We missed this earlier: The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on October 11 proposed a new rule to prohibit online platforms from charging "junk fees" that consistently confuse and trick consumers. The regulator outlined two types of junk fees in particular: Hidden fees: "Consumers told the FTC that dishonest businesses routinely engage in bait-and-switch pricing tactics that hide mandatory fees and deceive consumers about the price. This is because fees imposed later, but before the purchase is made, significantly increase the total that consumers pay. Accordingly, the proposed rule would prohibit businesses from advertising prices that hide or leave out mandatory fees." Bogus fees: "Many consumers also said that they often do not know what fees are for, because dishonest businesses routinely misrepresent or fail to adequately disclose the nature or purpose of the fees. The rule would prohibit sellers from misrepresenting fees and require them to disclose upfront the amount and purpose of the fees and whether they are refundable." By banning hidden and bogus fees, consumers will know "exactly how much they are paying and what they are getting" because "businesses would have to include all mandatory fees when telling consumers a price, making it easier for consumers to comparison shop for the lowest price," FTC reasoned. The FTC proposed this rule after receiving comments from consumers about "hidden fees for everything from booking hotels and resort fees to buying concert tickets online, renting an apartment, and paying utility bills." "All too often, Americans are plagued with unexpected and unnecessary fees they…
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