Flat fees

Sometimes it would be very nice to know exactly how much you are paying when you agree to buy something or use a particular service.

Today, airline KLM has once again put up its fuel surcharge – a way of raising ticket prices without actually saying you are doing so. Airlines have of course been ordered into line by the European Commission because of all those cheap fares they have been advertising, which turn out not to be such cheap fares.
But crafty as they are, the budget airlines are now happily adding on extra fees if you want to take any luggage or pick your own seat.
Still, perhaps the Commission should also turn its attention to a few other abusers of the hidden charges system. Take holiday houses for example. It is quite common to book that three bedroom bungalow with a view over the lake and then find you have to pay extra for sheets, electricity and even end-of-holiday cleaning.
Then there is the fee which second hand car sellers are happy to add on the bill – the klaarmaakkosten – for the cost of getting the car ready for you to drive.
Perhaps the worst abuse is the booking fee you often get charged when you buy a ticket for a show online – even though you and a couple of computers have done all of the work.
More suggestions welcome.

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