U.S. Senate Introduces ‘Junk Fee Prevention Act’ — Aimed at Excessive and Unnecessary Fees

Junk Fees Prevention Act in Congress

Photo Credit: Elijah Mears

Two U.S. Senators are introducing the ‘Junk Fee Prevention Act’ to tackle unnecessary fees introduced behind a complicated checkout process.

U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) have introduced the legislation to eliminate “excessive fees and bring transparency to the marketplace as hidden fees cost Americans billions of dollars annually.”

“Concealed surprise fees—nickel and diming Americans to distraction—must be stopped,” adds Senator Blumenthal. “Airline travel, concert going, common purchases—seemingly almost everywhere—consumers are compelled to pay hidden excessive charges. Our bill will help end this price-gouging, forcing full disclosure upfront and restricting abusive fees. It will mandate basic common sense fairness and transparency, which consumers rightly demand and deserve.”

The move comes after President Biden urged Congress to introduce legislation to eliminate junk fees for consumers. The Junk Fee Prevention Act is a direct response to this call for action and would require the full price of a service to be displayed upfront, prevent excessive fees, and ensure transparency. It would also empower the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission to issue new rules and enforce against violations.”

“Business models that rely on nickel-and-diming consumers are fundamentally unfair,” adds John Breyault, National Consumers League Vice President of Public Policy, Telecommunications, and Fraud. “Hidden junk fees also harm honest businesses by making their competitors’ products and services look deceptively cheaper. The Junk Fee Prevention Act is a long-overdue solution that will help consumers keep more money in their pockets and promote competition in the marketplace.”

“Junk fees can add up to a lot of extra money and pose a real financial strain for families at a time when inflation is already taking a big bite out of their wallets,” adds Chuck Bell, Advocacy Program Director for Consumer Reports. In the world of concerts, even artists’ attempts to keep prices low have gone unheeded. The Cure kept its ticket prices out of Ticketmaster’s dynamic pricing model—but tickets were 100% of the advertised cost after Ticketmaster’s various fees.

You can read a full copy of the new legislation here.