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Have you been surprised by hidden charges? FTC seeks public comment on 'junk fees' rule

The Federal Trade Commission is targeting so-called ‘junk fees’ and asking for public input.

Junk fees are charges that are often hidden or don’t show up until you’ve decided to buy something. For example, resort fees for a hotel room, convenience fees for ordering online tickets, labor surcharges at restaurants and fuel surcharges for deliveries.

By hiding total prices, the FTC says fees make it harder for consumers to shop around and punishes businesses that share the information upfront.

The agency has proposed a rule on unfair or deceptive fees. It would require the total price to be clearly displayed, and before consumers pay, businesses would also have to breakdown the nature and purpose of fees.

Public comment is being gathered through Feb. 7, an extension from the original Jan. 8 deadline.

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As a senior field correspondent, Christina Estes focuses on stories that impact our economy, your wallet and public policy.