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Attorney General Josh Stein Leads Bipartisan Coalition of States in Support of Eliminating Junk Fees

For Immediate Release:
Thursday, February 8, 2024

Contact: Nazneen Ahmed

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein and Pennsylvania Attorney General Michelle Henry today led a coalition of 19 attorneys general supporting the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)’s proposal to prohibit junk fees. These hidden junk fees end up raising costs for North Carolinians when they’re shopping online, moving, purchasing tickets, and traveling.

“We all know what it’s like to click purchase on one price and then be faced with a much higher price at checkout,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “These days, every dollar counts and the fees add up quickly. I’m proud to co-lead this bipartisan effort of fellow state attorneys general, and I’m grateful for the steps the federal government is taking to get rid of hidden junk fees.”

Hidden fees can trap people into paying for goods and services they may not have purchased if they had known the total cost upfront. And very often, people invest time and research to try to find the product or service that’s the best fit for their wallets – only to be charged a higher price at the very end of their transaction.

The attorneys general are in support of the FTC’s proposal to:

  • Prohibit “bait and switch” advertising by requiring businesses to disclose the total price clearly and conspicuously, including mandatory fees, from the outset.
  • Require businesses to display the total price more prominently when they’re advertising prices.
  • Prohibit businesses from misrepresenting the nature and purpose of any fee.
  • Require businesses to clearly disclose the nature and purpose of certain fees (such as shipping charges and optional fees) before someone agrees to pay.

Attorney General Stein is joined in sending this letter by the Attorneys General of Pennsylvania, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.

A copy of the letter is available here.