Here is the typical drill. A consumer is completely surprised and shocked by some retailer’s stated policy, so she complains on Facebook. A big firestorm develops, and maybe they do a story on the local news that goes viral on YouTube. The embarrassed company relents, apologizes to the consumer and changes the policy.
Yeah, well, that didn’t happen this time.
An Irish family of 5 was on vacation in Spain. On the return trip, they arrive at the airport and go to the kiosk to print their boarding passes. They discover that the airline charges a 60 Euro ($76) printing fee PER BOARDING PASS. Four hundred dollars and one heart attack later, the mom is complaining on Facebook, has a million-billion Likes, and is demanding justice.
How does the airline CEO respond?
“We think she should pay 60 euros for being so stupid. She wasn’t able to print her boarding card at an Internet café? At the hotel? She couldn’t get to a fax machine so some friend at home could print them and fax them to her?” NBCNews.com
His point? The terrible bad printing fee is a stated policy. If you didn’t read the fine print, then you should pay the Stupidity Fee. This particular airline, Ryanair, is one of those low-cost outfits. And part of the low cost magic is crazy weird fees like this one, such as bag fees, exit row seat fees, and even potty fees.
So, is this right? If it’s in the fine print, can a company do whatever it wants? How closely do you read the fine print? Should you have to? Check out the original article to read about the pros and cons, and let us know your opinion.