Be an informed consumer

Those of you who have followed this blog for a while have at least occasionally had a taste of my every-so-often rants about the ridiculous fees that banks charge. The fact is that the typical bank customer seeking to earn interest and have your money work for you soon learns that it’s actually exactly the opposite – extremely low interest rates result in virtually no growth in your savings, while fees eat away at the balance.

But in the interest of fairness, it’s important that we all understand that similar well-deserved rants can easily be directed at the airlines, credit card issuers, rental car agencies and so many other companies who think that we might not notice an occasional fee here or there. Baggage fees, cancellation fees, account maintenance fees, fees for breathing their air, talking to a live person, having a pulse… oops. There I go again.

But guess what? I am also a strong believer in personal responsibility. I can rant and gripe about fees all day long, and I do! But the reality is that we are all responsible. We are all smarter than this. As consumers, it truly is a caveat emptor, “buyer beware” environment. That simply means that in almost every case we are told, even if in fine print and complicated disclosures and disclaimers, about all of these fees, however ridiculous and unreasonable they may be. The burden is on us to stand up and refuse to tolerate these insidious and often avoidable fees that erode our financial standing.

Just “letting it go” means your tacit approval for these companies to reach their hands deep into your pockets. OR, you could “just say no” and tell them to… well, let’s keep this a clean, family blog.

The bottom line? None of us mind paying for services we need and receive, but ALL of us hate getting ripped off and taken advantage of. Be an informed consumer, and only do business with companies who treat you fairly and provide the services you need.

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