for breakfast?