Wednesday, April 17, 2013

1162 Fee-Landering

1162 Fee-Landering

A friend writes with the implicit suggestion that a snippet in the previous Wessay™ makes too little of the phrase “Fee collection fees,” and is worth further exploration.

The question is why haven’t the fee collectors thought of this -- if they haven’t -- and what fees that we don’t now pay could we someday be assessed?

Here are some possible examples of future fees:

✳Taking a cue from banks that charge you to use your own money in ATMs, department and grocery stores could charge you a small percentage to use a checkout line with a live cashier instead of the self-checkouts.  Likewise, customer service departments at these same places could charge you a “consulting fee” for returning something or asking a question.  (A consulting fee is more palatable than the current “restocking” fee. And at least you get something for your money.)

✳Insurance adjusters could charge fees to come out and estimate the damage to your home or your car.

✳Medical and dental offices could charge you a fee for scheduling an appointment, cancelling an existing appointment or requesting medical information.  Lawyers do that, so why not doctors?

✳Live in a highrise?  How about an elevator fee?

Fees are the new way of raising prices without raising prices.  The candy bar industry started one trend:  shrinking the size of the bar without shrinking the package.  The cereal and canned goods folk are big time tag-alongs.

The airlines are fabulous entrepreneurs:  fees for baggage, for no baggage, for fat people for expedited check-in, for expedited de-planing.  (In this use, expedited means taking forever instead of taking forever and a day.)

In olden times, the gasoline industry charged you more for unleaded gasoline than for those with an additive -- lead.

What’s the matter with the rest of America?  TV services are masters of this art.  Basic channels for $1.  If you want HBO or USA or Al Jazeera, it’s fees, fees, fees.

The diner down the block could charge you extra to put less than usual in your coffee cup... a cream fee.

McDonald’s could charge you a no-salt fee for fries.

Some health clubs haven’t thought yet to impose a towel fee (although many have.)

Why should banks, airlines and telephone companies have a monopoly on nickel and diming you to death?

They don’t call America “the land of the fee” for nothing.


--Are you tired of the “human interest” angle stories of the Boston Marathon bombing?  And what kind of a nut job bombs a site that’s set up to handle almost 2,000 medical issues with every first responder in the city on hand?  And, no, special agent. the pressure cooker from this house is still in this house and intact.

--Call for info:  does anyone know what the AARP’s standards are for an endorsement other than paying the name licensing fee?  The group hasn’t answered many inquiries and no one else seems to know.

--If you’re male, can you imagine going through life with the middle name “Beverly?”  George Beverly Shea  managed for 104 years.  The Billy Graham baritone has died and although he was a fine singer, he put that wonderful talent into the service of a raging anti semite who conned a nation for decades.

I’m Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2013

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