Service of Irritating Add-On Charges

February 7th, 2022

Categories: Add On, Add-Ons, Air Travel, Airlines, Cooking, Games, Movies, Newspapers, Recipes, Surcharge

I don’t mind some add-ons such as the five cent deposit on cans and bottles or the cost of a grocery bag if I leave behind one of my many totes–which rarely happens.

Well publicized airline surcharges must annoy many. Pick a price and cover things like booking–whether on the phone, in person or online; accept carry on luggage; serve peanuts, pretzels and a soft drink to everyone; lend a pillow or blanket and let people choose the seat they want. Stop adding charges for the small stuff. It’s petty. The approach makes me think the company would buy subpar fuel or skip aircraft maintenance steps to save a few more dollars.

I am bombarded with surcharges by my New York Times digital subscription. I think “gotcha” when I click on an article about a recipe and read about its background and click to see the ingredients list and instructions only to read I must first subscribe to the cooking section. It costs $5 every four weeks or $40/year. There are some free recipes but not for the one I’ve been bamboozled into reading. Then there’s the extra cost to see the “Wirecutter” recommendations.  I understand you must also pay for many of the games like the crossword puzzle. Just charge me a few dollars more on my digital subscription and stop hitting me left and right because I feel taken and will look elsewhere for the information kept from me. The paper featured mulligatawny soup over the weekend. I had an amazing bowl in Addis Ababa and never as good since. I’ll check out other recipes on the web.

The add-on is more subtle in this example. Two adults and two children went to the movies last Saturday afternoon in a Chicago suburb. The tickets cost $34. Two small popcorn, two small boxes of candy, one small drink and two cheese sticks cost $52. My goodness.

Are there add-on charges that irritate you and any you think are valid and are glad to pay?

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24 Responses to “Service of Irritating Add-On Charges”

  1. Martha T. Takayama Said:

    Add-ons are annoying and seem inherently deceptive. The ones I find most irritating and alienating are the needless ones that follow agreeing to most political stances or requests for endorsement or support. I often simply don’t complete the submission that asks me for a donation after a brief or lengthy request for my opinion on the reason for the post. I feel annoyed or manipulated. It does not help the cause at hand!

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Martha,

    What a great example! And I agree. Here’s another aspect.

    During the primaries before the 2020 election friends encouraged me to send as little as $5.00 to the candidates of my choice because even such a small sum helped. I have paid for those donations in countless emails bombarding me ever since.

  3. Linda Levi Said:

    Linda on Facebook: Can’t think of any examples but I share your frustration. Just tell me the d–n price and call it a day! Similar gripe of mine is stores that offer coupons but then some brands, often in the tiniest of print, are excluded. Similarly, buy 1, get half off second item offers. Should be BOGO or let me use coupon on just 1 item. CVS actually does allow the latter if you speak up. But shopping shouldn’t be such a challenge or guessing game.

  4. BC Said:

    Moral of one story! Have Mom with a big hand bag carry cans of drinks, Candy in with her, and only buy the popcorn!

  5. David Reich Said:

    Airline surcharges are annoying, and they’ve been talked about for many years.

    I have a new one that really got me crazy, and I’d advise people to avoid using this service…BroadwayBox.com

    I understand a service charge of 10 or maybe even 15% when buying show tickets online. But 60% is outrageous and outright gouging.

    Our kids bought us, as an anniversary present, a $300 gift card from BroadwayBox.com. What a great gift idea,knowing we love the theater and go frequently. But when we went to redeem it, we learned they had a service charge of that came to almost $75 per ticket. So what our kids paid $300 for was, in reality, worth only $150. Half of the gift they paid for was service charges.

    My wife called to protest and they simply said, “our service charges are clearly marked on our site (in the fine print) and the buyer agreed to it.”

    Lesson: Do not use Broadwaybox. There are so many other services that charge only $5 or so per ticket.

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Linda,

    I am bombarded with coupons and discounts from BB&B which drive me nuts. I can’t figure most out and never have them handy when I get to the store. The only coupons I use are from CVS. I like those for 40 percent off best.

  7. Jeanne Byington Said:

    BC,

    Sounds like a good idea.

