CHICAGO – Attorney General Kwame Raoul, along with a bipartisan coalition of 18 attorneys general, filed comments with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) expressing support for a recently proposed rule to crack down on deceptive and unfair fees faced by consumers.

Attorney General RaoulThe recently proposed rule by the FTC – called the Trade Regulation Rule on Unfair or Deceptive Fees – is intended to deter deceptive and unfair acts or practices involving fees. The rule seeks to promote a level playing field that enables comparison shopping and allows honest businesses to compete.

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“Hidden and junk fees drive up the price of goods and frustrate consumers to no end, decreasing trust in the marketplace and putting honest businesses at a disadvantage,” Raoul said. “My office’s Consumer Protection Division will continue to go after bad actors who exploit consumers for their financial gain.”

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In the comment letter, Raoul and the coalition detail the widespread and growing problem of hidden fees consumers encounter when online shopping, purchasing tickets for events, booking travel, renting an apartment, signing up for a gym membership and more.

Raoul and the coalition express support for the proposed FTC rules that would:

  • Prohibit ‘bait and switch’ advertising by requiring businesses to clearly and conspicuously disclose the total price, including any mandatory fees, at the onset of a transaction.
  • Require businesses to more prominently display the total price when pricing information is advertised.
  • Prohibit businesses from misrepresenting the nature and purpose of any fee.
  • Require businesses to clearly and conspicuously disclose the nature and purpose of certain fees, such as shipping charges and optional fees, before the consumer consents to pay.

Joining Raoul in sending the comment letter are the attorneys general of Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.

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