Stupidity Fees?

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?”

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.

3 thoughts on “Stupidity Fees?”

  1. seems like there many companies doing the “highway robbery” thing these days . banks are another good example of charging fees at will . electronisc purchases for trials where you have a free trial for 30 days then cancel you will not be charged . BS what some of them will do is go ahead and charge your account anyways then you have to try and get a refund and in some cases prove you canceled . if you are like me i dont keep much money in accounts i use to buy online so i cant be hacked and lose a bunch of money. by doing so the bank will reject the payments then charge an overdraft fee of $35 then the company will try to get the money from your account again within a day or two ,upon which the bank charges another $35 ,so you end up paying a bill you actually didnt owe then the bank on top of that. the banks cliam there is nothinhg they can do thus you get stuck paying it .

    it seems like the GOV. could , should write into law that companies can not rip peopl off with these fees for many things out there .it really makes me wonder who our paid representitives really care about the most

  2. I’ve had enought of this fine print crap they make the form so long and the print gets smaller all the time. I say get rid of it.

  3. Why make fine print. Print it loud and clear so those of us who can’t read fine print without those glasses and where did I put them so I can read. If your going to charge a fee make it clear and up front. After all this is America and you have a right to charge for services. And if people don’t like it don’t use that service or company. It’s what we call a free country and you have a choice.

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