New Bill Introduced In North Carolina Seeks To Eliminate Unnecessary Service Fees
There are few things worse than picking out tickets to something, or finding a hotel room you think is a great deal, only to have significant amounts of money added to that total hidden as “fees”. These service fees or convenience fees cost people a lot of money that many times they weren’t planning on spending. In the span of a few weeks last fall I purchased Taylor Swift tickets which had $81 per ticket worth of fees on them from Ticketmaster. Followed by Duke’s Mayo Bowl Tickets which had around $50 per ticket in fees. And there was no extra “service” provided to justify this cost. It’s ridiculous especially when you don’t have another option to purchase tickets. There is no way to avoid spending that money. But relief could be on the way. A new bill introduced in North Carolina is targeting those unnecessary fees.
A few years ago it was maybe a $10-$12 fee. And while still unnecessary in my opinion, it was much more reasonable. But now the Junk Fee Prevention Act has been introduced in the North Carolina State legislature. According to the bill it is designed to “limit and eliminate excessive, hidden, and unnecessary fees imposed on consumers, and for other purposes.” Democratic Representative Jeff Jackson whose district includes Mecklenburg and Gaston counties is one of the legislatures behind this bill. It is one I truly hope receives bipartisan support as this benefits all North Carolinians.
A Ticketing Debacle
Lawmakers hope it will bring transparency to North Carolina consumers as well as help eliminate some of the unnecessary fees all together. This comes in the wake of lawsuits filed against Ticketmaster as well as investigations into the conglomerate many stemming from how they handled the ticket sales for the Taylor Swift Eras Tour, the years biggest show. Verified Fan presale codes were randomly distributed and many went into the hands of scalpers who in turn listed them on resale sites for exponentially higher prices. There were also too many codes sent out and fans couldn’t even purchase tickets, leading to multi hour waits in the queue, Ticketmaster crashing, and the public on sale being cancelled all together.
While I’ve chosen to highlight the live event portion of this bill, it will also be applicable to hotel stays, airlines, and other industries. As someone who loves to attend concerts and sporting events as well as travel often, well I couldn’t be more in favor of this legislation in North Carolina targeting unnecessary fees. May it pass unanimously and swiftly (pun very much intended).
You can read the full bill here.