April 04, 2023

JUNK FEES NO MORE: Gallego and Jackson Introduce Legislation to Prevent Unfair Hidden Costs for Consumers

WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) and Rep. Jeff Jackson (D-NC) today introduced the Junk Fee Prevention Act to eliminate burdensome and oftentimes hidden fees imposed on consumers when purchasing tickets, hotel rooms, and other forms of entertainment. The bill seeks to increase transparency by requiring the full prices of services be provided upfront and eliminate the excessive fees that costs American billions of dollars each year.

“When a concert ticket is listed at $50 and the price nearly doubles at checkout, that’s a bait and switch,” said Rep. Gallego. “This price gouging impacts millions of Americans each year—it’s unfair and corporate abuse. That’s why our bill puts the power back into the hands of consumers so they can make fully informed decisions when shopping. It’s only common sense, and I’m proud to lead this bill in the House.”

“It’s simple– consumers deserve to know what they are going to pay without jumping through hoops,” said Rep. Jackson. “I’m proud to join Rep. Gallego to introduce this bill in the House to empower Americans and ensure that companies treat consumers with fairness and transparency.”

President Biden specifically called out these junk fees during his State of the Union address in February. The President urged congressional action to eliminate these fees and save consumers money. The Junk Fee Prevention Act does just that by requiring full prices be shown upfront, putting an end to unnecessary and excessive fees, and empowering the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission to step in and issue new rules and enforcement guidelines.

Additionally, the bill would eliminate charging airline passengers for seating assignments when an adult needs to sit next to an accompanying child and empowers the U.S. Department of Transportation to impose penalties for violations.

Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) introduced the Senate companion of the bill.

“Concealed surprise fees—nickel and diming Americans to distraction—must be stopped,” said 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.”

Text of the legislation can be found here.