    I once was ripped off by an ice cream vendor in a truck on the street who charged $20 for a milkshake I bought for a child. He spoiled it for all the others as I won’t buy anything from any of them anymore.

  8. Jeanne Byington Said:

    David,

    Gosh–what a terrible story and incredible ripoff.

    If people did more than talk about airline add-ons they might disappear.

  9. Linda Levi Said:

    Linda on Facebook: Me too. 30% off good as well. But I’ve become such a “coupon snob” that now I scoff at the 15% coupon, lol.

    As for BB&B, I have tons of paper coupons and they never expire. If you want some just let me know. I don’t shop there much anymore since the E61st location closed.

    I keep all my coupons in my purse at all times or I’d never remember to use them.

  10. Hank Goldman Said:

    I agree with you.

    Way back in the good old days, I believe the expression was, you are nickel and dime-ing me to death. Just charge me one fee and give me what I want.

  11. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Hank,

    I wish I had thought of that great expression as it would have made the best title to this post.

  12. Linda Levi Said:

    Linda on Facebook replying to David’s comment: Awful. I’d never use that site on principle.

  13. Debbie Kunen Said:

    Debbie on Facebook responding to David/Linda: I go to the box office to buy movie tix for the same reason, but if you live out of town and want to see a play, what do you do?? Ask a friend to buy them for you and offer then a fee?

  14. Linda Levi Said:

    Linda on Facebook: Me too Jeanne. 30% off good as well. But I’ve become such a “coupon snob” that now I scoff at the 15% coupon, lol.

    As for BB&B, I have tons of paper coupons and they never expire. If you want some just let me know. I don’t shop there much anymore since the E61st location closed. I keep all my coupons in my purse at all times or I’d never remember to use them.

  15. Debbie Kunen Said:

    Debbie on Facebook responding to Linda: BBB coupon expirations do expire The world has changed. They want you to buy their “membership” which is $29 a year and worth it if you ask me. I received (2) $10 gift cards when I shopped there in Dec. 2021. My membership just renewed. I got 20% off my entire purchase then used the 2 gift cards saving me $34.

  16. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Debbie: I refuse to pay a yearly fee to shop. Speak about add-ons!

    I don’t buy enough from one retail store except TJMaxx and spend rarely more than $20, and in the day, Century 21, to make it worth my while. I may be the only adult within 10 miles who won’t subscribe to Amazon. I know: I’m unAmerican.

  17. lucrezia Said:

    Add-ons are a costly nuisance, and I try to avoid as many as possible. Many of them are tacked on things one can do without.

    Now let’s think of things that are really troublesome, such as being without a roof, not knowing where the next meal is coming from, and dozens of other awful things that plague mankind.

    I’ll accept life’s nuisances and be grateful that no terrorist is at the door……at least for now!

  18. Joan Cear Said:

    Joan on Facebook: Over the past few years I have seen several restaurants add 3 to 4 percent to the bill if it is paid with a credit card. What ever happened to “the cost of doing business?”

  19. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Lucrezia,

    I enjoy writing these posts. If I only covered momentous topics or those involved with saving the unfortunate I would no longer. The smart people who comment here are all too aware of those who have nowhere to live and nothing to eat and do what they can to help.

  20. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Joan,

    First I’d heard of this! Good question.

  21. Deborah Wright Said:

    Shipping charges to order a delivery online and sometimes the charge is almost as much as the item!

  22. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Deb,

    I resent these charges especially when they are excessive and they are inserting a featherweight item in a plastic mailer. Most of the time I go without the item or delete the order. I also resent an excessive minimum to bypass shipping and I’ve deleted these potential orders as well.

  23. Eileen Dover Said:

    I agree just charge me a little extra instead of nickel and dime-ing me. But think the positive of “bare bones and then add-ons” broadens participation. Our family joke…is it included or additional ?!?! I’m a fan of the all inclusive option when available.

  24. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Eileen,

    When there are a bunch of hidden charges a bell goes off in my head and I think “FLIMFLAMMERY!” I once worked for a company that played games like this with customers. Drove me nuts. I shooed away inappropriate charges on accounts for which I was responsible. If you’re not getting paid enough by a client then charge more.

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