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Hidden fees exposed

When you spot a questionable cost on a bill – such as an unexplained ‘maintenance charge’ or an unexpected ‘activation fee’ – here’s how to fight back

When you spot a questionable cost on a bill – such as an unexplained ‘maintenance charge’ or an unexpected ‘activation fee’ – here’s how to fight back.

 

Gain Power from Knowledge

Always ask if there are any fees when you’re agreeing to a service, upgrading your cell phone, applying for a credit card, etc. Don’t get hooked in the first place!

 

State Your Case Clearly

‘This fee was never disclosed to me,’ repeated politely but firmly, just might do the trick. Remind the company that you’ve been a loyal customer, but that you can always take your business elsewhere.

 

Let Your Fingers Do the Talking

Skip the lengthy phone call in favour of a well-worded e-mail. Log in to your online account and send a message via the customer service page, or look on the company’s website for a Contact Us link.

 

Haul Out the Big Guns

File a formal complaint at your Provincial Consumer Affairs Offices. These offices, in all nine provinces, offer advice, education, information, and protection. Click here for contact details and more info on help for consumers.

 

Also read:

5 Ways to make a complaint really effective 

 

Text originally appeared in US Good Housekeeping magazine.

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