FTC Proposing Transparency Rules For Ticketing Fees

A couple hours after I made my post about an article addressing the problem with “drip fees” in the UK and the psychology that reinforces their use, I saw that the FTC is proposing new rules to address junk fees, which are the same as drip fees in the UK.

FTC Chair Lina Khan said in a statement that “by hiding the total price, these junk fees make it harder for consumers to shop for the best product or service and punish businesses who are honest upfront.

[…]

A new rule with more precise language can do a better job with specifics, the agency argues:

It is an unfair and deceptive practice and a violation of this part for any Business to offer, display, or advertise an amount a consumer may pay without Clearly and Conspicuously disclosing the Total Price.
[…]

….and now this new proposed FTC rule could force other businesses in different industries, from airlines to hotels, to follow suit

If successful, the new rule could put an end to bait-and-switch tactics, which consumers have told the FTC that they’re constantly experiencing. Consumers have also said they often don’t know what certain fees are for.

Other articles about the proposed rule include examples of some of the arcane abbreviations associated with added fees that people couldn’t decipher. It was noted that the rule wouldn’t get rid of all the added fees resulting in cheaper prices, but it would force businesses like concert venues, hotels, and airlines to disclose full prices upfront.

As I mentioned in my post last week, the rule will need to be written well to eliminate loopholes which will allow for the addition of fees not covered by the rule. It should also be noted that hospitals have been required to provide transparent pricing for common procedures since 2021, but a recent study revealed only about 1/3 of hospitals are in compliance. So there needs to be real enforcement of the rules as well.

About Joe Patti

I have been writing Butts in the Seats (BitS) on topics of arts and cultural administration since 2004 (yikes!). Given the ever evolving concerns facing the sector, I have yet to exhaust the available subject matter. In addition to BitS, I am a founding contributor to the ArtsHacker (artshacker.com) website where I focus on topics related to boards, law, governance, policy and practice.

I am also an evangelist for the effort to Build Public Will For Arts and Culture being helmed by Arts Midwest and the Metropolitan Group. (http://www.creatingconnection.org/about/)

My most recent role was as Executive Director of the Grand Opera House in Macon, GA.

Among the things I am most proud are having produced an opera in the Hawaiian language and a dance drama about Hawaii's snow goddess Poli'ahu while working as a Theater Manager in Hawaii. Though there are many more highlights than there is space here to list.

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